If you would like to have a go at making these super cute and super fun Needle Felt Sheepies, then read on! I am no way, by any means, a needle felt expert, it is just one of the mediums in which I like to create.
After catching the needle felting bug, I’ve been creating some fun needle felted creations and want to share some of that love with the crafty world. As well as this step-by-step picture tutorial, you can buy kits very soon in my ETSY SHOP and follow the video tutorial with both the kit and free tutorial, which is coming very soon!!
I have also created a downloadable PDF: Needle Felt 2D Sheepies.
The PDF is a written step-by-step guide for you to print out and keep, along with safety tips (which are also explained in this blog post)! There are no photos accompanying the PDF guide to save ink when printing! To save paper, try printing just pages 2 & 3 and on both sides too 🙂 If you buy the kit from my Etsy shop, you will receive this print out as well as additional information on needle felting and coupon codes to use on future purchases in my shop.
I can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or contacted via the ‘message seller’ option on Etsy with any questions you have about the tutorial.
TIPS (and SAFETY STUFF!!!!);
- First things first, the needles are sharp AND barbed – if you do stab your finger it will hurt….A LOT and most likely bleed too, SO PLEASE BE CAREFUL!
- With that first thing in mind – Sharp things + Kids = Tears and worried parents (nuff said). Make sure you keep needles safely away from inquisitive mini fingers. I wouldn’t recommend this for children, maybe start with wet felting with them first so they can explore the texture of the fibres! There are lots of ideas in Pinterest!!
- When needle felting, I strongly recommend finger guards, you can buy them on Amazon or I got mine from my local fibre/wool shop, the ones I have are made from thick faux leather and look like the ends of gloves. If you find thick enough gloves such as this, you can always cut the fingers and thumbs off them and make your own!
- A sponge is sometimes used to rest the felt on, however, the needle doesn’t need to go through this. Although it does from time to time, it will lift out parts of the sponge which may make its way into your needle felt creation. The needle just needs to go into the felt, once you get used to this, it does get easier to resist the urge!
- To know when your creation is felted enough, use the tip of your nose as a guide for the level of squishiness (I believe that is an official crafty term!)
- Although they can from time to time make you utter expletives, felting needles will break if you do not poke them into the fibre at a 90 degree angle. If you try to bend the needle, it will snap and that kinda sucks. It has happened to me and it sucked because I was almost finished with a super cute fox brooch I was making one evening!
Felting Needle (plus a spare!)
Sponge (you can purchase proper needle felting ones, but since I go through loads, I just use the sponge side of washing up scratch pads, a lot cheaper and come in packs!)
Fibre suitable for felting (some felt better than others!)
Circular cookie cutter (the one I use is 1.25 inches in diameter)
Brooch back (one slighter smaller in length than your cutter, I use 1 inch length)
Plasters (just in case!)
A swear jar (you could use the pennies to buy more fibre, yay!)
Place your circular cutter on top of your sponge and take some of your main colour fibre (about the size of a ping pong ball) and put it inside the cutter.
Begin to gently poke the fibre, it will take a little while for the fibres to fuse together but stay with it. It will soon take shape! Wear your finger guards!! Turn over the fibre from time to time to allow even-ish felting on both sides.
Continue doing this until it is taking shape and becoming more firm, you can poke around the edges to give it more substance and to make sure it is felted evenly. Make sure you mind your fingers though! Do this very slowly and carefully if you are not using finger guards, it will hurt and your swear jar will over flow!!
Once your sheepie’s body is how you would like it, it is now time to give this little chap some features. Take your contrasting colour (I like to use black) and pull off a small amount, you can always add to it and make it the shape and size you would like. Do this the same for the feet, just pull off a smaller piece **Make sure you don’t bend the needle though, it will snap if you force it!!**
Now that your sheep has its features, now is the time to attach the brooch back! Unhook the pin from the latch and open it up (being very careful with the pointy end!). Lay the brooch back on the back of your sheep where you would like it positioned.
Using a small amount of your left over white fibre, cover the flat part of the brooch back. Carefully use your needle to incorporate this fibre into your sheep’s body, being careful not to jab the metal, this can damage (or even break!) your needle. You can needle felt underneath and inside the holes of the brooch back by carefully changing the angle of which your holding the needle. Just remember not to change the angle whilst the needle is inside the felted area.
One your brooch back is felted securely onto your sheep, it is now ready to be adorned to your project bag or garment or handbag with pride!
If you have any questions regarding this tutorial, please email me at email@example.com or PM me on Instagram or Ravelry 🙂