Fast, easy and effective way to create little needle felted sheep ears.
The sheep pictured are approx 12/15cm tall.
Working small can be a bit of a faff when it comes to needle felting, and I get asked – a lot – about sheep ears. I suppose we could primp and preen for half an hour and go the long way round but, sod that, let’s do it in ten minutes instead! Yep, in ten minutes you will have a lovely set of ears to plonk on your animal. Enjoy!
Top Tip: read the top tips first on each section.
Skill Level: complete beginners
Time to make: 10 minutes
You will need:
Felting needle (36 or 38 gauge) Kit needles are size 38
Pinch of wool top/roving or batting
Base to work on
1 – Lay two 9cm (very approximate) lengths of wool top/roving or batting on your felting mat.
2 – Fold in half to form a petal shape and twist the loose ends together; we will use these to attach to the head later
3 – Use a single needle or, if you want to speed it up, wrap two or three needles together with tape or an elastic band.
4 – Start to needle felt the ‘petal’ shape by pushing your needle, backwards and forwards, through the wool in a straight line. Speed up as you become more confident. DON’T bend the needle because it will break! Use your needle to ‘fold’ over the edges to create a neat finish. Top Tip: your needle should only push through the surface of your felting mat
5 – Turn your shape by pulling gently away from the mat and continue to felt. Top Tip: I get lots of people asking why bits of foam mat ends up in their wool and it is usually because they have pushed the needle in too far, which tangles the wool fibres with the foam. It also reduces the life of your foam mat so keep turning regularly to avoid your wool sticking to your base.
6 – Continue to felt until the ear has firmed up and reduced in size. Repeat for the second ear. If you want them a bit chunkier just add more wool.
7 – Create a slight ‘bowl’ shape by pinching the ear together at the base and felting in the centre of the ear
8 – Repeat for both ears. They are now ready to be tidied up.
9 – If your ears are looking a bit fuzzy gently remove any ‘wispy’ bits with a pair of sharp scissors Top Tip: keep the blades flat so as not to cut a chunk out of the ear.
10/11 – Check that you are happy with the shape before attaching to the head Top, Top Tip: perfectionists, don’t try to get them perfectly matched. Trust me, not gonna happen and honestly, you won’t be able to tell once they are on.
12 – Find the centre point of the back of the head and felt in the base of the ear.
13 – Leave the long tail loose as we will use this to secure it even further.
14 – Repeat for the other ear, again leaving the long tail loose.
15 – Felt the loose ends under the head. Top Tip: They don’t need to be really tidy as they won’t be visible once attached to your animal.
The following video tutorials are on my YouTube channel. Come and felt along with me, workshop style.
© 2013 Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts