I recently took a class on needle felting and it is quickly becoming a new obsession of mine. What I love best about it is that there is no special skill required and someone can start out doing something pretty complicated in the beginning and it gives you instant gratification. All you have to know how to do is poke and that is something we all learned early on. It came in real handy in elementary school.

This project is on the very basic end of the scale, but it will start you on your own obsession with wool and needles.

You Will Need:

Foam or a sponge
*Felting needle (size 38 preferably, but it doesn’t really matter here)
Red corriedale wool roving (most craft stores carry wool roving in multi-color packs)
Heart cookie cutter
Embroidery thread and needle if you want to embellish

*These you may not find in a craft store. I bought mine from Living Felt.

To begin, place the cookie cutter on your foam and fill the cookie cutter with pieces of the red wool. The using one needle or if you have a needle holder that can hold more use that to start punching down the wool in the cookie cutter. I’ve found that using the needle holder with more needles helps me to get the felting started easier and then I use a single needle for finishing, but use whatever you have since both will work fine. Be sure to poke around the shape evenly, excessive poking in one area will make your shape uneven.

Once the wool starts to come together at the bottom, remove the cookie cutter and turn the wool over. If you don’t move the wool once in awhile it will start to adhere to your foam.

Keep turning and poking until the heart feels firm and you are no longer able to pull off any of the wool. If you have any thin or uneven spots, just add more wool and keep poking. You can also run the heart under some hot water to firm it up or to do any extra shaping.

Once complete, you can embellish anyway you like, but I chose to use some embroidery to personalize. If you don’t want the back of the embroidery work to show, put the shape back into the cookie cutter and add some wool to cover up the back of your work and poke a few times until your threads are hidden.

You can hot glue a pin and magnet or just leave them as is. Just use your imagination and get to poking! It’s therapeutic!

Another great project to do for Valentine’s Day or for any winter day really are the Crayon Hearts from Martha Stewart. I did not do such a great job with mine, I was a little to heavy handed with the crayon wax, but they do cheer up the room when it is a all gray and bleak outside. I got lucky on the day of these pictures and the sun came out.