Starting a new hobby is supposed to be exciting, so why do you feel so overwhelmed? You’re not alone! Way back in 2006 when I first fell in love with the magical world of crafting, I was exactly where you are today.
Whether it’s blogs, Youtube tutorials, or crafting magazines—there is so much information out there that it can start to feel a bit too much. I love crafting, and I know you will too! To help combat the confusion, I want to help answer one of the most frequently asked questions from newbies in the needle crafting space: How do I care for my needles?
It’s an important question, especially when you’re just starting. Needle felting tools are sharp and extremely fragile. There’s nothing worse than sitting down to a project and finding that your craft box is overflowing with broken needles. Protect your pocketbook (and fingers) with these simple tips!
Start with a clean craft space
Accidents happen when our spaces aren’t organized. Make sure your work station is clean, clear of clutter, and bright. Your needle can disappear in the blink of an eye, especially when there are piles of wool, papers, and supplies covering your crafting area.
Fix your surface
Some crafters like foam others enjoy pads. I prefer a needle felting pillow, but no matter what you choose, just make sure it’s not your hand! Felting without a proper surface is the fastest way to break your needles, and more importantly, injure yourself. You’re going to need something to absorb the constant jabs of the needle, and you don’t want that to be your dining room table!
Take it easy
In needle felting we use the term ‘stabbing.’ And while this certainly sounds rough, it doesn’t have to be. Use a light grip when holding your needle, because when you have a forceful, tight grip, all it takes is one tiny miss and your needle will snap in half. Remember, it’s all in the wrists, not the biceps.
As your wool tightens and gets more dense, of course, you will have to use more force. But instead of trying to rip your way through the surface of your project, switch to a finer needle!
Know your angles
This one is paramount! Make sure to use an up and down motion rather than jabbing your project at a diagonal. You can change the angle of your felting as you work, just remember to pull the needle out the same way you put it in.
Use a Needle Holder
A needle holder not only makes needle felting more comfortable it makes your needle easy to find. Find a holder that is easy to change out the needle because they do wear out. My favorite needle holders come in different colors so you can keep track of different size needles.
Control with ease
There’s no rush, take it slow! When working on a big project, you might get the urge to start stabbing at a fast rate, but it’s not necessary. It’s hard to control the needle when you’re moving at a such a rapid speed. Take it slow so you can ensure you’re caring for your needles with each jab. You will get faster with practice.
When you work slower, you also have the opportunity to feel the materials. Is it getting harder for you to pierce your needle through the wool? It might be time to switch needles. When you relax, take your time, and go into each project with ease, you’ll notice that the entire ritual becomes that much more calming!
Now that you have the needles under control, are you ready to take your crafts to the next level? We’d love to have you in our community. The Bear Creek Felting Academy is a place where crafters come to learn the techniques necessary to achieve amazing results—and create needle felted creations that stand out from the crowd! With video tutorials and personal feedback from me, you’ll be well on your way towards your crafting dreams. Click here & join the academy today!