Fuzzy Little Felted Penguin

Free time on the last day of 2015 had me busting open a craft kit I’d bought who knows way back when, and taking up a new hobby – felting. How have I not tried this before!?!?? Lover of all crafts, master of none, I regularly pick up all sorts of new hobbies but felting is not something I’d even come across in Australia. Japan seems to love the miniature fuzzy creations felting produces though. After walking past these adorable craft kits, bundles of felt, and various felting tools for years, I finally purchased this penguin kit from the dollar store.

 12476046_10208549269468694_1149414142_n

Along with the penguin kit, I also bought a foam mat and a set of extra needles. For a grand total of 300JPY (3AUD) I was ready to tackle felting head on.

12459783_10208549269508695_927937420_n

Umm… I had no idea where to start. My kit included instructions in both English and Japanese, but how does one actually go about ‘felting’?

12467871_10208548901179487_733645499_n

Heck if I knew. As usual, I just jumped right in and started stabbing at the fluff like a voodoo queen. What I could have done first, was watch a  helpful YouTube video like this one by the lovely ‘Maqaroon’ who gives some helpful hints for newbies. Now that I’ve found her channel, I can’t stop watching her videos and eye-balling all her cute creations!

Stabbing away, I happily came to the conclusion that I totally had the situation under control. Well, pretty much. What’s a few stray fuzzies and wonky shapes among crafting friends right? You won’t judge me… Right?

12467901_10208548901099485_517237865_n

Don’t laugh! It’s not Penguin’s fault he looked like a misshapen lump of eggs  with a mohawk… About this far in, I began to ponder the wisdom jumping into felting with absolutely no knowledge of the basic skills required. Haha, onwards! This dollar kit had me fearless.

12463508_10208548900939481_1174323388_n

Slowly, Penguin began to look less like naked eggs and more like a play-doh monster. Stabbing purple fluff into his back, it became apparent just how much skill goes into each of these miniature fuzzy creations.

I’d been admiring felted animals on instagram all week, and granted Penguin is my first attempt, but look how gorgeous and detailed some of these felted animals are. Perhaps access to materials has something to do with it, but instagrammers from Russia and Japan absolutely dominate the felting feed with stunning art pieces. Whelp, there goes another hour lost browsing instagram… Here, enjoy these snaps and be sure to follow the artists for felting inspiration, you can see each account at the top of the photo. My mind is blown.

Penguin and I were progressing well. On a roll, I finished with the purple fluff, giving him some wings strategically positioned in a subtle flap-flapity position, this penguin dreams of flying and who am I to say never.

12460101_10208548900899480_1807985231_n

Good golly, look at his shocking hair style. Don’t worry, I fixed that right up. Eventually… First, there are more important things to apologise to Penguin for…

12464019_10208548900819478_1243316812_n

I’m sorry. Sorry for leaving you perched precariously on the edge of the couch. Sorry I share my crafting room with the bundles of bounding joy that are my bunnies. Sorry I allowed the little babe wiggling away in my belly to drive me to my umpteenth trip to the loo. Let’s just be grateful everyone survived exposure to that beastly-looking needle. It’s ok, you’re safe now, displayed up high on the finished project shelf. I take no responsibility for your welfare during earth quakes!

12476462_10208548900859479_1683864733_n

Back on track, we’d finished with the purple fluff and it was time for the final colour – orange. Bundling up the orange wool, and stabbing it a million times until it vaguely resembles triangles, I gave Penguin little feet and a beak. Stabbing them to join onto his body was challenging, I think they’re still a little fragile despite my best efforts.

12476427_10208548900619473_2083950607_n

Wait. Let’s just take a closer look at his little footsies.

12459602_10208548899579447_673037508_n

Sooooo cute!

12442905_10208548900419468_1558138439_n

Penguin was ready! Nearly. How exciting it was to finish the felting part of this project. Something was missing though…

12476310_10208548894979332_1328064098_n

Ugh… Inserting his eyes was a beastly task. Somehow, despite having stabbed Penguin constantly throughout this whole project, sticking a needle into his face and wiggling it around to make an eye socket just didn’t feel real great. The instruction booklet said to use an ‘alm’ but having no idea what that was, I improvised. I have no idea what glue I used either, I pinched it out of hubby’s Gundam model kit. It was certainly sticky. I may have spilt it. Everywhere. How was I to know it would explode when I opened it…

12463778_10208548900339466_1883132087_n

Waaah isn’t he adorable! I’ve since given him a trim and added a little blush but I still love this very first picture of Penguin. As my first attempt at making a needle felted animal I am so happy with this project.

12467698_10208548900019458_1782705094_n

For anyone interested, this particular felting kit I bought at DAISO, a dollar store in Japan. I know there are some DAISO stores in America and even Australia opened some recently, though the price for items is higher. There was nothing I didn’t love about it. All instructions were in English and Japanese, they were clear and the step-by-step photos were easy to follow. I was conservative, but found there was plenty of fluff, I had leftovers – thank goodness because I could fix up that shocking job I did of his hair… A key chain was also included in the kit, but I didn’t attach it because Penguin will be sitting on display.

12467723_10208548900299465_692559008_n

I was feeling a little sad about finishing my project. Quick, simple, I found it so relaxing because I didn’t need to use my brain and make big creative decisions, the kind which usually stall my projects for weeks. The kit had already decided most things for me, I could choose to interpret them how I wished. I rarely use kits, but I was certainly craving another after the success of Penguin. Luckily…

12460023_10208548894899330_1874158238_n

I remembered I’d bought these to post to some of my nieces and their Mumma (who used to love pigs) back in Australia! Penguin was going to be my trial project to see if the kits were any good, or if they’d be too difficult for the kids. They’re perfect! But maybe I should make one of each animal first, just to be sure… Hmm.

I haven’t shared the pattern for Penguin because it was one I bought. But here are several free online guides if you simply must have a penguin of your own.

Martha Stuart has an eight step picture DIY that isn’t very detailed, but shows you the basic body parts to felt and the order to attach them in.

Oh… It seems not everyone has the same qualms I do about sharing the instructions from a purchased item. So if you are desperate to make a penguin exactly the same as mine, here is a step-by-step YouTube video!

You should definitely try felting! Can I just comment on how therapeutic it is to cosy up on a cold day with a hot drink and bar of chocolate, and viscously stab something with a needle until it blossoms into a beautiful creation? Magical.

May stabbing a felt project bring you peace in this new year.

{ Wren }

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s