It’s wonderful how some wool and pipe cleaners can be transformed into a realistic needle felted bunny sculpture with just a little imagination, prodding effort and time!
I’ve made bunnies before but not a wild looking one. I chose some beautiful wools – carded slivers from themenagerie range at Heidifeathers. The main colour is called ‘rabbit’, the darker shade is ‘deer’ and the white is ‘polar bear white’. They were soft and easy to wrap, felt and blend.
Here is a time lapse tutorial that shows you the entire process and demonstrates the steps you need to make your own cute wild rabbit. The video includes pipe cleaner armature, wrapping wool, adding wool shapes to build the body, making paws, creating a head with face detail, adding wool eyes and lovely long bunny ears, attaching the ears and head, making a cute fluffy tail, reverse felting for fluffy fur, adding a darker shade for more realism and adding horsehair whiskers.
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.
I hope you enjoy it
Here is the next tutorial for making the cat ears.
Or if you would like to know how to do the whiskers then that part is here.
If you missed the previous 2 videos or would like to rewatch them:
Tutorial one for Needle Felting a Cat Head Shape is here.
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 🙂
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!
The next two videos in this series are available now too if you’d like to watch them:
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.
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 here.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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?
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 :
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.
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 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
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. 🙂
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.
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)
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)
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)
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)
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.
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