I recently participated in my very first Waldrof Swap. Now you know I love to swap and barter and make deals and trade goods so a Waldorf Swap wasn’t completely out of line with my personality. In fact participating in it happened to be very good for me, it’s like it kicked on my craftiness which has been lacking lately.
At first I was in a panic, who was I to make things people would WANT? Then I quickly followed that up with a full blown CRAFT CRISIS, wherein I made a few items in search of the perfect thing and then couldn’t reproduce them.
Crisis averted when I turned to needle felting my old friend. I love needle felting, it’s particularly cathartic as you pound away, needle into wool, repeatedly. And who would EVER know you screwed up because you just add more wool anyway. Whew, turns out my needle felting “skills” were still hanging around and I quickly taught myself to make these sweet little nests, which I felted on to birch branches I gathered from our yard after a windstorm.
I’m really pleased with how the nests turned out, I think they convey exactly what I wanted, a touch of spring in Alaska, simply and sweetly. If you want to make your own I jotted down how to make them, the things you need for them and took pictures as well. If you’d rather buy one they will be available for sale at Birchtree Charter School in the Birchtree Market for the next few days as well.
Needle Felted Nests for Spring
- you will need wool roving, in colors you want for your nest and eggs, probably less than an ounce or two
- felting needles–buy several they can break
- a felting mat–I used one like this and it worked fine
- 100% wool yarn in a color that matches your nest
- crochet hook
- birch branches from your yard or a park, use any kind of branches available to you
- those are affiliate links I might earn a penny or two if you click on them–you can buy all of those locally if you ask around, even some of the big craft store (Micheal’s) carry the supplies
- choose several thin layers of wool, nests aren’t all the same color so add in several layers that will show through and be the base for your nest, pat them flat on the sponge to straighten and align them
- using the felting needle gently poke a line right down center to start binding them, then pick up the wool and roll it around your fingers roughly the size you want to start with
- then lay it back down and start felting it with your needle, I like to lay it up on it’s side and work on the part that is touching the mat
- remember you don’t want to pound really hard on the nest or you’ll felt it to the mat but you do want to poke the layers of the nest, work on how deep your sticking in the needle
- at this point I just keep rolling the nest along and felting it in a basic tube shape
- eventually one end or the other with start to feel more like the bottom of the nest and at that point I just put that part down with the top of nest up and add more wool and felt in the bottom, again not felting it to the mat or sponge
- then turn it over, slip it over the corner of the mat and work on the bottom of the nest
- at this point the nest is probably almost finished but keep working on it adding more colors, more layers and making more nest looking
- once the nest is done to your liking it’s time to affix it to the branch and this is where it gets tricky
- crochet a single chain about six inches long and cut it off and bind it (pull the yarn through to keep it from unraveling)
- turn your nest over, lay it over the corner of the mat and needle felt the middle of the chain to the bottom of the nest
- trim your branch and find the best place for your nest, often you’ll see it and know where it will work best right away, usually it’s a Y in the branch, tie it there and secure it with needle felting, use the leftover ends to tie it again perhaps to the other side of the Y and then needle felt the ends up around the nest and fill it in
- you can add eggs as well, just grab a bit of fluff roll it up and gently felt it, keep rolling and felting and rolling an felting, these will take as long as the nest if you’re making 3-4 so just be aware it’s harder to felt that small and you’ll probably stab yourself
That’s about how it’s done–if you felt you’ll figure it out quickly if you don’t well felting is so easy you’ll pick it up in no time.
Hey I just installed these handy share buttons at the bottom of my post, would you mind sharing if you like this project?! I’d appreciate it.