Needle felted brooch tutorial

This Friday I’m doing a workshop on needle felting a brooch at Guildford
House, so I thought I’d do a post on it.
These are a few I’ve made as samples

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So, you need a piece of foam or you can use a special brush to stab into. I’ve used foam placed on a hard protected surface. As a guide choose a biscuit (cookie) cutter in the shape you like and put it on your foam.

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I’ve chosen a pig for this one. Then pull, (don’t cut), some fleece and push it into the cutter.

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Then take a felting needle and stab vertically down into the fleece. The needles have barbs on them, which mat the fleece together.

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Before needle felting

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After needle felting

When it’s started to stick together take the cutter off and peel the fleece off the foam. There may be bits of foam in the back, so pick them out. Then turn the cutter over and push the fleece back in the other way up and needle it again. You can use the needle to adjust the fleece into corners. If you don’t have enough fleece just add some more and needle it in.
Keep doing this until the fleece maintains its shape. Then you can remove the cutter and very carefully needle the edges. Mind your fingers – those needles are very sharp!

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Now you can add some detail if you like. The pig is a sort of soft lilac, so I added some pale green patches.

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Then I added an eye in a scrap of indigo.

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Finally finish off your brooch by stitching a brooch back onto the back.
Other things you can try is to needle some fabric on, which is what I’ve done with the dog’s coat, using a scrap of tartan wool. I wrapped it round to the back.
You can felt wool (yarn) to create detail.

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On this bird I am felting wool onto the tail, which is made of a bit of felted jumper. The legs were made with thick wool needled onto the back and knotted.
On the face I’ve created a 3D nose by making a ball felting it a little then felting it on to the face. You can adjust shapes with the needle. The blush on the cheeks is made by putting the fleece on the back, which creates a softer look. I stitched on some beads for earrings.
You can also use textured wools to create more effects, which is what I did with the flower.
Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and have fun.

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