How To Needle Felt With Wire (easy step by step guide!)

Welcome to The Felt Hub, here to feed your passion for needle felting! This easy felting tutorial will show how to needle felt with wire, and create realistic needle felted horns, using only wool and a pipe cleaner. It’s easy, fun, and a great way of getting more detail and dimension into your needle felting projects.

A GREAT TUTORIAL FOR BEGINNERS, TO CONFIDENT NEEDLE FELTERS

Need help to start needle felting, or improve your existing needle felting skills? My easy techniques, tips, and hacks will have you felting in no time, showing you how to needle felt with wire and create these realistic animal horns. The design on these animal horns would often need to be done with clay, but I’ve found a way that’s much easier and no waiting for clay to dry. It is also lighter than clay, so avoids any stability issues, plus you can pose, and move them to any shape and angle you want. All you need is a little felting wool and a pipe cleaner and you can make your own realistic horns in no time at all.

Scroll down for the tutorials or read on if you are brand new to needle felting.

JUST LEARNING TO NEEDLE FELT?

I have been teaching needle felting, with absolute passion, since 2014 and I’m here to help! From the novice who has never needle felt before, all the way up through an experienced crafter – I have tutorials for every skill level. You can start by checking out my HOW TO START NEEDLE FELTING guide or if you’re looking for some simple basic shapes to get you started check out THE BASIC SHAPES section on this blog
I get really excited about teaching people how easy and fun it is to create beautiful items with wool and a felting needle and, my hope is that you will feel empowered after learning these new skills to try lots more craft projects.

Just saying… Once you get started you may lose hours, even days. However, it is one of the best rabbit holes you can fall down!

Creating realistic horns for your needle felted sheep is really quick and easy, and doesn’t require the use of clay or wax. Plus, I always prefer to work with wool whenever I can and found that using wool, rather than clay, allowed me to be more creative with the details.

HEBRIDEAN SHEEP

I have put together a written tutorial, and a video tutorial, for this technique which I have used to make the impressive horns for my needle felted Hebridean Sheep. These sheep are stunning, and many have two sets of horns. They have luscious black coats which turn to shades of black and golden brown in the warmer months. However, you can adapt this needle felting technique for whatever needle felted animal you are making.

KITS AND PATTERNS

The Hebridean needle felting kit and pattern download are available on the website.

SAFETY AND TECHNIQUE

You need to take extra precautions to watch your fingers because, as you hold and turn your project, there is a greater chance of poking through the wool right into your finger; use finger guards if this helps. Always use your felting mat to work on.

FELTING NEEDLES WILL BREAK IF NOT USED CORRECTLY

Remember to always poke your needle in a straight line, no matter the angle, so as not to break your needle.

MAKE TIME – 15 MINUTES

You will need:

ARE YOU READY TO GET STARTED?

WRITTEN TUTORIAL

Both horns will be made as one piece on one pipe cleaner; this technique means that you won’t need to make two separate horns that would need to poked, then be glued into the head. It’s also much simpler and quicker.

1 Mark a 2cm gap in the centre of your pipe cleaner and do not attach any wool to this area. It will make attaching the ears to the head much easier.

2 Wrap a little around the centre of the pipe cleaner and felt with your needle two or three times, until it holds.

3-4 Keeping your fingers close to the pipe cleaner (so the wool doesn’t pull away), start to wrap the wool tightly around the pipe cleaner. TOP TIP: Keep the wool flat between your thumb and finger so the wool doesn’t twist and become lumpy and uneven

5-6 Continue wrapping until you get close to the end of the pipe cleaner. IMPORTANT! Keep the overhang at the end of the pipe cleaner to a minimum as this will be the tip of the horn, and will be the narrowest part.

7 Wrap the wool back down to where you started, felting as you go, and thicken at the base.

8 Continue to shape, aiming for approximately 1cm diameter at the base to just a couple of mms at the tip. Make sure it is felted firmly and smooth by using your needle at a diagonal angle.

9-11 Firm the end by rolling in the palm of your hand with the tip of your finger. Repeat for the other horn.

12 Time to add some surface detail.

13 Take a very thin strip of your light carded wool and attach to the base of the horn. TOP TIP: Make sure it is thin enough for the darker brown to show through.

14-16 Turn and wrap along the horn leaving small gaps as you go. Felt very gently too secure.

18 Your horns are now complete and ready to attach to your project.

The gap you left in the middle of the pipe cleaner allows you to attach to the head without any lumps and bumps. The overall effect looks as if the horns are actually part of the head, instead of just plonked on top.

VIDEO TUTORIAL

If you are more of a visual learner you can felt alongside me in The Felt Hub on YouTube, which is packed with needle felting video tutorials for every skill level!

CONCLUSION

That’s it! You now know how to create a needle felted animal horns with wire. This is a great technique to use if you want to add some extra realism and detail to your animals, and no need for any clay, wax, or tricky techniques. Just beautiful natural wool, a felting needle, and enthusiasm! I can’t wait to see what you create! In the meantime, be sure to check out more of my TUTORIALS for other simple and exciting ways to add details to your needle felted animals. Have you tried adding wire before? Let me know in the comments below?

HOW TO NEEDLE FELT A CHICKEN

NEW NEEDLE FELTING KIT, WOOL BUNDLE, PATTERN DOWNLOAD AND VIDEO TUTORIAL!

Improve your needle felting techniques and add a needle felted chicken to your creative menu. Calorie and guilt free but hours of fun! You will also learn how to needle felt a perfectly smooth finish; the Holy Grail of needle felting

The key to this project is getting a good shape and perfectly smooth finish and I am going to show you exactly how to achieve it, with easy step by step instructions and more photographs than you can shake a tail feather at. Suitable for confident beginners and more experienced needle felters.

SHOP NEEDLE FELTING KIT

SHOP WOOL BUNDLE – NO TOOLS

SHOP PATTERN DOWNLOAD

Scroll to bottom of page for video tutorials.

Daphne is wonderfully adorable and so much fun to make. Detailed instructions (more than 4,500 words), 110 step by step full colour photographs, plus lots of different needle felting techniques; including perfecting your shapes and getting a super smooth finish. Available as a complete needle felting kit, or wool bundle if you already have the tools.

Makes one large chicken (approximately 13cmH x 18L) or two smaller ones. Also includes downloadable pattern which is for personal use only.

To purchase pattern separately CLICK HERE

MAKE TIME: 4-5 hours. See description below for more details.

KIT CONTENTS – YOUR PATTERN WILL ARRIVE DIGITALLY VIA EMAIL BUT PLEASE SELECT THE OPTION IF YOU WOULD ALSO LIKE A HARD COPY IN YOUR KIT
  • Downloadable pattern plus option for printed pattern
  • White core wool approx. 20-25g for body, head, and neck.
  • 10g white carded batting for covering the body and making the wings
  • Pinch light brown wool for eyes and eyebrows
  • Pinch of orange for the beak
  • 2g of contrasting colour for the crown and waddle
  • 5 thin pieces of wool tops (bright colours) for the tail
  • 2 x Standard felting needle – size 38 is a good all-rounder
  • 1 x Fine felting needle – size 40
  • Wooden BBQ skewer (or similar) for shaping the head – optional
  • Felting mat

All you will need are a pair of sharp scissors.

WOOL BUNDLE CONTENTS

  • Downloadable and printable instructions
  • White core wool approx. 20-25g for body, head, and neck.
  • 10g white carded batting for covering the body and making the wings
  • Pinch light brown wool for eyes and eyebrows
  • Pinch of orange for the beak
  • 2g of contrasting colour for the crown and waddle
  • 5 thin pieces of wool tops (bright colours) for the tail

YOU WILL NEED

  • Standard felting needle – size 38 is a good all-rounder
  • Fine felting needle – size 40
  • Wooden BBQ skewer (or similar) for shaping the head – optional
  • Felting mat
  • Sharp scissors

WATCH THE VIDEO TUTORIALS

PART 1 – BODY
PART 2 – WINGS
PART 3 – FACE, CROWN, WATTLE AND TAIL FEATHERS

HOW TO NEEDLE FELT A CUTE GNOME – EASY TUTORIAL!

GNOMES ARE NOT JUST FOR CHRISTMAS

Join me for this easy needle felted gnome craft project. Felt alongside me and create this beautiful gnome in a hoop, which is so much fun to make and beyond cute. It is such a simple needle felting project, made easy by my step by step needle felting tips and techniques. I will also show you how to make the easiest needle felted hearts, without a cookie cutter! You can adapt it to your own style, using whatever felting wool you have to hand, keeping it simple or embellish the heck out of it. Materials list and video tutorial is below and it only takes around 90 minutes from start to finish, and imagine this as a beautiful homemade Valentine’s gift… 💜

MAKE TIME: 90 minutes

MATERIALS LIST

CREATE YOUR OWN DESIGNS

This gorgeous project could just as easily be made on a piece of felt (just as in the tutorial) and popped in a lovely frame. It would look so lovely as a cushion design, or sew the finished project onto a jacket or bag. The options are endless so don’t be afraid to experiment, and swap the colours to suit.

NEEDLE FELTED GNOME VIDEO TUTORIAL

HOW TO USE WIRE FOR NEEDLE FELTING?

DO I EVEN NEED TO USE WIRE FOR NEEDLE FELTING?

I am often asked how to use wire for needle felting, and is it even needed? The short answer is no. In fact I rarely use a full wire armature because I like a firm felt. However, using wire in specific areas can really help you create the shape you need, and create more detail and dimension.

WHEN SHOULD I USE WIRE FOR NEEDLE FELTING?

Use it in the neck of a sheep so you can pose the head, or the horns and tail of an animal to create great shapes. If you want super thin legs or arms then wire is a great solution. Alternatively, make limbs around a BBQ skewer (the ‘farmers friend’ of needle felting), to create smooth legs and perfect symmetry in super fast time. Using the BBQ skewer as a tool negates the need for using wire altogether for many projects.

USING A BBQ SKEWER WILL CHANGE THE WAY YOU NEEDLE FELT!

Parsley, the needle felted hare seen below has no wire anywhere. This gorgeous needle felting project was made, almost entirely, using a wooden BBQ skewer. I started using this method back in 2017 and it has made teaching needle felting, and creating projects, so much easier!

CLICK HERE FOR

PARSLEY HARE NEEDLE FELTING KIT or PATTERN DOWNLOAD AND PRINTABLE

Watch the video tutorial, at the bottom of the post, from our Friday night felt along on the FACEBOOK GROUP, or follow the mini tutorial below, and you will be amazed at how professional the finished result is, even if you have never needle felted before!

Happy Felting!

HOW TO NEEDLE FELT FIRM LEGS WITHOUT WIRE – QUICK AND EASY TUTORIAL

Scroll to bottom of the post for the video tutorial.

Make Time: Super fast! Approximately 20 minutes for both legs plus faffing time…

You will need:

The needle felting kit and pattern are available via the links below and you can join the new FACEBOOK GROUP HERE

LOOK, NO WIRE? Making Perfect Legs Around A Wooden BBQ Skewer

As I mentioned, if string is a ‘farmers friend’ then a wooden BBQ skewer is most definitely a ‘felters friend’. Never be without one as it will change the way you needle felt, drastically reducing the chore of hours spent smoothing and shaping.

This is super easy, but technique is important and you may have a couple of false starts as the legs need to be kept tight and narrow, but that’s ok. Just unravel and start again. When finished they will be firm and smooth and the last couple of centimetres will be built up for the feet/paws. TOP TIP: Remember to keep the top of the legs very loose as they will be attached to the body and should look like they are part of the finished project, not just stuck on.

Let’s get going!

1 Select a length of carded wool or wool top/roving and split down the middle. This means that both legs will use equal amounts of wool and sizes will be more or less the same.

2 Start to wrap the wool tightly around the skewer, starting close to the top of the stick. TOP TIP: Keep the wool flat between your thumb and finger so the wool doesn’t twist and become lumpy and uneven.

3 Keeping the wool tight, continue for a little way then stop and felt around the entire area to secure. TOP TIP: Work at a diagonal angle around the sides of the stick keeping hold of the wool so it doesn’t become loose. If it does, unwrap and start again. This will also avoid bending or breaking the needle.

4 Continue with the process until the leg is approximately two thirds of its final length (you will see why when you remove it from the skewer) and add more wool to the foot to widen it. Continue to felt and shape the foot until it is firm. TOP TIP: A foot/paw that is significantly bigger than the rest of the leg will have more impact when your project is finished.

5 Remove from the stick and felt a little more but avoid the top of the leg as this needs to be kept loose for attaching to the body. TO TIP: Don’t worry if the shape is not perfect as you are going to fix that in a moment.

6 You are now going to roll the leg firmly in your hands to firm and smooth it, which will also lengthen it. When you do this keep the top of the leg sticking out, so the wool remains loose. In just a few seconds of firm rolling you will see how the leg has really firmed up and become even smoother without the need for any wires. TOP TIP: Don’t over roll it as it will become longer than needed.

Here’s what some of the fabulous Facebook group made during the live workshop! It’s a great technique that can be adapted to almost any project. Join the group HERE and come along to the free live events.

I was blown away by the quality, personality and individual styles of the projects from the FACEBOOK GROUP members and the amazing feedback has been so good!

VIDEO TUTORIAL – Felt along with me!

Watch the full tutorial and felt alongside me, workshop style.

How To Needle Felt A Quirky Christmas Gnome?

Well what a blast this live workshop was, recorded in all it’s festive glory for you to enjoy. From his pointy ears to his massive snozzle, every part of this project is an absolute seasonal delight.

Believe it or not this gorgeous pointy eared gnome is a perfect project for everyone, even complete beginners. Learn how to needle felt a quirky gnome, using all my needle felting tips and quick wins. You will be able to create a project that looks like it was made by an expert needle felter, and in less than 90 minutes! How amazing is that?

Scroll down for video tutorial, or take your time and enjoy my creative suggestions.

I have added some sparkly fairy lights to my dome.

WHY NOT ADAPT THIS NEEDLE FELTING PROJECT TO SUIT YOUR FESTIVE THEME?

It is small enough to pop in a dome, hang from your tree, or create a festive gnome garland. I have just received a photo on my Facebook page where they have even been made as little place settings for the dinner table; how Christmas cool is that? However you display yours, you will have so much fun creating them so, time to grab your wool and needles and get making.

With his festive hat askew, funny ears and big nose, it is obvious he is just waiting for mischief around every corner , even the Grinch couldn’t resist him!

JUST STARTED NEEDLE FELTING?

Order your wool bundle or needle felting kit HERE

MAKE TIME: 70 minutes

  • Coarse wool top for the body
  • Colour carded wool for the hat
  • Grey and white wool top for the beard
  • Light carded wool for ears and nose
  • BBQ skewer to make the nose around
  • 1 x size 38 felting needle
  • Felting base

VIDEO TUTORIAL

I have split it into sections so you can skip the intro and cut straight to the felting, but please take time to appreciate my fabulously festive background 😉 🎄

Happy Festive Felting!

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART?

I can’t decide whether it is the jauntily angled crooked hat, his pointy ears, or his giant nose. Let me know in the comments and share your photos with me.

P.S. Want more creativity? Subscribe below for creative updates!

How To Needle Felt With Confidence

NEEDLE FELTING ISN’T HARD, BUT STARTING CAN BE

TOP TOP TIP – ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE A BEGINNER! It’s often hard to find your confidence when you start needle felting, even harder if you haven’t done any crafting before, so tackling those fears is the first hurdle. The second hurdle is finding a good tutorial and materials guide that will give you the best chance of success. I can help with both of those things but you have the most important job, and that’s allowing yourself to be a beginner. And, as sure as eggs is eggs, if you don’t allow yourself a period of ‘learning’ grace you are setting yourself to fail. In fact, you have to get it wrong in order to succeed and believe me, when it comes to needle felting success comes very quickly.

FEAR OF FAILURE – TIME TO CHANGE THE NARRATIVE

We are, so often, our own worst critics, and we use it as self preservation technique so we don’t have to start something i.e. a new craft. We literally talk ourselves out of it before we have even tried. It is like a fail safe but it can be very self destructive. So, time to change the narrative and, when you think to yourself, ‘I’ve failed’ simply change the statement to ‘I have learned’, and see how that self doubt just falls away. Each time you do this your confidence will grow, as will your skill set. Changing the mindset, that makes you way too hard on yourself, is the most important thing you will learn when it comes to starting a new craft, and that confidence will also find its way into many other aspects of our life.

FEAR OF WHAT OTHERS WILL THINK

We often spend so much time worrying what others will say and, the truth is, they will probably be super impressed that you are learning a new skill. If not then the problem is probably their own self confidence and lack of courage to try something new themselves. Ask yourself who you are doing it for? The answer should always be you! If you really struggle then don’t show your felt creations to anyone until you feel ready, and then not at all if that is how you feel.

CRAFTS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE FUN…

Always remember, you are doing this for you and no one else. Crafts are all about you, and the enjoyment of just making, so try and loose yourself in those creative moments.

NEVER COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS!

Be realistic and always remember that they started off exactly the same way as you…as a complete beginner! If you are on chapter 1 and they are chapter 5 then it’s hardly a fair comparison, and it’s a sure fire way to ruin your day, and knock your confidence at the same time. Find your needle felting feet, learn the basics well, then start to look for inspiration. Also, it is completely normal to think ‘I will never be able to make that’. Honestly, time and practice will change your mind.

DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE MENTAL HEALTH BENEFITS OF CRAFTS

Anxiety, loneliness, isolation and depression have never been more prevalent than they are in today’s society, and with good reason; a global pandemic, climate change, rising prices, job insecurity, fear for our kids, caring for others, the list goes on and on… But, amidst all of that, the world is still full of great people and creativity. If we just prescribed ourselves some craft therapy on a regular basis then everything will feel calmer, more grounded, safer. And, if that is just for the time you are involved in something that distracts you from the daily stresses and strains it will allow you to go about your day in a much better state of mind. If not needle felting then a jigsaw, sewing, growing house plants, gardening, reading, knitting, colour by numbers, in fact anything that requires your undivided attention. Even though it can be hard it is so important to create a little time to focus on yourself, even if only for half an hour. And fortunately needle felting is incredibly portable so, if you can’t find a quiet space or the household won’t leave you alone, I have often found the loo to be a good alternative. As I said, needle felting is very portable 😉

ARE YOU READY TO START NEEDLE FELTING NOW?

Let’s get going. The video tutorial below is an introduction to creating a really simple shape that will become the most important technique you will learn when first starting needle felting. It can be made in just 5-10 minutes and will act as the structure, or scaffolding for the rest of your project. My tutorials are very workshop style and are the nearest thing to one of my in person classes. Simplicity and speed are the cornerstone of all my tutorials and I am always looking for new techniques to help improve your needle felting journey as well as give you the confidence to fall in love with this craft as much as I have. I have added links for the playlist that will teach you how to complete hares, sheep, mice, foxes, badgers, gnomes and too many to mention, with ease. You just need to be enthusiastic and willing to learn.

DON’T HAVE ANY NEEDLE FELTING EQUIPMENT?

All needle felting kits and supplies can be found on HERE on the Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts website

Happy felting!

HOW TO START NEEDLE FELTING – INTRODUCTION VIDEO

QUICK DO’S AND DON’TS GUIDE TO NEEDLE FELTING

Click HERE for my quick do’s and don’ts guide to needle felting.

NEEDLE FELTING VIDEO TUTORIALS – BEGINNERS PLAYLIST

MAKE ALL THE NEEDLE FELTED THINGS!

Needle felted hares and sheep are always popular for beginners, needle felted gnomes and pumpkins can be made in just 30 minutes, and why not rustle up a macaron or two in just 15 minutes! Needle felting ideas and tutorials are endless so checkout the menus at the top of the page and make all the needle felted things!

Improve Your Needle Felting Techniques

Parsley hare is one of my favourite hare designs and, with a touch of whimsy and a dash of folk art, you can’t fail to be charmed by him. This is such a great project that is perfect if you want to build on your existing needle felting skills. It’s a project that requires some previous experience of needle felting and assumes you have completed at least two beginners needle felting projects.

The ‘Magic’ Tool

Everything is made around a wooden skewer (apart from the ears) and is the tool that no self respecting needle felter should be without. If you haven’t used one before it is a complete needle felting revelation and you will wonder how you ever managed without one. It is also a great way to make perfect needle felted balls and acorn shapes in just three minutes.

Banish Saggy Legs Forever

Using the wooden BBQ skewer negates the need for using wire but still ensures that you have really firm body parts.

Create A Perfect Finish

Using this technique also allows you to get great symmetry, with ease, and a beautifully smooth finish. You can also create a perfectly shaped head every time, no lumps or bumps.

The Wool

Use a good coarse wool top or, as I have done with mine, use carded wool in long lengths.

Materials List:

  • Coarse brown wool top or long carded lengths
  • White accent wool
  • 1 Felting needle – size 38 is a good all rounder
  • 1 Wooden skewer
  • 2 Beads for eyes
  • Lace ruffle
  • Felting mat

The needle felting kit, wool and accessories can be found on the Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts WEBSITE and the kit comes with everything you need including the lovely antique style ruffle.

Video Tutorials

Below are five step by step, easy to follow video tutorials. If you prefer to work with written instructions the pattern is also available for instant download HERE

Happy Felting!

Video Introduction

 

Video 1 – Body And Head

Video 2 – Legs

Video 3 – Ears

Video 4 – Putting It Together

Needle Felted Gnome Tutorial

Grab a cuppa and mince pie and get creative with me, You can felt along with me or just watch and save for later. All you need is a handful of wool, any colours or type, and a felting needle. A cocktail stick will come in useful but it’s not essential.

OK, so maybe her attention is more on the mince pie than the needle felted gnome but, she does love wool and loves watching me needle felt. That counts, right?

VIDEO TUTORIAL Scroll down for written tutorial and materials list.

Or watch the live version on my INSTAGRAM IGTV channel or FACEBOOK PAGE

Skill level: Complete beginners – no crafting experience necessary

Time to make: Approximately 30 minutes

You will need:

15g any colour wool top/roving for the body

5g Wool top/roving or carded wool for the hat, in your choice of colour

Pinch of light colour for the nose

2g Wool top/roving, or curly wool for the beard, in your choice of colour

Enthusiasm

If you don’t have any supplies then the Gnome needle felting kit is available on the website.

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Nordic and Scandinavian style decor is so popular and I just love it. What I especially love are the charming Nordic gnomes. You may also see them referred to as Nisse, Tomte and Tonttu. Our house is full of them and they are super easy so here’s a tutorial for you.

If you have never needle felted before or are an experienced felter this is a wonderful way to start and get you in the festive mood. It’s simple and relaxing and so much fun to make.

This is just one style to get you started but there are so many variations that soon, like me, you will be tripping over them. So grab a cuppa, mince pie and some festive cheer and get creating.

1 – Hat: Make this first so the body fits the hat; much easier than trying to fit the hat to the body! You can go as small or tall as you like but this hat, when completed, is approx 20cm. The triangle template measurements are approx; base 10cm (slightly curved) and sides 12cm .

Layer your hat wool on your felting mat and pop your hat template on top of your wool, leaving a few extra centimetres of wool around each side. Top tip: Your wool shouldn’t be too thick but make sure you can’t see the felting mat through it

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Make sure you can’t see through the wool

2 – ‘Draw’ a line around the triangle with your needle to create a very rough outline

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‘Draw’ around the template

3 – Remove template and draw around the line a couple more times. This will be your fold line.

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Make sure your line is visible

4 – Fold in the sides one at a time and start to felt to create a triangle; it will be a very rough shape to start with but you will tidy this up as the wool becomes more felted so stop fiddling with it!

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Stop at the fold line

5 – Gently fold and felt each side until you have this rough shape; keep the excess at the top of your triangle because this is going to create your lovely pointy hat shape.

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Repeat for all three sides

6 – Gently pull away from the base you are using, turn and repeat. Tip; any felting base will do (foam, rice bag etc), whatever your preference.

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Keep turning regularly so it doesn’t stick to the base

7 – Keep repeating the process until it starts to firm up.

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Continue felting until it holds its shape

8 – Time to tidy up the shape; use your finger to fold in the sides that need straightening (doesn’t have to be perfect). Be slow and careful so as not to stab your finger; you can use a finger guard but I find they just annoy me. However, I have lots of customers who get on with them just fine.

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Be careful, the needle is sharp

9 – Your approx finished triangle which should be soft but firm and holds its shape.

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Your finished hat shape; it doesn’t have to be perfect

10 – Fold in half and felt along the side to mesh the fibres together. Keep turning and repeating until the hat is now firmly felted along the side so it doesn’t pull apart when you gently pull it.

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Fold in half and felt along the seam
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11 – Open up the base of the hat and tidy up the line by folding in any rough edges and felting. Keep turning and felting until you are happy with the shape at the base of your Tomte hat.

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12 – Roll just the top 2/3 cm of your hat between the palm of your hands to firm up the top and point. This improves the look as well as allowing you to tip the point over to the side at a jaunty angle.

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Roll the tip in the palm of your hands to create a pointy hat
Use any colours you want for the hat

Basic Body Shape

Body shapes don’t get much easier than this. Don’t be too precious about needle marks and dimples because most of this will be covered by its big beard.

1 – Roll your wool (I have used natural white Shetland) into a basic barrel shape. It will do this automatically as you start to roll. Start with less than you need and build it up.

Most important! Do not start to felt with your needle until you have rolled at least half of it really tightly; trust me, this will save you a lot of felting time and applies to all body shapes made this way!

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2 – Start stabbing all over with your needle (mind your fingers) as you continue to roll and remember to keep it tight. Tip: Check to see if your hat sits on top and if the body is too small add some more wool and felt again. If it’s too big then continue to felt where the hat will sit to reduce the size.

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3 – Continue to turn and felt until you have a more even and neater shape. You may end up with a narrower end which is fine because you will pop the hat onto this. Pay particular attention to the base which needs to be flat for stability. Tip; you can also press on the base once felted as the wool is pretty malleable.

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4 – Flatten the base until it sits without wobbling.

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5 – Pop on your hat and felt, gently, all around the edge until it is felted securely onto the body making sure the hat seam is at the back.

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6 – Make the nose by rolling a pinch of white or flesh coloured wool in your hands just to rough it up. Place on your mat and continue to felt with your needle, turning all the time. Now place back into the palm of your hands and roll vigorously until really firm and smooth. Tip; you may have to do this a couple of times to get it right as it is very easy to add too much wool and have a huge nose if you have never needle felted before. Less is always more when it comes to needle felting.

7 – Place the nose on its side, just under the front of the hat and felt the end into the body.

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9 – As you do this the nose will naturally rise into its correct position. Continue to felt around the base until it is firmly attached. The base of the hat should be sat just above the nose.

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10 – Decide what type of beard you are going to have. I have used grey Jacob but use whatever colour you wish. Curly locks also look really great.

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11 – If using a straight wool pull off a small section and fold in half and start by felting it onto the body just under the nose. Don’t worry about it being longer than the body because you will trim it to size (or not) once it is attached.

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12 – Continue to felt along the fold and attach it up the side of the nose and along the hat line. Tip; you can push the wool under the hat line with your needle (don’t bend it or  you may break the needle) for a neater finish.

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13 – Now trim your beard to your desired shape and style. I like mine quite ‘raggy’ so once I have got the length I then snip into the sides.

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There you have it. One fabulous Tomte Christmas gnome! You can crease the hat or keep it straight. I like both. Told you it was easy!

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Try different wool and add some fabulous locks for a different look. For the gnomes below I have used a lush teal batting with green silk fibres for the hat, and plant dyed, hand spun locks for the beard. The gnome on the right has a beard of grey Masham shot through with white silk.

But why would you stop there when the variations and colours are endless!

Gnome needle felting kits are also available on the Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts website.

CLICK FOR GNOME NEEDLE FELTING KIT

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

Using wire for needle felting

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

TAKE YOUR PROJECT UP A CREATIVE NOTCH

See how using paper covered floristry wire can take a project to the next level. I have used wire only for the legs and tail on this fabulous cat; a happy accident who started life as a mouse. Because the wire is paper covered the wool sticks to it really well. No need for messy wax. For a super smooth finish just roll firmly between the palms of your hands. You can also dip the pieces in hot water before rolling firmly for an even firmer finish.

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 cotton covered 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. Look for the tobacconist kind as the wool sticks to these better than the chenille ones. They are also a lot cheaper than the craft ones.

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

How To Needle Felt Cute Animal Faces

LEARN TO NEEDLE FELT WITH CONFIDENCE

I love creating new needle felting video tutorials for you all, and anything that gives you the confidence to try this amazing craft is a win win for me. You can felt along with or without a a Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts Needle Felting Kit and all you need is a cuppa, felting needle, mat and your wool stash. My videos are perfect for even the most nervous of beginners and this one shows how to create really simple, but super cute, details for your animal faces, in just ten minutes! I’m not kidding, it really is only ten minutes.

KEEP IT SIMPLE

This has always been my mantra and the video tutorials on this blog and YouTube are designed to do just that. They are the building blocks of needle felting; a perfect beginners introduction on how to get it right from the very start.

As well as standalone video tutorials they also perfectly compliment my range of needle felting kits; if you have purchased a kit then you can happily needle felt along with each tutorial as you work through the different stages of your project.

I hope these short videos will help you build confidence as you needle felt along with me, workshop style. It’s such a wonderfully addictive craft. No sewing, wires or tricky patterns and all you need is enthusiasm.

Click For All YouTube Video Tutorials

JUST STARTED NEEDLE FELTING?

Then there is so much on this blog to help you get needle felting with confidence. My Dos And Don’ts For Beginners is a great place to start!

DO YOU NEED A FELTING KIT, TOOLS, OR WOOL?

If you don’t have any needle felting supplies at all then my online shop has everything you need. From wool, to felting needles, and complete starter kits; for nervous beginners to confident needle felters. I have designed and put together every single kit myself, and there is a huge range to choose from.

VIDEO TUTORIAL – HOW TO NEEDLE FELT SHEEP FACES

These techniques can be used on almost any animal, from sheep, dogs, seals, rabbits… the list is endless. It’s not hard but just takes practice and, if it goes wrong, don’t worry. Just pull it off and start again; that’s what learning a new craft or technique is all about.

The Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts Sheep

Est. 2013
© 2013 Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts

Needle Felted Gnomes Video Tutorial

Following on the success of my needle felted Nordic Gnomes tutorial, I decided to add a video tutorial to go with it. I mean, Nothing shouts Christmas louder than Nordic gnomes! Well, maybe Noddy Holder, he’s really loud!

Tomte, Nisse, Tonntu or however you refer to them are now firmly established as part of our Christmas decor, and I was introduced to them a few years ago by my Finnish pal, Anna. Let’s face it, there’s nothing like a bit of Nordic flavour to get us in the festive, hygge mood.

My video tutorials, like my written ones, are kept simple, informal and relaxed and I want you to feel like you have just popped into one of my workshops. So, wrap up warm, grab a cuppa (or mulled wine), your wool and needles or Gnome felting kit and join me for 25 minutes of easy, peasy, unadulterated craft respite. Now where’s those woolly socks?

See you over there x

From wool to gnome in 30 minutes!
Gnome Needle Felting Kit
£17.45 incl UK postage. Worldwide shipping.

Est. 2013
© 2013 Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts

Passionate About 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