Apparently getting economic hand held felting needles in my area is hard. I can get single felting needles easy though. While I can purchase what I want online I would like to see what it would take to make my own rubber-like handles. I was looking to see how something like this could have been made:

enter image description here

I had thought about experimenting with hot glue or perhaps even epoxy. I thought of hot glue when I saw what looked to be bubbles in the casts above. Either way these ideas could lead to the ruin of my needles so I am hesitant. The colour is not important.

What can I use to make the grips on felting needles that are like what is pictured above? Best I get from searching is something called Plasti-Dip but I don't think that will work here. I am aware that I can try and make a wooden style handle but I am trying to see how these are made.

6 Answers 6


Have you considered sugru?

A silicone-based rubber for lots of "hacks", adding ergonomic grips or softening handles being one of them.

enter image description here enter image description here (Image source: manufacturer's website)

The material can be removed from all non-porous surfaces, so your single needles won't be harmed.


An option that would be firmer than rubber is polycaprolactone (PCL). This is a polyester that melts at relatively low temperature (~60°C), meaning it can be melted in very hot water. Once melted, it can be shaped into almost any shape (e.g. a handle) you like, and other things (e.g. the needles) can be inserted into it.


I made some with polymer clay. Just sculpt it around the needles with the desired shape, and you can make it perfectly ergonomic to your finger shape and grip.

Just squeeze lightly, and then pop it into the oven in a tray of cornstarch.


plasti-dip will create exactly what you see in the picture you've added. This is permanent though. You can get it from Walmart for under $15 and it has all the colors in the picture you show so I'm pretty sure that is what they used.

after that, other permanent solutions - the cheapest is sculpy clay that you just buy a little block for under $3 at any craft store - Michaels, Hobby Lobby, mold it to where you want then bake it for a about 15 mins so it hardens. Well air out your oven after as the fumes are toxic and you don't want to cook right after using it. I recently bought a clay bake oven from Hobby lobby for under $40 because I used the daily 40% off coupon from their website that I brought up on my phone while going through checkout. If you're going to be felting much that is an option and you can do so much more with it and clay later.

That said, I would also invest in thick suede gloves to protect your hand and fingers from those sharp needles. Don't even think of doing it without them. You have to stab quickly in felting and the little rubber finger protectors are not enough. Protect your entire hand.


I would use heat-shrinking tubes. Cut them to the right length (or slightly longer), apply them to the needle, heat them (as a result they will shrink and "embrace" the needle). Wait for them to cool down. Apply as many layers as desired, one by one. There is no risk of spilling or gluing.

You probably need to buy a few tubes of several diameters, from very thin (to fit on the thinness of the needle) to larger (to reach the final thickness desired).

  • This works well. Note that some heatshrink is lined with a thin layer of hot glue, some isn't. The former is better for making handles. If you can find a sort of textured sleeve that will go under the (top) layer of heatshrink, that can help - mesh plastic bottle protectors are a good example on thicker things and you occasionally find the same material in thinner tubes. Even a tight wrap of fine wire can help, or bands of thinner heatshrink.
    – Chris H
    Commented Mar 1, 2023 at 16:40

I'm not sure what size the ends of the needles are where you grip them. I was wondering, could you use pen/pencil grips like you can get at office supply stores?

  • Most felting needles I know are just the metal shaft, bent 90 degrees at the top. There are wooden holders available, but they are for single needles.
    – Stephie
    Commented Jun 22, 2016 at 12:24

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