Recipe for Needle Felted Gingerbread Cookies
For this project you will require a foam work surface and I strongly recommend leather finger protectors.
The process of needle felting is simple: pierce the wool lightly and repeatedly with the needle. The barbs of the felting needle bind the micro fibres of the wool, which holds the shape.
Needle felting is a slow process, many people describe it as meditative and relaxing. I spend approximately 45 minutes working on each cookie before decorating.
A gentle touch with the felting needle is all that’s needed. The more you felt the more your project will compress and the smaller and dense it will become.
For the 2×2.5 inch cookie cutter included in the kit, use approximately 3 inches/2
grams/.05 ounce of wool roving. To make your own using a standard 3×3.5 inch cookie cutter use approximately 5 inches/5 grams/.10 ounce of merino wool roving for each cookie. These amounts are variable. My finished cookies are 5-8mm thick (depending on which size cutter I use), soft and bendable, but sturdy and solid.
Place the cutter on the foam work surface.
Pull off a small tuft of wool roving, and pull the fibres apart using your fingers to fluff and mix it up. Work using small amounts at a time to prevent clumping. Place the puff of wool into the cutter and repeat this process until the cutter is solidly filled.
Using a medium gauge felting needle, pierce the wool in the cutter until it felts down. You may need to add more wool here and there, especially in the feet and hands. Once the cookie starts holding its shape, flip the cutter and felt from the other side.Be sure not to felt deeply into the foam work surface. The foam is there just to be a soft surface to work against. Allowing your needle to pierce the foam too much will both dull the needle and waste your energy. Remember, you are felting the wool, not the foam.
Take care to not hit your needle against the metal cutter. This is an easy way to break your needle. Use the cutter as a guide, carefully felting the wool along the edges.
Continue to felt both sides, flipping the cutter periodically to make sure you’re creating an evenly felted surface.
Once the cookie is felted and holds its shape outside the cutter, continue to felt the surface with a fine felting needle to smooth the surface, Wearing finger protectors is a good idea for this part!
Decorate your cookie with colourful wool roving, beads, wool yarn, or embroidery floss. String them together as a garland, add a ribbon to create an ornament for the tree. These little guys make a great hostess gift, or a nice addition to tie on to a gift this holiday season.
Please don’t eat wool cookies. ;o)