Needle felting is a process by which one tangles wool fibers together using a barbed needle to create small dolls, animals, and other soft objects. It’s a beginner-friendly sculpting method with a range of creative possibilities, and all you need to get started is some wool and a few tools. To save time and money, consider a felting kit, which offers tools and materials in one convenient package. Browse our roundup of the best options, below, to make your choice a little easier.
1. Crafts Parade Needle Felting Kit
This kit offers the best guidance and range of materials for getting a solid feel for needle felting. Beginners can teach themselves how to make 15 small objects, from a mushroom to a bumblebee, by following a clearly written instructional e-book that comes with the kit. The assortment of materials is diverse: You get 36 balls of 100 percent merino wool (3 grams each) in pastels, neutrals, and bold colors. You also get good-quality tools, including a pair of leather finger guards, a smooth wooden needle holder, and six needles in three sizes: 36-gauge (general purpose), 38-gauge (fine), and 40-gauge (superfine).
2. West Bay Needle Felting Kit
If you’re already totally invested in needle felting and are willing to spend a bit more, consider this kit. It comes with 33 percent more wool than our top pick and an abundance of accessories. You get 48 skeins of ultrafine wool roving—each weighing 3 grams—plus 12 needles in three sizes, templates to aid in shaping the felt, and lots of fittings to turn your creations into keychains of different styles. There are also instructions should you need them, but they are of a general nature rather than step-by-step guides to replicate specific designs. A double-decker case makes travel and storage a breeze.
3. Woolbuddy Needle Felting Starter Kit
This nicely packaged kit offers fewer colors than our previous two picks, but you actually get more material to work with. With 15 colors of all-natural wool, each bundle weighing 10 grams, plus a 30-gram ball of white wool, there’s enough to create six or seven palm-size objects. This is an excellent kit for learning in a small group setting because it also comes with six 36-gauge needles that are sturdy enough to use without a wooden handle. You also receive three finger guards. The instructions for making designs like a cake, a pig, and a penguin are clearly illustrated with color photographs so young ones (ages 8 and up) can follow along with ease.
4. Wool Queen Premium Needle Felting Kit
If you’re a new needle felter but feel confident enough to work with some truly luxurious fibers, we recommend this deluxe kit that comes with nearly 300 grams of wool from sheep flocks in Queensland, Australia. The ultrafine wool is extremely soft and dyed to gorgeous hues—the colors are much more subtle and unique than those in other kits, which tend to be quite bright. Artists also receive nine high-quality felting needles in three sizes, three rubber finger guards, and instructions to make 12 kinds of critters, including a unicorn and a sheep.
5. WoolPets Needle Felting Craft Kit
If you’re on the fence about whether felting is your kind of craft, perhaps it’s best to start small. WoolPets offers kits with enough material to create one item (or sometimes two), and you can have your pick of a delightful range of creatures. Choose an easy project like a kitten or sea otter, or an intermediate one such as a llama or panda, and follow detailed instructions to felt with high-quality New Zealand wool roving. And you don’t have to worry about messing up; more than enough wool is included for your project.