I love the onset of cooler weather in the fall. Many of you can look forward to kicking through large piles of colorful leaves, but here in Arizona, we have to make our own. Even if you have plenty, why not needle felt fall leaves? If you’ve ever wished for a fiber hobby that gave instant gratification, (as opposed to knitting), this is it. You can dig yourself elbow deep into piles of colored wool and end up with a finished project in one sitting.
Best of all, it’s easy and forgiving. To give it a try, you’ll need:
- a thick slab of foam. Mine is about 5 inches thick
- felting needles I used 38 gauge triangular
- wool roving in various colors NOT superwash because it won’t felt
Now for the fun part. Create the basic shape you want. Don’t worry too much about this – just lay down some wool. You can easily modify the shape as you go by adding wool roving. Using your needle, and being careful to go straight up and down, tack the edges of your roving in the shape desired.
The more and closer together you poke the needle, the denser your felt item becomes. Continue poking the needle into the roving until the entire surface is covered and the shape becomes dense and stable. You can pull it up and turn it over to felt the other side if you wish.
I think needle felting is almost like painting. It’s so easy to lay on layers of color, mixing them to get the desired result. Start with tacking in just a few places to see if you like the result – then you can pull off colors that aren’t quite right.
Keep going until you’re satisfied. Make your leaves as crazy as you like. There’s no color police!
Embellish them with embroidery, beads or whatever makes you happy. I hand stitched the veins on my leaves with pearl cotton embroidery thread.
What can you do with felted fall leaves? I have a few ideas: Strew them across your dining table to make a unique table-scape. Stack them on your coffee table as coasters. Stitch names on them to create Thanksgiving dinner name cards. String them together into a colorful autumn bunting. Use them as package ties for holiday hostess gifts. So many uses, so little time…
I’m frantically felting more festive fall leaves!