Rilakkuma Needle Felt Kit! June 26, 2017 12:18

Rilakkuma Needle Felt

Today I'm going to be sharing something a little different with you all - needle felting! This is a very popular craft in Japan, with so many books and kits available.  Recently it’s also started gaining popularity across the world.

I'm going to try out a cute kit to make a felted version of my favourite relaxed bear, Rilakkuma, and his little friend Kiiroitori.

Kit Contents

The kit comes with all of the fleece needed, but you do need two extra items that aren't included - a felting needle, which is a very sharp, barbed needle, and a felting mat to work on. You can get brush like mats like I am using, or cheaper foam ones that work just as well.

Once you have everything, it's time to start felting!

Needle Felting Rilakkuma 1

The brown fleece is provided in one very long strip.  The instructions tell you how much you need to cut off for each part of Rilakkuma. Starting with the head, I took a 70cm piece of fleece and rolled it up. I then began to gently stab it all over with the felting needle. It starts very soft and fluffy, but the barbs on the needle cause the wool fibres to bind together. After a while of stabbing and constantly turning to make sure it's even, a firmer shape starts to form.

Needle Felting Rilakkuma 2

The instructions include full size photos of the finished items, taken from the front, side and back. You use these to check the size and shape of each piece as you work. It requires some patience, but you can slowly mold the final shape by focusing on particular areas - the more you stab somewhere, the smaller that part will get. Don't worry if you make it too small though, you can always add some extra fleece on top!

Needle Felting Rilakkuma 3

Once happy with the shape and size of the head, I moved onto the torso, keeping the top edge looser to help with attaching the pieces together.

To join the two pieces, you just need to stab through the loose fibres from the torso, up into the head so that they bind together.

Needle Felting Rilakkuma 4

Next were the ears and limbs.  These are made in the same way as the other pieces, using the lengths of fleece specified for each of them.

Once all the pieces were ready, it was time to assemble Rilakkuma!

Needle Felting Rilakkuma 5

After working around all the joints and making sure they are well attached, you can add additional smaller layers of fleece to cover joint lines, or small patches to build up areas that aren't quite the correct shape.

Needle Felting Rilakkuma 6

Once happy with the shape of the complete body, I moved onto the details.

Needle Felting Rilakkuma 7

Details are added by placing small amounts of the contrasting fleece in place and stabbing all over with the felting needle to stick it down and shape it.

With Rilakkuma complete, I moved onto Kiiroitori.

Needle felting Kiiroitori

As before, I made the basic shapes, comparing them to the full-size photos, joined them, and then added the details.

And here they are together, all finished!

Needle felting Rilakkuma and Kiiroitori

Needle felting Rilakkumma animation

Aren't they cute :)

Another fun kit completed! I probably wouldn't recommend this kit for complete beginners, as there are quite a lot of parts and details to make, plus you already need a needle and mat. However, if you've done just a little bit of needle felting before, and are a fan of Rilakkuma, I would definitely recommend it!

I hope you've enjoyed this little look into needle felting! It really is surprisingly simple to do and just requires wool fleece, a felting needle and a mat - no sewing, no gluing, just patience. The repetitive, gentle(!) stabbing is also rather relaxing so I hope some of you give it a try!