There’s never been a better time to get inspired, hands-on and pick up a new skill than now. Not only is crafting proven to be beneficial for mindfulness, it also offers a great way to distract yourself from the outside world for an hour or two.
As part of The Handmade Festival’s free and simple #CraftAtHome series, we’re sharing step-by-step craft activities from some of our fabulous experts, so that you can get creative and try something new at home!
Next up on our #CraftAtHome blog series is Steffi Stern, who you may know from The Makerss. Steffi owns The Makerss with Sophie Buckley and both Steffi and Sophie are wool and craft enthusiasts who have been in the creative industry for many years. The Makerss was established in June 2015 after the pair released the much-loved needle felting book ‘Making Needle Felted Animals’. Since then, Steffi has written another book ‘Making Simple Needle Felts’, which was released in 2018, and her latest, ‘Making Soft Dolls’, has just been published.
The Makerss has been a Festival fan favourite for years, bringing their motto ‘Every One A Maker’ to life during their interactive workshops and talks. The team strongly believes that everyone can get creative and they endeavour to make needle felting as accessible as possible.
In this how-to-guide, Steffi teaches us how to needle felt a fabulous Ladybird Brooch in just 12 simple steps!
Supplies and tools:
4-5g Poppy Red dyed New Zealand Merino batts
Wisp of Black dyed New Zealand Merino batts
Wisp of white batts such as Cape Merino (optional)
Felting needle: #38 medium
No-Sew Brooch Back
- Take the red wool and wind it up into itself, teasing the fibres out as you roll it up so that you end up with a tight parcel with wispy ends at the end of your wrap.
- Use your felting needle to secure the wispy ends, working them into the round shape.
- Make the underside flat by stabbing the needle in repeatedly in a flat disc shape. Also, give the shape a few stabs all over to tidy up any wispy wool ends.
- Decide which part will be the head/front of your ladybird and lay a wisp of black wool over it. Fasten this on with your needle by gently stabbing the black fibres in place.
- Make sure the black is just covering the front. Next, make a groove from front to back by stabbing in a straight line with your needle.
- Take a wisp of black (less than what was used for the head) and tease apart with your fingers to form a thin strand of black wool. Lay into the groove.
- Stab the black into the groove until it becomes a thin line.
- Roll a tiny amount of black into a ball between your fingers. Felt this onto the top of the stripe right behind the head. Make two more spots (of equal size) and attach them on either side of the black line.
- Then add two more black spots on both sides, below the spot you just added. Your ladybird should now have 7 spots.
- Take a similar amount of white and roll into a ball and fasten onto the side of the very first black spot you made on the top of the black line. Repeat on the other side. The white spots are optional.
- Then make two more white spots on the head of the ladybird as shown. Make sure that your ladybird is symmetrical. Your ladybird should now be about 4-5cm long and feel nice and firm.
- Add the brooch pin. If you are using our No-Sew Brooch Back, push the end of the pin into the felted shape, then swivel the pin round the bend (no coil). The advantage is also that you can take the pin off any time again.
Voila - a ladybird brooch!
Have you made The Makerss Ladybird Brooch? We’d love to see your creation! Tag us and The Makerss in your posts – we can’t wait to see what you create! Catch The Makerss every day at The Handmade Festival, taking place at Battersea Park from Friday 11th – Sunday 13th September.
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