first stab at needle felting

as many of you know, our family has entered the world of waldorf… and as a new waldorf momma, i realized i might need to figure out this whole needle felting thing that always looked so fabulous from afar, but seemed so out of reach for me, somehow. i think i’m intimidated by fiber arts in general, but am warming up to it. alas, i’m here to happily report that needle felting is *not that difficult!*

N and i received a really great needle felting book for christmas that captured her heart right away because of the cute little wooly animals featured throughout. teeny. baby. animals. her weakness. so i knew it was time to get a needle and some wool and get stabbing, which i attempted for the first time a couple weeks ago.

when flipping through the book, i asked N what she would like to make first. if you are a regular reader of my blog, i bet you can guess what she chose — a fox, of course! (i’d recommend beginning needle felting with animals or objects that do not have legs, but this wasn’t all that bad to get the hang of.)

it really is a cool way of sculpting with wool. i was amazing at how the material responds to the needle and changes shape and texture quite easily. i found this to be incredibly satisfying.

i did poke my finger twice with the very sharp needle while doing this, so i was glad i tried this as a momma art project first. (still sore!) however, i have learned there are kits you can get for young children who want to learn to needle felt, and N certainly does! the magic onions also provides a nice post with ideas for safe ways for children to practice needle felting. i think i’ll open it up to be a mommy-daughter activity as soon as my own comfort level improves.

the fox in progress...

N was there beside me every step of the way while making this, cheering me along, “you’re doing great, mommy!” (seriously, it kept me going.) and also gently pointing out that, “this fox is looking kinda long… more like a seal. um, but that’s okay mommy. it’ll just be a long, long fox. i’ll still love him.” haha!

regretfully, when i made this fox, i didn’t yet have that large foam pad ($6) you see just above. see, you need a piece of foam to poke into. for the fox, i just used that teeny gray square of foam that came with my needles, which you can see two photos up. it was tricky, but doable, with the small foam pad.

N is LOVING her new fox pet, and has already asked if i can now make a smaller fox “because he’s ready to have a baby.” i’m psyched, because having made this fox shows me that you don’t really need the book or a pattern to do this. you can totally make it up as you go, but for me the book helped to give me the confidence and a reference and a good look at the materials. i now have two more projects in the works (from my mind, not the book!) so i’ll just be over here, poking away. hopefully not into my fingers anymore.


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  • I’ve been looking at needle felting for a while – I love the little things you can make but have had my eye on making a bag/hat for next winter that I saw one of my friends wearing – is it really that easy?

  • jen

    it is actually easier than i thought, though i am honestly just winging it at this point. i’m sure there is more technique to it and for me to learn. i’m totally open to (and wanting) tips!

  • Heather N

    Love the title (“first STAB”) because that is exactly what I would be doing if I tried this form of art. I love, love, love looking at needle felted creations, but I’m afraid my fingers would never forgive me if I tried…

    P.S. The fox looks great.

  • jen

    hee hee heather – i’m glad you got the meaning behind the title… these are some sharp needles, for sure!