fig 1 - eye white
fig 2 - trimming fur
fig 3 - first layer of felting
fig 4 - glue layer
fig 5 - lashes in place
fig 6 - ready to felt lid
fig 7 - felting and lashes in place
sometimes it's fun to give your bears a makeover and I love to add not just eye lids, but long sweeping lashes too. You can use false eyelashes from your local chemist. You could also try some of the really colourful ones now available. I'm going to add lashes and needle felted lids to an ostritch I'm making .....
You'll need white felt to create eye whites, safety or glass eyes and a little wool roving for felting (a good pinch for each lid), some lovely long fake eyelashes (your local chemist should stock a small selection) and a dry felting needle (38 pr 28 gauge should suit) Before we start, please be aware that felting needles are ultra sharp and viciously barbed - great care should be taken when using these. Not nice if you stab one through your finger (from one who knows !)
1 First, make your bear's head as usual and set the eyes in position, together with nose and mouth if you wish. I think lids and lashes work best if you have a lot of "eye white" showing under the eye. This can be very easily added by cutting a small piece of felt and thread the eye through this when you set them in place (fig 1). This will work for both glass and safety eyes.
2 If you are using fur and it's quite dense, you will need to carefully trim the fur around the eye - see image 2. This is my ostritch and her fur is tipped, so you can easily see the are I've had to clip away. Do take your time as you can always take more away - but not put it back
3 When you are happy, add a thin layer of felting over the area you want to lid (see number 3 image). You only need a small pinch, just to give the lashes something to adhere to. If you need tips on needle felting there are some wonderful tutorials online - but do take a peek at my eye lid tutorial here too
4 Once you are happy the felting is fairly smooth and will hold its place, add a thin layer of fabric glue over the felt (fig 4)
5 Now position the eye lashes along the lower edge of the lid (fig 5). Press them into place with your finger. We need them to keep their position as we felt the lid over the top.
6 Take a good pinch of wool roving and felt this over the lid next. Fig 6 shows the felting in place at an early stage. Needs a lot more stabbing to shape and control the lid ! Again, take our time and be careful not to hit the eye or you'll break the felting needle.
7 When you have finished, with all felting, glue and lids, you should find the lashes are really well stuck in position.
Here's my finished young ostritch, complete with long lashes and lids : )