In this post I will teach you how to make a fairy with wool roving. These roving darlings also serve as angels around Christmas time, which is my favorite application for these crafts.
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When I ran across some fancy wool roving angels at a Christmas market in Prague last year I was struck by their simple elegance and beauty. At that time I decided that it was time to try making a wool fairy of my own – and now I will teach you how to make a fairy with wool roving!
I made my angels a bit smaller than the others I have seen. I thought this size made for better, more manageable Christmas ornaments. These angels would be great for putting on the tops of packages or as a craft to enjoy with family and friends at a Christmas gathering. Wool roving is becoming more widely available at yarn and craft shops. If you can not find materials near you, note that I like to order roving online at Living Felt. I typically order the NZ Corriedale wool. You can also get your materials on Amazon (see my link below for Amazon products that I endorse).
While looking for materials, I also discovered a great book with lots of wonderful instructions and ideas called, Magic Wool Fairies. This turned out to be a GREAT book. I highly recommend it, but I have provided you with everything that you need in this post to create a fairy or angel like the one in the image above. If you would like to buy this book then I would appreciate it if you used the Amazon affiliate book link below (helps to support the site, and costs you nothing).
Wool roving in a flesh tone, white, and any accent colors that you desire
1 – 5.5 inch pipe cleaner
5 inch x 5 inch foam piece
1. Needle felt a small amount of wool into a ball. All needle felting should be done on your foam piece to be sure you do not stab anything other than the roving that you are working on! In the images below you would not want the needle to mark the wood under the felt! Increase the diameter of the ball slowly by wrapping and needle felting additional strips of wool tightly around the ball. The ball should be made as firm as possible. Continue until the ball is about 1/2 inch in diameter.
2. Take a 6 inch long piece of roving and wrap a small piece of roving around the center, as in the image above.
3. Fold the strip of roving around the ball. Secure in place with another piece of wool (poking it with your needle) to form the neck. Be sure to needle felt the neck in place! You can also use the needle to smooth the side of the head. Try to keep the front (the angel face) smooth when you wrap the head and do not needle felt it.
4. Cut a pipe cleaner 5 1/2 inches long. Wrap the center of the pipe cleaner just under the base of the neck. Using long thin pieces of roving in a flesh tone wrap one end of the pipe cleaner (see the left side of the pipe cleaner in the image above). Bend the end of the pipe cleaner back on itself to make a hand and rewrap. Continue wrapping the pipe cleaner until you reach the body, then cross over the shoulder and across the body.
5. Continue wrapping any roving left over around the body. Repeat on the other side, covering the pipe cleaner in flesh tone roving and making a hand.
6. As in steps 4 and 5 use a long thin piece of roving in white to make the shirt. This time start at the wrist leaving the flesh tone roving uncovered at the hand. Wrap the white roving around both arms and the body.
7. Take a new piece of white roving about 7″ long. At the center make a hole and insert the angel body through the hole. See image above.
8. Fold the roving down to form a skirt and needle felt the skirt in place.
9. Take new piece of roving about 7″ long. Make a hole in the middle and pass the angel’s head through the hole. Fold the roving tightly over the shoulders and down around the body.
10. Use a small thin piece of roving, in white, to wrap around the angel’s waist. Secure in place with your felting needle. Spread the purple roving evenly around the white skirt.
11. Fold a piece of brown roving in half that is twice as long as you wish the angel’s hair to be and place on the angel’s head. Needle felt the back to hold in place and cover the back of the head. Do not needle felt the front. It is better to leave it fluffy. You should only needle felt a snall portion to secure the hair colored roving in the front of the head.
12.Take three long thin pieces of roving in brown and form a braid. Position the braid around the back of the head and needle felt in place letting the ends of the braids blend with the rest of the hair.
13. Add purple accents around the angel’s wrists, on her belt, and on her braid on the back of her head. Flowers can be made on your foam pad and then attached to the angel.
14. Take a 5 inch piece of white roving and lay flat. Place a small amount of purple roving (a bit shorter than the white) on the front and back of the white roving. Use a thin piece of white roving to gather the large piece you have assembled in the middle. Needle felt to secure. These are the angel’s wings.
15. Attach the wings in place by needle felting to the back under the hair.
16. Clean up any edges by needle felting along them. I particularly like to add definition around the belt and neck. It is also nice to extend the V-neck of the purple down so you can better see the white underneath. You can also use a comb to gently comb the wool out. This is a great way to shorten the skirt to your desired length or to even out the wings. It will remove a lot of wool though so be careful!
Now your angel (or fairy) is ready for a hanger. I find clear thread works great. She is wonderful for hanging on the Christmas tree or in a kitchen window. Have fun experimenting with new designs. I even made one with my daughter, who is only six. I made the original ball for the head with her, but otherwise she did most everything herself! Her finished darling was a fairy, and it was the perfect addition to a fairy house built out of sticks, moss and bark in our back yard!
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