The other night I thought to myself,
“I want a Dinosaur shirt.”
Then I remembered the random old sweater I got for free (clothing swap), and a pile of felting wool that I’ve had for, oh, 5+ years? The lesson to take from this post: it’s OK to never throw things away! Because then you can make rad little things like a Dino Sweater:
(My face is a tad blurry… I think I’m OK with that.)
What You Need:
- Sweater/shirt (Note, mine was a little chunky of a knit for felting, but it worked for now. I’d recommend a smooth knit/woven for best results.)
- Exacto knife
- Felting wool
- Felting needle/kit
I got this wool years ago at a cool little store on Etsy that is no longer operating. There are ENDLESS color options on Etsy, as well as natural dyes and everything else. I’m not positive how much wool this was, but I’d guess around 2 oz? It goes a long way. Of course, you can probably find it at your local craft store as well.
I hand sketched this dino from a couple different stencils I found online, keeping features I liked and adding some I wanted. It took a few tries.
Also, for felting I recommend staying away from intricate designs (especially at the start), because the nature of it is to be a little loose and lumpy. That partly influenced which dino I went with (no attempting intricate spikes for this girl!). I also now get to have nerdy conversations about the Brontosaurs vs Brachiosaurus.
Place your stencil on your sweater. Keep in mind the length of your sweater… this one is a little short on me so the dino is higher than I was thinking in the end, but still awesome of course.
I used a little gaf tape from my job to keep it in place, then reinforced it with a couple pins to keep the sweater from stretching and deforming.
Here’ s what my felting needle looks like. You can’t see the little barbs at the end of the needle, but they serve to “tangle” the wool and turn it into felt. Mine also came with a nice little foam square to put behind the needle so you can felt through fabric.
Start placing a layer of wool, not too thick, over your stencil. Take your needle and start pushing through the wool and the sweater.
Make sure you have something protective behind the sweater! If you are doing this on your lap use a thick magazine or something else dense or you will stab yourself in the leg repeatedly!
Basically, that’s it! Continue to tuck in along the edges, add more will to places that seem thin. After you have it all filled up remove the stencil an do any touching up along the edges that you need to.
Fair warning, I haven’t washed this sweater yet. I’d recommend it gentle on cold, or hand washing warm. Depending on how well the wool fused with your sweater it could come off easily, and warm hot water can felt the wool even further.
I’d say it’s worth it for a hand made Dino Sweater!