Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Best Beginner Books on How to Needle Felt Little Animals

Learn to needle felt with book tutorials.

When I first discovered the potential of needle felting while browsing the shops of talented Etsy artists, I was enthralled and I knew this was what I had to do. But I didn't know how to get started. So I did what I always do when I want to learn something new -- I found a book. Wool Toys and Friends: Step-by-Step Instructions for Needle-Felting Fun
The book included lots of pictures, and instructions for a variety of animals and dolls, including some very cute finger puppets. I don't think I followed the instructions to make any of the specific designs, but it helped me understand the process and how to add legs, arms, etc. After that book, I became consumed with needle felting and taught myself.
If you have a desire to sculpt  little needle felted animals, start with a book. Here are some recommendations for books easy to follow needle felting instructions:

Best books to learn how to needle felt animals.

Wool Toys and Friends: Step-by-Step Instructions for Needle-Felting Fun

This book includes patterns and many ideas including a sock monkey, finger puppets and a prairie dog. It also includes some instructions on wet felting.

Little Felted Animals: Create 16 Irresistible Creatures with Simple Needle-Felting Techniques

This book has 16 simple animal designs and really cute photography. It has some very nice step by step tutorials that make the process very clear.

Adorable Felted Animals: 30 Easy & Incredibly Lifelike Needle Felted Pals (Gakken Handmade)

This book includes 30 step-by-step instructions for making cute realistic pets including dogs and cats.

Making Needle Felted Animals: Over 20 Wild, Domestic, and Imaginary Creatures (Crafts and family Activities)

This book is especially lovely with 22 wildlife designs, detailed instructions and beautiful photography. I also like that they include a trouble shooting section, "felting bloopers."

Wild and Tame Needlefelt Animals: 24 Adorable Animals to Needlefelt With Wool

This book offers quite a variety of animals, both wild and tame, as the title suggests, for a total of 24 designs. There are many basic instructions such as "separating wool roving" that are very helpful to beginners.

The Natural World of Needle Felting: Learn how to make more than 20 adorable animals

I love that this book goes into great detail in the first chapter on choosing needles, adding color and creating structure. The photography is superb. It includes 20 designs with clear instructions.

Good luck on your needle felting adventure. Be sure to check out my tutorials on this blog including:

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Finding Inspiration for Needle felt Chipmunks in my Backyard

It was a very mild winter in the Midwest and that seems to have resulted in an abundance of local wildlife in my suburban backyard. Last week, a deer ran through my yard and I spotted a red fox down the road. It's hilarious watching the bunnies chase each other through the yard. But squirrels and chipmunks are my most frequent visitors.

My backyard chipmunks

My herding dog, Angelina, alerted me to some young chipmunks in my neighbors window well in the spring and I was able to get some up close photos.

There is nothing that equals inspiration from real animals, but when I don't have that opportunity, I google images or look on Pinterest. When I create my animals I always work with images of real animals, rather than my previous creations as I feel it gives them life.

Realistic needle felt chipmunk

Life sized Needle Felted Chipmunk

Chipmunk cake decoration

Chipmunks Make Cute Wedding Cake Toppers

tiny wool chipmunk

Tiny Needle Felt Chipmunk

dollhouse chipmunk

Micro Needle Felt Chipmunk


Monday, June 5, 2017

Claudia's Needle Felt Pet Portraits of Dogs, Pet Memorials

I have always loved dogs, so it makes sense that dog pet portraits are among my favorite needle felt sculptures. I have been told often that my pet portraits were the best gift ever. Clients often buy pet memorials to remember their dear ones that passed over the rainbow bridge.

sheltie pet portrait

Needle Felt Shetland Sheepdog Pet Portrait

I have created many breeds, golden retrievers, shetland sheepdogs, siberian huskies, shepherds, labradoodles, collies, poodles, min pin, corgi, yorki, boxers, westies, bully breeds and on and on.

I had a lot of fun illustrating "Prince Preemie: Tale of a Tiny Puppy Who Arrives Early," as the book is illustrated with numerous dog breeds. The giveaway is a softcover copy of Prince Preemie, signed by the illustrator, me. It's a sweet book, check out the trailer on Youtube.

 "Prince Preemie: Tale of a Tiny Puppy Who Arrives Early," 

wool dog pet memorial

Merle Collie Wool Pet Portraits

Shetland Sheepdog Pet Portrait

I like to create my pet portraits by obtaining numerous photos. I study the photos and I also study images of the breed standard. I spend many hours getting to know the breed and the dog. Usually by the time I'm done, I've fallen in love with the pup.

Wire-haired Pointing Griffon Pet Portrait

Min Pin pet portrait

Miniature Pinscher Needle Felt Sculpture

I use a variety of wool fibers as well as alpaca to create my dogs. Sometimes I'm able to use natural hues; other times I need to dye the fiber to match the dog's coat.

Poodle pet memorial sculpture

Custom Needle Felt Poodle Hugging Stuffed Toy

Needle felt boxer dog

Boxer Pet Memorial 

needle felted dachshund

Needle Felted Dachsund

Tripod dog pet sculpture

Needle Felted Shepherd Tri-pod

The most popular size of dog is 5-6 inches in length, but I have made larger and smaller dogs. If you are interested in a needle felt dog sculpture, summer is the best time to order. I usually cut off orders of pet portraits early in the fall, which is my busy season.

If you'd like to keep up with my new designs, books and other Claudia Marie Felt news please sign up for my newsletter. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

How to Needle Felt a Tiny Cardinal or Tiny Bird

I use tiny birds to decorate branches and little felt trees and some of my treetopper Waldorf angels hold little red cardinals. I created many little birds for my picturebook Seasons of Joy: Everyday is for Outdoor Play. 
In this blog post, I'll explain how to make a tiny red Northern Cardinal. You can also watch me make the cardinal in the YouTube video.

seasons picturebook

Learn to make the tiny cardinal like the one on cover of Seasons of Joy: Everyday is for Outdoor Play


    felt bird
  • orange wool
  • red wool
  • grey-brown wool or alpaca
  • black wool
  • toothpick
  • felting needle 38 or 40
  • sharp scissors

Wrap orange wool tightly around toothpick.

Wrap red wool over orange, wrapping in same direction.

Carefully slide off toothpick, felt with needle, and bend wool to shape bird.

Wrap small piece of red wool around head, and felt in.

Cut head crest to shape like cardinal.

Wrap tiny piece of black wool around beak and felt in, add red wool to create tail.

needlefelted bird

Blend red and gray wool, fold a tiny piece of the blended roving and felt in as wings.

Watch me make the cardinal in this YouTube video:

Waldorf angel with cardinals

Another angel tree topper with cardinals.

snowman building

The tiny cardinal in a Winter illustration from Seasons of Joy: Everyday is for Outdoor Play.