DIY elbow patches
I’ve got this pinboard called “Someday Crafts,” and it’s purpose is just that: to remind me of all the DIY stuff I want to do. I pinned this felted elbow patch tutorial from HonestlyWTF a while ago, and I finally got to try it out!
Last weekend, my friend Nat and I had a craft date and spent an afternoon making the elbow patches. Nat’s boyfriend, the veteran needle felter in the room, gave us some pointers, since it was our first time. This is the felted heart he made for Nat a while back (so cute!):
We had bought the wool and needles online, and brought our own sweaters. It ended up being really fun, and not too hard at all. But I definitely feel that practice makes perfect for needle felting.
This was my first time working with wool roving. For anyone that’s wondering, wool roving is a bundle of wool fibers. It’s what raw yarn material looks like before you spin it into yarn. And since it’s wool, when you spray water on it and iron it, it fuzzes and shrinks so that it looks like felt.
DIY felted elbow patches
-a sweater or sweatshirt to felt onto
-wool roving (we bought ours online here)
-a 36 gauge felting needle (bought these online, here)
-a piece of dense foam to felt onto
-a heart shaped cookie cutters (or any other shape)
Put your sweater on, and have a friend tape off the area above and below your elbow. This is the spot where you’re going to be felting onto, so make sure your tape is centered over your elbow. Take the sweater off and place the foam pad inside the sleeve. Make sure you put the pad in between the layers of the sleeve.
Take your cookie cutter, and place it onto your sweater, using the two pieces of tape as the top and bottom points for where to put the cutter. I used the heart-shaped cutter; Nat wanted oval patches, so she took a circular cutter and reshaped it into an oval.
Cut a piece of wool roving and spread it into your cookie cutter. Don’t use too much wool here: you want a layer that lightly covers the area. If you use too much, your patch will be super chunky.
Now take your felting needle and stab, stab and stab. Make sure you stab perpendicularly. Stabbing the needle diagonally might break it, and that’s dangerous! Start on the outside edge of the cookie cutter, then work your way inwards.
Keep doing this until the felt forms the shape of your cookie cutter. Then you can take the cookie cutter off, and shape the felted piece as you desire. You might find that you have to add more bits of felt to fill in holes.
Once you’re happy with your shape and how it’s adhering to the sweater, spritz some water onto the patches and press them with an iron on the wool setting. Your patches will magically turn into felt!
Nat and I decided to use stitch our elbow pads to our sweaters with contrast thread. You can do that too, or just leave the patches as they are.
How do you take care of your sweater? Nat put hers in the machine and ended up getting holes where the patch and sweater met. Sad, right? So the lesson is: hand wash these!