Bergin & Bath is on a mission to bring creative craft back to your kitchen table with our range of unique planet-friendly craft kits for adults. We are giving away a teddy bear needle felting kit worth £18 to one lucky reader.

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Discover how to make a set of colourful Christmas decorations for your tree using nothing more than a handful of wool fibre and a felting needle. Local creatives Bergin & Bath show you how…

Get to know your needle

If you run your fingertips gently along the sides of your needle, you will feel the tiny little barbs that make needle-felting needles unique. They have been designed to push and drag wool fibres, tangling them together, as you gently stab your needle in and out.

How long to felt?

The longer you stab your wool, the firmer your model becomes. So to create a solid structure you need to work on the fibres long enough to make them mesh sufficiently. This is particularly important when making basic shapes, such as a ball.

Top tips

There are a few things to bear in mind when you’re felting. Always poke the needle straight into the wool and straight back out. Don’t twist or bend the needle or it will break. Move the model around rather than the needle. It helps to rest your arm on the table and imagine that your hand is a sewing machine. And watch your fingers!

How to make your own festive felted baubles

Great British Life: Festive felted baubles Photo Laura AshmanFestive felted baubles Photo Laura Ashman

You will need:

Around 21g of core wool fibre - English top works well

3g each of coloured merino wool fibre - we used aqua, rose and ocean blue

A 40-gauge triangular tipped needle

A soft surface to work on: a deep sponge is perfect

Needle-felting is the art of turning wool fibres into 3D shapes using a specialist needle. It is very easy to master and there are only a few things that you need to know to get started.

Make a simple ball


Great British Life: Step 1 Photo Laura AshmanStep 1 Photo Laura Ashman

Split the wool into three lengths of around 7g each. Roll one of these tightly around the top of your finger, keeping the fibres straight. Blend the ends in by smoothing them with your other hand.


Great British Life: Step 2 Photo Laura AshmanStep 2 Photo Laura Ashman

Carefully slide the wool off and hold it at the top and bottom so that it doesn’t unravel. It should look like a big marshmallow. Place it on a sponge and begin to poke it all over with the needle. Keep turning the wool.


Great British Life: Step 3 Photo Laura AshmanStep 3 Photo Laura Ashman

Once you have been all the way around, turn it and begin to round off the top and bottom. Once it is holding its shape, continue to felt it evenly all over. Only stab to the centre of the shape - not all the way through.


Great British Life: Step 4 Photo Laura AshmanStep 4 Photo Laura Ashman

To make an evenly shaped ball, keep your eye on one profile edge, felt it into an even curve, turn the shape and then make that edge match. Keep turning and looking at one profile edge. A neat ball will soon form.

Cover the ball in colour


Great British Life: Step 5 Photo Laura AshmanStep 5 Photo Laura Ashman

Take a small amount of coloured wool fibre and rub it in your fingers until you have a little round pad. Place this onto the ball and very gently felt it, using the tip of your needle, until it is firmly attached.


Great British Life: Step 6 Photo Laura AshmanStep 6 Photo Laura Ashman

Don’t stab too deeply or you will affect the shape of your ball. Add another patch in the same way, and another, until you have roughly covered the surface of the ball.


Great British Life: Step 7 Photo Laura AshmanStep 7 Photo Laura Ashman

Cover any bald spots with smaller pads of coloured wool until you have a neat, even coverage all over. Slide your finger down to almost the tip of your needle and tap the surface all over to push in any loose strands.

Create a festive design


Great British Life: Photo 8 Laura AshmanPhoto 8 Laura Ashman

Designs are easily made using thin lines and small dots. To create this leaf design, start by rubbing a few long fibres to make a strand. Felt one end into the bauble until it is secure.


Great British Life: Step 9 Photo Laura AshmanStep 9 Photo Laura Ashman

Twist the wool strand as you felt gently along it and ‘draw’ a neat line. You might like to curve the line as you go so that it looks like the stem of a leaf. Poke the ends of the strand into the ball.


Great British Life: Step 10 Photo Laura AshmanStep 10 Photo Laura Ashman

Make another long strand and anchor it a little way down from the top of the first line by poking it very firmly in place. Felt it at a 45º angle for around 1cm. Then firmly anchor it again.


Great British Life: Step 11 Photo Laura AshmanStep 11 Photo Laura Ashman

Poke the needle in where you have anchored it and, leaving the needle there, pivot the strand down towards the stem, making a triangular leaf shape. Remove the needle and felt along this line.


Great British Life: Step 12 Photo Laura AshmanStep 12 Photo Laura Ashman

Anchoring it on the stem, take the strand over the stem and up at a 45º angle on the other side. Repeat the process to draw another leaf. Keep drawing leaves, alternating from side to side.


Great British Life: Step 13 Photo Laura AshmanStep 13 Photo Laura Ashman

Add some berries to your design. Choose a bright contrasting colour. Rub tiny wisps of wool in your fingers. It helps to lick your fingers first! Roll them into balls and felt them in clusters.


Great British Life: Step 14 Photo Laura AshmanStep 14 Photo Laura Ashman

To turn your decorative balls into hanging baubles, tie a loop in some jolly thread. Place this on top of the ball and lie some matching wool strands over the thread. Felt the loop firmly in place.

Great British Life: The finished bauble Photo Laura AshmanThe finished bauble Photo Laura Ashman Get started with a kit

Great British Life: Bergin & Bath’s needle-felting kit Photo Laura AshmanBergin & Bath’s needle-felting kit Photo Laura Ashman

If you’re not sure where to start, why not try one of Bergin & Bath’s needle-felting kits? There are lots to choose from and they’re all suitable for beginners as they include full step-by-step photographic instructions. Most projects start with a simple ball like this. Turn it into a hedgehog, a mouse or a polar bear.

Great British Life: Bergin & Bath’s bauble kit Photo Laura AshmanBergin & Bath’s bauble kit Photo Laura Ashman

About Bergin & Bath

Katie Bergin and Rachel Bath design planet-friendly craft kits for adults and run art and craft workshops in and around Herts. They aim to design projects that delight but also challenge their crafters - to spark learning as well as creativity and exercise both sides of the brain! They believe wholeheartedly in the benefits of crafting for adults – from mindfully focusing on a task and switching off negative thoughts, to the wellbeing that surrounds making something to cherish. To find out more go to or on Instagram @weareberginandbath

Craft workshops at Ashridge House

Katie and Rachel will be teaching a series of needle felting and macrame classes at the beautiful Ashridge House this month. Have a go at making the baubles featured here or try crafting baby penguins, macrame snowflakes or Christmas puddings!

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