Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year to everybody!!

I wish my readers, few but cherished, a new year full of joy, things you love, you desire, miniatures, cute things and lots and lots of love!!
I'm looking forward to the new year to do more tutorials on needle felting, polymer clay and to share in general my knowledge and the useful finds I stumble across on the web.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Needle Felted House Tutorial: Part 2 - Making shutters, window frame, door and hinges

I hope you all had a nice Christmas. I couldn't be with my family so my Christmas was just a day like any other and because of that I had some time to continue with the house.
In this part of the tutorial, I am going to add a window, shutters and the door to the already felted house base that I did in the first part of this tutorial. Unfortunately I don't know the total grams of wool that I used to do these 5 pieces. I usually don't weight the wool, but in my first tutorial I had an electronic scale and I did get the grams of every piece to make things easier for people that don't have a clue of how much wool to use. I don't have the scale anymore but I'm looking for another one so that I can start weight the wool I use and state how much I use for each piece. For the moment....sorry!! Anyway, one of the beauty of wool, is that it's very easy to fix things. You can always add or remove what you have felted to/from a piece. So, when you don't know the exact weight of something, just start with a little bit and then add more wool as needed.

Materials I used:
Core wool
Multineedle Pen,
Spiral Needle 40 gauge
Star needle 38 gauge
Triangular needle 40 gauge
Triangular needle 32 gauge
Foam pad
Empty box of cereal (to cut out shapes)
Lots of patience

I started getting the carton shape I used to make the window in the back part of the house  and I put some wool to get an approximate shape to make a small shelf to attach to the outside of the window. My carton shape is 8cm x 5cm.


I used the pen tool for this but you can use a triangular 40 g needle. I didn't felt too tightly and I got the piece out of the carton shape to make it smaller by felting on all sides.

I did clean all edges by putting the piece in the middle of 2 cards (see here) and felt all sides especially the longest sides because I want to make a small shelf and I needed the piece to shrink a lot. 

You can also clean the edges by putting the piece on your foam mat and jabbing all sides. I usually start with a 40 g triangular needle, then move to the 38 g star needle and finally I use a 40 g spiral needle. 

When I thought I reached the measurements I needed, I tried the shelf on the back wall of the house to see if it fitted. As you can see from the picture, my shelf still need a bit of felting on the right side as it is a bit too long.

Now, I have it of the right size and ready to be attached to the window.

With a strong, thick needle, 32 g, I attached the shelf by putting it on the bottom side of window and by jabbing to attach both pieces together.

To make sure that the shelf won't fall out, I attached some wool on the outside part of the shelf, to give some support.

To do the shutters, I took the same rectangular piece I used to make the window  (5cm x 8cm) and I cut a small piece of carton to put it in the middle and separate the 2 shutters.

Every now and then I would measure the shutter on the window so see how much still I have to felt to make them of the right size.

Here are the two shutters almost ready.

This is a front view with shutters on.

Now, I want to add a little piece right in the middle of the window to separate the 2 shutters. So I got a small piece of wool, I put it between my hands and rolled it a little bit. 

Then I measured it on the actual window and started to felt it very small and tight.

Piece ready to be felted on the window

Here I attached momentarily the shutters with pins so I can see how the small piece will fit on the other side of the window.

 It does look OK to me, also the right size, so I'm ready to attach it.

Here I am attaching the top side with a thick needle, 32 g.

Still attaching the top side.

Then I moved and felted the other side, next to the shelf.

Here I am finishing to attach the center of the window frame.

Here is the finished frame from a front view.

 To make the door, I used the same carton shape I used to make the door hole on the front of the house .

As usual, I used a thick needle to start felting, moving then to a 38 star and a 40 spiral. The door seem a bit small but because I still need to cover it with colorful wool and it will grow in volume, then it's fine as it is.

I need some hinges to keep the shutters in place and I've decided to make them fancy instead of making them with a simple, rectangular shape  :)
This is how I made them:

 I took 2 wisps of wool

I put them one on top of the other like in the picture.

I folded the end tip back on itself to the center and did the same for the other tip.

I now have a heart shape.

I felted right in the middle to give even more a shape of a heart.

I felted on all sides until the heart became very small.

If you have problems felting a small item because it moves around, you can put a pin to hold it in place. I make another heart shape as I needed 2 hinges.

The heart on right side still need more felting to make it smaller. Meanwhile I made the other heart.

I felted right in the middle to keep the heart shape.

I felted all sides between my fingers but I recommend you to do it with the 2 cards if you don't want to stab yourself!

I felted and felted until I got to this shape.

Here I am trying the hinge on the shutter to see if it is too big and if it fits OK.

So, I continued to felt the other hinge until I got to a small heart shape.

Here are the hinges finished and ready to be attached to the shutters.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Needle Felted House Tutorial: Part 1

First I wanted to make a Gingerbread type of house, then I thought about making it a fairy house and now I'm not sure anymore!!  :) Anyway, while I decide, I will start to felt the walls, the front and back and the roof.  I'm felting the base with core wool and then I will cover and decorate it with colorful merino or Norwegian wool.
Ero insicura su che tipo di casa fare: casa di pan di zenzero o casa delle fatine e devo dire che non ho ancora deciso. Quindi intanto inzio a fare i muri e il tetto della casa e poi decidero'.
Ho iniziato a feltrare i pezzi con della lana che uso per fare le basi di tutti gli oggetti che faccio e poi la ricopriro' con lana Merino o Norvegese.

Materials that I used:
Core wool (6gr front wall, 6gr back wall, 6 gr each for left and right wall, 5gr each for left and right roof)
Multineedle Pen,
Spiral Needle 40 Gauge
Star needle 38 Gauge
Double star needle 38
Foam pad
Empty box of cereal (to cut out shapes)
Lots of patience

You don't need to have many types of needles. You can do all with a normal, triangular 36 or 38 gauge needle and you can finish off with a finer needle like a 40 or 42 gauge.
First of all I drew the house on a piece of paper just to decide how big I wanted it and to get the exact measurements in cm of each wall, the front and back of the house and the roof. I will need to felt 2 pieces each of wall, roof and house front and back.
Prima di tutto ho disegnato la casa su un pezzo di carta per decidere quanto doveva essere grande e per prendere le misure esatte in cm per i 2 muri laterali, il davanti e dietro della casa e il tetto.
Per fare i muri ho tagliato una forma rettangolare, della misura desiderata, da una scatola di cereali.

I started making a rectangular shape with a cereal box to do the walls. I filled the carton shape with wool and I put some pins to hold the shape in place, at least for the first few jabs to get the right shape.
Ho riempito la forma in cartone con la lana ed ho messo degli spilli sui lati per mantenere la forma al proprio posto almeno per i primi colpetti per ottenere una forma approsimativa.

Then I started to jab, jab, jab and I jabbed, jabbed, jabbed a little more!
Once the wool started to compress, I removed the felted piece and turned it upside down and I felted a bit more.
Poi ho iniziato a dare dei colpi rapidi con l'ago e ancora e ancora e ancora!!! Una volta che la lana inizia a comprimersi, ho tolto il pezzo, l'ho girato dall'altro lato ed ho continuato a colpire e colpire e colpire con l'ago.

It's important to felt on all the 4 sides to get a nice defined shape and I do this by putting the needle (or needles) against the side of the carton shape and felt up and down all along the sides. I also hold the carton shape in place while doing this. As the carton is not very hard, if I don't keep it in place it might move and  I might not get a proper rectangular shape.
Because I'm building walls, I need them to be very very hard, so that they can withstand the weight of the roof and still stay straight. So it's important to felt properly putting the time needed.
Ricordate di feltrare su tutti e 4 i lati per ottenere una forma rettangolare ben definita. Per fare questo, mettete l'ago (o gli aghi) sul lato interno del quadrato di cartone e colpite su e giu' lungo i lati. Quando fate questo vi consiglio di tenere il quadrato di cartone per evitare che perda la sua forma.
Siccome sto costruendo dei muri di una casa, mi servono super resistenti, che possano supportare il peso del tetto rimandendo in posizione. Quindi e' importante in questi passi, che la lana sia feltrata al massimo.

Every now and then, I flip over the piece of wool so that it doesn't stick to the felt pad. Also, when I take it out of the carton shape, I touch it to see if there are any spots that are weaker and that might need more wool attached to them and also to feel if the piece is strong enough.
Ogni tot tempo girate il pezzo che state feltrando in modo che non si attacchi alla base di spugna (o schiuma) e toccatelo per rendervi conto se alcune parti sono piu' deboli ed hanno bisogno di piu' lana e quanto il pezzo e' resistente.

You can also keep the piece against the light to see all the weaker spots that need more wool.
Potete anche tenere il pezzo attraverso una fonte di luce per vedere i punti che hanno bisogno di piu' lana.

My piece needed more wool, so I just attached it over and felt more.
Se il pezzo ha bisogno di lana, aggiungetela e continuate a feltrare.

Once I feel the piece has been felted enough (it's never enough for me and I go on for ages!!!) I moved to felt and finish the sides. I do this by putting the piece on my felting mat and felt side ways. I then use a multineedle tool or single needle tool to felt the sides.
Quando il pezzo e' stato feltrato abbastanza (non e' mai abbastanza per me e di solito continuo per ore e ore) potete concentrarvi a rifinire i lati. Potete fare questo con uno strumento con piu' aghi o solo con un ago.

There also is another way of getting the sides, corners very clean, and this is by putting the piece of wool between 2 cards (credit cards type of thing) or 2 pieces of hard carton.  I'll post a picture of this next time I find myself using this method.

Below, you can see on the right, one of the walls already felted to finish (almost) and on the left is the other wall that needs to be finished.
C'e' un altro metodo per rifinire i lati e gli angoli usando 2 carte tipo di credito o 2 pezzi di cartone non troppo morbido. Pubblichero' una foto su questo metodo la prossima volta che lo usero'.
Sotto, potete vedere sulla destra uno dei 2 muri gia' quasi finito e sulla sinistra l'altro muro che deve ancora essere finito.

Because I am making walls for a house, then they need to be as strong as possible and also pretty thick. The thickest, the harder, the harder the better chance of the house holding the weight of everything else.

After the walls were finished, I moved to make the front and the back of the house. To do this, I did the same as for the walls and made a shape out of carton. This is only to give me the initial shape.
Se fate i muri per una casa allora devono essere resistenti e spessi. Piu' sono spessi, piu' sono duri, piu' resistenti saranno e piu' possibilita' ci saranno che la vostra casa restera' in piedi e sara' in grado di sostenere il peso del tetto.

Dopo aver finito i muri, ho iniziato a fare il davanti e dietro della casa. Per fare questi, ho usato lo stesso metodo per fare i muri ed ho ritagliato la forma da una scatola di cereali. La forma di cartone mi serve solo per ottenere una forma approsimativa iniziale.

I cut a slice from a toilet roll tube to make the door, cut this slice at the bottom and attached the little flaps to the bottom of the house shape with sellotape.
Ho tagliato una striscia da un rotolo di carta igienica per fare la porta ed ho tagliato questa stricia nella parte inferiore e ho attaccato le piccole alette alla forma fatta in cartone per il davanti della casa.

I filled the shape with wool and started jabbing to get an approximate shape.
Ho riempito questa forma in cartone con la lana ed ho iniziato a colpire per ottenere una forma approssimativa.

Once I got the shape I wanted and I felted for a bit, I took the wool piece out of the carton shape and started to give it an even more defined shape.
Una volta che ho ottenuto la forma che voglio, ho uscito il pezzo di lana dal cartone e ho iniziato a dargli una forma ancora piu' definita.

As I did for the 2 walls, I felted all over the sides of the front wall to make it clean and I started felting to make the piece hard, strong and well felted.
Cosi' come ho fatto per i 2 muri, ho rifinito tutti i lati e ho continuato a feltrare per rendere il pezzo piu' resistente e piu' duro.

When I finished felting the front, I moved to do the back of house. I wanted to put a window on the back wall, so I cut another small, rectangular shape out of carton and I put it on the inside of the front shape I already used to felt the front of the house.

 I filled the carton with wool, felted a bit to get an approximate shape and took it out to felt it properly.

I needed to clean up the shape like the one I did previously

Once finished with the back wall of the house, I cut another shape out of carton, this time to make the roof. I am going to need 2 pieces for the roof. I filled the carton shape with wool and started to felt.

Once I got the desired shape, I took it the piece out of the carton shape a few times to switch sides and felt on both top and bottom. Once done I took the piece out of the carton to felt it properly.

Seen that I have all the other pieces ready, I am going to put them together with pins so that I can check if the roof is of the right shape and size and how many cm I still have to felt the sides of the roof without the fear of the piece getting too small.

And here is the first piece of the roof, not yet all felted, on the top of the house from a top view:

Front view:

Back view:

With the measurements checked and fine, I felted the other side of the roof, using the same piece of carton I used for the piece of roof I just made.
So now I have all 6 pieces of my house ready.

I know, the back wall of the house looks smaller....but, trust me.....it's not!  :)
With the pieces ready, I put them together with pins to have a look at the finished house.

Well, it's not finished, not even close, but the foundations are ready. I still need to do the door, to attach shutters, a small balcony and probably a chimney. An outside garden, maybe with a tree and some clothing left to dry and then there is the inside furniture.... Before I attach the pieces together and cover it with some colorful wool, I want to do and put some decorations on the inside walls and it would be easier for me to do it now that I can move and handle the walls as I like than when the walls will be attached together and limit my movements with it.
I'm going to head off to make those 6 pieces of walls and roof much stronger....When I said that for me was never "enough" that's what I meant....  : )  : )
I'll will post more as I go along with this project. If you have any questions don't be shy and just ask me and I will be happy to answer them.