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.
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
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:
- 1 x Felting needle – size 38 or 36
- Small amount of wool top/roving or carded wool
- 1 x Pipe cleaner approximately 15cm long
- Felting mat (any kind) for working on
ARE YOU READY TO GET STARTED?
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.
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!
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?