This technique is much easier than it looks, as craft editor Emily Dawe found out when she teamed up with Roz and Judy, aka the Woolly Felters, to make this little brown dog

Needle felting a toy dog

What is Needle-felting?

By stabbing a barbed felting needle into wool fibres, the fibres will start to interlock to form a more condensed material.

Once you have mastered the simple shaping and joining techniques you’ll soon be able to make your own puppy.

You can vary the colours and size to make another – our dog is 12cm high and 7cm wide, excluding tail.

Needle felting a toy dog

You will need:

✤ 20g of ochre-coloured coarse wool
✤ 2g of black coarse wool
✤ Small amount of black merino wool for facial features
✤ Fine felting needle and reverse felting needle
✤ Foam pad
✤ 2 round black 3mm beads
✤ Needle and black cotton
✤ Small scissors

Coarse C1 Norwegian wool, merino wool, foam pad and felting needles available from Norwegian Wool (0808 168 8398; norwegianwool.co.uk).

Beads available from spellboundbead.co.uk.

Enlarge template above on a photocopier by 140% so the body piece measures approximately 4 x 7.5cm.

Make the body

1. Roll 10g of ochre wool into a tight sausage shape, thicker at one end. Working on the pad and holding the thicker end, repeatedly and evenly stab the thinner end with the fine felting needle until the wool is firm, smooth and rounded.

Needle felting a toy dog

2. Working down the body, needle the thicker end until it is firm and rounded. Place the body over the template to double-check the size and shape is correct.

Make the back legs

3. Roll a sausage of wool thicker at one end. Place the wool on the pad and start needling the thinner foot end into a sausage shape.

Needle felting a toy dog

4. When the foot is firm, bend the wool round to create the heel. Needle the remaining wool to complete the leg shape, leaving a few loose fibres for attaching. Make a second leg in the same way.

Needle felting a toy dog

5. Splay out the loose fibres and press each leg into place on the thinner end of the body, needling the loose ends in to secure.

Needle felting a toy dog

6. Roll a sausage of wool for the front leg. Needle-felt a rounded end for the paw and leave loose fibres at the other end. Make another the same way.

Needle felting a toy dog

7. Press the front legs on to the body so that the paws are angled slightly outwards and they are in line with the base of the body. Needle-felt the loose fibres into the body to secure.

Needle felting a toy dog

Make the head

8. Referring to the template, needle-felt the head and muzzle shapes, leaving loose fibres where shown.

Needle felting a toy dog

9. Place the muzzle on to the head. Needle-felt the loose fibres to secure the muzzle.

Needle felting a toy dog

10. Needle the head on to the body.

Needle felting a toy dog

11. Needle a little of the black merino wool for the eye patches.

Needle felting a toy dog

12. Use thin lengths of the merino to needle the nose, stabbing at the corners to create a triangle. Fill in.

Needle felting a toy dog

13. Carefully needle the mouth, starting with a length coming down from the nose, then working outwards.

Needle felting a toy dog

14. To sew on the eyes, thread a needle and cotton from the back of the head through an eye patch, then thread on a bead.

Push the needle back through the head to secure the bead in place. Repeat for the second eye.

Knot the two threads together at the back of the head, then thread them back through the head and trim the ends.

Needle felting a toy dog

15. Needle-felt two black ears, leaving just a few loose fibres at the base of each ear. Place the ears into position and needle-felt the loose fibres into the head to secure.

Needle felting a toy dog

16. Fold down the ears, then needle just below the fold to secure.

Needle felting a toy dog

17. Needle-felt a black tail, leaving loose fibres at the base and attach it to the body.

Needle felting a toy dog

18. Lay patches of black coarse wool over the dog and needle them flat and smooth.

Needle felting a toy dog

19. Use a reverse felting needle to pull ochre fibres through the black patches to create the fluffy look.

Needle felting a toy dog

Toys

The ball: Roll a little red wool in your hands into a ball, lay it on your foam pad and needle it all over to secure the fibres.

The bone: Roll some wool into a fat sausage. Needle the middle of the sausage until firm and then needle each end into a ball shape.

Needle into the end of each ball to create a dent for the bone shape.

✤ If you’d like to learn more, join us at one of our needle-felting workshops at Woman’s Weekly headquarters in London. For details, turn the page and visit womansweekly.com/events.

For information on Roz and Judy’s needle-felting books, please search for needle felting at searchpress.com