If you're looking for a creative hobby that's easy to learn and easy to clean up, look no further than needle felting! It only requires a few basic items to get started and you can needle felt nearly any object you can think of. By the end of it, you'll have a soft (and likely adorable) toy to show off.
That's why we decided to research some of the best needle felting kits out there. Our favorite? The Mayboos Needle Felting Kit. With 40 different shades of wool, a selection of felting needles, protective gear, and other tools, this kit has everything you need to dive headfirst into the world of needle felting. Read on for more of our favorites and a guide to help you choose one on your own!
You might already be familiar with wet felting, which is when a knitted item is agitated in water to create felt. The agitation mixes the fibers together, creating an object that is soft but quite solid and durable. You'll often find felted clothing items like sweaters or slippers, as well as felted toys.
Needle felting is the same general idea, but instead of using water, it’s done by repeatedly poking the fibers with a barbed needle. Needle felting is often used to create small decorative objects or toys. Many people find the process of needle felting to be quite calming or even meditative, making it a relaxing hobby.
Some needle felting kits just contain the basics. Some have extra bells and whistles. Here's what to look for when deciding which kit is best for you.
While it can be tempting to dive right in and needle felt an intricate design from the get-go, it’s best to get the basics down first. Starting simple will also allow you to figure out what kind of needles and wool you prefer to work with. Beginners should stick to simple shapes like round Christmas ornaments or owls.
If you like to have a lot of guidance when you’re starting out, look for a kit that will teach you how to needle felt a specific object rather than just a general kit. These will include instructions and all of the tools you need to make the design. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you can move on to more detailed objects.
If you like the idea of playing around and seeing where your creativity takes you, look for a more general kit that contains a variety of wool colors and tools. Then, let your imagination be your guide.
Whether you're new to needle felting or looking to expand your skills, make sure that the kit you choose has all of the equipment you'll need.
In order to needle felt, you need two essential items: wool and felting needles. You can't felt without these items, so make sure that they're included in your kit or that you already have them on hand. Felting needles are delicate and can break, so you may want to look for a kit that comes with multiple needles.
Another must-have is protective equipment. Felting needles are quite sharp and can damage your table and fingers! A felting mat will protect your work surface, while finger gloves will keep your fingers safe.
Beyond the basics, you'll find many kits that include other useful tools and accessories. Extra tools can make felting easier or more efficient. Accessories can be added onto your finished product to add detail or function.
One common tool is a wooden needle handle that you can insert multiple needles into. This is great for felting large surfaces and can be easier to hold than just a single needle. You might also see tools like scissors, glue sticks, and tweezers. If you plan to travel with your kit, having these basics included can be very convenient.
In addition to tools, some kits come with accessories to help finish your project. These could include eyes for creating animals, or lanyards and keychains so that you can hang your finished project from your phone or bag.
Felting needles come in a variety of gauges and shapes that affect the felting process and the finished product. Most kits contain a variety of needles so you can play around with them and see which ones you like best.
When purchasing a felting kit, you'll most often receive triangle blade needles. They have three sides, typically with two or three barbs on each side. Spiral blade needles are twisted triangle needles. The barbs are evenly spaced and corkscrew up the blade. They tend to leave less noticeable hole marks.
Star blade needles have four sides. They push more wool per poke and are great for all-purpose felting. Reverse barb needles pull the wool out rather than push it in when you stab. They’re often used to create fuzzy textures or for blending colored layers.
Most kits include a range of needle gauges. The gauge of a needle refers to how thick it is. The lower the number, the thicker the needle. Felting needles typically come in gauge sizes 32, 36, 38, 40, and 42.
Heavy-gauge needles grab more fiber, so they're good for starting projects and felting larger areas. Finer-gauge needles are good for smoothing and finishing surfaces and adding details. Ideally, you’ll want a mix of needle gauges for the most effective and efficient felting.
While synthetic or plant fibers can be used in needle felting, the most popular option is sheep's wool.
Different sheep breeds produce wool with different characteristics, which affects the felting process and the finished product. The best wool for needle felting will be a medium-coarse fiber. Some examples of medium-coarse wool are New Zealand, Romney, Shetland, Corriedale, and Norwegian wool.
Merino and Blue Faced Leicester wool are finer and better suited to wet felting. Icelandic wool is coarse and hairy, which makes it great for needle felting. However, it tends to have a less smooth finish.
When purchasing a needle felting kit, the type of wool won't always be specified, especially if it's a more general kit. However, you may be able to find more details in the Q&A section or in the reviews.
Once you know what type of wool you like, you might see the option of roving or batting. Batting is wool that has been carded (disentangled and cleaned) and then layered in fluffy sheets. Because it's textured and the fibers are running in different directions, batting is great for needle felting.
Roving is wool that has been carded and then pulled off the machine in ropes so that the fibers are mostly aligned. It still retains the natural crimp of the wool, so it will work for needle felting too! Roving can also be easier to store since it’s more organized than batting. When purchasing a needle felting kit, you'll most likely see roving.
If the kit you're buying comes with a lot of wool or tools, it might be helpful to have an easy, compact place to store it all. Some kits come with a plastic storage case that can help ensure that none of your needle felting supplies get lost.
Many kits come with a case just for the tools, while the wool roving is stored in individual plastic bags. However, some kits have a case that can hold all of the tools as well as the wool, which can be great for travel.
Here are our top 10 favorite needle felting kits available online. Whether you want a general starter kit or are looking to felt a specific design, we hope you find a kit that fits your needs!
Sandy Leaf Farm
Needle Felting Kit
Needle Felting Starter Kit
Needle Felting Kit for Beginners
Fluffy Unicorn Needle Felt Kit
Needle Felting Kit
Needle Felting Cactus Kit
Bunny Needle Felting Kit
Needle Felting Kit
Hedgehog Needle Felting Kit
72 Pcs Needle Felting Kit
A Kit That Goes Beyond the Basics
Make a Flock of Fuzzy Creatures
A Kit for Shiba Inu Lovers
Felt a Unicorn That Fits in Your Pocket
A Kit With a Carrying Case
Craft Easy-to-Care-for Cacti
A Bunny That Will Steal Your Heart
A Huge Collection of Wool Colors
Felt an Adorable Hedgehog Friend
A Kit With Just the Tools
|Wool colors||40||16||6||3||36||10||4||72||6||Wool not included|
|Wool colors||Wool not included|
Needle felting kits can be geared towards crafters of all experience levels, so not all of them include instructions. If you're just starting out, here are some helpful tips!
Felting needles are sharp and fragile, so you’ll want a soft but resilient surface to work on. One option is to use towels or cushions that you already have at home. Alternately, you can use a felting mat made specifically for this purpose.
Some mats have a brush-like surface that allows your project to sit on top of the bristles and the needle to penetrate beneath. Other felting mats are made of dense foam. Most kits come with a mat included.
Some needle felting kits provide in-depth instruction booklets, but not all of them do. If you find that you're having trouble getting started, creating a certain shape, or getting a specific texture, the internet can be a huge help.
With a quick search, you'll be able to find a number of helpful videos and websites. Here's a YouTube video that we thought was very helpful for beginners!
Ultimately, there’s no right or wrong way to needle felt; a lot of it is up to personal preference.
Play around with different types of needles and different types of wool to find a combination that you like. Needle kits usually come with a variety of needles and wool so you don’t have to purchase everything individually, and are an excellent option for beginners!
There's no lack of fun hobbies to fill your free time with. Here are some more kits to get you started on your next creative project.
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