needle felted elbow patches on green sweater

Today’s project is a sweater with needle felted elbow patches. My sweet mom showed me how to needle felt over the summer, and it’s my new favorite craft. I’ve seen elbow patches all over the place this fall and I wanted to try getting the look for little money. So, I used a sweater I already owned and needle felted the elbow patches onto the sleeves. I used wool roving on a cotton sweater. Here’s what I started with:

supplies for needle felted elbow patches

I chose a tan color of wool roving and laid it out on the elbow of the sweater in the shape that I wanted. One thing to remember is that wool shrinks, so make it bigger than you want it, or plan on dry cleaning. I don’t like paying for dry cleaning, so I made mine bigger than I wanted, and it still shrunk more than I thought it would.

needle felted elbow patches wool roving

I inserted a piece of foam into the sleeve under the roving. (The white piece I used came with some felting needles I bought.) Then I started stabbing the roving with the felting needle. The felting needle is barbed and VERY sharp, so be careful around kiddos and pets. This was the fun part. I just kept stabbing and eventually I could see the roving getting pushed into the knitting of the sweater. There’s something about needle work that is very therapeutic.

needle felted elbow patches

Here is how the needle felted elbow patches looked before I washed the sweater.

needle felted elbow patches on green sweater

I washed the sweater twice in cold water and dried it flat. Again, keep in mind that the wool roving shrinks and gets more compact. Mine shrunk most the first washing and not so much the second washing. I’m hoping that it won’t shrink too much more, because it’s already a little smaller than I wanted, even though I thought I had left plenty of room for shrinkage. Here’s how it looks:

needle felted elbow patches on green sweater

needle felted elbow patches

needle felted elbow patch

Have you tried needle felting? I highly recommend it.

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16 Responses to Needle Felted Elbow Patches

  1. Bobi Jensen says:

    So interesting…

    I love this!

    I’d love to have you link up at my Weekend party!

  2. Mel says:

    Felting is fun, stabbing your worries away :)

  3. T'onna says:

    Thanks for linking up at my Submarine Sunday link party!


  4. […] were attached to the felt the way I wanted them. {If you haven’t done any needle felting, here’s a tutorial I shared where I gave more detail.} I added a felt pumpkin after a few days of looking at the plain […]

  5. Erin says:

    I’d never heard of needle felting. It looks like it could be fun!

  6. Eliza says:

    I’m totally trying this!

    I’m your newest follower from “Get Your Craft On” Blog Hop. Come say hi!

  7. Great idea! And a neat way to patch up holes in knit sweaters too ;p Thanks so much for sharing this on Waste Not Want Not Wednesday :) I’ve pinned it on my pinterest board.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing your new hobby, or should i say… therapy!!! My mom too gave me one of those felting needles and to this date, I have not done anything with them. So, you’ve got one up on me!!!!

    Betsy, did you see that patches article that I posted last week on our blog? Her patches are almost twice the size of yours, and actually that looks good. Have a look. What do you think? Perhaps your lovely green cardi would benefit from upsizing these patches a notch ? And then the embroidery queen in me want to go add some stitches on top of that felted patch, but I told her NO. No time for all that doodling.. ha ha…

    • Betsy says:

      Thanks, Rose. Yes, the patches could stand to be bigger. I’m not sure if I’ll get around to it or not – you know, I’ve moved on already! :)

  9. karen says:

    I love how you love that jumper, theres still life in it attitude. Could you explain to my daughter? just kidding.She will probably see differently if she is ever. mum.

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