Needle Felting Tutorial – Nesting Bird Pincushion by Patty Gibson

       Nesting Bird Pincushion
by Patty Gibson

This colorful nesting bird pincushion was fashioned to hold my felting needles when not in use.  I have enjoyed it so much and it brings a smile to my face each time I start on a felting project.  Then it occurred to me that my fellow needle felters would probably feel the same as I do, so I created this illustrated step by step tutorial.


For this project you will need core wool, MC-1 and MC-2 Merino Cross, needle felting foam and a 38 star felting needle.

For the Eastern Bluebird, you will need MC-2 in bright white, azure (blue) and MC-1 in black, pomegranate (red),
and a small amount of mango (gold).

For the Red Robin, you will need MC-2 bright white, and MC-1 in black, storm gray, rhubarb (red)
and a small amount of mango (gold).

1)      Start with approximately 1 oz of core wool and a 38 star felting needle.

2)      Take ¾ of the core wool and needle felt it into a kidney bean shape.

3)      Take about 75% of the remaining core wool and wrap it around most of the kidney bean shape.

4)      Needle felt this to create a fat ended bird body.

5)      Take the small amount of core wool that is left.

6)      Needle felt it to the remaining bird body. This creates the bird’s head at the fat part of the body.

7)      Your shape should be approximately 3.5 inches tall

8)      Your shape should be approximately 4 inches long – do not over felt at this stage as the nesting bird should have some give to it.  We are going to later add merino cross color and remember it’s going to be a pincushion.

9)      With the remaining core wool – divide into two equal parts.

10)   Lightly needle felt into wing shapes.

11)   Attach the wing shapes by lightly needle felting to each side of the bird.

12)   Then needle felt the wing, making sure that the wing shape is maintained.

13)   With a wood skewer and a small piece of black MC-1.

14)   Form a tube shape for the bird beak.

15)   Needle felt the bird beak to the front of the bird head.

16)   Needle felt small pieces of black wool to create the eyes.

17)   Now to add color – for the Eastern Bluebird use MC-1 bright white, pomegranate (red) and azure (blue). With a thin layer of MC-1 azure

18)   Needle felt it to the core bird body.

19)   With a thin layer of MC-1 pomegranate

20)   Add the second color to the chest portion of the body.

21)   For the wing feathers, lightly needle felt small balls of MC-1 azure.

22)   At this point you can add detail to the back of the bird

23)   Take three pieces of blue MC-1

24)   Needle felt these pieces to create tail feathers

25)   Attach the felted feathers to the back of the bird.

26)   Add detail to the eyes and a small amount of MC-1 mango (gold) on the bottom of the birds beak

27)   Create black wool bird feet

28)   Add detail to the front of the body with a thin layer of white.

29)   For a Red Robin, use MC-1 bright white, black, storm grey, and rhubarb (red).

30)   Create bird feet with black wool

31)   Add detail on the eyes and front of the body

32)   Create three bird eggs to put into the nest.

33)   You can use a birds nest made of small vines to hold your nesting bird or a small dish would work great

34)   Add a little moss and the bird eggs with your nesting bird

I hope you will have as much fun as I did creating your own colorful nesting bird pincushion.  While, I have demonstrated how to make red and blue colored birds, you may want to use other colors, particularly if you have the [MC-1] variety pack …  When you create this little beauty, please put a smile on everyone’s face and post your picture on Living Felt’s Facebook page.

See Patty’s Awesome Felted Birds!

10 thoughts on “Needle Felting Tutorial – Nesting Bird Pincushion by Patty Gibson

  1. Patty, Thank you so much for this wonderful post! We know how much time and effort such a tutorial takes, especially on so very detailed! The project is fabulous and your steps so easy to follow…thanks for being a guest teacher and sharing your talents!


  2. Thank you Patty.
    My first reaction was “awe…that is so cute, but dosent that hurt the little birdies?” I came back to reality, i.e. they are not real, they just look so darn real. You are really awesome and I am going to try to make one of these little pincushions on this wonderful Saturday morning. :o)
    Best regards,


  3. This is great,have things make something but haven’t got my nerve up try it lol, but now I can see how it’s done. I’m kind likes see it made instead reading how it’s done if that makes sense,Thank’s a lot keep up great work,,,


  4. Love all the pictures in your little bird tutorial. Looks like it would make a great pincushion. Thank you for sharing your expertise 🙂


  5. I am Pattys Mother….and I guess maybe it’s Mother’s love….but doesn’t the love of felting show in her work?…..I received a bear at Christmas …along with her three girls. and her sister.!!!!!….so in six months she now has lots of birds. a squirrel..a white rat with cheese…and an old crow living in her home…. and some beautiful slippers…!!!!!!.On Mothers Day she made me a headband with her felting flowers attached…like I said a proud Mom bragging…I just love her felting and I always enjoy seeing her new project!!!!!!


  6. Pingback: Feet Tutorial for Needle Felted Birds | Living Felt

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