Enjoy this little video tutorial, an excerpt from our last Wooly Wednesday broadcast!
Needle Felting “Dot”, our fun little bunny ball was first in a series of 3 needle felting tutorials based on an Easter theme. Next came our needle felting Easter eggs tutorial which shared a few more techniques. Now meet, “Cheep”, Dot’s best pal. This basic tutorial will utilize some of the techniques in the previous two tutorials, and will help demonstrate a few more fundamentals for needle felting little 3D animals and objects. We hope you have fun! For this project we used CW-1 Core Wool, MC-1 Mango and Canteloupe, Black Beads, Black thread, Pipe Cleaners, a skewer, felting needles, doll needle and needle felting foam.
Start by following the instructions below for needle felting core wool for the body into an egg shape and the head into a ball.
As in our Easter egg tutorial, cover the body and head with wool in the color of your choice.
Once the head and body are made, it is time for the wings. Draw a tear drop shape onto a piece of paper in the size of the wing desired. Err on the larger side, because once cut out, you can hold it up to the body and cut it smaller if desired. Pull off two equally sized tufts of wool about 2 1/2 times longer and 1 1/2 times wider than your template. Fold the wool in half lengthwise and begin needle felting in flat primarily right in the center. Let your pokes be shallow and do not attach the wing to the foam.
TIP: Make sure you have enough wool. If it feels thin when you fold it over, it may feel thin when needle felted. It is better to have a little more wool because you can really compact it down with needle felting.
Place the template on top of the wool and begin needle felting (sculpting) the wool by felting all around the sides towards the template. Continue working around and around, but leave the end towards the point loose and unfelted.
Flip the wing over and needle felt the other side as well. As your wing begins to get as small as the template, put your tempate on the foam under the wing and continue needle felting towards the shape of the template.
Now both wings are needle felted for our little chickie. Use straight pins to choose the position and needle felt the loose end onto the body.
Needle felting the ears. This is the same process used for bunny ball. Pull off two equal tufts of wool about 2 1/2 times longer and 1 1/2 times wider than the finished ears will be. Fold in half lengthwise and needle felt just
in the center to compact the fibers. Do not attach it to the foam.
Fold the sides in towards the middle and needle felt into place. Sculpt the ear to a point or rounded end as desired. Make sure to felt both sides of the ears, and leave the base unfelted for attaching to the head.
Add a little pink inside the ear if desired. Our black headed pins serve as place holders for the eyes. Position the ears and hold them in place with T-tacks or pins. Needle felt them onto the head. Add some more white wool
around the base of the ears, but do not finish the bonnet just yet, we have more to do. It is best to attach the head to the body before finalizing the bonnet so we can hide our joining threads. That comes soon.
To make the beak, pull off a small strip of wool and twist it around the tip of a wooden skewer or very small paint brush handle. Continue to twist the skewer and let your hands somewhat dry felt the wool. Slide the wool off the skewer and needle felt right into the widest part of the cone. This will compact the fibers by felting them towards the point of the beak. Because this piece is so small, we used our fine 40 gauge needle.
Now needle felt along the beak away from the tip at a very shallow angle. Do this all around the beak to make it nice and firm. Next, place the beak onto the face of your chickie. Needle felt it directly into the head. You
can compact the fibers into the head very well. Use your 38 needle for this job.
To make the feet, start by needle felting two very small balls. Next, twist a small amount of wool around a pipe cleaner, longer and slightly thicker than you want the leg to be. It helps to have the piper cleaner a few inches longer than needed so you have something to hold onto!
Using a very shallow angle, needle felt up and down and all around the length of the wool on the pipe cleaner. Make it very compact, even and firm. Stand the covered pipe cleaner up on your ball and needlfelt the two together as shown. If you have having challenges with the connection, wrap a small around the join like an Ace bandage and needle felt through it connect the leg and
Repeat for the second leg to make both the same size then cut the leg to the desired length. Use your ball head pins to choose the position, and needle felt the legs right into the body. Our chickie is meant to sit, not stand.
Attach the eye beads to the head with strong thread. See our bunny tutorial for these steps if needed. Attach the head to the body with a string joint. Use a darning or doll needle and some strong button or uphostery thread, or waxed floss. We offer a little detail kit here with eyes, thread and floss. Start with a very long piece of
thread, and your needle single threaded. Enter the body from the bottom up and slightly off center, run the thread up through the base of the head and out the top of the head just behind the ears. Leave at least 4″ of thread coming out of the bottom of the body. Re-enter the head approx 1/8″ – /4″ from where the thread came out, and run it back through the head and out of the body. Pull tension and tie a very strong knot. Just as you did with the eyes, cut the threads and cover the indentation from the thread with wool and needle felt it in place.
To make the strings of the bonnet, pull off a long thin strip of wool and roll it into a tube. Get it soapy and wet and roll it on your bamboo blind or rigid mat to very firmly wet felt it. Once it is dry, tie the ends into a bow. We did this by leaving it in one long piece, and then wrapping it around small plastic bottle to give a surrface to pull bow tight. It was too small to tie on its own, so the bottle helped a lot! Once the bow is in place, cut the wool off the bottle and needle felt it around the neck of the chickie and into the bonnet area. Now finish the bonnet by adding wool and needle felting it neatly around the face.
Here is Dot and Cheep, two pals so happy to be together now. Send us pictures of your Easter creations!
A customer called us and wanted to know what she needed to make “Tomte” and did we have a free tutorial?
We didn’t know what a “tomte” was…so we had to “google it”, and the next thing you know,
the little cones we had planned for needle felted Christmas trees took on a whole new life!
[read about the tomte below the tutorial]
We pointed our caller to the great tutorial for needle felting gnomes that was gifted to us by Diane Beauchner…but
We were quite taken with the story of the little guys and soon they became our new pet project!
Enjoy this little needle felting tutorial for making
needle felted Tomte, Nisse, Tonttu or gnomes 🙂
For our needle felted tomte, we used Living Felt CW-1 Core Wool to form the cone shape,
Living Felt MC-1 Merino Cross Batts for color – shown here are True Red and Storm Gray,
a small amount of Fleshtone or Linen for the nose/face, Locks or Merino Top/blends for the beards.
The gnome in the pic above has a beard of Merino-Silk blend in Spice.
Start by wrapping a strip of core wool onto your skewer, making one end tight to the stick and the
other end a bit more bulky.
Wrap one end thicker (using more layers of wool) to form a cone shape.
Needle felt your wool while it is still on the skewer and form the cone shape as desired. Take time to
smooth out all lumps, bumps and air pockets before adding color. Flatten the bottom (widest end).
For this process, we left our gnome on the skewer while being needle felted. This makes small ones very
easy to handle. Also, it you decide to mount them with wire or even on the stick, the hole is already in place!
Wrap the colored wool of your choice for his clothing and hat. Needle felt this smoothly to the core wool.
I like to form a little ridge for his hat. Some of our models have a very flat transition between hat and clothes,
it’s up to you! This grey on this particular gnome is MC-1 Charcoal.
Pinch off a small amount of fleshtone or linen for his nose. Roll it into a ball shape, leaving a little tail.
Place the nose on the face area just beneath the cap line. You can give your tomte eyes or a face as desired.
Many of the models we saw showed only the nose and lots and lots of beard!
Spread out your locks or beard fibers to gauge the length and fullness. you made desire a few layers for a
bushy beard, or just a few locks for fun. They are easier to needle felt if you fold them in half and needle felt into the fold.
We needle felted our fibers on this little gnome right under the nose and all the way to the cap line.
These Tomte are very, very small!
One stays on the ground and tosses up the decorations to the tiny one in the tree!
This large glass jar looks vintage, but I just could not find one suitable for the project.
This score came from World Market for around $5.
Cut a small piece of floral foam and cover it with a thin layer of core wool.
Place it in the bottom of the jar. Add white wool in mounds and layers to get the snow drift effect.
Add your needle felted Christmas trees and gnomes by poking the wooden skewer through the
fiber and the foam. This can be made easier with an awl. (I call it “the crafter’s ice pick :O)
We had great fun making these….some, like this cute little guy,
got magnets so they can “hang out” in really cool places :O)
Wishing You Great Fun Needle Felting Your Own Gnomes or Tomte…or whatever you choose to call them!
One of our customers and felting friends, Diane Beauchner also donated a tutorial to our community
sharing her method for needle felting larger gnomes…you can see that here:
According to Wikipedia:
The tomte, nisse or tomtenisse (Sweden) (Swedish pronunciation: [?t??m?t?]), nisse (Norway and Denmark) (pronounced [?nìs??]) or tonttu (Finland) is a mythological creature from Scandinavian folklore typically associated with the winter solstice and the Christmas season. It is no taller than three feet, and has a long white beard and colorful clothes.  It is known as a gift bearer  and considered the Swedish version of Father Christmas.
The tomte/nisse was often imagined as a small, elderly man (size varies from a few inches to about half the height of an adult man), often with a full beard; dressed in the everyday clothing of a farmer. However, there are also folktales where he is believed to be a shapeshifter able to take a shape far larger than an adult man…
The Tomte delivers gifts through the door, in accordance with the Swedish tradition of the visiting Santa Claus who enters homes to hand out presents. They are also commonly seen with a pig, another popular Christmas decorative piece in Sweden. People who believe in the Tomte usually leave behind a bowl of porridge with butter for the creature to eat after he leaves behind the gifts.
Needle Felting a Pumpkin Bowl Tutorial
- Living Felt MC-1 Felting Batts 6.5 oz
- Earth Harmony Needle Felting Hat Form (we chose size Child/Infant)
- 4-needle Metal Felting Tool
- Clover Pen Tool with two 38-Spiral Felting Needles, Clover Pen Tool with two 42 Triangle Felting Needles
- Dyed Locks
- Chenille stem
Follow the normal steps for wet felting a hat or a vessel without the “extension” (shown on the left) Cover the hat form completely with wool, we used 2oz and recommend an extra layer on the bottom so your finished bowl is sturdy and well supported on the bottom.
The basic steps to achieve the above picture:
- Cover the base in wool with fibers running up and down the form. Use the 4-Needle Metal too or other multi-needle felting tool to felt the wool flat. Do not plunge your needles too deeply (see our needle felting a purse video if needed)
- Cover with a 2nd layer of wool running the fibers around the circumference. Add extra wool to the bottom (3-4 layer). Needle felt this layer flat.
- Gently peel the wool off the form and look for any bare spots. (this will stretch out your project).
- Turn in inside out and put it back on the form. Fill in any bare spots with more wool, and needle felt from this side. You may have to guide the wool as you go because it is now stretched out some. Make sure not to create any “folds” or creases.
- Use the small round extension to needle felt a small, flat circle the same thickness as on the hat form. Peel it off and tidy up the outside by folding the loose fibers towards the center of the circle and needle felting them in place.
- Keep the wool on the hat form. Place the small felted circle on top of the felted hat form.
Set the “extension” foam off to the side, it is no longer needed. (The small felted circle will give the top of our pumpkin integrity while also making it easy to remove
when we are finished because it will be less adhered to the foam than if we covered it 100% to start.)
Divide 4oz of wool into equal parts. The length should reach from the top of your bowl to the base, roughly at the center of each.
Place on end of the roll on the top of your pumpkin and one end on the base, Needle felt each end of the roll firmly in place.
Your project will look kind of funny and even messy to start. Keep adding the felted pumpkin “meat’ 🙂 and filling in the
circumference completely. The pieces to do not need to be perfect … unless you like it that way!
Use the Clover Pen Tool with 38 Spiral needles to needle felt the edges of the rolled wool where they meet the hat form;
attaching the length of the roll on both sides. Also begin needle felting and firming the roll – but you can come back and felt more after all of the areas are filled in.
This is what our project looks like … “almost” all of the pieces are in place. We filled in all the gaps. Then go back and continue
needle felting the exterior of your pumpkin until it is nice and firm. We used our Clover Pen Tool with two 42 Triangle Felting Needles to
then smooth out all of the needle marks.
This step takes some time, but it is well worth it. If the outside of your pumpkin is firmly needle felted, it will hold up nicely and you can use it year after year for decoration 🙂
Add any contrasting or complementary colors as desired during this final firming up of the outer layer. It seemed like we could
needle felt this exterior forever — I began to think of it as a “meditative pumpkin” that I could return to and needle felt any time I want a soothing activity 🙂
Make a paper template the size of your desired hole. **We encourage this is smaller than the diameter of the hat form.
Cutting it too wide may cause it not to hold its shape as well as you want because it will stretch a bit once you remove it from the form. NOTE – it is not likely that the piece you cut out will fit perfectly back in like a “lid”, so it may just be a decoration on the side.
Use an awl or other tool to mark around the perimeter of the template.
Make a small snip with pointy scissors, we are trying to cut through the wool and not cut the foam.
Before cutting out your top, use your fingers to find the foam, so you know how deeply to cut.
Voila! Our felted Pumpkin Bowl is Born!! Add a Stem using the same steps as shown in our tutorial for needle felting a fairy tale pumpkin.
Wrap a chenille stem (pipe cleaner) with wool in your desired color. Cover one end completely and leave the other end exposed.
Needle Felt it into shape. If you needle felt it have 4 or 5 sided (with flat sides) , you can create a realistic look. Attach it to your pumpkin top and give it a little “twist” so it looks more natural.
Supplies/ Tools Used:
– Living Felt MC-1 Wool Batting
– CW-1 Core Wool
– Earth Harmony Needle Felting Foam, size: 10 x 10
– Clover Pen Tool
– Clover 8900 Tool (5-needle)
– Metal 4-Needle Felting Tool
– Felting Needles in various sizes
I really like to make most of the gifts I give, but I especially enjoy
making the wrapping or the container they come in. Here is a little
tutorial for making a Valentine’s Day Treat Envelope or pouch.
Here are our supplies:MC-1 Merino-Cross Wool batts in Tulip and Red,
5×5 felting foam, felting needles size 40 and 38, pen needle felting tool,
pinking shears, hole punch, small heart cookie cutter, 12″ x 12″
scrapbook papers, parchment paper used for baking, gingersnap hearts as our treat, ribbon,
small scissors, pencil, ruler/straight edge and tacky glue or fabric glue.
Fill the cookie cutter with wool and needle felt the wool down firmly.
Use your finger to check for bare areas and add more wool as needed.
Make sure to needle felt close to the sides of the shape.
It helps to hold your cookie cutter
down firmly on the foam. See our video here
Use a single felting needle to firmly needle felt all along the walls
of the shape. This will give your heart very clean lines. Remove
the cookie cutter, peel the heart off the foam, and needle felt the
opposite side to a smooth finish.
Add a contrasting color on top of your heart or any adornments, beads, etc.
Cut your scrap book paper in half and then fold in even thirds.
Use your pinking shears to cut the side edges to a nice finish.
Use your straight edge and pencil to trace out the envelope flat.
We chose to make our shorter to accommodate the ribbon-tie.
For a decorative effect, also cut a V in base below the flap. We
did this so our cookies would show through a little bit.
Cut the parchment paper to fit inside the envelope, giving 1/4″ margin
on the insides. We will glue the envelope, but not the parchment, as this
will be our interior “food” wrapper for the treats. Glue your felted heart
to the outside of the envelope flap.
Press the edges closed, punch a hole in the flap and in the base
of your envelope and insert your ribbon. Add treats, sprinkle in
some love and deliver with a kiss!
~ You are creative and brilliant! I am sure what you do with
this simple idea will be unique and fabulous! We do hope you will
share pictures of yours with us as well!