HOW TO NEEDLE FELT A HEDGEHOG – EASY STEP BY STEP GUIDE!

Hedgehogs are a much rarer sight in our gardens than they used to be and I remember my dad getting my 11 year old self, and younger brother out of bed at midnight to see a visiting hedgehog in our garden. What a treat and such cherished memories! Whilst you may not see the real thing very often, at least you can have your own handmade hoglet to keep you company all year round. So, I present my needle felted version of our beloved hedgehog and how using a reverse felting needle creates fabulous spikey details.

Did You Know?

Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant so bread and milk is not good for them! Find out what they really love to eat on The Woodland Trust blog at the bottom of this post.

Skill level: Complete beginners and beyond
Make time: 1 hour

Time to settle down with creativity, a cuppa, maybe a slice of cake, and join me for a full tutorial teaching you new needle felting tips, tricks and techniques.

VIDEO TUTORIAL AND MATERIALS LIST

You will need:

  • Grey wool top for body
  • Brown carded batting for top layer
  • Light brown wool top or carded for face
  • Darker wool for nose
  • Brown wool top for spikey halo
  • Standard/medium felting needle – I use a 38 star
  • Reverse felting needle for spikes – I use a 32 reverse
  • Glass beads for eyes
  • Felting mat
  • Enthusiasm

SHOP NEEDLE FELTING KIT– MAKES THREE COLIN HEDGEHOGS

Available from: LINCOLNSHIRE FENN CRAFTS  or  ETSY

If you want to encourage hedgehogs in your own garden here are a few guidelines from James Martin, content editor of the WOODLAND TRUST

What do hedgehogs eat, and how to feed them?

Evidence suggests this decline is most severe in rural areas and hedgehogs are actually faring better in our towns and villages than the countryside. This means gardens can be an important refuge for the species. One way you can help any visiting hogs is to provide some food. But what do hedgehogs eat and what should you feed them?

FOOD FIT FOR A HEDGEHOG

Insects and other invertebrates are the hedgehog’s main natural food source. A typical diet includes:

  • Beetles
  • Earwigs
  • Caterpillars
  • Earthworms
  • Millipedes
  • Fly larvae

What to feed hedgehogs?

As opportunistic eaters, hedgehogs will readily consume food left out in your garden. The best foods to provide are:

  • Meat-based cat or dog food
  • Specially-made hedgehog food
  • Cat biscuits

As well as providing food, you can put out a shallow dish of water to ensure any visiting hogs stay hydrated.

What not to feed hedgehogs

The following foods should be avoided when feeding hedgehogs:

  • Bread and milk (hogs are lactose intolerant so milk can make them ill. Bread has little nutritional value)
  • Mealworms (thought to cause health problems when eaten in large quantities)

Read the full blog at THE WOODLAND TRUST

Workshop Creativity

Why Reverse Felting Needles Are So Cool!

If you like to see it done just scroll to bottom for video tutorial!

I was a couple of years into needle felting before I tried a reverse felting needle and now I wouldn’t be without it. The special effects you can create are endless and super cool, taking your needle felting to a different level. A reverse needle does exactly what it says and instead of felting and compressing the wool it pulls the already felted wool back out, creating dramatic, or subtle effects. It adds instant character to a project and is simple and easy to use.

I love the subtle effect it created on top of the head of the head of this moon gazing hare, giving it a dreamy fuzziness.

Look at the subtle effect atop the head of this moon gazing hare

I use two sizes of needle; 32 and 40 gauge. As with standard felting needles, the higher the number the finer the needle and the more subtle the effect.

I have used the size 32 most recently (although a size 40 would have done the job just as well), on my bee brooches to create the fuzzy body and eyebrows. I also used a contrasting white core for more effect and visibility.

When I made this brooch the eyes looked a little lost so I used the reverse needle just above the eyebrow to pull out some of the core white wool.

You can watch the full bee broch tutorial HERE

Shop bumble bee brooch WOOL PACK

Reverse needle used above the eyes

I repeated on the other eye then trimmed it back. As you can see, the effect is great and those eyes really pop!

Trim to your preferred length

I wanted to create a similar effect all over the body to create that lovely fuzzy effect. Repeatedly use the reverse needle until you have pulled all the lovely wool through then trim quite short to create a neat finish that allows the white and dark to compliment each other.

When I decided to needle felt my first pig I really wanted to create the coarse top layer you see on a lot of pigs that sits on the peachy skin. I used a Romanov wool core but any coarse dark will do; grey Jacob is perfect and one of my favourites. It created exactly the look I was aiming for using a 32 reverse needle.

There’s no limit to what you can use it on and I think the hedgehogs were crying out for a reverse felting needle makeover. I know you can get the realistic spikes but this was much more fun. I created a grey Jacob core with a brown Shetland carded top and went at it quite fiercely with a 32 reverse needle. You can watch the full hedgehog tutorial HERE

See how I have picked up the grey I pulled through plus a little of the brown. Give it a twizzle for instant spikiness and a gorgeous ‘Prickle’ of hedgehogs; yes that is the actual collective noun for a group of hedgehogs. My heart… 🦔

So, there you have it. Just a few of the cool things you can do with a reverse felting needle. Experiment on your own projects and just have some fun with it. Happy felting!

VIDEO TUTORIAL – 10 minutes

SHOP REVERSE NEEDLES