Needle Felted Pumpkins In 30 Minutes – Easy Video Tutorial

There is no denying that Autumn is my absolute favourite time of year. I have just enough time to pause and take a deep breath before the busy season is upon me. In fact, my Autumn mode usually starts at the beginning of August, when you can just about smell the change of season. So, what better way to kick off the season than with a perfect pumpkin project. It is so easy and you can go from wool to pumpkin in just 30 relaxing minutes.

Scroll down for the video tutorial.

YOU WILL NEED:
15g core wool for a medium sized pumpkin: approx 15cm.
10/15g wool batting sheet or wool top in any colour you like.
Contrasting wool colour: For pumpkin lines.
OPTIONAL: Embellishments: Wool locks, silk fibres, discarded jewellery, lace, ribbon etc

PUMPKIN NEEDLE FELTING KITS are available HERE on the Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts website.

I promise that 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 your 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!

If you are lucky enough to have fabulous autumnal weather you can create a beautiful garden display.

Why not grab some friends or family members and have yourself a pumpkin party. Even if you are socially distancing you can have an amazing creative gathering through Skype, Zoom or other social media outlets that I know absolutely nothing about???

Don’t hold back with the colour or embellishments. Just fly in the face of tradition and have some creative fun!

Pumpkins are not just for Fall and Autumn so why not give them a Winter wonderland feel and enjoy them for even longer. I am in love with these Winter pastels and mine will be staying up right through Christmas.

Gnomes and pumpkins are a match made in heaven and my go to quick and easy projects if I need to just chill and relax. 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

Hopefully I have given you enough ideas to inspire your Autumn/Fall creativity so, just grab a felting needle and whatever is in your wool stash! Most important, it doesn’t matter what you make as long as you are creating something that makes you happy whilst doing it.

Click HERE to view pumpkin kits.

VIDEO TUTORIAL

Are you ready for more needle felting projects?

TAKE ME TO THE GNOME TUTORIAL

or

Visit website for: GNOME NEEDLE FELTING KIT

More fun than you can……. well, shake a gnome at. Happy creating!

Needle Felted Sheep Tutorial – Adding long fur to needle felted animals

Adding a long coat to your needle felted sheep adds serious impact as well as adding another element of realism. I have had a lot of requests asking how it’s done and the technique is so easy that even the most nervous beginner will be able to tackle this with ease. Once learned, this technique can be used for so many other animals and projects.

YOU WILL NEED:

Any medium to coarse wool top.

Standard felting needle – 36 or 38 gauge are good all rounders.

Foam pad or felting mat to support your project.

Sharp scissors.

TIME TO MAKE

Adding wool top and trimming: 20 minutes

Faff time: how long is a piece of string?

For full, flowing effect use a wool top for long coats, also known as roving although this isn’t strictly accurate. Carded wool can be used but you just don’t get the same results as the fibres are much shorter and run in different directions. As I am making my favourite, the Herdwick sheep, I have used Herdwick wool top but any medium to coarse wool top will work just as well. Herdwick wool top is very coarse, and sheds a lot so is not entirely suitable for all aspects of needle felting. However, for this application it is perfect and the earthy texture is just what I am looking for.

Herdwick Sheep needle felting kits are available on the website HERE

Lets get creating! Visit the homepage HERE for full list of tutorials

1) Your ‘naked’ sheep is prepped and ready for it’s top coat. To make this sheep follow the basic shapes video tutorials HERE.

2) If your wool top is quite thick then split it down the middle before starting

1 & 2

3) Cut (or pull) a strip of wool approximately 10cm long, but longer if your sheep is larger than mine which is 9cm from feet to top of its back. Please note: this is one of the few times it is OK to cut wool as the cut eds will not be attached to anything. TOP TIP: Cutting wool for needle felting is generally a no no as it damages the fibres, and prevents them from felting. If you do need to cut a piece away from your needle felting project (head maybe too big or legs not firm enough) make sure you wrap it in fresh, uncut wool before re-attaching.

4) Lay your strip of wool on the bottom half of the body of your sheep.

3 & 4

5 & 6 ) Felt across the centre of the strip of wool to keep it in place. Make sure it is firmly attached as you don’t want it to pull away when handled.

5 & 6

7 & 8) Fold the top over to double the thickness

7 & 8

9) Felt along the top to keep it in place.

Fun Herdwick fact: Herdy’s will climb up to 3000ft to graze on the Lakeland high fells, and are fondly known as the ‘gardners’ of the Lake District.

10) Repeat this process around the sheep until you have created a ‘skirt’. Trim around the bottom of the skirt so that the legs are visible and the wool is an even length all the way round.

9 & 10

11 & 12) Repeat steps 1 to 10 and create a second skirt approximately 1 to 2 cm above the first.

11 & 12

13) Once the second skirt is complete lay a strip of wool across the sheeps back.

14) Felt down the centre of the wool strip to secure it. Repeat once or twice more until the back is covered.

13 & 14

15 & 16) Skip this part if your sheep doesn’t have a neck. Add much thinner strips of wool around the neck but leave the top part of the neck visible.

15 & 16

17 & 18) Your sheep is looking a bit wild so smooth it down with your hands.

19) Now you have flattened the wool it is looking a bit chunky so time for a trim. You can also snip into it, hairdresser style, to thin it out and give it some layers. TOP TIP: Take your time as you can’t stick it back on once you have cut it and you don’t want to end up with bald spots.

20) Give it a gentle shake to get rid of any loose wool. TOP TIP: You may want to do this outside or in a bag to avoid lots of fibres flying everywhere.

19 & 20

21) I quite like the wild look but, if you want to go for the more traditional then just smooth the coat down and fluff gently with the tips of your fingers. Now, depending on the sheep you have created you may just want to leave it at that. However, the Herdwick sheep sport a pretty nifty ‘buzz’ cut so continue to the next section to see how it’s done.

21

22) Lay a thin strip of wool across the top of the head

23) Secure by felting across the centre of the wool strip, making sure the eyes are still visible.

22 & 23

24) You now have something of a troll situation going on.

25) Trim quite close to the head, being careful not to snip into the ears.

24 & 25

26) There you have it. Your sheep in all its long coated glory, ready for even the harshest of Cumbrian winters.

For more tutorials clik HERE

For needle felting kits, accessories, wool and handmade sheep click HERE

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How to make your own curls for needle felted sheep

So you have spent hours making your fabulous needle felted sheep, only to realise you don’t have any curls to finish it. Grrrr! Not to worry, just grab a ball of wool, yarn or similar and make your own. It’s really easy and creates a whole new look for your needle felted animals; Scroll down for video tutorial.

It is also very calming and saves you sitting by the post box like this, impatiently waiting for your curly wool to arrive.

VIDEO TUTORIAL

Here is a quick video (part 2) showing you how easy it is. I have used a coarse rug yarn but any yarn with an element of wool in it will do.

Use any yarn you have in your craft box; It is easier to apply if it has some wool content. I have used a coarse rug yarn and a really soft Merino for these two gorgeous sheep.

Create beautiful texture with standard yarn

You will also find out how to add this lush, art yarn (video part 1) to your projects. I used a 40 triangle needle as it is a little easier but a standard (usually a 36 or 38 gauge) will do just fine.

Video part 1 – Art yarn application

Sheep needle felting kits using this fabulous art yarn are available on the Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts website

Happy creating. Sandy x

Punch Needle Embroidery For Beginners

I have just added another fabulous wool craft to the LFC range. Punch needle embroidery is an amazing craft that has been given a thoroughly modern makeover. The designs are endless, a whole heap of fun and easy to make.

Create endless punch needle designs

Punch needle embroidery is much faster than traditional embroidery and, unlike embroidery, there are no fiddly complicated stitches or tiny needles. Instead you will use a punch needle to create a series of loops and stitches, in a specific colour and pattern. It is almost impossible to get it wrong as mistakes can be quickly and easily fixed by just pulling the yarn out and starting again. You can use yarn, wool floss, cotton, even ribbon to create beautiful tapestry art in a never-ending range of designs.

To get you started with this inspiring craft I have put together a few short videos (scroll down to view) explaining the basics. I actually discovered punch needle a year or so ago and have spent the last six months creating a range of punch needle kits designed to inspire you to try it. They are 100% vegetarian and sustainable using wool only from slaughter free sheep on Ellie’s farm in North Yorkshire. She has been breeding the rare breed British Border Leicester for more than two decades now and every sheep lives out its life on the farm. She has even set up an area for the OAP’s. Visitors are welcome via prior arrangement. Learn more about the Doulton Flock over at Ellie’s website: TAKE ME TO THE SHEEP are available on the Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts Website and fabulous new designs will be added over the next few months.

100% vegetarian and sustainable Punch Needle Kits.

VIDEO TUTORIALS

How To Thread A Punch Needle

This is for an adjustable needle but the process is the same or similar for most punch needles.

Preparing Your Fabric And Hoop

You can use a variety of fabrics for punch needle projects. I love 12 count Monks cloth at the moment but have lots of other fabrics I am keen to try my designs on.

Get Started With Simple Stitches

You only need to learn a few very simple stitches to create a mass of designs. Here are a few to get you started.

Please visit Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts to see the full range of inspiring craft kits and accessories.

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

CLICK FOR NEEDLE FELTING KITS

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!

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. Sheep needle felting kits are available on the 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

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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

op3

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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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