image shows a pretty needle felted picture of an abstract cornish costal scene. It hasbrightly coloured houses along the harbour wall. A bobbing boat and seagulls. Text reads: easy needle felted picture with Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts

How To Needle Felt A Picture – Everything You Need To know!

Learn how to needle felt a picture and create your own stunning 2D needle felted Cornish seascape, bursting with colour and character. Video tutorial links are at the bottom of this post and this beautiful project is suitable for beginners, and experienced needle felters, taking around eight hours to complete. I have carefully selected all the materials, wool, and fibres to give you the best possible outcome for your project, so if you are working from my Needle Felting Kit everything you need is already there. That also includes to linen, printed design and carbon paper to trace it onto your fabric, ready to start needle felting.


If you haven’t tried needle felted pictures before, I know you are going to love this design. It was a joy to create and the bold colours, and design, really sing. Adding the cheeky three dimensional Seagulls really brings it to life, as do the rolling waves with the gorgeous silk strands. The result is a mix of Cornish impressionism meets Balamory, and my love of the sea.


If you are working from the kit, everything you need is in your box. If you are working from the pattern, and your own supplies, you will need:

  • Approximately 40g of mixed wool colours. I have used approximately 18 different colours: a mix of carded wool, wool tops, silk blends, and silk throwsters waste.
  • Felting needle: size 38 star works best
  • A4 size linen, calico or similar. A close weave works best in a light colour.
  • Felting mat


The complete kit is available on the Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts website and in my Etsy shop


  • Multi needle tools will speed up the process
  • Carbon paper for tracing the design but you can copy directly onto the fabric
  • Frame, driftwood, or similar to display. It can also be mounted onto card using double sided tape
image shows linen, carbon paper and a pre-printed picture that will be used to create the needle felted picture.


Caution: This activity is for adults and older children – 12 years and older – and then only with strict adult guidance and supervision due to the very sharp needles. Do not allow children to attempt this project alone!


Felt is made using the barbed needles and repeatedly and by carefully stabbing into the wool fleece. This will tangle the fibres together until the wool becomes firm, and, following the instructions, create your own needle felted project.

Before you start you project it is important to know a few basics about needle felting but equally important is that this is YOUR creation. You may decide to make changes. BRILLIANT! Make it your own. If you make a mistake, then remove it by gently tugging with a standard dress pin and try again. Most importantly, be patient and enjoy this gorgeous project. Take your time and remember “the devil is in the detail” so tempting though it is, don’t rush when you are getting near the end of your project. Sit back and decide on your finishing touches. Make it simple, quirky, or as detailed as you like…


image shows a felting needle multi tool


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.

Use the foam pad wherever possible and remember to always poke your needle in a straight line, no matter the angle, so as not to break your needle.

The finished project will be unique to you so feel free to use your imagination. Be patient as these lovely creations deserve the time they take to make, and you will quickly get used to the needle felting process. Once you have finished this project there will be no stopping you!

Upon completion sit back, admire, and tell your friends and family “I did that!”



1 You can always add more wool but not take it away once felted. Start with less wool than you need and build up your project slowly.

2 Patience is a virtue so take your time.

3 Feel free to add your own details and use your own artistic license for the finishing touches.

4 ENJOY! If this is your first needle felting project allow yourself to be a beginner and build your creative confidence. It’s not a sprint to the finish and you are going to learn some fabulous new skills. Hopefully, this will be just the start of your needle felting journey.

5 VIDEO TUTORIALS – You will find so many helpful tutorials on my YouTube channel, from nervous beginners to intermediate level. Have a look at the playlists and find what is most suitable for you on the: Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts YouTube channel


Skill level: Beginners to confident needle felters

Make time: 6 to 8 hours


Think Cornish coastline meets Balamory, which was actually set in Tobermory. Full of vibrant colours and details, I approached it like a paint by numbers, colour between the lines, sort of project. It is beautifully simple and, apart from the seagulls and some sea detail, this project is completely flat felted. It is not difficult and is soothingly repetitive. You can pick it up whenever you feel like it, have a break and do some more.

Image shows needle felted pictures of houses on a harbour wall, in lots of bright bold colours.


As the technique for most of the project is the same, video tutorials and the pattern will guide you through the different sections, from tracing the picture, using the fabric, type of needles to use, laying down the fibres, outlining the details, and building up some of the areas to add dimension, detail, and contrast.


If you are a confident crafter, or this isn’t your first needle felting gig, feel free to blend your own colours, add fabric scraps, beads, and your own details.


If so, it will feel quite strange for the first ten minutes, but you will quickly get used to the different work surface. This is also a popular choice for flat felted animal portraits.


I love experimenting with different fabrics for flat needle felting and, there are several reasons why linen/Calico works really well for this project

  • It needs to be a close weave linen/Calico so that your needle doesn’t damage the fabric or create holes in the weave.
  • Perfect for tracing your image onto in detail, which you just can’t do with a wool felt base.
  • It is also a great base for this project as you want the fibres to lay as flat as possible, with no distortion, allowing for tiny details to be added without getting lost.
image shows how to start a needle felted picture


If you are working from the kit you will find mostly carded wool and a few wool tops. In addition there are some beautiful silk fibres, and wool silk blends which add great contrast and interest to the finished piece.


Almost any felting wool can be used with ease for this project. Just grab as many bright and bold colours you can from your wool stash.


The entire project can be completed with one needle. I found the 38 star needle to be my favourite for this project, and I also used the 7 needle punch tool but removed 2 of the needles as I found it penetrated the foam mat surface more easily.

You can also use a needle felting pen tool, or a wooden multi tool with 3 needles. All the needles and tools can be found in the tools section on the Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts website.


I have used a large foam mat – 30cm x 30cm – with a wool felt topper to protect it. However, any felting mat will do, including a soft wool mat, or hessian mat.

image shows seagulls being needle felted


Whatever surface you are working on, I always advise using a topper to protect your mat. Anything from a wool/cotton blend to 100% wool is suitable. It will stop your work from sticking to your felting mat and significantly extend its working life, saving you money and reducing landfill waste. Your wool topper can be sustainably and easily replaced.


This is especially important when flat needle felting. If you don’t lift your work regularly you will find it much harder to peel from your mat. It is normal for your work to stick but this is reduced if you keep moving it, especially when using a multi needle tool.


Because there is no right and wrong when it comes to this project, and adding your own preferences and details. It is more important that you work on your technique to give you the best possible result. Take your time and make sure to take regular breaks. I would recommend you complete this project in three or more sittings.


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Easy Needle Felted Picture! Learn To Paint With Wool


Scroll down for video tutorial.

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Make time: 90 minutes

Skill level: Easy

Video Tutorial: Scroll down to follow my step by step video tutorial

If you already have the wool then you can watch the video below.
North Sea Coast is inspired by my Yorkshire upbringing, not far from the coast, and my dear dad with his roots along the Humber. Those of you familiar with the North Sea Coast will know not to expect golden sands and palm trees. The North Sea is moody and has real attitude which is what I have tried to convey in this project; slightly abstract and full of texture! However, this is just my take on it so feel free to add artistic license, and a palm tree or two, if that’s the vibe you want. There’s no rules and it’s your project, not mine, so just go for it!

If you don’t have any wool, fibres or needles you can SHOP HERE on the website for them.


A complete wool pack with all the wool, silk fibres, plant dyed art yarn and embellishments you see in the photographs, as well as a piece of Shetland pure wool felt which will be the base of your picture. This also includes a downloadable and printable pattern.
The accompanying video is also available so if you are a complete beginner, or don’t need any wool or fibres, you can felt along with me.  


It really doesn’t matter. I have used a piece of Shetland pre-felt approximately 25cm x 25cm but have also used a much smaller piece to pop in a frame. I can also see this on the front of a greetings card to sell or just give to the besties in your life. Any piece of flat felt will work as a canvas for your picture, just make sure it has a good amount of wool in it and isn’t just acrylic felt.

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Happy Felting!


needle felted sheep picture

How To Needle Felt A Picture

All photographs and finished pictures are Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts originals so please make sure to credit my pictures as inspiration should you decide to use them as reference for your own picture. This also applies to all social media and blog pages. Copies of my picture must not be sold! However I am happy for them to be gifted as long as full credit is given. All copyright laws apply.

I have had lots of requests to put together a quick guide to get you started on needle felting a 2D/3D picture so, using my own pictures as inspiration, here it is. It is suitable for all abilities (including complete beginners) and you can work at your own level and at your own pace. If this is your first time needle felting then please watch my beginner video tutorials to familiarise yourself with basic techniques:



If you are new to needle felting, or don’t have many colours, I have put together a picture pack containing a carefully chosen wool selection, natural pre-felt and natural effect fibres that can be used for needle felting and wet felting. I will be focusing on needle felting but you can adapt to suit whatever project you are working on.

Shop Picture Needle Felting Kit

Preparation and planning is really important. I find using a photograph of a landscape, animal, woodland scene etc for reference/inspiration really helpful. It can be the roughest of guides or very specific to the photograph or image you have in mind. You may have a particular animal you want to incorporate into the picture which is also a great starting point; anything goes.

For this guide I am creating fields as the backdrop with a 2 D wooden gate, Herdwick Sheep and pebble wall in the foreground. It is called, ‘Watching Me, Watching Ewe.’ I know, cheese on toast right… but it was too good an opportunity not to. You should hear my pirate jokes. I save those for special occasions, usually workshops.  #sorrynotsorry to anyone who has been at the receiving end of them…

Enough pre-amble, lets get started.

1 – Using a piece of *pre-felt for the back of your picture take a marker or chalk to, very roughly, draw out your idea on to the pre-felt: ZERO DRAWING SKILLS REQUIRED. This way you can ensure that you can fit in all the elements you want to use.

* I always use pure Shetland but any 100% wool felt is OK. Size of the pre-felt I used for this picture is approx 20cm square. A 30cm square is included in the picture pack.

2 – I am making a *Herdwick picture with a landscape backdrop and stone wall to get lots of 2D elements in there. It’s quite a small picture; 20cm square to fit into some lovely shadow boxes I have. Also, starting with a smaller picture means there is less white space to fill which can be a little daunting and it takes less time.

*All photographs and finished pictures are Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts originals so please make sure to credit my pictures as inspiration should you decide to use them as reference for your own picture. All copyright laws apply.

Instructional diagram on needle felting herdwick sheep

3 – Mark your colours and objects so you know where your wool and 2D elements are going to sit. Keep it as simple as possible and remember these are just your guide lines.

4 – Time to get out your wool and needles. I am using a star 36/38 needles (good all rounders) and a punch tool (7 needles) to speed up the process.

5 – I felted the landscape first but you can start wherever you want depending on your picture style. I will be felting on my 2D elements later and adding embellishment. Lay your colour on, or between the lines, you have drawn, and use your needle to gently felt into place. It doesn’t have to be firmly felted but should stay in position.

I have used a mix of coarse wool tops and some semi carded wool tops that I had a lot of.


6 – Continue to gently needle felt your selected colours until the back ground is full.

7 – If you are happy with the layout then go ahead and felt the whole background more firmly (but not too flat), peeling it off your mat at intervals so it doesn’t stick. If you are doing a lot of flat felting then I recommend a rice filled hessian or strong cotton felting pad and a punch tool. Trust me, you will thank me later for cutting your felting time by three quarters.

Don’t worry if you have covered up some of your lines; remember they were just a guide.


You can also blend colours either by hand or using blending brushes (glorified dog brushes). For this picture I used a blend of Shetland blue top, light blue silk fibre and light grey Swaledale top for the sky.


8 – I wanted a distinct line separating the fields and used very thin strips of dark brown Jacob wool top to achieve this. Felt the lines quite firmly into the pre-felt which will push it down and give a little more depth.


Time to create some 2D elements.

9 – Wall

I have used lots of muted colours to create the pebbled wall appearance. Avoid all ‘flat’ colours by blending different colour wool by hand; if using the landscape box some colours will not need blending as they will already have texture and different shades. A soft palette works really well for this style of picture e.g purple blended with white, dark grey blended with white or light grey

Make your stones by rolling your wool into a very rough ball shape (this is not the shape you will end up with but will create dimension) and felting all over with your needle. Keep the wool moving as it firms up and don’t try to make it even; have you ever seen even shapes on a dry stone wall… Make quite a few different shapes and sizes; mine are  approx 1.5cm to 2.5cm then place them on your picture in the walled area to see how many more you will actually need.


Once done stitch or glue them into position; I’m not a purist and whichever you choose is fine. Clearly, using glue is so much faster and a strong fabric glue will do just fine as long as you give it a little time to dry. Using glue also allows you to move your pebbles about before the glue dries; you will be ready for a cuppa at this stage anyway.


10 – Time to make the Herdwick sheep head (or whichever animal you have chosen).

Please follow the link to the video tutorial: How to needle felt a head shape  You will want to flatten the back of the head so it sits nicely on your picture. You can then needle felt your eyes or use beads (included in the picture pack).

11- Start with a small length of white wool (approx 2g) and roll into a rough oval shape felting (stabbing gently with your needle) and tucking in the ends as you go.  Gently felt until it holds its shape and turning as you felt. Continue to felt until you have achieved a rough egg/oval shape. Now flatten the back of the head by needle felting until it sits flat on the picture but don’t attach it yet; it’s ears are missing.

12 – Ears: For the ears take a pinch of white wool. Lay it on your pad and draw a rough circle with your felting needle and fold the wool around the line you have drawn, felting it into the centre. Turn over (to prevent from sticking) and repeat a few times, leaving one end loose (to attach to the head) and felt until flat, smooth and slightly firm. Repeat for other ear. Attach the loose end of each ear to the side of the head and felt or sew into position so it is peeping over the wall.

13 – Gently felt on very thin wisps (even thinner than that) onto the face to create the nose and mouth. N.B. Easiest way is to roll very thin wisps of wool between your fingers before felting to the face. Alternatively, you can sew on using black or dark grey thread.



14 – Add your gate by rolling and felting your brown wool into short lengths and overlapping for effect before gently felting into position. You may reposition a few times before you are happy with it.

15 – Add your wool for the body of your animal but don’t felt it flat and keep it quite loose as this will create dimension. I have used loose curly grey locks.


16- Now add your foreground details. I have used greens and some locks for a grassy feel but be as creative as you wish. You could add flowers, butterflies, bees etc.

herdwick card artwork.JPG

17 – Finishing touches make all the difference and as you can see I have used french knots (easy and absolutely no need to be perfect). YouTube French Knot Tutorial. Curly locks also add more interest and dimension.


There you have it. Super easy 2D picture tutorial.


I have done a few pictures which are so worth the time they take. Here are a few more ideas for inspiration.

‘Asleep Under The Cherry Tree’ A gift for my daughter.

Again, I have used French Knots as well as beads for interest and detail.



‘Midnight At The Northern Lights’ 

Midnight is the name of my hare in the picture and inspiration came from my dream of visiting the  Northern Lights.



You can also use wet felted pictures as a base and then add  two dimensional effects using needle felting. Free motion embroidery works really well on wet felted backgrounds. Below is a very unfinished picture waiting for me to decide what to do next. I have needle felted onto Shetland pre-felt then wet felted the whole scene incorporating locks and silk fibres.

There are lots of YouTube videos showing wet felting techniques: Wet Felting Tutorial



So there you have it. The possibilities are endless and I hope this guide has inspired you to try something new. Happy creating!

If you would like a picture pack then please click on the link below for the website. You can also find my favourite selection of needle felting accessories and tools.

Shop website wool bundle

Est. 2013
© 2013 Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts