Sewing Eyes Onto Your Needle Felted Animal

In just five minutes and four easy steps!

Needle felted eyes look great but I also love the sparkle and shine you get from a glass bead. I always find it funny that, when some of my students have spent hours creating their needle felted animal, they say they find sewing on the eyes the hardest part. I think it is because they seem a little bit fiddly but here is a quick way of doing it, in five minutes and four easy steps.

1 Use black thread and needle and sew through the side of the face – where your eyes will sit – and repeat a few times until your thread is secure.

2 Pop your bead onto the tip of your needle and pull it through.

3 Push your needle back through to the other side and pop on your second bead.

4 Repeat the process a few times until you can pull quite firmly on your thread, and both beads are secure. Finish by sewing through the back of the head a and cut the thread.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE BEGINNERS TUTORIALS

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Shows how to sew eyes onto needle felted animals

Beads can be used for all your needle felted animals.

CLICK FOR VIDEO TUTORIALS

HAPPY FELTING!

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Adding Face Details To Your Needle Felted Animals

One of the trickiest things to do when creating face details is getting the really fine lines for the mouth and nose. It’s something I always spend time on with my workshop students so they don’t feel disappointed with the finishing touches. Practice, practice practice is the answer, a firm base on which to work, and less is more when it comes to the wool. When I say less is more, think even less than that. You only need the tiniest strand of wool to create really impactful details, add in a few simple techniques and you will soon be adding those details with confidence.

Top Tip: If it doesn’t look right don’t try and rectify it. Pull the wool off and start again. I often do this and it takes much less time than trying to fix the problem. Also, preparation is key so make sure the head is firm before starting. If the head is soft and squidgy you aren’t going to get the nice straight lines you want to achieve and your sheep or animal will look like they’ve been on the sauce.

Whatever your design, this technique can be applied to your project in many different ways.

Let’s get started and, if you haven’t made your head yet just click the link for the video tutorial: HOW TO CREATE A BASIC HEAD SHAPE

1 Create an impression of the mouth – Do this by ‘drawing’ the mouth onto the face with your felting needle. ‘Draw’ a V for the nose, a line down the centre and two shallow curves each side. Go over the lines you have drawn until they are clearly visible and defined. This is where your wool is going to sit and makes it so much easier to maintain a nice, even shape.

2 Roll a very, very thin wisp of wool between your fingers to gently mat it together (not vital but it helps). If you don’t think it is thick enough you can go over it again later. However, start with too much and it ends up looking like you have drawn it on with a felt tip. Place it on the top left of the V shape you have created and gently tack it down towards the bottom of the V shape. Top Tip: Make sure the wool is at least twice the length you need as it will be pulled into the face as you felt; you can trim it later.

3 Continue back up the V shape and leave the ends loose.

4 Use another thin strand of wool (longer than you will need) to create the line down the centre. Top Tip: Keep the wool taught with your free hand. This will help create a straight, even line and avoid a drunken grin.

5 Leave all the strands loose until you have completed the mouth.

6 As before, use a very thin strand of wool and felt along the mouth. Repeat for the other side.

Top Tip: Don’t be precious over the shape of the curve as this can be teased into shape before you finish.

7 Make sure the wool is secure before trimming and shape the mouth by gently rubbing the tip of you finger on the wool – in the centre – to pull it down slightly.

8 Your head is now ready for the eyes and that’s another easy tutorial. You can watch it Here or keep scrolling for the written tutorial.

Top Tip: Sometimes the mouth can look a little off centre or lopsided. This is easily fixed by squeezing, and moving the head in your fingers – wool is still quite pliable, even when felted – until the features straighten out.

Create fabulous features for all your needle felted creations.

How to sew eyes onto your needle felted animal

Needle felted eyes look great but I also love the sparkle and shine you get from a glass bead. I always find it funny that, when some of my students have spent hours creating their needle felted animal, they say they find sewing on the eyes the hardest part. I think it is because they seem a little bit fiddly but here is a quick way of doing it, in five minutes and four easy steps.

1 Use black thread and needle and sew through the side of the face – where your eyes will sit – and repeat a few times until your thread is secure.

2 Pop your bead onto the tip of your needle and pull it through.

3 Push your needle back through to the other side and pop on your second bead.

4 Repeat the process a few times until you can pull quite firmly on your thread, and both beads are secure. Finish by sewing through the back of the head a and cut the thread.

Free Printable – Needle Felted Mushrooms – Unlock your inner creative!

If you are ready to dip your needle felting toe into the water this super easy needle felting pattern is a great place to begin. Perfect for even the most nervous of beginners this step by step guide will have you confidently creating fabulous needle felted characters in no time. Grab your free printable below. Just click for access, no purchase or subscription necessary. 

TAKE ME TO THE FREE PRINTABLE 

If you don’t have wool or needles then a needle felting kit is the perfect way to get started. There are more than 30 to choose from on the website. All you have to do is open the box and add enthusiasm!

TAKE ME TO NEEDLE FELTING KITS

Inspiring needle felting kits for beginners and beyond

Needle Felting Video Tutorial: Sheep Ears Made Simple

A question I am often asked by new or beginner felters is how to complete the more fiddly finishing touches of a needle felting project. The small size and need for symmetry is something many struggle with when felting sheep ears, but it really doesn’t need to be a complicated process. The below video tutorial will show you all the techniques, tips, and tricks you need to create perfect sheep ears in just 15 minutes; or just 10 if you cut out the waffle.

WATCH ALL THE ‘NEEDLE FELTING FOR BEGINNERS’ VIDEO SERIES

Tiny ears are simple once armed with the right technique.

This video tutorial builds upon the written tutorial to show the entire process of creating and attaching sheep ears to your creation. If, like me, you are a visual learner and prefer to follow along with someone else, this real-time video tutorial is the one for you!

NEW VIDEO TUTORIAL

TAKE ME TO WRITTEN TUTORIAL

Create perfect ears for your needle felting projects

WATCH ALL THE ‘NEEDLE FELTING FOR BEGINNERS’ VIDEO SERIES


Little ears for mice and deer can be created using the same technique; all you change is the shape.

For needle felting kits please visit the LINCOLNSHIRE FENN CRAFTS website.

Est. 2013
© 2013 Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts

How to Needle Felt Sheep Ears in Ten Easy Minutes

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

If you haven’t made your head shape then pop over to the BASIC HEAD SHAPE video tutorial before you start the ears and for needle sheep felting kits pop over to the Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts WEBSITE

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.

Finally, check you are happy with the position of the ears and add your face details. For face details follow the video tutorial: CREATING CUTE ANIMAL FACES and the EASY EYES TUTORIAL

The following video tutorials are on my YouTube channel. Come and felt along with me, workshop style.

TAKE ME TO THE TUTORIAL
TAKE ME TO THE TUTORIAL
TAKE ME TO THE TUTORIAL

Est. 2013
© 2013 Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts

How To Use Wire For Needle Felting – Plus Mini Tutorial

I will let you into a little secret; unless you are working on big projects you really don’t need a full wire frame.

Working with a wire armature can be a little daunting, especially if you are new to needle felting and, to be honest, I find working with a full wire armature a little fiddly. I usually prefer working with a firmer shape so I tend to work more with just part armature; usually just the legs, neck or tail. It’s easy and really useful for when something needs stability or to add detail or dimension that can’t otherwise be achieved e.g the neck and legs on the flamingo, the tail and legs of the mouse and the life size ears of the Snow hare below.

Wire is used just for the neck and legs of the flamingo
Wire wrapped neck is then felted straight onto the body

Wrapping wire is really easy and can be done quite quickly and simply, but don’t be too ambitious and decide that tiny fingers and toes are going to be your first attempt. You will almost certainly set yourself up for a fail at the first hurdle and probably run for the needle felted hills. I still avoid tiny fingers and toes – if there is another option – so don’t sweat it.




Feet and tail are wire wrapped for shape and stability. The tail helps keep the mouse upright.

Instead, get used to wrapping wire and creating simple shapes. Most important is the wool and wire you use. Get those right and the task is so much easier, a lot more fun and negates the need for any messy wax or glue.

The ears of this life size Snowshoe hare were 10 inches long and the wool was wrapped around an oval wire frame, then needle felted to the head.

What wire should you use?

My favourites are floristry wire (the paper wrapped kind) or pipe cleaners. Using either of these means the wool holds really well as you wrap it around the wire and requires little felting, thus reducing the risk of broken or bent needles and no need for messy wax.

Top Tip: I like to use the old-style cotton covered pipe cleaners because the wool holds better than on the chenille kind.

Wire size/gauge – I usually opt for 0.5mm or 1mm if I’m working on something larger.

Wool

It’s all personal preference but for me it is usually wool top/roving because you can use long, continuous lengths that can be pulled really tightly around the wire, giving it a lovely smooth, neat finish. I like to use white Jacob or Shetland tops but any wool top will do.

Wax

I don’t use it unless I am wrapping tiny fingers and toes. I seem to get more on myself than the project so I avoid it if possible and find that I rarely need it anyway. That said, I know some felters who get on really well with it so it really is personal preference.

Try the mini tutorial below

Have a practice by following the tutorial below. This one is for creating Flamingo legs but the same method can be used for any felting project. If you are creating sheep or hares just continue to wrap your wool around the wire to build up the limbs.

Top Tip: This is where the majority of needles get bent or broken so take care and use the ‘softly softly’ approach.

1 Create the shape you want with your wire. I am using 0.5mm tape covered floristry wire, 24cm long which I have doubled over for strength and stability. There is no need for pliers with this gauge wire as it bends and twists easily.

Create your shape

1 Pull a thin piece of wool top/roving down the long length of your wool; it needs to be thin so it covers the wire without bulking it out.

2 Start to wrap tightly down from the top of the leg (this is to cover the wire). Tip: wrap a few times in one place at the top of the leg and rub around with your fingers to mesh the fibres together so they hold (no need for wax).

3 and 4 Wrap around the first half of the foot then pull the length of wool through the hoop.

5 Pull the loose length over the front of the foot and pull towards the back of the foot and felt gently a few times to hold it in place. Tip: I do it this way because I find it easier to cover the foot without showing any wire.

6 Continue to wrap around the foot until it is covered and felt each side.

Tip: Finish felting through the top of the foot and pull, or trim, any excess from underneath.

Your legs are now ready to attach to your creation.

Building up the legs

If you need chunkier legs, say something like mice – just continue to wrap with your wool until you are happy with the size and shape. Top Tip: always leave loose wool at the top of the wire so you can felt it to the body.

For video tutorials visit: Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts on YouTube

Kits and accessories are available on the website at: Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts

Est. 2013
© 2013 Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts

Making Needle Felted Mushrooms; using core wool

This tutorial uses the super easy, soft sculpture technique style of needle felting. Once you have tried it you will fall in love with its simplicity and versatility. If you want to go straight to the mushroom tutorial click below, if you want to learn a little more before you start then read on.

TAKE ME STRAIGHT TO MUSHROOM TUTORIAL

Types Of Needle Felting

There are so many wool options for needle felting that it can make the room spin but really, needle felting mostly falls into just three categories. Yes, there are more but these are the most commonly used, and all you need to be familiar with when you are just starting out.

1 Flat felting: Pictures, brooches and, in my case, really big bunny ears

Flat felting: Needle Felted Picture

2 Firm sculpture: I like to use the coarse British wool tops/roving for this style.

Firm felting: Needle felted hares with flat felted ears

3 Soft sculpture (it’s really squidgy): Uses wool batting sheets (wool that has been carded into short fibres) and core wool, which is essentially stuffing and is what you wrap your batting sheet around.

Soft needle felted sculpture: it’s really squidgy

Creating needle felted soft sculpture is so easy and there is no end to what you can create; pumpkins are my favourite and there’s a video for that too. All you need is some wool batting, core wool, a felting base (foam pad or hessian mat) or a needle felting kit.

What Is Core Wool?

I just want to quickly talk about core wool as it often causes confusion. Core wool, for soft sculpture, is like toy stuffing and you wrap the batting sheet around it. It is made up of uneven, short fibres and is a little bit lumpy; perfect for our project. It is usually the ‘scraps’ of wool that can’t be used for firm felting or spinning, is cheaper than wool tops/roving and is mostly white or grey.

Five minute tutorial Here’s a quick guide to making a mushroom cap with core wool at the centre. This only takes around five minutes or you can watch the video tutorial which also works alongside the, ‘Shroom With A View’ needle felting kit.

1 Scrunch the core wool firmly into the shape of a bread roll and hold the centre to keep in place. Use your felting needle in a straight in and out motion (around the sides) to secure the shape. TIP: It doesn’t matter if the shape is uneven or untidy because the whole piece will soon be covered. Continue turning and felting the whole piece for a few minutes until you have your rough shape and size; it will be really squidgy, quite loose and won’t be a perfect shape.

2 Lay your wool batting sheet on your felting pad and put your core wool in the centre. Pull the batting sheet firmly around your core wool and felt into the centre.

3 Gather the batting firmly towards the centre, so it doesn’t have any sags, and felt in place. Pull away any excess. Top Tip: Only felt in the centre as this will keep the top and sides of your mushroom free of needle marks.

4 Your finished ‘shroom cap ready for it’s spots and maybe a chimney or two.

4

Take Me To Full Mushroom Turorial

The possibilities are endless Once you have learned this quick and easy technique you will soon be making, well anything and every thing you want; enchanted gardens, pumpkins, ‘shrooms, snowmen. The list goes on and on and I am still trying to give away the mountain of pumpkins I made last year.

Supplies If you don’t have any wool or needles then they can all be found on the website, alongside the ‘Shroom With A View and Honey Pot Cottage needle felting kits. TAKE ME TO WEBSITE

TAKE ME TO PUMPKIN TUTORIAL

Click for hedgehog tutorial

If you are brand new to needle felting then pop over to the essential blog post for beginners: THE DO’S AND DON’TS OF NEEDLE FELTING

Happy creating x

Est. 2013
© 2013 Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts

Let’s Make… A Needle Felted Snowman

It’s that time of year again, and Christmas at Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts wouldn’t be complete without a needle felted snowman. This is my simple, but stylish take on frosty, complete with hat, scarf and carrot nose. Subscribe at the bottom of the page to receive notification of new tutorials.

Happy Christmas felting!

Time to complete: Approx 1 hour

You will need: Core wool or toy stuffing but wool is much easier to felt with. WHAT IF YOU DON’T HAVE ANY CORE WOOL? No problem as this can also be done with white wool top/roving by following my basic ball shape tutorial (4th picture down) and increasing the size accordingly. TAKE ME TO TUTORIAL

Felting needles – Sizes 36 or 38 are good all rounders.

White batting sheet – if using core wool – for wrapping around the body shapes.

Orange wool for carrot nose.

Black wool for eyes and mouth.

Your choice of wool colours for hat and scarf.

Felting Mat to work on

TERMINOLOGY – You will come across the following terms throughout the tutorial.

Felting/to felt: Means to stab/poke your wool with a barbed felting needles to produce a fibre that will not pull apart.

Carded batts: Come in springy, flat sheets instead of long lengths like wool tops/roving.

Core Wool: Used for the centre of your piece as stuffing that can be shaped; it saves using your best wool.

NEEDLE FELTING NEWBIE? Have a quick read of my beginners guide to needle felting do’s and don’ts before you start. CLICK HERE

TOP TIP: Always read the top tips!

Lets get started and remember, the needle are very sharp so keep your fingers out of the way. Always keep your needle straight; bend it and it will break.

BODY

1- Start with three pieces of core wool and make sure they are different weights/sizes. I started with 5g (handful), 3g and 2g.

2 – Roll each one into a chunky doughnut shape with your fingers. Hold with one hand and poke (felt) with your needle to secure. Don’t over felt or worry about lumps and bumps as the whole thing will be covered. TOP TIP: It only needs to hold it’s shape and should only take a couple of minutes to felt and shape each one.

3 – Make sure they are all different sizes, from large to small.

4 – Start with your large piece and lay it on top of a piece of wool batting.

5 – Pull the wool batting around your shape and felt only to the centre. This will keep the rest of the shape nice and smooth with no needle marks.

6 – Gently pull away any excess wool TOP TIP: Any bald patches can be covered up with a little more wool batting.

7 – Repeat for the next two pieces

8 – Your snowman should increase in size from the top down.

9 – Place the bottom two pieces on top of each other (smooth side down) and attach together by pushing your felting needle through the centre of the top piece and into the bottom piece; this will tangle the fibres of the two sections together. Keep moving your felting needle around the centre and continue until both pieces are securely attached to each other. TOP TIP: Pick it up and give it a gently shake and, if they stay together, this is firm enough.

Repeat step 9 and attach the head.

MOUTH

This is a little fiddly but worth spending time on. If it doesn’t look right the first time, remove and start again.

TOP TIP: Only push the needle, gently into the very top layer. This will avoid distorting the shape of the head.

10 – Take a very, very thin piece of black wool (longer than you will need) and use your felting needle to gently tack into place, where you want his mouth to start TOP TIP: Leave a little bit of overhang which you can trim when you have finished. Create a curve and tack gently as you go. Once you are happy with the shape, trim any excess.

CARROT NOSE

11 – Take a tiny piece of orange wool and roll into a seed shape; press and roll firmly in the palm of your hand with your forefinger.

12 – Poke one end gently into the face until secure; the nose will straighten as you do this.

13 – Give the end of the nose a little twist with your thumb and fore finger to shape and trim any stray fibres.


EYES

14 – Roll a teeny, tiny amount of black wool into a loose ball and felt onto the face, using your needle to bring in the edges and create a circle.

SCARF

15 – Lay a long narrow length of your preferred colour along your mat or foam pad. TOP TIP: Check the length around the neck of your snowman before starting to felt.

16 – Fold over the ends for neatness and felt until just secure.

17 – Continue to felt the whole scarf on both sides. Keep turning and felting until nice and firm. TOP TIP: Felt with two needles at the same time to speed up the process

18 – Punch tools have 7 needles and save so much time if you are making lots of scarfs or flat felted items. However, it is not suited to foam pads as it has a tendency to bounce.

HAT

There are lots of techniques to making a hat but, at a recent workshop, we tried three and voted unanimously for this one.

19 – Lay a thin (the thickness will double as you felt) piece of wool on your mat and ‘draw’ a rough circle with your felting needle: Approx double the size of the snowman’s head.

20 – Use your fingers and needle to bring the rough edges to the outline of your circle.

21 – Continue until your circle is formed TOP TIP: Pull off any excess to avoid it becoming too thick. Keep felting, turning and neatening the edges until you have a firm circular shape.

22 – Felt on a little bobble of your colour choice. TOP TIP: Only felt around the edges of the bobble so as not to flatten it.

23 – Place the circle on top of the snowman’s head and felt around the edges to secure; you can neaten and shape later.

24 – Create a brim with a thin strand of wool. It needs to be longer than the diameter of the hat so you can overlap it at the back of the hat.

25 – Roll the length of wool firmly between the palm of your hands to quickly matt the fibres together; no need to use your needle.

26 – Place at the front of your hat and felt to secure

27 – Continue to felt until both end meet at the back. If it is too long then overlap and felt until secure.

28 – If your hat needs shaping or tidying then push downwards towards the base of the hat; this will create a nice shape TOP TIP: To keep a nice shape keep the hat loose and don’t flatten onto the head.

29 – Create some tassels (optional); lay a few thin strands of wool on your mat.

30 – Lay the end of your scarf on the tassels TOP TIP: Lay your scarf front facing up so the contrasting colour remains underneath.

31 – Wrap your scarf aroud your snowman’s neck and secure with your felting needle, where the scarf crosses over.

FINISHING TOUCHES

You can leave your snowman as he is or embellish to your hearts content.

I have added some little stick arms and some smart black buttons.

Seasons greetings, one and all! ☃️

The variations are endless and I have created a Christmas scene with this one. Hat and scarf are made from an ethical Merino and silk blend.

Est. 2013
© 2013 Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts

Guide To Felting Needles

It’s the one thing that gets us all really confused. A gauge for this, a spiral star or triangle for that. What’ s the difference between a size 32 and size 38 and what on earth do I do with this reverse needle felting needle I bought???

Well, stop tearing your hair out because I am going to give you the short version and what I like to use, as my own personal preferences. I will also tell you about the felting needle tools I couldn’t live without!

In short, needle sizes work like this: The higher the number, the finer the needle and needle sizes range from as low as 19 up to 42. You will hear them referred to as triangular: 3 sides Star: 4 sides and, new kid on the block, the spiral needle.

I won’t bore you with a size guide and their numerous uses  as you can find them all over the internet and they are very useful if you are having trouble sleeping…

All comments welcome on what your own preferences are.

All the needles and accessories discussed are available on the Website and Etsy

WHAT DO I LIKE TO USE?

38 and 36 star for basic shapes: Good all rounders and less prone to breakage.

38 or a 36 star and both can be used to create and finish your basic 3D needle felted project. I use 38 star needles (I like the four sides for faster felting) all the time so naturally, they are the ones I also use in my kits. However, it is down to personal preference and a 36 is just as good although a little too heavy, for my liking, on the finer finishing and facial details.

Top tip: Reduce needle marks by inserting your needle diagonally when finishing/smoothing the top layer. Rolling the body part in your hands (before attaching) is the fastest and most efficient way of smoothing your piece; your hands are just as important a tool as your needle!

Felting Needles And Accessories

Website

Etsy

IMG_9337
38 star needle for basic shapes

40 triangle is ideal for much finer detail: Bends more easily so don’t be heavy handed with it.

I use this when I am finishing delicate eye and nose detail. Especially if the head is quite soft and I don’t want to distort the lovely shape I have made. It is also great for reducing needle marks on the top layer. You will notice that this needle is thinner, bends more easily than the 36/38 and is much more prone to breakage if bent too much. Top tip: Be careful when using it around a wire armature to avoid breakage

Reverse felting needle: Barbs go in the opposite direction and pull the felted wool back out

It took me a while to get used to this one as I was expecting something more dramatic. However, now I have used it for a while I just love subtle effect it gives to, an otherwise, smooth finish. It all depends what wool you are using but I used mine recently to rough up the top of my moon gazing hares head to add character and dimension. I think it worked really well… The wool is natural Grey Jacob and you will find it in a lot of my kits; one of my favourite wool’s to needle felt with. I also include it in my Flamingo needle felting kit to ‘fluff’ up the body and base of the neck. Also great for use on 3D cats and dogs.

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Reverse felting needle used for top of the head
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See how the wool at the base of the neck has been pulled back out…

New kid on the block is the ‘spiral needle’

Not much to say on this one. I have tried this needle a few times but, to be honest, end up going back to my 38 or 40 triangle for fine surface detail. It is just personal preference but I really didn’t notice the difference? Probably best for top coat finishing as it is less likely to show needle marks due to it’s ‘twisted’ needle but, I find I get the same result going in diagonally with a 40 triangular. However, I have only tried one size so I guess it is just down to personal preference.

My favourite tools

None of the following are necessary but I use them all the time for certain projects and they really help speed up the felting process. Especially useful if you are now a needle felting addict (you know who you are…) and unofficial member of the Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts NFA group, ‘Needle Felters Anonymous’. Hmm, I’m thinking T-shirts and badges…

Wooden needle holder (Tulip holder): Can be bought with 3 or 4 needle holes, uses standard needles (supplied) and needles are removable and interchangeable.

My preference is the 3 needle holder (using 38 or 40 triangular or star) because it can be used for starting off your 3D shapes quickly as well as being used for flat felting e.g. big bunny or hare ears. Top tip: If flat felting using a coarser needle such as a 36 or 34 will speed up the process.

Felting Pen

Does pretty much the same as the wooden needle holder (above) but also works really well on wool batts and the rice bag felting mats. Save money: You will see these in pink (Clover tool) and blue. The blue is half the price of the pink and the difference…one is from Hong Kong and one is from China?

Multi tool/punch tool

Bring on the big guns! 7 needles (replaceable and interchangeable) with retractable guard. I can’t tell you how much I use this for flat felting ears, brooches, legs (before they are rolled and shaped), pictures etc. I use this one on my felting rice mat, it doesn’t work as well on bouncy foam, and it powers through ears, wings, legs, gnome hats, poppy/flower petals, pictures at a rate of knots! Top tip: Ideal for teaching the kids because of the locking, retractable guard and much less prone to breakage. Save money: Same applies as for the felting pen above

Single needle holder

I rarely use mine but it is very useful if your fingers are sensitive to the thin top of the felting needle and you are felting for long periods.

Felting rice bag

I use it for all of the above as well as my foam. I make my own Hessian felting mats and they are available in the shop; just add 2/3lbs of Basmati organic, free range rice…just kidding, any rice will do.

Happy creating and please watch those fingers (not Netflix) as it hurts!

Follow button below and for all comments and questions just hit the button on the top left of the page.

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Est. 2013
© 2013 Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts

Let’s Get Passionate About Needle Felted Pumpkins

 

sandy psI’m a little bit excited because, Take A Break Makes magazine is out this month (UK only) and you will find me inside with my pumpkin masterclass tutorial, exclusive to TABM, and I’m really impressed with the content  #notbiased Seriously though, aside from the fact that my pumpkin masterclass class is in there, it really is full of great crafty content. Arrived within 48 hours of ordering too! Thanks to daughter for lovely photo 🥰 and Lauren, editor at Take A Break, for inviting me to write the feature. If you don’t fancy a trip to the newsagents, it is available  from Great Magazines for just £2.99 including postage.  My mum has ordered three, bless her 🥰

PUMPKIN VIDEO TUTORIAL

PUMPKIN NEEDLE FELTING KIT

Don’t worry if you can’t get your hands on one because you will find the full video tutorial on the Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts YouTube Channel. In fact, I was feeling so generous that I recorded two tutorials; one using wool batting and the other using wool tops/roving. That way, you can use whatever your preference or what you have handy in your wool stash. You’re welcome 🙂

If you don’t have your own wool and needle stash you can pick up a pumpkin needle felting kit on the website. TAKE ME TO PUMPKIN NEEDLE FELTING KIT

From wool to pumpkin in 30 minutes!

I kid you not, pumpkins are one of the easiest things to needle felt so, even if you are the most nervous of beginners, I have every confidence of pumpkin success! For those of you lucky enough to have beautiful weather this Autumn, you can really make an outside impact, whether that be on tables or porches, with a ‘pile’ of pumpkins. Trust me when I say that you will soon be plonking pumpkins on every surface! They really are that addictive!

PUMPKINS OUTSIDE TABLE

Gnomes and pumpkins are a match made in heaven and, if you have been following my Nordic Gnome tutorial you will already know that gnomes are as easy as pumpkins to make.  I CAN’T WAIT, TAKE ME TO GNOME TUTORIAL

pumpkin gnomes

I also stepped a little out of my rustic comfort zone this year and went for all out, pumpkin glamour. More stylish than Audrey Hepburn, a big slap of glamour for your Autumn/Fall table and perfect for even the most princessy of princesses 👑 Nearly all of my beads are charity shop finds made from unwanted necklaces and bracelets and they usually cost between 50 pence and £1.50. Perfect up-cycling for embellishing your perfect pumpkins.

Ain’t no party like a pumpkin party!
YOU WILL NEED:
30g core wool for a medium sized pumpkin, D15cm
10/15g wool batting sheet (any colour)
Contrasting wool top colour: For pumpkin lines
Embellishments: Tussah silk fibres, old jewelry, lace, ribbon etc

Serious rustic chic, giant pumpkin with hessian ribbon embellishments.

Hopefully I have given you enough ideas to inspire your Autumn/Fall creativity, and Pinterest is awash with needle felting ideas! Most important, it doesn’t matter what you make as long as you are creating something that makes you happy whilst doing it.

Happy Fall Felting; I know I’m in the UK but I needed some alliteration to end with.

Sandy x

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Est. 2013
© 2013 Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts

8 Easy Steps To Needle Felted Animal Eyes

Needle felting eyes are really simple, once you know how…

Feeling ready to tackle needle felting your own animal eyes? Well, I have created a super easy tutorial for you. It consists of 8 simple steps to get you started and is the method I still use myself. Try a few practice runs first if you are a little nervous but, as with all my instructions and tutorials, everything is broken down into simple steps to make it really easy to follow. Adding eyelashes is the easiest feature to add to your animal and you will find the four step, mini tutorial at the bottom of the page.
If you want to learn how to crate a basic head shape, then pop over to my YouTube channel and follow the ‘needle felting for beginners’ series of short videos, showing you how to make each body part: head, legs, body and ears. Exactly as I teach my workshops. They work as standalone tutorials but have also been designed to work perfectly with the Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts range of needle felting kits.
Happy felting! 

TAKE ME TO YOUTUBE TUTORIALS

SHOP NEEDLE FELTING KITS

Let’s do this!

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Copy of EASY EYES 3

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Say hello to Hamilton!

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This simple technique can be applied to most needle felted animals; the Winter Hare is life size.

EYELASHES

Eyelashes are the quickest – we are talking a couple of minutes – and easiest feature you can add to your projects. They also create a striking finishing touch to your animals features.

how to eyelashes

Est. 2013
© 2013 Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts

Marvelous Needle Felted Mushrooms: Full tutorial plus free printable

A step-by-step, hold-your-hand guide to creativity, and marvelous mushrooms!

Needle felting tutorials don’t come much easier than this. Fabulous for woodland themes, nervous beginners or just because you love crafts. 

VIEW NEEDLE  FELTING KITS AND PATTERNS

*There are lots of steps to make it as easy as possible for you, but many are just a few seconds in the making and some are finished photographs.

FREE PATTERN

TERMINOLOGY – You will come across the following terms throughout your instructions

Felting/to felt: Means to stab/poke your wool with the barbed felting needles provided to produce a fibre that will not pull apart.

Wool top (sometime referred to as roving): Long lengths of wool with all the fibers going in the same direction, making the wool smooth.

Carded slivers: Long lengths of wool with fibers laid in different directions. This creates shorter, more springy fibers than wool tops. Perfect for creating shapes around sticks and wire armatures.

Carded batts: Prepared the same way as carded slivers but it comes in springy sheets instead of long lengths

Let’s get started…

You will need:

  • Carded wool batts or carded slivers
  • Wool tops/roving
  • 38 felting needle, standard
  • 40 felting needle (optional, for fine detail)
  • Felting mat
  • BBQ stick or similar

 

MUSHROOM CAPS – Carded wool batts or wool tops, and a BBQ stick or similar.

Take your long length of white carded wool or wool top, hold approx. 6” down the length and separate with your free hand. Your second and third mushrooms will use approx. 8″ and 10″ lengths of wool. Tip: Don’t try and get the shape perfect or worry about any lumps and bumps as your coloured carded wool batting (flat springy sheets) will cover it completely.

1 Lay the smallest length on your felting mat and lay the wooden stick (pointed end) across the end of the wool.

2 Hold the wool firmly in place with one hand and start to wrap the wool (quite tightly) around the stick with the other. Wind it approx. 1 to 1 ½ inches down the stick from the point, keeping your thumb and forefinger at the base to stop it from slipping and lengthening; the shape will end up looking a little like fairground candyfloss.

3 Using your felting needle (38 standard) at a diagonal angle (to avoid hitting the stick with it) poke your needle into the wool This will tangle the so it just holds. Keep turning the stick and continue to poke into the wool.

Top Tip: Avoid breaking the needle by felting quite gently down the side of the the stick until it is removed.

4 Felt in an upward motion into the base of the mushroom (where your thumb and forefingers were) to secure and firm.

5 Wrap a little more wool around the base of the mushroom to create the widest part felting gently with your needle as you go and taper the wool (so it becomes narrower) to the top of the mushroom where the point ends. When you reach the top gently pull the excess wool away from the tip of the mushroom and felt the loose wool to secure it.

6 Pull the mushroom away from the stick. Continue to turn and felt to create a better shape and firm it a little more. It should still be very springy to the touch.

 

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7 You are now going to create a small, circular indent in the base of your mushroom which is where your mushroom stalk will be attached a little later. Do this by poking your felting needle (watch your fingers) up into the centre of the base, turning and felting at the same time. You will start to feel this area firming up but it still needs to remain a little springy.

8 Repeat the whole process again for your next two mushrooms (using 8” and 10” lengths) slightly increasing the size of each one.

9 Your three mushrooms are now ready to be covered in their coloured wool batting but first we are going to make the stalks.

 

mushroom kit 2

 

MAKING THE STALKS – Three pieces of carded slivers or wool top approximately 6/8” in length)

Top Tip: If you want your mushrooms to stand on their own then make the base slightly wider. Make sure you flatten the base using your felting needle.

The process is exactly the same as for the mushroom caps except, you are creating a short cylindrical shape (1 ½” to 2” long) with one end (the base) wider.

10 Follow the same procedure as you did for the mushroom caps but wrap more tightly and evenly with a slight increase the base of the stalk.

11 Once wrapped and felted remove from the stick and continue to felt the narrow end but still keep the wool quite loose; this will help when attaching it to the base of the mushroom cap.

12 The stalk needs to be firmer than the cap because it is going to support the mushroom when stuck to your wooden base. Top Tip: Using the needle at a diagonal angle makes this much easier, avoids needle marks and spoiling the shape.

13 Pop it under your chosen mushroom cap to make sure it is going to sit nicely on top of the stalk.

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ADDING COLOUR – Use your choice of coloured batting and (only if you have one) a finer needle; I like a size 40 gauge for this.

You are going to wrap the coloured batting around the mushroom cap gathering the excess underneath the base of the mushroom; where you created that indent for the stalk a little earlier.

14 Take a piece of coloured batting and lay it on your  felting mat.

15 Sit your chosen mushroom cap (narrow end down) in the centre of the  batting and wrap the batting around it, pulling it close to the mushroom and gathering the loose ends around the base. Top Tip: Don’t be too precious as this area won’t be visible when assembled.

16 Use your size 40 needle (do not bend as it will break) to felt the batting gently onto the mushroom and gently pull away any excess.

Top Tip: Felt very gently at a diagonal angle so as not to create lots of needle marks. It only needs to be very lightly attached. Always felt in a straight line!

17 If there is any white showing through you can cover this with a very thin layer excess batting and felt only until it holds, to avoid needle marks.

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ATTACHING THE STALK (use 38 standard needle)

18 Tidy up the base of your mushroom by felting any loose coloured batting into the stalk indent you created earlier.

19 Pop the stalk into the indented area and hold the cap and stalk in one hand to steady. With your free hand felt the thin (loose end) of the stalk into the cap until it starts to hold. Do this by pushing your felting needle straight up through the stalk and into the cap base. This will tangle the wool fibres from the cap and stalk together. Once the stalk is holding without your support you can now continue to felt it to the base of the mushroom cap.

Tip: Make sure it is felted very firmly to the mushroom so it doesn’t flop around in an upright position

20 Your finished mushroom. Repeat the process for your remaining mushrooms.

 

mushroom kit 5

 

ADDING DETAIL WITH YOUR 40 FINE NEEDLE

If you want to add some detail you can take tiny pieces of the white carded slivers (or wool top) you used to make your mushrooms and add some lovely mushroom spots. Sit the piece of white wool on top of your mushroom and felt on by pulling the strands towards the centre of the spot (gently with your needle) and only just penetrating the surface, whilst keeping the needle straight. This technique will just hold the spots and avoids distorting the shape you have created. Tip: If you are not happy with your first few attempts, remove and re-apply.

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Et Voila! Marvellous mushrooms!

They look fabulous added to woodland scenes like this forest floor garden.

SHOP FOREST FLOOR GARDEN NEEDLE FELTING KIT

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Est. 2013
© 2013 Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts

How to create needle felted animal ears: hare and fox ears video tutorial

Part of the basic animal shapes video tutorial series for beginners from Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts.

Super fast and super easy way to create ears for your needle felted animals. Whether your ears are epic or diminutive, the method is still the same.

Felt along with me as I show you all the needle felting tips and tricks I have learned over the years.

For the complete video series please visit my YouTube Channel and give me a big thumbs up!

Choose from 27 inspiring needle felting kits, the wool shop and handmade collection over at the Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts website

If you are a complete beginner then visit the ‘Dos and Don’ts’ page and learn to avoid all the common needle felting mistakes before you even start.

Unlock your creativity and be inspired!

Est. 2013
© 2013 Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts

Find Me In Handmade Seller’s April Issue!

I don’t normally post non needle felting related blogs but couldn’t resist as I am so thrilled to be April’s featured business in the fabulous online Handmade Seller Magazine. A huge thank you to Dani, founder and digital artist, at Handmade Seller Magazine for inviting me to be this months featured seller. Wow, writing a feature is hard and takes so much more time than you realise but, I really enjoyed going back over the last 6 years and reviewing my business journey. And, even if I do say so myself, it’s a really good read 📰

Handmade Seller Magazine Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts
I have been a ma-hoosive fan (and subscriber) of this great online publication for about four years now and it’s a fantastic resource for handmade sellers. It covers everything from E commerce and Etsy to Pinterest, blogging, SEO (search engine optimisation), photography tips, resources…the list really does go on and on.

April 2019 Handmade Seller Magazine Featured Seller Sandy

Even better, featured stories are told by the people who know best, business owners, sharing their own stories of successes, and failures.

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Handmade Seller Magazine

It was a real honour to be asked to contribute. I hope you enjoy it and it helps you on your own handmade business journey or just gives you the courage to start.

Sandy xhandmade seller6

Est. 2013
© 2013 Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts

needle felted mushroom, snail and leaves

New Needle Felting Kit Launch: Forest Floor Garden

‘Crafternoons’ just got better…

I am so excited about the launch of my latest needle feting kit: Forest Floor Garden. The first in my new range of ‘garden’ needle felting kits.

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Shop kits Etsy

Shop Kits Website

It has so much going on and will keep one or two people occupied for a fabulously creative afternoon.

Incorporating three separate elements; mushrooms, snails and leaves, which mount on a lovely piece of split Hazel (from coppiced Welsh woodland*). Each element comes together to create a beautiful forest floor garden theme.

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It is my most detailed kit to date with no fewer than 74 full colour photographs! Suitable for confident beginners and beyond. Just add enthusiasm!

You will learn all the basics of needle felting but with the added bonus of new types of wool and techniques to create fabulous shapes.

*I have carefully sourced the wood slices, which are split Hazel, from coppiced ancient woodland in Wales. It is an area that the owner has carefully nurtured back to life and is now full of all manner of flora and fauna. Wood slices are really popular for crafts but most come from unsustainable forests. If there comes a time when I can’t find a sustainable source then I will simply stop putting them in the kits.

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Also available as one of my popular workshops: Book Workshop

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Brand new to needle felting? Then pop over to the easy tutorials and dos and don’ts page.

Video Tutorials

Dos And Don’ts

FELT CLUB PHOTO

Est. 2013
© 2013 Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts