Joey from Made by Joey is with us today to share an inspiring fall craft activity, needle felted acorns. I am already picturing a big bowl of these little lovelies on our coffee table!
Needle felting is a fun handwork activity that is suitable for most children 7+.* Taught in Waldorf Schools all over the world, needle felting has become popular with many fiber artists as a form of sculpting with wool.
*Note: In order to be successful with this craft, children should have the maturity to respectfully use the required tools. This craft must be supervised by an adult until the child has mastered the technique.
A highly tactile experience, needle felting uses carded sheep’s wool called roving, a special needle felting needle and a foam pad to work on. For this beginner project you will also need a clean acorn cap, and white glue or hot glue.
To start you will need a piece of roving about the size of a child’s palm. Avoid cutting roving with scissors, instead gently pull the wool apart piece by piece separating the natural fibers until you have the amount that you need. Have the child roll the roving between their hands into a loose ball shape.
Place the ball on to the foam mat and help your child hold the barbed needle and gently poke the ball repeatedly in an up and down motion until the fibers start to tangle and hold together on their own. Start off slowly and take care not to twist the needle as they are somewhat delicate and will snap off. Continue poking the fiber until it gradually becomes firmer and less “hairy”. Roll the ball in your hands periodically to maintain the round shape. Repeat these steps until you and your child have formed a fairly tight round ball.
Once your child is happy with their needle felted ball, apply some glue to the inside of the acorn cap and press the wool ball up into the acorn cap. Hold in place for a minute and leave to dry for a couple of hours if using white glue.
Needle felted acorns can be:
:: used in nature table displays
:: used as counters for learning games
:: gathered in bowls or vases
:: drilled and made into a bunting to decorate your child’s room
:: made into necklaces
:: tied onto packages
:: made in any color to suit the season
To see more examples of needle felted fiber art check out my Pinterest board.
Some of my favorite needle felting books:
This is a great activity to do with your child on a chilly Autumn day or when you want to make a small gift for someone special. Put on some soothing music, take it slowly and have fun with this wool sculpting craft, the possibilities are endless for what you can create together!