Adventures in Needle Felting

I already possess a bag of washed wool straight from the sheep…why not try needle felting. Scoring an inexpensive starter kit at Michael’s–with the 40% off one item coupon–was a major motivator. Now I owned two felting needles and a small block of plastic foam for my felting mat. I also bought a small amount of black wool for an accent color. My first project? Since I am a lover of all things “sheep,” why not try a wool lamb. After all, it is the Easter season.

Lamb supplies

Lamb supplies

My materials above are: the model lamb, plain wool, colored wool for details, needle felting needle and mat. Finding a picture or form to use as a model is key. I used a tiny little farm lamb with defined angles and a sweet face.

I began by forming an oblong ball and piercing it over and over again on the mat compacting it into felt. As it became smaller, I kept adding layers until it was the right size–larger than my model. My toy lamb is far too small for a novice. This is what it looked like with the body and 4 legs.

Headless Lamb Body

Headless Lamb Body

It wasn’t too late at this point to turn it into a polar bear, but I forged on. The legs must be heavily compacted to hold the body upright. Just keep punching.

After forming a tail and flat pointed ears and punching them onto the body, here is what the lamb looks like. I also added black for hooves and eyes and a touch of red for her mouth. Punching into the body to define muscles and knee joints on the legs adds a lot of realism. I may also bring up the knap on her body to make her look more fleecy.

Needle Felted Lamb in Easter Basket

Needle Felted Lamb in Easter Basket

Now I’m working on an Easter duck. Someone suggested using a cookie cutter for the body form. Using the cookie cutter below, I ended up with a rubber ducky duck. Too cute! I forgot to tell you…make the basic forms from bulk plain wool then just add a surface color for a natural, mottled look. Mixing colors also adds a realistic touch, like adding shading to an oil painting.

Happy Duckling!

Happy Duckling!

Yes, I do have needle pricks on my fingers. It is easy to get carried away and forget to watch where I am punching. Ouch. Ouch. But I’m getting better. Needle felting is very rewarding, for beginners and masters of the art.

About Sharon L. Clemens

Sharon and husband Merle and their children owned and operated a specialty shop and restaurant in a restored dairy barn for thirteen years in a village in Illinois. After closing their restaurant, they converted the barn into the family home and moved their shop to the garden level. They operated a collectable shop as a home-based business for another thirteen years before retiring to the country life. Sharon has been a special feature guest on the local NBC telelvision affiliate and has spoken professionally on topics relating to herb gardening and cottage lifestyle. In addition to conducting workshops and programs, Sharon writes a weekly cottage lifestyle e-newsletter called “Cottage Chat” and a Word Press blog: Seasons of Farm Grove. She has written five novels, The Younger Girl, Door County Cottage, Timeless-A Door County Love Story, Door County Cabin and Door County Escape, love stories with traditional values set in Door County, Wisconsin.
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2 Responses to Adventures in Needle Felting

  1. Your ducky is stellar, Mama!!!!

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