Monday, September 13, 2010

Tutorial Tuesday With Hope Studios...Who's up for a Snowball fight?

Hello again! I hope all your weekends were relaxing and creative. 
I am linking up with Jennifer at Hope Studios for her weekly Tutorial Tuesday. This is a blog post where we all get to learn stuff...lot's of wonderful and creative stuff. Be sure to visit Jenn's blog for all the great tutorials. You might just win a cool prize...guess who the Giveaway sponsor is...ME!!! I am donating one of my pretty zipper pouches that I blogged about here..and here.
For my tutorial, I am going to show you how to make beautiful frosty wool needle felted snowballs for your winter season decorating. They are super easy and fun. Let's get started!
You can purchase roving at your local yarn shop or online in places like Windrose on Etsy...or yank it off some wandering sheep. Ok...not really ;-)
I normally do not use styrofoam as my base when I make these for my home. To create the snowballs from roving only is much more labor intensive. However....I am trying to make this an 'anyone can do it' type of craft with quick results. The ball will act as our base and give us a good headstart. Any size will do..depending on what size you want your snowball. 
This is a needle felting tool which you can find here. It can be used with or without the holder. I often just hold the needle in my hand and skip the holder thing. Click on the photo to notice the barbed tip. This tip aids in pushing the roving into the ball, but not pulling it out when you remove the needle. Just like those spiky things at the car rental know, you can drive in but not out...same thing. 
Word of Caution: These needles are VERY sharp...I repeat VERY sharp. This is not a childs craft by any means. It is a very mobile craft...easy to take with you in the car, while watching TV or a movie.  I'm actually watching my favorite 'Little House On The Prairie' reruns while I photographed this. Mary is going blind ...again!
 Ok...let's begin. Gently pull about 6-8 inch section of roving off.
 Start wrapping the ball in roving and slowly begin to poke with the needle. You only need to poke as deep as the barbed not poke needle all the way in. Avoid fingers  ;-)
 Now simply poke..and poke..and poke..and did I say you had to poke? Lot's of poking going on here. Are you getting the hang of it? Just keep poking and jabbing, moving around the ball as you go.
 You will notice the roving becoming embedded into the styrofoam ball. Keep this up until the entire ball has a couple of layers at least. You can add as many layers as you like...the more you add, the more plush and softer your snowball will feel.
Look closely...see all the tiny poke dents? That's the look you are aiming for.  Looking like a snowball isn't it?
Keep adding layers until you like the feel and the size.
 I usually use German glass glitter, but a more affordable and easy to find glitter is Diamond Dust. You can find this at most Michaels or good craft store. 
 I cover the felted ball with spray adhesive and dust with the glitter. You can also simply leave the snowballs unglittered for a more homey primitive country look.
You will notice I have mine drying on a kabob stick. The stick makes it easy and much neater when spraying the adhesive. It will not get all over your hands. 
 Aren't they beautiful and so festive. You can see I have left some plain and glittered some. Using a large eye embroidery needle, I strung the snowballs onto some plain drug store twine. You can either knot before and after each snowball or glue into place on the twine. Won't they look wintery on your tree this year or maybe strung on the holiday mantel. I always fill a bowl with them for my coffee table.
These quick and easy needle felted snowballs make fabulous holiday ornaments. The perfect teacher many "world's greatest teacher" mugs can they use? Because they are seasonal and not religious, they are the perfect gift for anyone this winter. I guess you can say they are politically correct  ;-)
I hope you give needle felting a try, it is so much fun and the results are beautiful. An added bonus is that wool roving comes in hundreds of colors, which makes the possibilities endless.
 Maybe next time I will show you how to make your own wet felted acorns for the holidays! 
Until next kind and stay creative.

Get Your Craft On Tuesday Sorry..I could not get this link to load correctly. I am also linking up with Todays Creative Blog!


Annette said...

I've wanted to try needle felting and this looks like a good way to start! Thanks Janet!!

Kelly Ann said...

I made a comment and after hit post thought it sounded way to instead I'll post this one...
Snow Balls and Acorn Nuts...see not as funny...

Wipso said...

What a fab tut. We do a lot of needle felting both hand and machine and call it dumfing because of the noise the machine makes :-)
Happy dumfing.
A x

Jennifer Juniper said...

These are great! I have to admit I always think of Pillars of the Earth when I read about felting wool!

Wanda..... said...

You make the 'politically correct' snowballs look almost easy to make, Janet. I just may try!

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Hi honey so glad to here on your site. I have missed coming by.
You just amaze me with all your creative endeavors and now snow balls. All I could think about reading this was my grandchildren and how they would love these.
I caught up with u while I was here and love your little zipper bags....too pretty.
Why don't you be a Blogazine guest on my site and let everyone get to know how creative you are. Take a look at my other Blogazine guest and see if your interested

the treat girl said...

Hi! I sooooo can't believe I have not stopped by until now!!! I am one of the Soul Sisters with Jennifer Juniper over at Hope Studios and she's always raving about you! I can't wait to peek around and see what I've been missing!

April said...

Thanks for posting this! I always wondered how needle felting was done-I will have to try now. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Sweet Birdy Love said...

Hey Janet, how are you? Enjoy your coffee, perhaps I could have a muffin on your behalf!! Maybe not at this time of night it would give me some weird dreams!!
Bunting Boy, (ha, ha), came in very handy today.

Love your snowball tutorial, they are so sweet.
A fresh day here, sun,rain,wind, typical Spring weather. Snow in parts of Tasmania so they will have real snowballs down there.
Hope you have had a great week and you are enjoying some wonderful Autumn/Fall weather.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Claire XX

Catherine Holman said...

Now that looks like fun!

My Life Under the Bus said...

How Cute !!! Great idea with the styrofoam - as a beginner it is hard to get the shape always right.

Sandy Ang said...

Thanks for the tutorial !