While perusing Pinterest one evening, I came across an intriguing tutorial on the wonderful art of needle felting. I had to learn more – especially after realizing it entailed repeatedly stabbing a needle up and down into a piece of fabric or sweater. A satisfying stress reliever that results in something wearable? Sign me up. And now that I can officially call myself a needle felting maven (and nerd), trust me when I say that you’re going to have a blast with this technique. So grab your supplies and let’s get started on a pair of heart shaped elbow patches!
With the sweater on, place a piece of tape about half an inch below the elbow. Do the same with the opposite elbow. Remove the sweater and insert the foam block into one of the sleeves.
Align and center the bottom of the cookie cutter along the top of the tape. Pinch off a few tufts of wool roving.
Fill the cutter, spreading out the wool fibers evenly.
At the base of all felting needles are tiny, sharp burrs, which grab and interlock the wool fibers. While holding the needle vertically, repeatedly stab it into the wool roving and through the sweater. I found it easier to work around the outer perimeter of the cutter first and then work my way inwards. Important tip: To prevent breaking the needle, always keep the needle upright and never at an angle. And don’t forget to pay careful attention to your fingers while felting as the needle is extremely sharp. Honestly.
Continue stabbing away until the surface is flat and even. Fun, right?!
Remove the cutter and use the tip of the needle to reign in any stray fibers, if necessary. Don’t worry about the holes as they will be mended later.
Patch up any bare or uneven spots by adding more wool roving where needed.
Carefully peel the sweater away from the foam. Notice that the fibers have transferred through to the backside of the sweater.
To smooth and set the patch, spritz with water and press with an iron on the wool setting.
Repeat the same steps the other sleeve.
Ta da! Your heart shaped elbow patches are finished!
(all images by HonestlyWTF)