These felted robins have become something of a winter tradition of mine. I love them! Since they feel more like a winter decoration than a christmas themed one, I bring them out of hiding some time in October/November, and keep them up until all the snow has come and gone, long into the new year.
Several robins have flown away to my family members as little gifts the last two years. Even my brother spontaneously declared that he loved them and would like a little flock of robins for his appartment. Well, I couldn't deny him his wish, could I? ;) Away they went, all of them, and I started gathering a new flock for myself.
This time I thought I'd make a little tutorial for you. I originally made mine from a material set from Panduro Hobby, but all the nescessary materials are available in hobby stores. Needle felting is incredibly easy, just hold the wool and stab repeatedly with the felting needle. The needle has notches that pull the wool fibers in and when you pull it back out they leave the wool fibres behind. Just one thing though. Be very very careful with your fingers, that needle is incredibly sharp!! Go on, ask me how I know. ;)
ETA: I've been asked for more details on how the technique works. To start the robin you hold the red wool on top of the styrofoam ball. Stab the felting needle through the wool into the ball - this will bring wool fibres into the ball and make the wool stick to it. Keep poking the needle through the wool and into the ball until all the wool is well entangled around the whole styrofoam ball, and starts to resemble regular felt. You'll see the transformation from fluffy wool fibres to the dense red layer happen right before your eyes. No glue is needed! The wool sticks to both the styrofoam and itself. In fact, the styrofoam ball isn't actually necessary because the wool felts to itself, but it gives you a shape to start with, and therefor saves a LOT of time and wool. It probably takes a couple of hundred stabs on this first step, so have a little patience. When I got the routine in, it didn't take me more than fifteen minutes or so to complete the entire bird.
When you get to step 3, you simply gather some gray wool and hold it over the now red ball and repeat the process. Stab through the gray wool into the red wool and styrofoam ball and watch the gray wool entangle itself. Use the needle to guide it into the desired shape. After a while you'll actually see an effect from each stab. To make the tail you use the felting needle on just the grey wool for a while, poking through it into thin air, and it will entangle into itself forming a firm clump of wool protruding out from the body.
I hope this clarifies the process!
So here it goes!
1: Grab your styrofoam ball, mine are ca 3 cm in diameter.
2: Cover styrofoam ball with red carded wool and felt with felting needle.
3: Cover half of the red ball with grey carded wool and felt. Be sure to let some of the felt protrude from the body to make a tail.
4: Make a ball of black carded wool and felt to body in the opposite end from tail.
5: Felt a tiny amount of grey carded wool to both sides of head, to make eyes.
6: Cut a small square of orange felt and attatch to head along the diagonal with felting needle. Attatch black sewing thread to back of head. Done!
I'm linking up to the Strut Your Stuff link party.
ETA: I've been featured on Five on Friday at Singing with Birds! Thank you for my 15minutes of fame. :) And thanks to all of you lovely ladies - and gents - leaving comments! I read and enjoy every single one! :D
Also, if you have any questions, just leave a comment and I'll answer as soon as possible right there in the comment section.