We love Muji’s plain cloth bags! Pair it up with some needle felting skills and wool roving and voila — a customised bag is born!
What you’ll need: Linen bag, wool roving in white, black, grey and pink, melamine foam, plastic comb, felting tool with multiple needles, single felting needle, tracing paper, image for tracing and pencil.
1. Place the image you want to trace beneath the tracing paper. Use a pencil to draw along the lines.
2. Position the tracing paper face-down on the centre of your linen bag. Transfer the design onto the bag by going over the image outline with the rounded edges of a comb.
3. Remove the tracing paper. If the outlines are too faint, draw over them with a pencil.
4. Insert the melamine foam into the bag and position it beneath the design – this creates a base to safeguard your needles and the other side of the bag. Tear off a small tuft of black wool – this will be for one of the panda’s ears. Hold it in place then carefully use the felting tool to “punch” the wool into the cloth, till the fuzz “sticks” on the fabric. Repeat the process with the other ear.
5. Tear off more tufts of black wool and needle-felt the panda’s upper body, arms, eyes and nose. Roll up small strips of wool and use these to help you fill in the gaps. As for the melamine foam inside the bag, you may move its position accordingly, depending on which surface requires a base.
6. Add on some grey wool for the lips. Try using the single felting needle to go over the smaller areas. Tip: Do not bend the needle at an odd angle; always hold it straight. Simply poke the needle in the direction you want the wool to go. Made a mistake? Gently peel off the wool piece and start over.
7. Now, needle-felt on some white wool to fill up the panda’s tummy and face. Ensure that the white layer does not cover over the black wool you needle-felted earlier.
8. Gently go over the panda’s face with the single felting needle to give the features more definition.
9. For a kawaii touch, add some pink wool onto the panda’s cheeks.
10. Go over the whole design once more with the felting tool to tame excess fuzz. Remove the melamine foam from within and the bag is ready for use.
* Published in the Craftypedia column in Star2 (thestar.com.my) on Feb 27, 2013.