My friend Liz recently gave me a gorgeous necklace, handmade in Italy from felted wool balls and metallic beads and links. I was thrilled to have a new necklace, but I have to admit that I was equally thrilled to figure out how to make my own version of it!
After just a few minutes of searching on the web, I found two basic approaches to making felted beads. One way is “needle felting” where you take a sharp barb, or needle, and peck at your roving as you form a ball. The other is “wet felting” where you vigorously roll the roving into a ball under hot water. I decided to try a combination approach, where you needle felt it first and then finish it by wet felting. (Many thanks to Craftevolution for posting instructions for making needle felted beads on her blog.)
In total, I made five felted beads and attached them to some sculpted wire beads that I purchased at a craft store.
To attach the felted beads, I strung a short length of 26 gauge wire through the middle of each one and then used a crimping bead to close the ends into a loops. I then used a jump ring to connect the loop of one felted bead to the purchased wire bead.
While I will most likely give this necklace to someone special, I think it could be a fantastic silent auction item. Perhaps I will need to make another one!