A Favorite Fantasy Friend Come to Life in Felt! ~ Irma Hoani

Needle Felted Dragon

Needle Felted Dragon

Needle Felted Dragon

Needle Felted Dragon

Needle Felted Dragon

Needle Felted Dragon

Needle Felted Dragon

Needle Felted Dragon

Needle Felted Dragon

Needle Felted Dragon

Irma Hoani of New Zealand needle felted this stunning likeness of Falkor the Luck Dragon from the children’s book and movie “The Never-Ending Story”.  You really captured something in those eyes, Irma! He is gorgeous!

“Just finished the epic adventure that was needle felting Falkor the Luck Dragon from The NeverEnding Story! I needle felted him over a strong wire armature using white merino wool and a merino/silk blend. His “fur” is hand rooted mulberry silk.  His scales are hundreds of individually sewn glass seed beads, iridescent beads and natural New Zealand shell beads. His claws are sculpted of paperclay and he has acrylic eyes.
There are many more photos of him on my blog and you can see him as a work in progress!
http://fantasyfelt.blogspot.com Thanks!”

Irma Hoani ~ New Zealand ~  http://fairyspit.etsy.com

9 thoughts on “A Favorite Fantasy Friend Come to Life in Felt! ~ Irma Hoani

  1. This is fantastic – I love how you incorporated the beads for texture – I typically only use wool but now need to experiment with beads and other embellishments – very inspirational – thanks for sharing!


  2. Thanks for the great compliments!

    Marge: I sculpted his nails of paperclay. This can also be done with another medium like polymer. After they were cured, I needle felted nail beds and inserted the nails, attaching them with Gem-Tac (a very strong jewelry glue).


  3. I’m Anne Germann on facebook, and I already left this comment or one like it there…but in one word…


    I always did love that story then the movie too, and watched it probably over 200 times when my daughter was younger. We actually wore out 2 VHS tapes from over watching that one.

    You did a fantastic job, and you are an amazing artist.
    I’ve sculpted from clay, marble and even wood, but beeing able to make the things in your store on etsy, plus Falkor, I am Seriously Impressed.

    Have you ever shown your work?

    How hard is it to learn how to felt.

    Now that I finally dug in and bought the felting needles (already have fiber, and a foam form-left over from restuffing a chair) & I bought a book: Sweet Needle Felts: 25 Projects to Wear, Give & Hug… I’m a little scared.

    How did you start?

    It looks like you’ve been doing this for years and years.

    There is only one felting class within 50 miles of my home, and it’s wet felting, which doesn’t interest me as much.

    If you have any advice, I would be so appreciative… But if it’s going to interfere with your beautiful work, then I won’t be hurt… (=

    Blessings to you and yours, and again, your creations are amazing!
    I love the dragons.

    PS. My daughter loves fairies, and I wanted to make at least one for her…should I try to draw it out? Use a picture from a book? How do you start, if you don’t have a pattern? I just learned tapestry crochet, and I’ve already made over 37 of my own designs… I like doing “my own thing” in crafting and art… You must know what that’s like…


    • Hi Anne,

      Thanks for the great note! I replied to your post on Facebook a while back 🙂 Here is my response:

      “Anne, thank you so much for the wonderful compliment! Don’t sell your felting supplies! You can be an amazing felter, it just takes patience, patience, patience.

      I started felting in late 2008 when I bought a bear kit from Living Felt. Once …I got the basics down, I went straight into fantasy dolls. I thought up the other techniques I use for my dolls and they were developed as they were needed (mane for unicorns, etc.).

      I definitely welcome questions and there is a lot of information on my blog (especially in the work in progress posts or ones labelled “tutorial”).

      One good bit of advice I got from an old friend of mine who is a very successful artist is that just when you make something you are pleased with, smush it up and do it over. 🙂 This was with polymer, but the point is to keep going and never be satisfied. Just when you think you made your best piece ever, keep going. And if you are unhappy with a piece, also keep going. I’ve had some felts turn out really nice from ones I was about to give up on.

      Don’t be discouraged, I’d rather you be inspired by my work. Just go for it and you never know what amazing things you will create!”

      Here are answers to your other questions…

      As for showing my work, I haven’t really done that since I was in High School. I am starting to do shows here in New Zealand and have my first one coming up in a few weeks.

      Felting is not very hard to learn. I was pretty much up and running from my first doll. Others find it more difficult, but you should really learn at your own pace and what works for you.

      I don’t work from patterns or kits. I let the wool speak if that makes sense. As with any art or medium, don’t force it and it will be what it will become. I might have an idea in my head of something I want to make but it will sometimes take on a life of its own and end up somewhere comepletely different. (Falkor started out as a unicorn’s head that decided it was going to be something else).

      For the fairy, what I would do is pull some inspiration from Google images and even just study the human form and go from there. I usually start with a wire armature and a washed wool core and build on that. I’ve got a tutorial on my blog that explains my creative process a little bit.

      Best of luck to you and I’d love to see your dolls once you’ve got started!


  4. He is stunning Irma, Falkor always melts my heart, beautiful work!! I am just starting out with needle felting and am wondering if you would have any tips for covering up/reducing the puncture marks left from the needling?
    Thanks heaps,


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