Needle felting is the perfect craft to relax with

An example of one of Kern’s smaller works of needle felt.

Margaret Troup

The hectic nature of the world right now means everyone needs a relaxing hobby to resort to. For those who want an easy, noncommittal art project to take one’s mind off of stress for a while, needle felting is the perfect way to do so.

Needle felting is the process of using barbed needles to interlace wool fibers to form tightly packed material. The process results in taking loose wool and forming it into creative and fun creations. 

The simplicity of forming an entirely new art project from the stippling of the needle makes needle felting an easier craft option than knitting or crocheting, which require specific patterns of movement. Crafters are able to form these art projects as they see fit, interlacing the fibers as tightly or as loosely as they want.

These projects can vary in their size and time commitment as well. Most needle felting kits come with 1-2 ounce packs of different colored wool fit for keychain-sized creations. Projects such as these can take up as short as 30 minutes or as long as the crafter sees fit.

Larger projects, such as making teddy bears or 3D art displays, can take much longer, between hours and days, thus making the project something the crafter can step away from and come back to as many times as they like. 

One such individual who knows the multilayered benefits of needle felting is Magi Kern, a needle felting artist and owner of Star Magnolias, an online blog, shop and tutorial hub for all things needle felting. 

“I think it’s popular for so many reasons,” Kern said. “The main reason is because it’s so easily accessible with a very minimal learning curve. You can’t really screw it up.”

Not only is needle felting easy, but it can help during stressful times.

“I think it allows us to really take our anger and frustration out in a creative process in a way which few media really allow us to explore,” Kern said. “In that process of having a physical outlet for this excess of energy, when you bring the repetitive motion involved in stabbing coupled with the focus … it can become an incredibly meditative process.”