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.