Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Week #30 - Felted Matryoshka Tutorial

Just a quick little update on my promise to deliver a Felt Matryoshka Tute... I took some step by step photos which might help you if you are raring to go and make your own, but I'm not going to try to teach you to needle-felt from scratch because there are loads of videos you can watch, and better yet, workshops and courses you can take to get your head around the basics.

Start with two main pieces of felt for the body and head (scarf), and roll them into two three-inch rounds. These will form the top and bottom of the body. Shape them into rounds, leaving a little bit loose on the end that will be the head/scarf so that the ties of the scarf can be formed, and the two pieces can be felted together.

I started by felting the bottom into a round/slightly squashed aubergine shape. As I felted these shapes I turned them over making sure to keep them flat and pancake-like.

To felt the top, shape it into a round head at one end, but leave the bottom a bit loose.

Then split the bottom of the head, to create the ties of the Matryoshka's scarf.

As I felted, I kept the piece about 50% bigger than I wanted the finished product - see above for the comparison of sizes as I worked on the brooch.

See future Matryoshka and finished Matryoshka.
Once you have the main body, scarf, and ties secured together, felt the whole thing to about 25% larger than you want the finished product. At this point don't turn it over too much, felt over the top and around the sides with your needle, but do pick it up off the foam every now and then and smooth out the back a little.

Once you have the body nice and firm, but still soft enough to felt into, then start adding colours and shaping your doll's features.

Add some colour for the face.
Then the hair.
The eyes... 

Add aprons and decorations, and then once you have the complete look felt the entire thing a little more shrinking it, tightening the weave, and shaping it as you see fit.

Once you have the finished doll, you may choose to spray it lightly with a little soap and water. This isn't done by everyone, but I found it added a smoother more finished look to the item. 

Once you are happy, sew on a brooch back. And Voila! 

These badges and their little squirrel friend are all on sale on ebay this week to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support, so why not bid on one yourself or share the auction with someone who might be interested?

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