Monday, September 12, 2011

Needle Felted Apples

Each year I anxiously await the coming of autumn. Yesterday there were hints that it really is coming and I opened all of my windows to let in the breeze. When we lived in Washington we enjoyed going to the apple festival and picking fresh apples from the trees. Not having access to an orchard this year I decided to create my own little bushel of apples using wool felt.  I'll include one of these little bitty things in our alphabet box and make another bunch for sorting, counting, and pattern work.

I just recently discovered needle felting.  I love it because it's quick and not very technical.  I whipped out four of these little apples in 15 minutes at the same table my boys were doing their school work at.  You'll need a block of needle felting foam, a felting needle, a bit of wool roving and for this project a small bit of brown wool felt about 1 inch wide.

Cut a small piece of your wool felt to make a stem. Pull away (not cut) a small piece of roving and wrap snugly around your stem.

Now start jabbing your needle through the fibers over and over again. Wool fibers are barbed and when you agitate them with your needle, which is also barbed, the fibers begin to hold together. I am careful to turn my apples often so that the fibers don't become stuck in the foam. You also want to make sure you are coming at your wool from many different angles to get a good hold. Depending on the size of your apple, you may want to leave the fibers a little loose in order to attach a second layer of roving.

Wrap your second layer of roving around your apple and go around the whole thing jabbing your needle until all of the felt feels secure.

You will begin to see that you can start scultpting your apple with your needle. I went around the base of my apple a few extra times to narrow it down.  I then went at the apple from the top, pushing the fibers down into the stem to shape the top.

Now trim the stem and any fibers sticking out from your apple. Your children will love to hold these little treasures.  So much more tactile then the plastic set from scholastic.  I plan to make more little treasures from my stash of wool roving: carrots, potatoes, strawberries, pumpkins the possibilities are endless.  Of course I'll post them when I get them done in case anyone else out there would like a little inspiration.  And when I finish my set of 3 little pigs for my storytelling basket I will post those as well.

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for the tutorial! It's amazing that you were able to make 4 apples in 15 minutes and have them turn out so cute! They would be great for alphabet boxes as well as counting, sorting, and patterning activities. Thanks for linking up with Montessori Monday. I just featured your post at the Living Montessori Now Facebook page: