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Illustrated Craft Tutorial - How to Needle Felt on a Styrofoam (Polystyrene) Figure

Below are the tools you will need for making any needle felting project. There are three sizes of needles (these are a bit jagged or barbed and very sharp. Basicly you will start any work with the largest needle and work your way down to the smaller needle as the work becomes finer and more detail is needed. The needles are barbed which will cause the matt the wool, thus felting it together. Important is to always insert the needle vertically into the wool to avoid bending the needle. The wooden holder can be quite helpful if you are working on larger items. The top cap can be unscrewed and the needles are then insertet into the holes. Then the cap will be screwed back on. It is also comfortable to work with. Otherwise you will need your felting wool and a foam surface mat (which is about 2 inches or 5 cm high). The mat can be bought where you purchase your crafting supplies. This is to mainly protect your workspace. If you do not have such a mat, you can substitute a thick sponge or a styrofoam block instead.

For the styrofoam shapes, you will not necessarily need the mat since the shapes are thick themselves.



First some information about needle felting tools:

Needle Felting Tools

You can use the needles individually or you can use a needle holder which allows you to use 3 or more needles which makes the work faster. You must be careful with the needles as they hurt incredibly if you poke yourself and the bend easily if you do not needle punch at a straight angle.



Needle Felting - Jagged Edge Needle

This is a close up of the needle. You can see how the edges are jagged.


Modern Needle Felting Tool 1

In Germany (and maybe also into the country you reside in), there is a new version of the wooden tool shown above. It has a protective cap which presses in when you needle felt. This has an advantage that you can injure yourself so easily and helps that the needles stay straight while you are felting your project. Five needles can be used simultaneously with this tool.



Modern Needle Felting Tool 2

This is how the inside of the new tool looks.



How to Needle Felt on Styrofoam


Needle Felting - Valentine Heart 1

1. For this project, only a single needle is being used to demonstate the procedure. But you are never limited to just one needle. You can use one of the tools listed above if you like.

The first step is to place your shape onto your working space.

Needle Felting - Valentine Heart 2

2. Wrap a thin, yet covering layer over a section of your shape you wish to felt. You can use pins to hold the wool in place if if you like if it does not stay put.

Needle Felting - Valentine Heart 3

3. Start jabbing your thicker needle into selected areas of the shape just enough to hold the wool in place. Add the remaining wool to cover any open space so that the styrofoam figure is completely covered. What really looks great is to combine two colors of wool to create a marble look. Here a medium red and a dark red were used to decorate the heart shape.

Needle Felting - Valentine Heart 5

4. After a while of jabbing, your object will start to take shape. You will be actually jabbing hundreds of times, if not thousands of times until the consistence of the wool is uniform and even around the shape. You will notice how the fuzzy ends are eventually disappearing and the object is looking softer. You will continue until your shape looks like the project here.




Needle Felted Styorfoam Heart
Needle Felted Valentine Heart
Click here for a larger image and supply list to make this project

Felted Styrofoam Snowman
Needle Felted Snowman
Click here for a larger image and supply list to make this project.




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