How to make a needle felted bead bracelet
If you're a beginner to needle felting or a lover of handmade jewellery, then this tutorial is the perfect way to learn this fun soft craft, or if you already needle felt, then it's a great way to use up left over wool.
Needle felting uses barbed needles to compact and sculpt wool into shapes. The basic technique involves stabbing the felting needle into the wool multiple times, shaping it as you go, an ideal way to get rid of stress and find mindfulness.
Time: For a beginner, allow 10-15 minutes per felted bead. For the more experience, around 5 minutes per bead.
- Autumn Wool Bundle
- Needle Felting Foam Block
- 38 Gauge Star Felting Needles
- Sewing Needle
- Elastic String
1. Gently ease the wool apart into matching lengths. Don’t cut it as this will make the fibres difficult to felt. Creating matching lengths will result in all the beads being the same shape (unless you want different sizes!).
2. Roll one length of wool into a tight ball.
3. Always use a foam pad to protect your needles and work surface. Hold the ball against the foam and start to stab into the wool with the felting needle. Always poke the needle in and out at the same angle. If you bend or twist it, it may break as they are very delicate. Try to keep your hand out of the way of the needle whilst you are working as the needles are very sharp!
Turn the ball often, stabbing on all sides so that it felts evenly.
Roll the ball in your hands regularly to help keep an even ball shape.
Keep felting until the ball is firm, retains its shape but still has a bit of squish. If the wool becomes too hard and over felted you will struggle to feed the needle and elastic string through the beads at the end. If there are still loose pieces of wool on the ball then you need to keep on felting.
TIP: This is a very easy technique, but you do need to pay attention! If you don’t get it right first time, discard the ball and start again. Treat the first couple of balls as a practice run.
4. Use a needle to thread the beads onto a length of elastic string and tie a knot to secure.
You could use the same technique to create a necklace or decorative felted ball garlands for your home.
Founder & Creative Director, Hawthorn Handmade