Tuesday, 2 April 2013

My Neighbour Totoro - Needle Felting Chibi Totoro!!

I have a new obsession... an obsession with FELT!

After stumbling across a short 'how to' video on YouTube I rushed out and bought my own Needle Felting kit. The method is sooooo simple and really versatile, I was instantly inspired!

So with a billion ideas lined up to have a go at, I thought I should start with something small, easy, and damn cute!

Here is my first attempt at Needle Felting and how I made the little white critter from My Neighbour Totoro!

Firstly I draw out a rough template/guide, I plan on making all three Totoro creatures so drawing out a guide helps with the scale. 

Then you grab a bit of white felting wool, roll it into the rough sort of shape you want, in this case an egg shape, and get stabbing! It's so simple!
The felting needle has barbs on it's point that tangle the wool fibres up as you poke it, eventually making it dense and able to hold a 3D shape.

Next roll up three more little tear drop shaped balls for ears and a little tail, leaving the end you want to attach onto the main body fluffy. The unworked wool helps give a stronger bond to the main body when you begin felting it, so the ears and tail won't work itself loose.


And there he is!
To add the eyes I simply felted on two small balls of white, then two tiny balls of black.
You can continue to add more bits of wool to round up his body shape, but remember the more you work it the denser and harder it gets.

So now the leaf!
I'd read about felting with a wire armature, so thought making the Chibi Totoro's leaf would be the perfect thing for practising with.


Again I used my drawing as a guide to bend and shape the wire. Then I wrapped some green felting wool around the armature and got stabby with the needle, always making sure not to hit the wire if I could help it, the needles can break!!I started with the stem first then each leaf in turn, adding bits here and there to cover the wire where it managed to poke through.

Now, to attach the leaf to the body. I used an extra little bit of white to mask the join and look like a little hand and hey presto!

One little white Chibi Totoro complete with leaf.

Next, I am experimenting with a core fibre to make our favourite big grey forest guardian!!

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