The Do’s And Definite Don’ts Of Needle Felting


The following is your ‘mentoring bible’ and is especially important to those of you who can’t or won’t follow instructions. “Yes you! You all know who you are…”

1 -Firm is key to successful 3D needle felting. Firm (not hard) but still springs back when squashed – especially legs and head.

2 –Roll body parts quite tightly before beginning to felt – trust me, this will greatly reduce your felting time.

3 -Needle felting is a short stabbing motion into your wool. Your needle should not disappear into the foam block and should hardly pierce the foam at all when 3D felting.

4 –Turn as you felt any 3D body part. This will give your structure its shape and prevent ‘dimples’ in your finished product.

5 – Start with less than you think you will need; you can add wool to make your shape bigger but you can’t take it away! The exception to this is limbs; if you have attached the limb/head and it’s in the wrong place, upside down (put your glasses on!) etc. then gently unpick with a pin and reposition or rework. N.B Never try to unpick with your felting needle as I guarantee it will break. Good needles are not cheap and you will spend the next thirty minutes trying to find the end before the dog eats it, or worse, sits on it! The business end of your pet is not the end you want to be messing with…

6- When fully felted your 3D body part will be approximately 30% smaller than the shape you started with.

7 – Only move your needle straight up and down, not at an angle.  If you bend your needle the tip will break off.

8 – Be patient. This is a walk, not a sprint. You are not suddenly going to become Sarafina (Google ‘Gods of the needle felting world’) overnight and you are learning a new craft, not performing surgery, so enjoy it. If we could all be Usain Bolt overnight what would be the point…

The projects in my kits take around 4-6 hours from start to finish so ignore all those YouTube tutorials that only take half an hour. They are excellent as a guide but view the time it takes them to complete with a rather large dose of salt…

9 – Your project will, generally, not resemble anything close to what you are trying to make until at least 3/4 of the way through when you will hit the “how on earth is this ever going to look like that” wall, which you must punch your way through with steely determination. It all comes together near the end and every one, experienced or a beginner, feels exactly the same way. The devil really is in the detail and you can pull, reshape and add to whatever you are making. Alternatively, step away from it for a while and then view it with fresh eyes or new information/ideas. The internet is full of them and Pinterest is the worlds largest free crafting magazine…

Occasionally you will get to the end and it still won’t look like the vision in your head. Deal with it and don’t let it spoil your day because whatever you make will be yours and it will be wonderful! Those wonky ears and the gammy looking leg add character and, who doesn’t love the ‘underdog’…

N.B Every needle felter has a pile of fuzzy Frankenstein body parts just waiting to be added to another project. I call them “limbs in limbo”…

10 – DISCLAIMER:  Needle felting is highly addictive and I cannot be held responsible for hungry pets, children and other family members.

11 – Housework will become a dirty word…literally (see number 10).

12 – Pets love, love, love wool. The only thing they love more is destroying your beautiful creation that you have invested blood, sweat and tears into. If you don’t want the sad demise of the grey hare below to become your story then store well away from the little darlings. Warning! Photographs below contain graphic content which may upset those of a nervous disposition…

Before the dog…                                          After!

15 thoughts on “The Do’s And Definite Don’ts Of Needle Felting

    • Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts

      Hi Kathie. I am chuckling because it was said in humour; felting straight onto your knees could be a very bloody business indeed 🙂 A lap tray or something similar on your knees to sit your foam block on will work just fine and it will also keep your work steady.
      Best regards


    • Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts

      Thanks Kathie for buying my kits. I have tried to keep them as simple as possible and so armatures are not required.
      I do use armature occasionally; especially on larger pieces or if I want to pose a piece (as with the fox you can see on the blog) but I don’t use them often for my smaller pieces; I find I like the solidity of just working with and manipulating the wool; it is also easier to felt without the hindrance of wires. Working with an armature is also a much looser felting process so it really is a case of experimenting and finding what you enjoy the most.
      I think the most important thing is to learn your basic needle felting techniques first and then you can start to experiment; definitely a case of ‘learning to walk before you run’.
      My instructions are very detailed and there are lots of step by step colour photos. Both the hare and the mouse are great for beginners and I would start with the hare first before you start on the smaller details on the mouse. I would love some photos for the gallery when they are done. Happy felting
      Best regards


  1. Cathy Chinery

    Have just ordered my first ever felting kit… My mum, bless her, was brilliant at everything… sewing, knitting, crochet, cooking. She tried hard to teach me but in the end, jokingly called me cack handed and I would do well sewing mail sacks… I have dabbled with knitting and crocheting a blanket and have tried to self teach myself on my sewing machine, with some much needed guidance from my dad. Looking forward to my felting kit arriving. Hope it is as easy as some say, for the sanity of my husband!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts

      Thank you Cathy. I love this craft because it is very laid back and no patterns to follow; I am the worlds worst knitter and suffer from severe knitting envy so I feel your pain…I designed most of the kits for beginners. Everything you need is in the box, including detailed instructions and lots of step by step colour photographs. No sewing. No wires. All you need is a little time and enthusiasm. Lots of info on the blog for you to mull over until it arrives. I am only a message away and most importantly, enjoy yourself. Happy felting!


  2. Di Woodcock.

    Cats are rather partial to a bag of lovely felting wool too! Yup, they like the finished project, that makes a good mouse substitute, but it’s also a good idea to keep them away from your stash of wool. They think it’s been put there just for them, (like everything else in the house!) and it makes a scrummy bed. A quote from one of my kitty kats; “We can paddle and purr in it, as we blissfully slobber and drool all over it. No idea why mummy gets fed up with me when I do that. After all, I look sooo cute when I’m all tucked up and snoozing in my new nest!!!”

    Liked by 1 person

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