I have just returned from a trip to Japan to study silk cultivation, production and product development. It was an amazing opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding and appreciation for this wonderful natural fiber.
Our first day in Tokyo, however, was spent at a huge Craft Show at the Tokyo Big Sight. There were many vendors ranging from locals to larger names that American craft enthusiasts are also familiar with - Mokuba ribbon and Clover notions and tools, for instance.
All attendees were given a small brochure with cute craft projects inside. The Japanese are very good at cute! One of the hottest activities at the show (you could purchase time to sit and do a "make and take" craft) was needle felting. Not only were lots of cute little animals being produced but what seemed to me to be uniquely Japanese was needle felted food! That's right - needle felted sushi was hot on the menu! Unfortunately I was not able to get a good photo of the needle felted sushi. But I thought I would share with you this project idea for needle felted cell phone charms. Cell phone charms are even more popular in Japan than they are here. Especially if they are made from bits of kimono scraps or similar handcrafted items.
Here we have the finished product - cute little cell phone charms.
- Wool, in desired color(s) Felt for accents
- Thin cording
- Needle felting needle and/or tool
- Needle felting surface - foam or brush to punch into
- Awl or similar long pointed item for making cord hole
- Start by making a small wad of wool. Needle felt the wad (carefully...don't poke yourself!) into an oval shape.
- Add colored wool, covering the shape to create the desired color pattern.
- Add eyes with a piece of yarn, felt or wool; needle felt onto critter.
- Make a nose or beak with a piece of wool or felt; needle felt onto critter.
- Use awl to poke hole down through center of critter. Thread cording and knot on beads, as shown.