Wednesday, May 5, 2010

How to Make Needle Felted Pea Pods



It seems like every child at some point in their life loves to play house or have a pretend kitchen.  These pea pods are the perfect addition to any child's play food collection.

Materials Needed:

Carders I bought mine on Ebay.  They are antiques and were less expensive than new ones.  They work just as well!

Wool- Washed, dyed.  I wash mine in the washing machine without agitating. I let it sit in hot water in the machine, and the extra grease and dirt float off.  Use the spin cycle to get out the extra water.  Just remember never to agitate the wool, or you'll have the largest piece of felt-blob you've ever seen.
I dye my wool with Jacquard Acid Dyes.  You just cook your clean wool at a low simmer on the stove top

Foam (mine is couch cushion foam from the last couch we discarded)


Felting Needles.  I buy mine in bulf from Mielke's Fiber Arts.  


First, you card your wool.  You tease out a handful of wool, then catch it on the teeth of one of the carders.  Next, you pull the wool across the carders.  The carders should be moving the opposite direction from one another, and should hardly be touching.  This will comb your wool, so that it's going mostly in the same direction.



Next, you pull the wool off the carders.  This time, move the carders in the same direction, beginning by touching the teeth of one carder to the top teeth of the other carder.  This will pull the wool off of that carder.  Do the same to the other carder.  Don't you love the staple gun fix-it job on my carder? 




You should now have two rectangles of wool.




Divide one of the rectangles into two pieces.  One piece is enough for one pea pod.




Begin rolling one of the pieces of wool tightly into a cylinder with your fingers.  





Hold the wool firmly in the cylindrical shape as you transfer it to your felting foam.  




Begin to poke the wool from all sides, shaping the pea pod into the form you desire.




Once the body of the pea pod is formed and not so fuzzy, begin poking circle shapes at one side of the pea pod.  These will be your peas.  On either side of the peas, make a long line, which will delineate the sides of the shell of your pea pod.  Your pea pods will begin to look like they are popping out of the pod and the pod will begin to curve naturally.  Poke either end of the pod more than the rest, so that they will look like the stem and flower end of the pea pod.




Once you have formed your peas, begin to needle felt some of your extra wool to either side of the pod, making some horizontal fibers, which will also help to emphasize your pea pod shell. 




Once you have felted the wool securely on either side, your pods are done.  





If you wish to display them creatively, tie some raffia at the top to help hold them together.  You're done!  

4 comments:

  1. Wow, that is really cool! Great work. I look foward to seeing more on your blog!

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  2. Very cute! Are these for your girls to play with or are they pretty fragile? I'm so glad you're blogging again:-D

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  3. Still don't know if I could achieve this level of craftiness, but I love your step by step instructions and especially the pictures!

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  4. these are super tough, unless your kids are into teasing out tiny bits of wool. how long you poke at them is directly related to how durable they are.

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