Snail Wrist Pincushion (Felting) tutorial

Anyone who sew would understand the frustration of constantly looking for pincushions…

I am not an organise person, in terms of “stuff”, and especially dangerous when I sew, pins are everywhere!!! Mainly ‘cos I only have one pincushion, and I kinda need it in several locations at the same time!!! So I thought it’s time for a wearable pincushion – the first person who came up with this idea is a genius!

Snail Wrist Pincushion

My new creation – a Snail Pincushion Bracelet!!

This tutorial uses a combination of wet and needle felting techniques. It’s a fun and practical project yet simple enough for beginners! It also makes a great gift for sewers – who doesn’t need one?

You need:

  • Grey wool top (also known as wool fibre or roving)
  • Yellow wool top
  • Moss green wool top (Or choose any 3 colours you like!)
  • Soapy water (room temperature is fine)
  • 2 pieces of bubble wrap
  • a sushi mat
  • a section of floating noodle roller
  • a dry towel – big enough to cover work area
  • velcro

You need:

Lay the towel over the work area, put the sushi mat on top, follow with a layer of bubble wrap.

Step 1 :: Make a felt strip

Hold the grey wool roving loosely with one hand and gently pull small tufts of wool from the end with the other hand. Lay the tufts of wool over the bubble wrap – all in the same direction. This is the first layer.
Line Grey Wool

Place a second layer of wool over the first but with the wool fibres perpendicular to the first layer.
Line Grey Wool

Wet the wool with soapy water – make sure there are enough water to saturate the wool, but not too much so it leaks everywhere!
Wet the wool

Place a second bubble wrap over the wool layers.
Place bubble wrap

Roll up the sushi place with the floating noodle roller in the middle. With both hands, keep rolling back and forth for a good 3 minutes.

Unroll, turn the wool layers horizontal, and roll for another 3 minutes.
This is to make sure that fibres are felted evenly in both directions
Change direction

Now, carefully fold in the ends of the wool fibres on all sides to give straight edges. You should get a rectangle piece like the picture below.

Fold wool fibres in

Continue rolling, alternating between the 2 directions for another 3 minutes. Note that you should add more soapy water to keep the wool saturated if you feel it’s drying out.

Step 2 :: Repeat Step one with yellow wool

Repeat steps for yellow wool

If you only have a small sushi mat like me, you can wrap the sushi mat with the towel to make rolling easier. The towel helps to keep the sushi mat in place.
Roll with towel

Now you should have two strips of wool, my strips measure about 3.5cm x 19cm.

Step 3 :: Felt the two strips together

Layer the two wool strips on top of each other.
Felt wool strips together

It is easier to felt the two strips together using needle felting techniques. This is because the two strips tends to dislocate with rolling.
Needle felt strips

Keep poking on both sides until the two layers are “kind of” stuck together. I used the words “kind of” here, because you will continue felting in the later steps, if you over-felt here, you will have trouble later.
Strips felted together

Step 4 :: Make a roll

Roll up the strips like how you roll sushi.
Roll up the strips

Use felt needles and poke in all directions so that the layers felt together and form the roll.
Needle felt the roll

Saturate the roll with soapy water. Go to the sink, rinse with hot tap water, continue to work the felt by rubber and rolling. Add more soap if necessary. The roll should continue to shrink.
Wet felt the roll

Once you are happy that the roll is dense enough, rinse out all the soap, squeeze and let it air dry. This is your pincushion, but it’s not done yet, you need to attach it to a cuff!
Air dry the roll

Step 5 :: Make the cuff

Repeat step one with green wool to make the cuff, and let dry. Felt to desire length according to your wrist. My strip measures about 3.5cm x 18.5cm. I have very small wrist, so yours might not be the same as mine. Note that the direction of rolling is the direction of felting (i.e. shrinking), so be sure that the length of the strip is long enough to wrap around your wrist!
Strip and Roll

Attach velcro tabs. Take one piece of velcro and sew it to the top side of one end. Sew the second piece to the bottom of the other end.
Attach velcro

Try the cuff on to make sure it fits!
Try it on!

Step 6 :: Stitch pincushion and cuff together

Hand stitch the pincushion to the cuff like the picture below – on both sides. I used sashiko threads, because of its “heavier” look.
Stitch roll to strip

Step 7 :: No more steps! You are done!

Snail Wrist Pincushion

Front and side view

I’m really like how the design turned out – so stylish people might think it’s an accessory^0^

This is quite a long post. Please let me know if the instructions weren’t clear enough!
And I hope you like this tutorial!!

Thank you for reading!!

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