Needle Felted Acorn Napkin Rings
Kate and I took a basic needle-felting class at our local yarn/knit store several years ago and made a Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer. I haven’t done anything with needle-felting since taking that class, though I still have all the needle-felting paraphernalia. Lately I’ve been noticing all sorts of fantastic needle-felted Christmas ornaments on Pinterest and have put them on my craft bucket list…maybe for this Christmas…we’ll see. In any event, in planning my Thanksgiving table, the idea of working in needle-felted acorns became part of the equation, along with my fringed linen tablecloth and napkins. I wasn’t sure how I would use them…maybe I’d make a whole bunch and fill some glass jars or maybe I’d scatter them across the table. In any event, I needed to get a bunch made and then I’d figure that out what to do with them after I made them.
It occurred to me that the acorns would look cool attached to a branch on my table. I noodled a way to attach a wire to the acorns and then I could attach the wire to a branch. I wanted a brown florist wire, which I didn’t find at my local craft store, so I went on to Amazon. When I searched brown florist wire, not only what I was looking for popped up, but also a brown rustic wire!
Once again…crafting kismet! I figured I could attach my acorns to this branchy looking wire and make some great looking napkin rings! Well maybe not ‘rings’ so much as napkin ‘wraps’.
Here’s What You Will Need to Make Needle-Felted Acorn Napkin Rings/Wraps:
- Wool Merino Roving. I’ve easily made 30 acorns from this 20 gram bag and still have some left. A little goes a long way. I also had some brown left over from the making of Rudolf, and I incorporated some brown into a few of the acorns for some variations.
- Felting Needles. These are the kind I used, you really only need the 38 for these acorns. If I do more felting, I may get one of these as the needles can get hard to hold onto after a while, especially for my mile-long fingers.
- Felting Pad, No way around this, those needles are sharp and you need something to absorb them.
- Acorn Caps. My sweet sister-in-law and her family collected some for me in the mountains of NC, but I also purchase some bigger ones online. I got mine from Ebay and they were PERFECT!
- Brown Florist Wire.
- Brown Rustic Wire 70′ 18 Gauge
- Drill with 3/32 (2.38mm) drill bit
Here’s How You Will Make Your Needle Felted Acorns and Napkin Rings:
- Drill holes in your acorn caps, as close to the stem end as possible and set them aside.
- Cut your florist wire into 3-4 inch segments and set them aside.
- Gently pull some fibers out of your wad of wool. You can’t really rip it off, it’s best to just pull the fibers out. You don’t need much and its best to start too small than too big. You won’t be able to really reduce the size once you start felting it. The process of felting compacts the fibers. The beginning of my little GIF below gives you a sense of how much wool you need . Two things to remember when figuring out the amount of wool you need…I have really long fingers so your proportions will be different and I actually made this one a tad too big.
- Roll your yarn into a little sausage
- Start poking it with your needle. The felting needles have little ridges which catch the fibers and compact them. Regular needles will not work.
- Watch your fingers!!!
- You can start out holding two needles to make the beginning process go quicker. The first 50 or so pokes should be all over, just really to compact the fibers.
- Once you’ve got them compacted a a bit, you can start shaping. I made my acorn flat on top and rounded on the bottom. That just required me to hold the acorn with the top side up and poke down, shaping it as I went.
- You’ll do the same thing on the bottom, just not making it so flat. You’ll go around the sides of the bottom, pushing in the fibers as opposed to primarily coming down from the top.
- You’ll notice as you go along, the needle will start getting a little resistance. That will be the fibers compacting.
- Just keep going around all sides of your acorn. If it’s still fuzzy, you need to keep felting it. You can make it smaller by just keep going at it
- Start to finish, each acorn takes about 5-7 minutes.
- Once you have the acorn the size you want it, then take your felting needle and make a hole in the top by going in and out of the same hole several times, while at the same time pushing the needle against the hole to widen it. Go down about 3/4 of the way through you acorn…don’t go out the bottom.
- Put a dab of glue on one end of your florist wire and jam it into the hole you made.
- Drop the acorn cap over the other end of the wire and secure the cap to the acorn with a dab of glue.
- I made 3 wired acorns for each napkin ring. Once you have your stash of wired acorns, it’s time to attach them to your rustic wire. I cut my wire about 1 foot long and added a dab of clear drying glue to each end to prevent the fiber from unraveling.
- I merely wrapped the acorns about 3-3.5″ in from one end
- When I wrapped them around the napkin, I arranged the acorns so they were all laying flat.
So that’s that…acorn napkin rings for your fall or Thanksgiving table. You can see how I fringed my linen tablecloth and napkins here and I’ll be back next week with a PDF for the acorn place cards shown below, .
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