Christmas Etsy Needle Feltted Ornaments

Needle Felting 101/Getting Started-Santa Ornament Tutorial

I spent much of last year needle felting wool. I immersed myself in the techniques and products of needle felting. There is so much to learn! And, I enjoyed every minute of it! What I found interesting about needle felting was how I got lost in the process, the doing. Needle felting is meditative, similar to crochet. Hours will go by, dishes will pile up. For me, needle felting is a pleasant escape from my worries.

In this tutorial, I have included many of my tips and tricks to help you streamline the process. I’ve also included personal recommendations of products that I like. I never ever recommend products that don’t work well. None of the products listed in this blog are sponsored, I purchased all of them with my own money.

THE 4

There are 4 things that you will need to create beautiful needle-felt projects. Don’t worry, sculpting ability isn’t one of them.

IMAGINATION

PATIENCE

PRACTICE

GOOD QUALITY TOOLS & SUPPLIES

YOU NEED LESS WOOL THAN YOU THINK

I can make 4 Santas from .5oz of wool!

NEEDLE FELTING WOOL

There are many sources for wool; Etsy, the craft store, or a local farm. If you are really lucky, you might have a wool store in your area. Just be sure that you ask that the wool is ready for needle felting. I prefer wool that looks rough, similar to the texture of “core wool.” Remember, the smoother or silkier the wool is the harder it will be to felt. If you end up with wool that is hard to work with, don’t panic! These simple “carders” or “fiber blenders” will help get the wool into shape. If you have these carders you can turn yarn into wool that can be felted into your projects. Just keep in mind that it will still be harder to work with.

https://amzn.to/3zmC9Qd

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees from Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Quick Tip: “carding” is easy. Your goal is to rough up the wool, not smooth it out in one direction. The fibers should be going in many different directions, similar to your hair when you first get up.

PREMADE WOOL SHAPES

This isn’t cheating! I use them all the time. They are available in different sizes and colors.

DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT COLOR?

Wool can be dyed easily. Stick with small batches .5 oz or less. Wool is precious and accidents can happen in the process.

HOW TO DYE WOOL-FUTURE BLOG POST

ANTIQUE STYLE PIPE CLEANERS

I use these in most of my ornaments. They work especially well in Needle felting projects. They add stability, and they can be colored to match your wool. These are available online. This link is for 10 packs.

https://amzn.to/3zrHHsN

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees from Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

PROTECT YOUR FINGERS

I highly recommend that you protect your fingers! Especially when you first get started. There are different ones; leather, and plastic. I prefer the hard plastic ones but they are hard to find.

https://amzn.to/3kFxm8r

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees from Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

NEEDLE FELTING MATS

Be careful when you choose a mat. I’ve purchased synthetic ones that wore out very quickly and then had to be thrown away. Yikes, all that plastic. This is when I discovered the natural wool mats. They last for a long time and will biodegrade after you are done with them. If you can, designate a mat for a particular color. For example, for red wool I use a pink mat… for white wool, I use a green mat. If you can’t purchase multiple mats, use a pet hair roller to brush away the excess fibers.

SMALL GREEN WOOLBUDDY MAT

https://amzn.to/3Bt4c23

XL PINK WOOLBUDDY MAT

https://amzn.to/3Bm8zfz

AMAZON WOOLBUDDY STORE!

https://amzn.to/3rnjMrC

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees from Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

NEEDLES

Don’t waste your time with cheap needles! One needle should last you through at least a dozen projects. There are basically two types of needles. The multi and the single. I like to use a multi when I’m first knitting wool fabric together in a foam template. The second is a single needle that is available in different sizes.

https://amzn.to/3rK7Aw

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees from Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

AWL OR KNITTING NEEDLE

You won’t need both! I prefer the awl to make my guide holes for the wire stem for the neck.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees from Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

HOMEMADE TEMPLATES-Think reverse cookie cutters

I make these out of a thick (1⁄4” ) foam core that can be found at your local craft store. This type of template is great for making wool fabric. It’s far easier to fold wool fabric into a shape as opposed to sculpting loose un-felted wool into a shape. This also keeps you from wasting wool; I can make 4 Santa’s with .5oz of wool. For this project you will need two templates; 2.5 x 3” and a cone shape. Cut out a template with paper, trace, and cut with an Exacto knife. That’s all I do! These templates can be used over and over and they won’t break your needles. The premade wool ones will!

HOT WATER & BAMBOO ROLLING MATS

The hot water along with compressions can help smooth out the surface of your felt. I use this technique a lot in my work. For the rolling mats, be sure to line the mat with a piece of craft felt.

https://amzn.to/3zkPA35

LINK DOES NOT INCLUDE WATER ATOMIZER AND FELT

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees from Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

TINY COOKIE CUTTERS

I have a collection of these. I find them online, in the fondant or clay cutting section of my local craft stores.

TRIMS, BAUBLES & BEADS

Don’t be afraid to make your needle felting projects mixed media. There are so many possibilities!

GLUE & WIRE

A simple Modge Podge Glue will work just fine. For the wire, I prefer the silver wire from the florist section of your local craft store. Keep in mind, we aren’t gluing much. Mostly, to stabilize the neck wire.

SANTA ORNAMENT TUTORIAL

LET’S GET STARTED!

SANTA’S STORY

It’s a snowy Christmas Eve and Santa Clause is almost ready to make his Christmas deliveries but, there is a problem. The reindeer are refusing to cooperate! All they want to do is play, sing and be goofy. Not one of them will help Santa fly his sleigh. Poor Santa, always patient, stands in the blistering wind waiting for the reindeer to help him. Now, of course, this story has a happy ending. Not wanting to disappoint the children, the reindeer do eventually focus and help Santa with his Christmas deliveries. All is well.

This has been one of my most popular ornaments. I’ve so enjoyed creating and sharing this ornament with others. It will take you 2.5 hours to complete, faster after you have made a few. Please read through the above Introduction before you get started.

Disclaimer; Can I make this ornament for sale? Yes, as long as you don’t have it on Etsy.com or Amazon.com, or any other handmade marketplace. Also, you cannot mass produce this item for your own wholesale or retail business. If you want to sell them at a craft fair, art show, or to your friends and family…that is fine but, please give me credit for the idea.

HOW I MAKE A BALL SHAPE-1CM BALL

You will need 2-1cm balls for this project. One for the head and the other for the pompom for the hat. You can buy these already made or make them yourself.

TO MAKE…

I like to use a tiny round cookie cutter to make round shapes. I’ll be careful to needle-felt the perimeter of the cutter to form the basic shape. Once that is formed, then you will take the ball out and spritz it with hot tap water. Then, roll the ball between your palms to form a dense rounded shape. If you need to, needle felt the shape periodically between trying to smooth it out. This will help it hold its shape and become denser, which will make it easier to bead.

BEADED FEATURES

I use small beads to fill in the features of the face. Two black beads for the eyes, one off-white bead for the nose, and a red bead for the mouth. Be sure to use the beading needle that will pass through the hole of the bead! Next, use a small dauber or fluffy q-tip to apply the pink stamp ink to the cheeks. After the ink has dried, use an awl to make a guide hole for the wire. Set with glue and allow to dry.

Quick Tip: use a poly-cotton thread for the beading. It’s thinner and it’s less likely to break or get caught up in the wool.

WITH AN AWL, ATTACH THE WIRE.

SANTA’S HAIR

You won’t need much wool for this. Just a tuft for the head and the beard. Attach the hair by needle felting it to the head and face.

THE HAT

This is the hardest part! The simple instructions are to make a hollow cone shape out of wool. Because I like the hat to be the same approximate size for each Santa, I like to use one of my foam templates. This keeps the hat from getting too big or small. After you have felted the hat; remove it from the mold, fold it in half and, and close the seam. Next, put it in the #2 cake decorating tip and spritz with hot water. Place the #16 cake decorating tip over that and compress. Use your fingers to get a sharp point of the hat. Last, add the 1cm ball to the tip of the hat. Attach the hat to Santa’s head (Needle felt).

THE ARMS

I make them with one piece of pipe cleaner (3.5” piece) and a tuft of red wool. To attach the wool, I first spin the wool into a loose thread similar in diameter to yarn. Wrap the wool around the pipe cleaner, leaving 1⁄4” space on either end. Needle felt the wool in place. Spritz with hot water and roll between your hands to smooth out the fibers. Set aside.

LEGS

For the legs, Cut a 6” piece of pipe cleaner. Use a black sharpie to color the pipe cleaner. Color the pipe cleaner on a sheet of paper, the ink will get everywhere and stain your hands. After the in has dried, bend the pipe cleaner (shown below).

https://amzn.to/2Tpl7l0

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees from Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

SANTA’S ROBE

LET’S MAKE SOME WOOL FABRIC!

For the robe, I recommend you make a foam template. Your cutout should be “About” 2 X 3.” Take a length of wool, about 4” X 3” and fold it in half. The folded edge will become the hem of the coat. With your needle, quilt the fibers together to form a 2.5” x 3” piece. Leave the fibers of the top area loose (about 1/2”).

After you have finished felting, remove the wool from its template. The wool fabric shouldn’t be thicker than about 1/2”.

Now, place the wool onto a Sushi rolling mat and spritz with hot water. Tightly roll the wool into the mat & allow it to dry.

Quick tip: Depending on the size of the bamboo sticks in your mat, you may need to line it with a piece of craft felt.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

This is my favorite part. Start by putting the legs in the center of your robe piece, leaving space at the top for the arms. Place a tuft of red felt on the top of the legs to give Santa a belly. Fold the robe over on one side, then the other. Needle felt the seam closed.

Next, split the loose fibers at the top and drop in the arms. Needle felt the fibers and shape the coat.

ADD THE FINISHING TOUCHES

BELT

ROBE BUTTONS

SLEIGH BELLS

Little bells can be found anywhere. Online, and at your local craft store. Keep your eye out.

All you need is a simple knot. Once you have all the bells on there, give the string a tug. This will tighten the knots.

ATTACH THE HEAD

With an awl, make a guide hole for the stem of the neck. With a spot of glue, attach the head. Allow the glue to dry before you shape the fibers. Needle felt and shape the beard and hair.

ATTACH THE ORNAMENT HANGER

YOU’RE DONE!!!

THANK YOU FOR VISITING HUMMINGBIRD TRAVELER STUDIO!

You Might Also Like...