Recently we vacationed in Michigan where a lot of my family lives. I have many teenage nieces, and I was trying to think of a gift I could make for them that would be quick and easy to make, preferably with supplies I already had in my studio. And then it hit me: I could needle felt cuffs.
|Easy machine needle-felted cuff.|
As you may know, I am addicted to machine needle felting. It's so easy, fun, and satisfying. Faster than hand needle-felting and less messy than wet felting.
Yes, you do need a felting machine. However, I find a lot of people who sew or do fiber art have them and are willing to share if you promise to maintain the machine.
I'm still using the one Quilting Arts Editor Vivika DeNegre loaned me for my felted teacups. (I'll give it back soon, Vivika, I promise!)
Here is how to felt cute cuffs with a felting machine and fibers.
- Needle-felting machine
- 9" x 11" sheet craft felt for base
- Roving to cover the base in colors of your choice (wool is good but silk is beautiful, if you have it)
- Soft fibers like hand-spun or decorative yarns, silk hankies, silk or wool fabric, silk ribbons, etc.
- Decorative button for closure
- Additional items for embellishments: beads, buttons, embroidery floss
- Scissors (or rotary cutter, mat, and ruler)
- Needle and thread
|The needle-felted cuff before adding the closure.|
1. Arrange rovings and art battings on the felt base.
2. Machine felt the roving in place. Try to get good coverage at this stage.
3. Apply decorative yarns over the base and needle felt in place. I cut small pieces of yarn and twirled them into spirals and laid nubly variegated yarns over that, needle felting over them. You can also cut leaves, circles, and other shapes from wool, silks, and velvets, felting the design details into place.
4. When happy with results, cut felt base to desired width and length (measure wrist and add 2" for length).
5. Embellish with beads, buttons, embroidery, etc., as desired.
|I like the way Michele Muska uses cutout shapes and silk ribbon in her machine
6. If desired, line the back of the cuff with fabric or silk and sew in place. This isn't necessary, but will give the cuff a more finished look and cover up any knots if you added embroidery or stitched embellishments.
7. Cut a slit for button 1/2" from one end. Sew on button on the opposite end.
I would say the whole process took me 30-45 minutes, including cutting the bracelet to size and sewing on the button. And the girls were thrilled with their gifts.
I want to keep experimenting with machine needle felting and all its possibilities.
My friend Michele Muska shows how to use machine needle felting to make felt crafts like cuffs, a small quilt, and a tree skirt in her segments on the new season of "Quilting Arts TV." Series 1000 is now available on DVD, and you can try out all the projects yourself!
P.S. What's your favorite fast and fun fiber art for teen? Leave a comment below; I'm always in need of ideas.