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Category Archives: Needle felt

How to Attach Long fur to Your Cat Head

Would you like to know how I needle felted the long fur on my Tabby Birman cat? 🐈

Here is a video tutorial with techniques of how to blend wool colours, plant (attach) long fur to your cat head, layer the wool pieces, reverse felt wool in some areas (for blending, gradients and fluffy fur), create tabby marking patterns and trim wool.

It’s great if you would like to make realistic cat fur!

This is part 3 of 5 in my series of Needle Felted Cat Head tutorials. There will soon be a part on the making and attaching of the cat ears and finally in this series, a tutorial on whiskers.

I hope you enjoy it 😊

If you missed the previous 2 videos or would like to rewatch them:

  • Tutorial one for Needle Felting a Cat Head Shape is here.
  • Tutorial two for short fur is here.

There is also a time lapse video of the whole head showing footage of the amazing process from start to finish here.

Or if you’d like to see exactly how the cat’s eyes were made purely from wool, then you can watch the tutorial here.

Complete Beginner’s Guide to WIRE ARMATURE for Realistic Needle Felted Animals

Have you ever wondered when to use a wire armature? or been confused as to what size wire to use? Maybe you are wanting to know what wool and needles are best for armature making?

In this video, the Complete Beginner’s Guide to using Wire Armature for Realistic Needle Felted Animals, I show you the tools and materials I use when making a wire armature and answer these common questions and more.

This tutorial is packed full of useful tips and includes 5 demos – Bunny & Fox armatures plus tiny rodent feet (guinea pig, rat and mouse)!

Heidifeathers have kindly sponsored the video. Get a 10% discount at their International online shop at https://www.heidifeathers.com using code Felting10 (first 50 customers only – so be sure to go there as soon as you can and don’t miss out!)

They have a wonderful range of wool, wire and tools, pretty much everything you’ll need for needle felting realistic animals. I use their wire, pipe cleaners, needles, wool, pliers, felting mat and horse hair in my video and I thoroughly recommend them if you’d like to get started!

Complete Beginner’s Guide to WIRE ARMATURE for Realistic Needle Felted Animals

I hope you enjoy the video! Let me know in the comments what animal you might like to make first with a wire armature 🙂

Needle Felted Cat Head – Short Fur Tutorial

Are you needle felting a cat with short fur? or a long haired cat that has shorter furred areas?

This is part two in my series of Needle Felted Cat Head tutorials as demonstrated on a Tabby Birman sculpture!

I’ll teach you how to blend colours by layering wool and reverse felting. There’s also some planting of longer strands and trimming…

You’ll be adding short fur to the bridge of the nose, the cheeks, whisker pads, chin and around the eyes. I’ll also share my technique for whisker dots 🙂

So here is the video on needle felting short fur:

The next part (three) for needle felting long fur on your cat is here.

There will soon be a part on making and attaching the ears and one on whiskers. I’ll share the other links when they are up 🙂

Videos you may have missed

Tutorial one for Needle Felting a Cat Head Shape is here.

The time lapse version of the whole head showing footage of the amazing process from start to finish is here.

Or if you’d like to see exactly how the cat’s eyes were made purely from wool, then you can watch the tutorial here.

Needle Felted Cat Head Shape… in 10 Steps!

I’ve found that Needle felting a cat head really doesn’t need to be hard if you break it down into stages, have a plan and are patient with yourself and the process.

Following on from the time lapse video of the cat head process, this is Part One in the series of actual tutorials. Here I slow the footage down and demonstrate how I Needle Felted the ‘Cat Head Shape’ from core wool.

You are just 10 steps away from creating your own!. I hope you enjoy it!

Needle felted cat head tutorial

The next two videos in this series are available now too if you’d like to watch them:

  • Tutorial three for short fur is here.
  • Tutorial two for long fur is here.

Or if you’d like to see exactly how the cat’s eyes were made purely from wool, then you can watch the tutorial here.

There will soon be a part on making and attaching the ears and one on whiskers. I’ll share the other links when they are up 🙂

NEEDLE FELTED CAT HEAD (Time lapse) 🐱 

Needle felting a cat head doesn’t need to be hard. Does it? ……no…..It just takes a little practice and patience 🙂

Here I reveal the amazing process of creating a needle felted cat head.

I videoed how I made the tabby Birman cat head for my cat head tutorials but as I’ve been poorly and my throat far too sore to record any instructions I thought I’d initially create a time lapse of all the footage. Hours of needle felting sped up to less than 14 minutes!

I don’t know about you but I found it quite fun and relaxing to watch it all back! I hope you enjoy seeing the process and I hope it inspires you to have a stab at making your own cat 🐈😻

So here is the needle felted cat head time lapse 🙂

Once my throat was better I started to make the actual tutorials where I slow it all down with full instructions.

So here are the tutorials so far:

  • Tutorial one for making the cat head shape is here.
  • Tutorial two for short fur is here.
  • Tutorial three for long fur is here.

The final parts, one on making and attaching cat ears and one on whiskers are still to come! I will put links to those when released.

Also if you’d like to see exactly how the cat’s eyes were made purely from wool, then you can watch the tutorial here.

Needle Felted Eyes Tutorial 2: How to make Realistic Needle Felted Cat Eyes

Would you like to know how to needle felt cat eyes that are detailed and realistic?  👁👁 

This is the second in the series of my Needle Felted Eyes Tutorials following on from tutorial 1 on dog eyes.

It has everything you’ll need for planning and creating wool eyes for a cat.

I’ll first teach you the theory – eye size and position, eye anatomy, eye colours, eye shape and pupil dilation, before then demonstrating how to needle felt eyes on my latest Tabby Birman cat pictured here.

If you have never tried to needle felt cat eyes before or weren’t too happy when you did try then I encourage you to have a go, follow the steps in this tutorial, experiment and see what you think. 🙂

If you already needle felted eyes before then I hope there is something in my video that will inspire you further.

Oh and beware of cute kitty footage along the way 🙂

Thanks for watching 🙂

What kind of cat eyes do you think you’ll have a stab at?

If you would like to know how I needle felted the cat head, made the ears, added the fur etc then these videos are in the making and will be released in the upcoming weeks 🙂

Your Ultimate Guide to The REVERSE FELTING NEEDLE

Have you ever tried a reverse felting needle?

You can use it to make fluffy fur, BUT there’s so MUCH MORE you can do with it too!

This video is your Ultimate Guide to the reverse felting needle.

In this needle felting tutorial I’ll show you what it is, what it can do. I’ll share top tips for how to get the most out of it and there may be some techniques you have never thought about!

I hope you enjoy it!

Please let me know what you might try to create with the reverse needle in the comments 🙂

The Reverse Felting Needle is a wonderful versatile tool and one of my all time favourite needles.

I get my needles from HeidiFeathers, they are brilliant in quality and all colour coded so you don’t lose track of which needle you are using! They deliver internationally and sell a variety of tools and fibres.

If you are starting out and don’t have any needles yet then it’s well worth getting a set of 30 Mixed Felting Needles – 10 Different types – Triangular, Star, Reverse & Twisted Needles https://amzn.to/3oSks9j

Or if you are looking to get individual needles then you can choose by needle type:

Reverse Felting Needles https://amzn.to/3apVPs6

Star 38G – https://amzn.to/2YC5xFe

Triangle 38G https://amzn.to/3oKvTPK

Triangle 40G https://amzn.to/2YEct4E

Twisted 38G https://amzn.to/3BuSund

Twisted 40G https://amzn.to/3aoJjsM

Other tools I use in this tutorial:

Clover Multi Needle Tool (holds 1 – 3 needles) – helps to speed up your felting: https://amzn.to/3amZ3w8

Beautifully designed rose gold coloured embroidery scissors https://amzn.to/3AtdJVp

Eyebrow brush (with bristle side and straight comb side) https://amzn.to/3hlde8F

Felting Needle Holders – A Quick Guide

Needle Holders – why would I use one? what do they do? and which should I get?

Here’s a quick overview for you about them with a few recommendations from my own experience. Please do let me know if you have any questions 🙂

SINGLE NEEDLE HOLDERS

You can just simply hold a needle between your fingers and thumb and stab away for hours sculpting your wool, but it can get a little uncomfortable after a while. So it is well worth getting a needle holder which has been designed and shaped for you to grip it easily and with more comfort.

You may only need the one, especially if you have a favourite go-to needle (for example I love the 38G star needle and can pretty much do most if not all of an animal with that one needle), but as you experiment and come to like other needles too for the different stages of your piece you may want to buy a few holders.

I think it’s a good idea to buy a set (which works out cheaper per holder) so you don’t have to keep changing the needle in the holder each time you swap to a new one.

There’s so many holders out there to choose from. You can buy wooden ones, rubber moulded ones, plastic ones, or you can even make your own if you wanted to.

Keeping your needle in a holder can make the needle last longer especially if it’s a holder where you can insert the needle the other way inside the handle when not in use. Also if your holder is a certain colour or pattern which is different from the others you’ll hopefully not forget which needle you are using.

5 Wooden Handles (click image to buy)

I love these wooden ones by Heidifeathers.

You can keep them plain, or you can varnish, paint or even decorate them with decopatch paper (hmm…that gives me an idea for a future tutorial!).

You can keep the needle inside the handle when not in use for safe keeping or for travelling.

MULTI-NEEDLE HOLDERS

For times when you want to speed things up a bit and hold more than one needle at a time, a multi-needle holder is perfect for this.

My absolute favourite is the Clover Needle Felting Tool. It’s a bit like holding a pen and it has a lid to protect your needles when not in use.

It can hold one to three needles at one time but with 3d animal sculptures I often just like to use two at a time for firming up wool, adding long fur, and attaching limbs.

Clover Needle Felting Tool (click image to buy)

I will use three needles if wanting to make small flat animal features e.g. ears or feathers. Then when I want to really get going at pulling out fibres for a fluffy look, using 2 or 3 reverse needles at a time in my Clover tool really does the job! – have you ever tried it?

If you want to use even more needles for larger flat pieces for example bat wings or when making lots of leaves (I made leaves for a dormouse nest) then I would recommend the Heidifeathers wooden multi-needle tools (there’s a 4 needle handle or a 6 needle handle) or the Clover 5 needle holder. (click the image to purchase)

Wooden 4 Needle Handle

Wooden 6 Needle Handle

Clover 5 Needle Holder

Do you like using needle holders? If so which do you prefer the most?

I have included links for where to source these needle felting tools. Please see Links disclaimer in the right side panel for more details.

Needle Felted Eyes Tutorial 1: How to make Realistic Needle Felted Dog Eyes

Would you like to know how to needle felt dog eyes?  👁👁 

Maybe you aren’t sure where to start or having trouble getting the eyes to look realistic? or maybe you’ve always used glass or plastic eyes but would like to try wool?

I’ve created a video to show you how I make them. It has everything you’ll need for planning and creating wool dog eyes that are detailed and realistic. This is the first in the series of my Needle Felted Eyes Tutorials (see here for tutorial 1 on cat eyes).

I first go over the theory – eye size and position, eye anatomy, eye colours, mood and expression, before then demonstrating how I needle felted the eyes on my recent springer spaniel.

People often remark and ask how I make the eyes. For me the eyes are my favourite part – I love a challenge and often spend a long time on eyes to get them right. It is so worth that feeling of satisfaction.

When I have created the eyes I feel that is the moment my animal is complete and when they look back at you they have almost become alive.

The eyes are like the windows to the soul and give character to your animal.

I’ve never tried glass or other materials. They look great too and that may be your preference. I like to aim for realism as much as possible whilst still using wool. In more practical terms I do love that you can get the exact size, shape, colours and expression that you want for that particular animal.

I encourage you to have a go, follow the steps in this tutorial, experiment and see what you think. 🙂

Thanks for watching 🙂

For what breed of dog are you going to try to needle felt the eyes?

How to Needle Felt Wavy/Curly fur

Would you like to know how to quickly and easily needle felt wavy/curly fur?

In this video tutorial I show you how to create realistic luscious, textured waves of fur as seen on my spaniel’s floppy ears!

There’s no need to use curling tongs or make plaits or wind wool around knitting needles, waiting hours for wet curls to dry or even having to buy additional locks of curly wool. In fact all you need is just your wool (I use merino tops), your barbed needle and your fingers to make a twist!

I’ll also give you additional tips on blending wool colours!

This technique can be used on many needle felted animals. I hope you have fun with it like I did!

Here are the time stamps to easily navigate to the bits you would like to watch most :

0:00 Intro

01:41Adding darker colour wool as base fur

03:21 Blending wool colours: to prepare lighter tones

04:25 Let’s do the twist!

04:55 Stabbing into a wave shape

08:45 Trimming and finishing

I hope you enjoyed it and it gave you some new ideas.

What animal do you think are you going to add wavy fur to? please let me know in the comments – I’d love to know. 🙂

In my next video I’ll show you how I made his eyes.

Needle Felted Quoll

I’m so excited to show you my latest needle felted quoll. He’s curled up fast asleep and looking rather cuddly don’t you think?

It’s been a few years since I made my first one and I absolutely loved making one again.

Quolls are incredibly unique animals. They are spotted marsupials from Australia and my do they have interesting feet too!! I think they look almost like an imaginary creature rather than a real one.

I made his core out of Norwegian wool batts, his top coat is a mix of merino tops and corriedale slivers. I added the long fur with the long fur technique (see here for how you can do this) and also did some reverse needle felting to create a blend of lighter colours on his face. He also has wire in his tail and toes and horse hair for whiskers.

If you are wondering how to felt eyes that are closed or sleeping – here is a tutorial on how I made the quoll’s eyes. This is great for all sorts of sleeping animals 🙂 It also shows my quoll when he didn’t have any fur (just his core base).

If you are stuck on how you might needle felt spots on your spotted creations – here is a tutorial showing 4 ways you can achieve this from simple spots to more detailed long furred spots.

What are you currently making or planning to needle felt next? any interesting looking animals like the quoll maybe?

How to Needle Felt Animal Spots – 4 Ways

How do I create spots on my needle felted animals?

Here is a video tutorial demonstrating how to needle felt animal spots in 4 ways.

If you are a beginner you might just want to know how to add quick easy simple spots to start with to get a feel for your needles and wool.

Or you might be looking at how you can add more realistic felted fur on your spotted animal.

I also show you how a reverse felting needle can be useful to pull the wool fibres from your core base through your top layer of wool to form a spot.

Whether you are an absolute beginner or a more advanced learner, I hope you find these tips helpful on your needle felting journey. My aim is to teach you how to needle felt animals that are detailed and realistic.

Here are the time stamps to help you find the sections you may be looking for:

0:00 Intro to animal spots

1:47 Adding simple spots – this is great for beginners, a quick easy spot

5:35 Reverse felted spots – using a reverse felting needle to create spots

7:44 Long Layered spots – how to felt realistic fur on your spotted animal

15:31 Parallel planted spots – for fur that stands up (medium/short fur animals

So here is the video. I hope you enjoy it 🙂

What is your favourite spotted animal? There are so many to amazing animals out there to choose from but please let me know in the comments – I’d love to know.

NEEDLE FELTING TOOLS AND WOOLS:

****** Best NEEDLES I use for quality are from Heidifeathers. They all come colour coded so you’ll never forget which needle you are working with.

It’s well worth getting a set of 30 Mixed Felting Needles – Triangular, Star, Reverse and Twisted Needles – here

Or you can choose them by needle type:

Star 38G – here

Triangle 38G – here

Triangle 40G – here

Twisted 38G – here

Twisted 40G – here

Twisted Mix – 38 & 40 gauge Twisted needles – here

Reverse / Inverted Felting Needles – here

****** NEEDLE HOLDERS ******

Clover Multi Needle Tool which holds 1 to 3 needles and really helps to speed up your felting: here

Have your 5 favourite needles in holders- 5 x Long Wooden Needle Felting Handle – keep as they are or decorate them? here

****** SCISSORS ******

Beautifully designed rose gold embroidery scissors – handy small size, sharp for cutting strands of wool for long furred animals and for trimming stray fibres –here

****** WOOL ******

Heidifeathers provides a wonderful variety of quality wools.

CARDED Wools – quick and easy to felt with Carded wool batts bundle of 4 natural wool shades; white, grey, dark brown and mid brown here

Carded wool batts, Carded Jacob Wool batts In Natural Shades here

White Corriedale Wool Slither (300g) here

‘Creature Mix’ Carded Wool Slivers HF – 6 wonderful animal shades of needle felting carded wool slivers, here

Or buy individual colours Heidifeathers Single colour Slivers, Natural sheep or alpaca wool tops – choose from a variety of animal colors and bright colours too here

Merino TOPS selection: Heidifeathers Merino Wool Tops Toy Box Mix (animal colours – 12 – total 300g) – here

PERFECT COLOUR PACKS for when you want to add fur to a particular animal – Merino Wool Tops :

Pack of 6 ‘Beautiful Browns’ here – donkey, mouse, tawny owl, mole, hare.

Pack of 6 ‘Grand greys’ here badger, koala, grey squirrel

Pack of 6 ‘Outstanding Oranges and Yellows’ here fox, red squirrel, autumn leaves, bumble bee, yellow chicks, orangutan

Pack of 6 ‘Gleeful Greens’ – here leaves, lizards and frogs, parrots

(Please see links disclaimer in the right hand panel)

Needle Felted Eyes: Needle Felting Sleeping (or closed) Animal Eyes Tutorial

Would you like to know how to make needle felted eyes that are closed or sleeping?

I am making another baby tiger quoll at the moment and when it came to felting the eyes I thought I’d take the opportunity to film the process so I could show you.

In this video tutorial I teach you the stages of sculpting the eyelids, adding a dark eye line and attaching fur around the eye, plus other tips such as which needle to use for detail including the star, twisted and reverse felting needles.

My last quoll ‘Freckle’ pictured here went all the way to Australia where these fascinating marsupials are from.

My new one is going to California once finished!

You may also remember ‘Hazel’ the hazel dormouse I made too? Again she had those sweet sleeping eyes.

Needle felting eyes that are closed or sleeping are quite simple to make. It is more or less needle felting a line but there’s a little more to it to as well to make them look as realistic as possible.

Whether you are an absolute beginner or a more advanced learner I hope this video inspires you to get out your needles and wool and felt your own sleeping animal. 🙂

So, here is the video…..

What sleeping animal are you going to make?

***********************************************************

NEEDLE FELTING TOOLS :

*** Best NEEDLES I use are from Heidifeathers. All their needles are of brilliant quality and are colour coded.

It’s well worth getting a set of 30 Mixed Felting Needles – 10 Different types – Triangular, Star, Reverse and Twisted Needles – here

Or you can choose them by needle type:

Star 38G – here

Triangle 38G – here

Triangle 40G – here

Twisted 38G – here

Twisted 40G – here

Twisted Mix – 38 & 40 gauge Twisted needles – here

Reverse / Inverted Felting Needles – here

(Please see links disclaimer in the right hand panel)

How to Needle Felt Long fur; The Video Series!

Would you like to learn how to attach long fur to your needle felted animal? not sure how to firmly add the wool or where to begin?

You have likely seen my photo tutorial with basic techniques for adding long fibres onto a badger. Well here is a video series for those of you who learn best by watching how it’s done. These are far more in depth with more techniques and tips along the way! You too can create a detailed and realistic fur effect!

This was available as a paid tutorial for some years but I have decided to offer it for free. I have embedded all 4 parts on this page for you to watch and have included chapter start time stamps, so feel free to start at the beginning or skip to the parts you feel would be most useful 🙂

Difficulty ranking: Intermediate level or beginners looking for a challenge.

The result: Amazing detail; the look of a real animal with layers of fur.

Needle felted donkey (9)

In this series of videos I demonstrate how I create a realistic fur look by attaching lengths of wool to my miniature donkey. These techniques can be adapted for any long furred animal. Join me on my journey from preparation to finish; starting with carefully ‘needle brushed’ leg fibres, then fluffy tummy and long textured back fur. You will also see how I create a middle parting on the donkey’s muzzle, add a long fluffy fringe and a beautiful flowing mane.

Skills you will master across the 4 parts:

  • Simple hand blending of wool roving for natural, textured colour tones
  • Preparing wool lengths and a test/sample piece
  • Knowing how firm to felt your core base
  • Two easy methods to firmly attach various lengths of wool fibre
  • The art of layering and trimming fibres
  • Specific skills for adding fur to various body parts including legs, tummy, back, ears, tail, face and mane
  • How to prevent over felting or flattening of long fibres
  • Finishing techniques for defining strands or fluffing them up

Music is by two artists; Jahzzar and Slainte (full use rights).

Details of where you can get my tools are at the end of this page.

Please note: this tutorial series assumes you will have already felted the basic animal shape. My demonstration donkey already has a wire armature with core wool wrapped over it plus facial features and hoofs. I show the advanced techniques beyond this.

PART 1: Hand blending wool, attaching fur to legs (time stamps included below for chapter begin times)

Intro (0:00)

What you will learn in part 1 (01:05)

Where to start? (02:00)

Preparing and blending wools (03:30)

What tools do I need? (11:56) (links to the tools can be found at the end of this page)

Shorter fur – layering on the legs (I show the basics of the 2 techniques) (13:30)

PART 2: Attaching fur to tummy, torso & rump (time stamps included below for chapter begin times)

Intro (0:00)

What you will learn in part 2 (0:52)

Soft tummy fur (technique 1) (01:28)

Continuing the tummy (and a few ways of blending colour) (07:03)

How firm should the core wool be? (11:10)

Lots of thick fur layers (across the torso) (technique 1) (13:13)

Tips for preventing fluffing up and positioning animal whilst felting (18:02)

Adding fur on rump (techniques 1 and 2) (19:20)


PART 3: Adding fur to back, muzzle and fringe (time stamps included below for chapter begin times)

Intro (0:00)

What I’ll cover in part 3 (00:52)

Long fluffy back fur (technique 2) (01:24)

Ears and tail (brief overview for ideas) (09:18)

Fluffy textured muzzle and fringe (very long fur pieces) (technique 2 plus other tips) (10:56)

PART 4: Donkey mane, defining and finishing (time stamps included below for chapter begin times)

Intro (0:00)

What I’ll cover in part 4 (00:52)

Making a mane (an extra attachment method) (01:21)

Attaching the mane (08:05)

Finishing off your animal; defining etc (14:28)

Final donkey photos (what a cutie!) (18:58)

************* LINKS TO THE TOOLS: ***********************

Best NEEDLES I use for quality are from Heidifeathers (all come colour coded for easy identification too)

Well worth getting a set of 30 Mixed Felting Needles:

– 10 Colour Coded Different types – Triangular, Star, Reverse and Twisted Needles – get here.

Or you can choose them by needle type

e.g.: – 38G Star Needle -10 needles – get here

or 38G Triangle – 10 needles – get here

*** CLOVER NEEDLE HOLDER *** (I love this tool for speeding up time it takes to felt)

Clover Multi Needle Tool which holds 1 to 3 needles: best price I’ve found online is here.

*** NAIL SCISSORS *** (good old faithful low cost scissors) – here

(Please see disclaimer about links in the right side panel to this page)

More needle felting tutorials can be found over on my tutorials page 

Don’t ever miss out on my latest tutorials! Insert your email address and click the ‘Follow’ button on the right hand panel to receive notifications of when the next post is up..:-)

How to Needle Felt with CONFIDENCE (5 Ways) | For Needle Felting Beginners & more Advanced Learners

Whether you are a Needle Felting beginner or a more advanced learner, sometimes you can lack confidence. I want to encourage you and show you how to become a confident Needle Felter. I share practical tips as well as mindset strategy to boost confidence in yourself and your abilities. If I can do it then so can you. 🙂

Now I sometimes hear some of you say that you’re actually embarrassed by what you’ve created, you compare yourself to others and you just don’t have the confidence in your felting abilities. 

Some of you have started projects, you’ve been doing all the basics, but then you just feel like you haven’t reached a level of where you want to be, and some of you may even be trying to sell your creations but you just don’t feel that anybody would buy your work.

I want to encourage you all with 5 ways to become a more confident felter. 

In no time I hope you’ll go from being self doubter to confident felter. 🙂

If you prefer to listen or watch videos then I have covered all this in this video below, if not and you prefer to read then please scroll down past the video and continue to read on.  

So here are 5 ways to Needle Felt with confidence: 

  1. Recognize, and remember that you are on a journey. 

That might sound a little bit strange, but this just helps me to realize where I’ve come and where I’m going. 

It doesn’t matter if you’ve just bought some wool and you haven’t even started stabbing or whether you’ve actually done a few projects and you have learnt some basics or maybe you’re a professional at this and you sell your work. 

We all start somewhere, and there’s always room wherever you are to LEARN and GROW and IMPROVE. 

So I remember when I first started, I had no idea what needle nothing was. I’d been online and I found these amazing animals that people have made out of wool. And I was like, “what? how do people do that?” So I went online and I saw how they did it. -just some brief clips about it, and I made a decision right there and then to pick up my wool and my needles, I just got them online and I just sat, and I made a cute little cream bunny, which I still have today, 

I’ve never sold it. To be honest, it’s my first work so not up to my standard now, but that little bunny as cute as he is and as simple as he was he is a reminder now of my journey so far. I can look back, and I can think of where I started all those years ago with some real basic techniques and now look at me now and see how far I’ve come. If I hadn’t started and got stuck in, I wouldn’t have probably had the confidence that I have today. 

I can also encourage you today because I have been the starter where you might be today. I’ve been at the edge of whether I can sell my animals. 

  • If that’s what you want to do, you know you absolutely can with a bit more confidence, a bit more skill, and that’s something that you want to do go for it. I did, and I’ve sold some lovely pieces, and I’ve received so much lovely feedback from people as well. 

Yes, I’ve experimented on this journey, and I’ve very much learned through trial and error, and yes, I completely aspire to become better and improve my work all the time, and I absolutely am inspired by and admire those people who make the most beautiful creatures. But at the same time, I recognize I’m on my own journey. 

Wherever you are on your journey right now, it’s completely fine. It’s ok to be where you are but know that there is so much more to come. 

  1.  Get to know and love your wool and your needles. 

If you’re not confident in what the different wools can do and what the different needles can do, then you may not be confident in what you as a felter can do.

So what I always suggest is that you get to know and get really familiar with the different fibers that are out there, and also get to know what the different needles can do, 

So, the wool actually is very forgiving. It doesn’t judge you (I’m not saying that people judge you either). 

Often in fact, the wool has its own mind. Sometimes you’ll find when you start a project you’ve got this great plan of what you want to make, and as you make something, it molds into something else and becomes a different animal. I’m sure many of you have had that happen!

Think about it as you are a potter with your clay, but in needle felt terms – you are a needle felter with your wool, and you’re going to be sculpting with that wool to make something beautiful. 

 

This is your material that you’re using. So get to be familiar with the different types and look at the different sheep breeds if you’re using wool and maybe even other non sheep species like alpaca or camels. If you’re using non wool types such as vegan friendly fibers, that’s brilliant as well. There’s so many different fibers out there.

Maybe you’ll start off with certain wool like core wool that’s more abrasive and easier and quicker to felt then later on add a more softer finer wool for the detail.

If you’d like to delve deeper into what the different wool types do e.g know the difference between wool tops and wool batts, or would like a quick guide to the sheep breeds, then head over to my wool guide here.

You’ll get to know which fibers you like and you’ll be more confident in knowing what you’re doing for each project and you’ll become more confident in your abilities overall.  

What I would suggest is that when you start out you always start a little bit smaller and then build the layers on top. It is so much easier to add wool than to take away. Although I have to say on occasion I’ve had to cut things off, and I know that’s a big no no in the needle felting world. But sometimes it’s easier to cut something. I’ve cut a head or a nose off before. 

This is what needle felting is all about, you get to work with the fibers, you have your favorites for the different sculptures you’re making and you make it work for you.

In the same way with the needles, get to know different types of needle, try them out, experiment. Feel comfortable with what you’re using. These are your tools to use, so if you’re using the right needles, the quicker more efficient that you will become. You can easily add the detail to your  animals as well. Again, you’ll probably find that you have a favorite that you love to use. 

When you feel confident in your wool and your needles, you will find that your overall confidence will build up, and you can then just let your imagination flow. 

  1. Learn from others and be part of the community

So I don’t know if you’re on social media, but I certainly am, and i’ve really found some of the felting groups out there to be the most encouraging places to be. You can learn from other people, you can be inspired by those more experienced than you and you can also get tips and learn techniques from others as well. I found it to be really encouraging. It gives you that kind of confidence boost when people say that they like your work. Now it shouldn’t be all about that, but I really think it does help. You can get little tips on maybe how to improve as well if you want to. 

If you’re not on social media, that’s completely fine, too. You might find that there’s a local group where you can learn alongside other people in person, which is even better

Remember that COMPETENCE leads to CONFIDENCE, so the more that you do something and get good at it, the more confident you will become. So keep practicing and learning. 

So there’s loads of free and paid for resources:

  • Youtube to watch videos to understand how to needle felt and improve your techniques. Please do subscribe to my needle felting channel here. I have many more tutorials planned. 
  • There’s also online tutorials like on my website here so you can learn from picture tutorials. 
  • PDF tutorials that you can download, needle felting kits and books to buy out there too. 
  • As I mentioned earlier, you could find a local community group that is doing a workshop, learning alongside a friend can really encourage you and build your confidence when your learning to needle felt. 
  • There’s also online workshops, which you can find if you do a really good Google search. 

I suggest when you’re learning, not to try everything all at once, master those little projects first before you leap into something more complicated. Once you’ve become confident in the basic techniques, then you can move on something far more challenging. 

  1. Embrace the mistakes along the way, 

So learning and practicing is great , but don’t be afraid of making those mistakes along the way. Those mistakes will drive you forward so you can make even better creations. When you make the mistakes, you remember them and the next time you’re less likely to do it, yeah. You’re more likely to improve when you experience those mistakes. You can then hone your skills and become a better and more confident needle felter. 

Sometimes I find too that making mistakes enables me to find a completely new technique that I hadn’t even thought of before, and that is all part of experimentation and trial and error. 

If you break a needle, for example, you will soon learn. You don’t want to break more needles and buy more needles and have more expense, so you will soon learn how to achieve the pressure that you should be stabbing with and what angle to stab at. 

Reading a book or watching a video is good for learning but the true meaning happens when you physically try it and do it by yourself. Having those personal mistakes happen to you will mean you soon learn, even though it can seem like learning the hard way. 

I can look back at all the mistakes I made and realise that if I didn’t make that mistake I may not have honed my skills the way I have and be where I am today

Another mistake that people often make (and I am very guilty of this as well) is starting off making something that ends up being too big or certain parts of the animal are completely out of proportion. Yet you thankfully soon learn to plan a little bit better, take your time, and make a better proportioned animal. 

Sometimes you might feel when you make that mistake that it’s all gone wrong, and you don’t feel confident at all. Well, I just want to reassure you, MISTAKES ARE OK to make!!. I’m pretty sure that when you speak to anyone no matter how experienced they are that they still make mistakes.

If you make a mistake, – don’t let that affect your confidence, just see it as something that’s part of your journey, take a deep breath, you’re not going to make as many mistakes moving forward as maybe you will in the beginning. So just see that as an experiment, see it as a learning curve and then move on! 🙂

  1. Discover and follow your individual style.

You have your own inbuilt style, and this is what DIFFERENTIATES you and makes you UNIQUE from any other artist! 

Of course it’s really important to learn, so if you want to go and follow kits or you want to follow youtube videos or read blogs posts like this, then that’s completely fine. You can really improve your skill and obviously being competent makes you more confident. Yet at the same time it’s really, really important to find your own unique style. 

When looking through Google images of needle felted animals or when browsing social media it’s really amazing how you can look at those pictures, and you can recognize straight away who the artist is because they have their own style, and so this is what will happen for you. 

Maybe you’ve already found your style – that’s brilliant, please follow it! 

But if you haven’t yet just again, get to know what you love, get to know what really makes you happy in your hobby and find your individual style.

Personally. I love the tiny detail and the realism and making animals to be as lifelike as I can. I have to say that I’ve been really frustrated in the past when I’ve seen other people make animals, and they can do them really quickly. They can maybe do a whole animal in like a day or even a couple of hours. I thought to myself, “oh. If only I could make things quicker, I could also sell things quicker”. 

But then when I think about what my unique style is and what it is that I appreciate in art, – I appreciate the detail, and if I’m going to create the detail and if I’m going for something realistic, – then of course, it’s going to take me time. 

So don’t get stuck in the mindset that you need to be like someone else or do the same thing as someone else. Don’t compare yourself in that way, find your own style, and then follow that style and be the needle felter that you were meant to be!

Yes, be inspired by other artists, but be confident in yourself, don’t come under any pressure to be like anyone! Express yourself and who you are through your needle felted creations! 

So, are you a self doubter or a confident felter? Please let me know in the comments.

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