DIY: Fall Leaf with Acorn Brooch

Caution: Needles are skin-piercingly sharp.


  • Only the first third of your needle does the work. No need to bury your needle into your work pad.
  • Occasionally lift your fiber away from the pad to avoid it becoming permanently attached.
  • Needles are brittle. Be sure your needle goes in and comes back out using the same angle to avoid breaking it.

Materials and tools needed for this project:

  • Felting needles (38 or higher gauge recommended)
  • Felting pad (foam most often used)
  • Bamboo skewer
  • Autumn colored roving (approximately 1/4 ounce)
  • Acorn cap and glue (optional)

 Creating the leaf:

  1. Place a leaf shaped cookie cutter on a backing pad. (You may use a paper pattern instead.)
  2. Fill the cookie cutter loosely with wool roving layered perpendicularly in appropriate fall colors.
  3. Slide your needle down all around the inside edge of the cookie cutter twice to to create a silhouette, before lightly tacking down the rest. Make sure to gently work the fiber into all the nooks and crannies. Add more fiber as needed.
  4. Once you have lightly compacted your wool, gently lift your fiber from the mat and flip both the cutter and wool over. Lightly needle the “backside”.
  5. When smoothed down, pop your piece out of the cutter. Finger your leaf to check for sparse areas and smooth out the needle marks.
  6. Gently poke the edges to clean them up.
  7. Needle additional fiber to fill in or sculpt areas as desired.
  8. Add realism by folding and poking to curl your leaf.

Creating Acorn Nut:

  1. Pull a small amount of fiber and wrap it tightly around a skewer with more fiber at the top than the bottom.
  2. Carefully avoiding the skewer, use your needle to tack the fiber together.
  3. Add more fiber, tacking as you go until it is a bit larger than the size you want your finished acorn to be.
  4. Push the fiber off the skewer and continue to shape it by carefully needling to compact the fiber.
  5. Roll between your hands to smooth out your acorn.
  6. Create your own cap by felting a circle with a ridge, forming a little cup. Needle your cap onto the top of your nut.

Optional: Needle your nut into an actual acorn cap.

  1.  Remove an acorn from it’s cap. Add a bit of glue to the cap then your felted acorn  into the cap.
  2.  Once the glue is dry needle your acorn to your leaf.

Making a Felted 2D Bird’s Nest

Welcome to to the Felt-Ed blog. We often create short 2 hour projects for our monthly workshops.
Here is a short tutorial showing how to create a small wet felted picture.

Prep: create your space and Gather your tools and fiber.

You will need:

  • A flat surface and water friendly space to work
  • Room temp water with access to both hot and cold water
  • Water delivery system (a sponge, ball browser, a water bottle with small holes drilled into the lid
  • Soap-any soap will do-low sudsing is preferable-liquid soap is easiest
  • An absorbent towel, or 2
  • Non skid mat 25% larger than your project
  • 2 Thin plastic pieces (bags or sandwich wrap) to cover the mat 
  • Fine mesh (like tulle) to cover your project while wetting out
  • A 12″ length of pool noodle
  • Felt-able fiber (wool roving is most common)


  1. Lay out your towel, place your non skid mat on top, 1 piece of plastic next.

  2. Layout background fiber in an even but thin, wispy (not wimpy) layer of shingles covering each preceding shingle by 1/4 inch (you are building back to front), At 90° to the first layer place your second fiber layer using the same technique of wispy overlapping shingles, turn your project 1/4 turn (90°) adding a third wispy layer.

  3. Now add your design (in this example-a bird nest with eggs) place your netting over your stacked fiber, remove all unused fiber from the work area.

  4. Add a small amount of soap to your water, wet down your fiber with the slightly soapy water (you want the fiber wet through but not swimming) press straight down (no rubbing-to maintain design integrity) from middle to sides ensuring all your fiber is wet through, gently pat using your palms (still no rubbing) pat for 10 minutes.

  5. Gently lift your netting to ensure your fiber is not getting too cozy with it. You should begin to see a change in the consistency of your fiber. Is it beginning to cling together? If so replace the net with your second piece of plastic wrap, add a little soap to your hands, glide them on top of the plastic (without applying pressure or disturbing your design) in a circular motion from the outer edges in towards the middle, gently continue this for 10 minutes.

  6. Check under the wrap, press your finger straight down on your fiber then wiggle it slightly, are the fibers moving together? If so replace the wrap and add a small amount of pressure continuing a circular motion from the outer edges in towards the middle. Give it another 10 minutes or so.

  7. Use the 2 pieces of wrap to flip your project over, massage with soapy hands through the plastic on the backside for another 10 minutes still outer edges to middle.

  8. Lift off the plastic wrap pick up your pre-felted piece and give it a gentle little tug. There should be no danger of it pulling apart. You may now start repeatedly rolling your noodle over your project in earnest with or without the top plastic. Count or time your rolls to maintain even shrinkage. Assume 30% to 50% for your finished piece.

Note: Your fibers will shrink in the direction you roll or rub. This can be used as a design technique by spot felting more in one area than another.

Congratulations. you have created  a non-woven fabric.

The final product:

Felted Robin’s Nest With Eggs