I've been in love with all things Eric Carle for a long time. Now that I'm a mother I've shared this love with them. When my youngest discovered The Very Hungry Caterpillar it became her favorite book. We read it multiple times a day now and we even have the Eric Carle clothing line. I recently started needle felting as a hobby, it's really simple to do and I just love the way it looks. For my first project I decided I wanted to make the butterfly from the end of the story. It turned out so cute that I decided to make the caterpillar and the various stages of between and I'm going to frame them in my daughters room when they are all complete.
Needle felting is just wool fibers being interlocked. It sounds daunting but all you need is a special felting needle to do it. A felting needle is simply a needle with barbed edges cut into it in order to agitate and snag the wool fibers to interlock them. I haven't mastered 3D shapes yet but I have made the flat ones which are much easier.
Here is a look at the process of making the butterfly.
First I started but tracing out my design on tracing paper. This gave me an idea of the shape I needed to make it. I started with a sheet of white felt.
I then sketched my butterfly design onto the white felt as a guide. I drew the butterfly diagonally so that it would still be big and not cramped into the 12in by 12in area. I'll be cutting out the design when it's ready to be framed anyways.
Place a foam block underneath your surface so you aren't stabbing your tabletop. I took my Wool Roving and started with the small details using the book as my color guide. You simply press the needle through the wool poking it back and fourth in a downward motion until it is secured to the white felt underneath.
I suggest getting finger guards and a work station, especially if you plan on letting older kids do this. It's better than a nasty finger stick.
It took me a full day to complete my butterfly. I did it one weekend when my husband was home and I listened to a book while doing it. It was very relaxing really and that is when I decided that I would do more of them to frame together.
What do you guys think? Didn't it turn out cute?
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