An elbow patch is a cute and fun twist on a normal sweater, and will be perfect to wear in these upcoming fall and winter months. And, there are ways to put them on a wool sweater without sewing! That’s always a plus. For this tutorial, we’ll be putting heart patches on a sweater.
You’ll need a wool sweater, 36 gauge felting needle, dense foam pad (cut so it can fit inside your sweater arms), wool roving (in the color you want your heart patches), 3in. heart cookie cutter, and an iron.
While wearing the sweater, put a piece of tape half an inch below your elbow, on both arms. Now take the sweater off.
Put the foam block into one of the arms (whichever one you’d like to start first).
Align the cookie cutter on top of the foam block. It should be centered and hit right at the top of the tape.
Pinch off tufts of the roving. Fill the cookie cutter in, making sure to spread it evenly.
Now is the time for felting. Basically what you do is you stab the needle into the roving, and at the base of the needle are burrs, that grab onto and interlock with the wool fibers. Make sure to stab as straight up and down as you can, to reduce the risk of breaking the needle. Don’t go at an angle.
Continue stabbing until it lays flat. I’ve also seen tutorials where you can either sew or simply use fabric glue, but isn’t this way more fun? Great stress reliever after those long days at work or school.
Once it’s flat, remove the cutter, using your needle to reign in any stray fibers trying to escape. Don’t worry about the holes.
If there is a bare spot or a place where it is uneven, simply put on more wool roving and stab some more.
Carefully peel the sweater away from the foam block. You should be able to see that the fibers have transferred to the other side.
To smooth it out and set it, spritz the patch with some water, and iron on the wool setting.
Now just repeat on the other side, and you have your very own wool sweater with heart patches!
Tips and photos from here.