Felt alongside me and create this beautiful needle felting project. This gnome in a hoop is ridiculously fun to make and is beyond cute. It is such a simple needle felting project, made easy by my needle felting tips and techniques. I will also show you how to make the easiest needle felted hearts, without a cookie cutter! You can adapt it to your own style, using whatever wool you have to hand, keeping it simple or embellish the heck out of it. Materials list and video tutorial is below and it only takes around 90 minutes from start to finish 💜
MAKE TIME: 90 minutes
1 x 38 star or triangular felting needle
Wool tops and carded wool
15cm Embroidery hoop (optional)
20cm piece of flat felt Yarn for decoration (optional)
Starting a new craft can be exciting but also a little confusing. Needle felting is no different and the array of wool, tools and accessories can send you into a confusing tailspin.
The truth is, you don’t need a lot to get started and it is a budget friendly hobby, until you become addicted, which you will, and then no amount of felting wool will ever be enough!
That’s why I always recommend a starter kit to get you going. They are inexpensive and have absolutely everything you need to complete each project from start to finish. It’s a great way to test the needle felting waters, whilst building your creative confidence. All you have to do is open the box and add enthusiasm.
Here are my top 5 recommendations for beginners kits. They all come beautifully boxed and are perfect for storing your supplies! No sewing, no tricky patterns and they take just a few hours of your time! They also use our gorgeous British wool, carefully selected for its excellent needle felting properties.
Complete stunner and he knows it! This, along with the Herdwick Sheep, is the most popular beginners kit. It is such fun to make and you can and you can follow the instructions to the letter, or add your own touches. As well as detailed instructions you can felt along on YOUTUBE by following the beginners playlist.
My favourite sheep from the Lake District is an ever popular needle felting kit. Great for building your needle felting confidence, this super kit will soon have you warmed up and ready for your next project. As well as detailed instructions you can felt along on YOUTUBE by following the beginners playlist.
A gorgeous little project that has enough wool to make two of our favourite UK garden birds. A perfect project to create with your bestie or, one for you and one to give away. There is also a great video tutorial HERE showing you how easy it is to create a perfect wing shape without the need for a cookie cutter.
What’s not to love with this design? Even better, you can change the markings to represent your own four legged friend. As well as detailed instructions you can felt along onYOUTUBE by following the beginners playlist.
If you are looking for a home for the wee little forest dwellers then this is right up your street. Lot’s of different techniques and a great needle felting kit for beginners. Any self respecting gnome or fairy would be thrilled to have the keys to this house! As well as detailed instructions you can felt along to the video tutorial HERE
Join me this Friday night in the new FACEBOOK GROUP, 21st January, 7.30pm GMT, for a live felt along. I am going to cover some techniques for quick wins when making and attaching your animal legs. No need for glue, wax or a full wire armature (I rarely use one). Smooth wool, symmetry, and nicely covered joins are key and I will be showing you my favourite ways to achieve it on your animals, or any other project.
YOU WILL NEED
Any coarse wool top or carded wool lengths
Scissors – Not your best ones
Plus the obligatory cuppa or glass of something nice… Starts 7.30 GMT until 8.30 ish. Hope to see you there. As always, it will be available as a replay after the event.
CLICK THE BUTTON LINK TO JOIN THE FREE FACEBOOK GROUP
Well almost ‘ultimate’, I’m not the oracle, but I have been needle felting since 2013 so I know quite a lot about needle felting wool, and it’s a pretty decent guide, even if I do say so myself.
It’s quite special and I spent many hours putting it together so, to access it you need to be part of the Facebook live workshop and events group, or a member of the VIP Felt Club news letter. It is just another way of being part of the LFC (Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts) creative community where I am on a mission to get as many people as possible involved in this amazing craft. Both groups are completely free to join and, to access the guide just enter your password, or find it in the Facebook group topics section.
Please note that this is for personal use only. Do not share anywhere online, in groups or on social media.
It’s completely free and as a member you will benefit from exclusive access to my free live workshops, all in one place, including all previous workshops. I hope this group will inspire and develop your needle felting confidence (whatever level you are at) and encourage others to get involved, in a more private space. You will also be able to comment and share your WIP creations during and after the live workshops and ask for help and support from myself or other members.
Whilst the group will be primarily for live workshops events and updates, I will also be dropping in with some impromptu live sessions sharing needle felting techniques, quick wins and ideas. You can also drop into the group anytime to access all the tutorials in one place as each will be available to view after the event. It’s pretty busy in there some come meet the flock and put the next live workshop date in your diary.
P.S Click below to join. It’s completely free and a great way to enjoy some creative community in a more private space! Let’s start 2022 as we mean to go on? Creatively! 💗
It’s often hard to find your confidence when you start needle felting, even harder if you haven’t done any crafting before, so tackling those fears is the first hurdle. The second hurdle is finding a good tutorial and materials guide that will give you the best chance of success. I can help with both of those things but you have the most important job, and that’s allowing yourself to be a beginner. And, as sure as eggs is eggs, if you don’t allow yourself a period of ‘learning’ grace you are setting yourself to fail. In fact, you have to get it wrong in order to succeed and believe me, when it comes to needle felting success comes very quickly.
FEAR OF FAILURE
When you think to yourself, I’ve failed’ simply change the statement to ‘I have learned’ and see how that self doubt just falls away. Changing the mindset that makes you way too hard on yourself is the most important thing you will learn when it comes to learning a new craft, and also in many other aspects of our life.
FEAR OF WHAT OTHERS WILL THINK
Another potential problem is worrying what others will say and, the truth is, they will probably be super impressed that you are learning a new skill. If not then the problem is probably their own self confidence and lack of courage to try something new themselves. Ask yourself who you are doing it for? The answer should always be you! If you really struggle then don’t show your felt creations to anyone until you feel ready, and then not at all if that is how you feel. You are doing this for you and no one else and, before long, you will find people wanting you to make something for them, or even better, having a go themselves.
NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE MENTAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF CRAFTS
Anxiety, loneliness, isolation and depression have never been more prevalent than they are in today’s society, and with good reason; a global pandemic, climate change, rising prices, job insecurity, fear for our kids, caring for others, the list goes on and on… But, amidst all of that, the world is still full of great people and creativity. If we just prescribed ourselves some craft therapy on a regular basis then everything will feel calmer, more grounded, safer. And, if that is just for the time you are involved in something that distracts you from the daily stresses and strains it will allow you to go about your day in a much better state of mind. If not needle felting then a jigsaw, sewing, growing house plants, gardening, reading, knitting, colour by numbers, in fact anything that requires your undivided attention. Even though it can be hard it is so important to create a little time to focus on yourself, even if only for half an hour. And fortunately needle felting is incredibly portable so, if you can’t find a quiet space or the household won’t leave you alone, I have often found the loo to be a good alternative. As I said, needle felting is very portable 😉
ARE YOU READY TO START NEEDLE FELTING NOW?
Let’s get going. The video tutorial below is an introduction to creating a really simple shape that will become the most important technique you will learn when first starting needle felting. It can be made in just 5-10 minutes and will act as the structure, or scaffolding for the rest of your project. My tutorials are very workshop style and are the nearest thing to one of my in person classes. Simplicity and speed are the cornerstone of all my tutorials and I am always looking for new techniques to help improve your needle felting journey as well as give you the confidence to fall in love with this craft as much as I have. I have added links for the playlist that will teach you how to complete hares, sheep, mice, foxes, badgers, gnomes and too many to mention, with ease. You just need to be enthusiastic and willing to learn.
Using a BBQ skewer, or chop stick, as a needle felting tool makes many needle felting projects a whole lot easier, and faster to complete. It is also a great aid for creating symmetry, especially when it comes to legs and feet. It is the tool that no self respecting needle felter should be without, whether it’s your first needle felting project or your twentieth. Even better, you will probably find one, or both, at the bottom of your kitchen drawer, along with the sandwich toaster and vegetable juicer…
IT’S AN EASY TUTORIAL
This gnome on a stick is easy to make and the solid hat means you can really go to town on the embellishments without spoiling the shape. Simple embroidery adds another creative and effective element. Time to make: 60-90 minutes. Beginners and perfectionists add on another 30 minutes.
You will need:
Carded wool or wool top (AKA roving) for the hat, body and nose; I am using carded wool for both.
Felting needle – size 38 (or medium) is a good all rounder.
Wooden BBQ skewer or chop stick; metal is too slippery for the wool to hold onto.
Felting mat: Foam, hessian or wool
For the beard use wool tops, curly wool or knitting yarn
Embellishments or embroidery thread for decoration
Needle felting tools and accessories can be found HEREif you are just starting out.
TOP TIPS BEFORE YOU START!
Needles are sharp so keep your fingers out of the way. If in doubt, use finger protectors. Not suitable for young children and older children should be supervised at all times.
When working around your stick avoid hitting the wood with your needle as it could break. Working at a diagonal angle will help avoid this.
Keep the wool firm as you wrap, using thin lengths of wool, and take your time to build it into a cone shape. If your wool is too bulky you will struggle to get a nice smooth shape.
If you start to loose the shape, simply unwind a little wool and do it again.
Enjoy yourself and, if it’s your first project, go easy on yourself; you are only on chapter 1 so don’t compare yourself to others who are on chapter 5.
There is no end to the style of gnomes you can create and how gorgeous are these visions in pink and raspberry! I love the impact created by these simple embroidered snowflakes against the bold raspberry colour.
Embroidered snowflakes are super simple! Just thread a large needle with yarn and criss cross four straight lines until you have a seven pointed star. They can also be needle felted on.
TOP TIP: Keep the yarn loose so as not to sistort the shape of the snowflake.
HAT AND BODY
1 Wrap your wool around the stick and felt into place
2-4 Continue to wrap and felt until you have covered half of your stick, longer if you want a bigger hat.
5-6 Continue to wrap and felt to secure
7 Continue to build the shape but don’t take the wool to the tip bas you want to create a cone shape.
8-9 Create your shape along the stick by using your needle at a diagonal angle.
10 Widen the base as you felt; mine is approx. 6cm diameter
11-12 Create the body the same way but aim for a barrel shape approx. 6cm in height, slightly narrower at the top and wider at the base for stability.
13-14 Remove from the stick and continue to shape and firm
15 Create a cavity at the base of the hat for the body to sit in.
16 Narrow the top, if necessary, by felting at a diagonal angle from the top towards the base.
17-18 Pop some fresh wool on the top of the body and felt into the hat.
19-20 Now felt through the hat and into the top of the body, until it is held firmly.
21 Wrap the end of a small piece of wool firmly around your wooden skewer, aiming for a short oval shape.
22 Continue to wrap the wool around the stick (no need to use your needle yet) and use your thumb and finger to stop it from moving down the stick and becoming too long. Felt a little to secure but leave the ends slightly loose. TOP TIP: Don’t forget to keep it tight as this will create a great shape. Make it any size you want.
23 Check you are happy with the size and shape.
24 Remove from the stick and felt each side (where you left the wool loose) just under the brim of the hat.
25 It needs to be a good size as it will soon disappear under the beard, so if it’s too small it will look lost.
26-28 Felt the beard wool or locks just under the brim of the hat. This will keep it looking neat.
29 Add in more colour if you want to.
30-31 You can create a beard at the front or, as I have done, create a full skirt all the way around the hat.
Et voila! Leave it simple or add embellishments. I have wrapped wool yarn around this one and created a loose pom pom at the top. Now go forth and make more gnomes; it would be rude not to and they always look better in twos, threes, fours…😉
Craft your own seasonal happy space with a needle felted pumpkin or two, or three, or fill the whole house (as I do) with these glorious DIY projects that will take us into autumn/fall and beyond.
Make pumpkins with personality using carded wool or wool tops
Scroll down for video tutorials
I am a firm believer that pumpkins are absolutely not just for Halloween and I have you covered with three pumpkin tutorials that will take you right through September to December and Christmas. Yes, of course there’s a Christmas pumpkin!
If you are nervous about starting needle felting then this is the project for you!
Not only are they fabulous needle felting project but, they are also one of the quickest and easiest needle felting projects to make, taking a mere 30 minutes! They will add instant impact to any room, and are impressive seasonal gifts for friends and loved ones and, If the weather permits, they look wonderful on an outside dining table or strung as a garland from a tree or deck.
Keep it simple or go for all out bling and glamour. Go traditional or opt for a style that the cast of Frozen would be envious of. Whatever your style, there really is a needle felted pumpkin for everyone and no needle felting experience necessary; just a few needle felting supplies and a big dollop of enthusiasm.
There are three video tutorials to choose from – traditional, fire and ice and winter wonderland – and you could have all three made in just 90 minutes!
I have popped a materials list above each one but these are just suggestions and anything goes. Don’t worry if you haven’t any carded wool as there is also a tutorial using wool tops. See I told you I have you covered!
Happy creating and I would love to see your pumpkin photos to add to the community gallery. You can email them to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or send them to me via my FaceBook page.
Do you need wool or supplies?
Links for kits, wool and needles are also below or SHOP WEBSITE
Hi and welcome to my ultimate guide to needle felting.
I’m Sandy, creator, owner, designer, chief cook and bottle washer at Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts.
Since 2014 I have taught thousands of people to needle felt through my tutorials, videos, workshops and extensive range of inspiring needle felting kits. Whether you are a nervous beginner or a confident crafter, you will discover a wealth of needle felting guides and resources at your creative fingertips. Let’s craft a happy space together!
SO, WHAT DO YOU NEED TO START NEEDLE FELTING?
Not much at all as it happens and you don’t have to spend a lot of money either! It’s a budget friendly hobby that requires very little space and zero experience and all you need is:
1 FELTING WOOL
2 FELTING NEEDLE
3 FELTING MAT
4 GOOD TUTORIALS
Wool tops or carded wool are both great to needle felt with. Avoid Merino wool tops and go for a coarser wool like Jacob, Shetland or Romney.
CLICK HERE FOR MY ULTIMATE WOOL GUIDE AND QUICK LOOK, HANDY CHART
Just one or two standard felting needles will get you started. I like to use a 38 star as a good all-rounder.
Ignore all the fancy needle felting creations you see online and start with a simple needle felting project or tutorial. It is so important to allow yourself to be a beginner and build up to those fancy creations you have been drooling over.
When it comes to needle felting enthusiasm goes a long, long way! It’s all you need to get started; you don’t need to be artistic, just enthusiastic. Allow yourself to be a beginner and you will pick up the needle felting basics in no time. You may prefer to start with a needle felting kit , especially if you don’t have any equipment. It is a budget friendly way to get started and allows you to see if you enjoy this fabulous craft without ending up with lots of equipment.
Helping you create perfectly shaped, firm needle felted projects that a more experienced needle felter would be proud of!
Your ears have pricked up now, haven’t they? Well, I have used ALL the needle felting tools over the years and I still end up using just a handful on a regular basis. However, a few years ago I discovered the magic of the humble BBQ skewer and it changed the way I needle felted?
Now, to some of you this will be old news but to many, especially those new to needle felting, it will become a revelation! A needle felting epiphany of sorts, and you will wonder how you ever managed without it, even though it was sat in your kitchen draw the whole time. Even better, total cost, only a few pence or cents, assuming you bought them as a multi-pack.
The BBQ skewer is, to needle felters what string is to farmers and, once discovered, you will use it as your go to felting tool. It will give you the confidence to try new styles that you may be finding tricky with your current technique. You can also use any wool, be it carded or wool tops.
For instance, the legs , head and body of this fabulous hare (link for tutorial below) have all been made around a BBQ skewer, and not a wire in sight! And, believe me, those legs are long! Wherever possible I like to work without wire so this works well for me. Even when I use wire for animals it is usually just for the legs, and maybe the neck. That said, if you are working much bigger then you will find using wires really helps form and stability.
What this magical wooden stick allows you to do is to create perfect symmetry for your legs in super fast time. They end up really firm so no floppy, saggy legs (not a good look) and no need for wire. Making firm, perfectly shaped heads is a dream and lengthening and tapering the body shape is a breeze.
From hedgehog noses to Christmas trees, gnomes, mushrooms, cactus, bumble bees and bunnies… the list of things you can create is endless, and even the snail shell was made around the skewer. Mind boggled yet?
Now go and dig out your BBQ skewers and have some needle felting fun. If you can’t find them they will probably be at the bottom of your kitchen drawer, covered in a sticky substance of unknown origin 🤢
Become a VIP Felt Club member! It’s free and you will receive a free needle felting pattern, lifetime discount code, exclusive early access to new product launches and promotions, as well as notification of new tutorials and live needle felting workshops!
I love this time of year in my garden and my 17 year old Cordyline is flowering for the very first time. I am so thrilled and the smell is divine; like Jasmine with a hint of caramel. As plants, and the garden, are on my mind I have put together these super cool cacti; a perfect pin cushion for your felting needles and a plant that will never show any signs of temperamental behaviour, or just die for no apparent reason???
As always, I spend a lot of time during the design process, creating projects I know you will love, sharing the techniques I have learned over the last eight years, whilst carefully choosing the wool and fibres to suit the finished piece. I think I made six cacti before I was happy with the finished design. This means that you can get stuck in (if you pardon the pun) to your new projects with confidence, knowing that you have great materials and instructions to work with, every time.
If you already have all the gear then the video tutorial will be available from the 1st July so look out for a new post (next week) with the links. Pattern is also available for download on the websiteHERE
PRE-ORDER NEEDLE FELTING KIT FOR THE FIRST WEEK IN JULY
You can choose your colour, and each fibre pack makes two cacti, comes with full printed instructions, two terracotta pots and, if you are gifting it to someone, you can the add needles and mat.
JULY LIVE WORKSHOP The video tutorial will be on YouTube but I also plan to go live with this on Facebook towards the end of July so keep a look out for an email with the details.
Mini Bunny needle felting video tutorial – for even the most nervous beginners. With supporting printable pattern download on the website.
This is the easiest of easiest needle felting projects, only takes around 30-40 minutes and is just a whole heap of relaxing fun. Whether you are a nervous first time needle felter/crafter, just want to have some relaxing creative fun or want to fill the house with gorgeous handmade bunny decorations, this is a great project. The process and technique for this pattern is really easy and straightforward. Your secret weapon is the BBQ stick you will be using which makes creating the body shape so much easier and super fast. It really is the needle felting tool you never knew you needed but was in your kitchen drawer all the time.
I was surprised how much I enjoyed making these because cute and cartoony normally isn’t my thing. But, it seems I am a cute and colourful convert just because of how relaxing it was and, there’s no denying, those pastel colours are pretty lush. Even as a seasoned needle felter it is incredibly satisfying to complete something quickly and easily, knowing what the end result will be, and then repeating the process again. I was completely focused and really just felted away in quiet contemplation. There is something immensely calming about creating simple projects and repeating a task – part of the human psyche I guess – so much so that I ended up making four of them and will be making more for an Easter garland.
YOU WILL NEED:
Needle felting wool – Approx. 5g, any type or colour.
Standard felting needle – size 38 is a good all-rounder.
Wooden BBQ skewer (or similar) for shaping
Click HERE for the downloadable pattern at a special price of just £1.50.
See the full range of needle felting kits, punch needle kits, accessories and handmade items over at the WEBSITE
Meet the family. Well, some of them…
Over 40 carefully and lovingly designed needle felting kits to choose from. Each kit is a complete starter kit and so, contains everything you need including detailed instructions, lots of colour photographs, an actual size template as your size guide, quality wool (mostly British) and everything you need to complete each project. Kits are suitable for absolute beginners and advanced beginners.
No sewing. No wires. No glue. No stuffing. Open the box and get started… All you need to add is a little patience and enthusiasm!
There is an array of felting mat options out there so I have put together a video tutorial (below) showing you my favourite mats and best practice for using them. If you are using different felting techniques then you, like me, will probably use a combination of two or three; there is no one size fits every project.
I have also just invested in some Eco needle felting mats which can be used on their own, on top of your foam pad or hessian mat. They are fabulously thick 100% wool felt made here in the UK and the feedback has been great! I love mine and use it all the time now.
If you use it on top of your foam mat you will rarely, if ever need to replace your foam block. They are completely biodegradable but honestly, it will be a long time before they need replacing.
Hessian rice mats are particularly useful for needle felting pictures or any other flat felting, like big hare ears, flowers, gnome hats, wings etc. It also works brilliantly with the 7 needle multi tool which will have you powering through your flat needle felting projects.
MAKE YOUR OWN HESSIAN RICE MAT
You can easily make your own mat from a piece hessian filled with dried rice or similar. I used an old hessian shopping bag for my first one. Just make sure the weave is quite tight otherwise it won’t last long at all and always use a piece of felt on the top to protect the surface. This will easily 10 x the life of your rice mat.
1 Cut out twice the size of the area you want to work on
3 Sew up all four sides, leaving a two inch gap to fill with rice.
3 Fill with dried rice or similar
4 Sew up the gap securley
5 Slap a bit of felt on top and you are good to go!
Hope this helps and remember, there is no right or wrong choice. Much of it is personal preference and the type of needle felting project you are working on.
If you like to see it done just scroll to bottom for video tutorial!
I was a couple of years into needle felting before I tried a reverse felting needle and now I wouldn’t be without it. The special effects you can create are endless and super cool, taking your needle felting to a different level. A reverse needle does exactly what it says and instead of felting and compressing the wool it pulls the already felted wool back out, creating dramatic, or subtle effects. It adds instant character to a project and is simple and easy to use.
I love the subtle effect it created on top of the head of the head of this moon gazing hare, giving it a dreamy fuzziness.
I use two sizes of needle; 32 and 40 gauge. As with standard felting needles, the higher the number the finer the needle and the more subtle the effect.
I have used the size 32 most recently (although a size 40 would have done the job just as well), on my bee brooches to create the fuzzy body and eyebrows. I also used a contrasting white core for more effect and visibility.
When I made this brooch the eyes looked a little lost so I used the reverse needle just above the eyebrow to pull out some of the core white wool.
I repeated on the other eye then trimmed it back. As you can see, the effect is great and those eyes really pop!
I wanted to create a similar effect all over the body to create that lovely fuzzy effect. Repeatedly use the reverse needle until you have pulled all the lovely wool through then trim quite short to create a neat finish that allows the white and dark to compliment each other.
When I decided to needle felt my first pig I really wanted to create the coarse top layer you see on a lot of pigs that sits on the peachy skin. I used a Romanov wool core but any coarse dark will do; grey Jacob is perfect and one of my favourites. It created exactly the look I was aiming for using a 32 reverse needle.
There’s no limit to what you can use it on and I think the hedgehogs were crying out for a reverse felting needle makeover. I know you can get the realistic spikes but this was much more fun. I created a grey Jacob core with a brown Shetland carded top and went at it quite fiercely with a 32 reverse needle. You can watch the full hedgehog tutorial HERE
See how I have picked up the grey I pulled through plus a little of the brown. Give it a twizzle for instant spikiness and a gorgeous ‘Prickle’ of hedgehogs; yes that is the actual collective noun for a group of hedgehogs. My heart… 🦔
So, there you have it. Just a few of the cool things you can do with a reverse felting needle. Experiment on your own projects and just have some fun with it. Happy felting!