If, like me, you struggle to successfully grow house plants, how about making a needle felt cactus? I have given up trying to grow houseplants; the cats chew any bits they can get hold of, my house doesn’t get enough light and I am crap at remembering to water them. So, I’m concentrating on making artificial versions instead!
Never needle felted before? Pop on over to my Basic Needle Felting Tutorial first!
You will need:
-Needle felting sponge
-Beading or strong sewing thread in grey or cream
-Beading or hand sewing needle
-Short piece of 1mm wire
-Beeswax or a candle
How to create a Needle Felt Cactus:
1.Take a palm sized section of green wool roving
2.Roll it up into a tight cylinder and start needle felting with a 36 gauge triangular needle. Keep turning the wool around, so it doesn’t flatten and stop once it is holding shape.
3.Repeat this with another two slightly smaller sections of wool. Make sure with these two smaller sections that you leave one end with loose fibres as this will help attach these to the main body. Yes, it looks a bit rude, stop sniggering in the back…..
4.Use the loose fibres we left on the smaller pieces to felt onto the main body, one on either side like slightly lop-sided arms! And yes, its looking even ruder, I know…..
5.Once you are happy the ‘arms’ are attached, we can work on refining the shape and creating a denser felt. Hold the arms slightly bent and concentrate on felting the inside of the ‘elbow’ to fix into position.
6.It’s beginning to look like a cactus!
7.To create a smoother, neater finish on your felting, use a star shaped needle in a finer 38 gauge.
8.Now to create the spines. Thread up a needle with a length of grey thread. To make the thread stick out more, I ran a block of beeswax along it – a wax candle will have a similar effect. Take the needle under a small (approx 5mm) section of the felt.
9.Pull through, leaving a tail of a about 5cm then tie the two ends of thread together in a couple of simple overhand knots
10.Cut both threads leaving 1cm on each sticking out.
11.Repeat this all over the cactus until you are happy with the amount of spines (thorns? hairs?)
12.Grab a 15cm length of 1mm thick wire and work it halfway into the base of the cactus. This will just help to keep it upright!
13.Simply place into a small pot filled with gravel!
Or something a bit more creative, like my Air Dry Clay Wall Planter!
If you have a go at making your own Needle Felt Cactus, or have any questions feel free to comment below or message me on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook! And if you don’t want to miss out on any future tutorials, I’d love for you to sign up to my monthly email! Happy Making!