Updated: Nov 6, 2021
Hey, this blog provides a step by step guide to needle felt your own Snowman decoration, it's aimed at beginner and novice crafters who are looking to try out needle felting - but all are welcome to follow the guide. To complete your Snowman you'll need:
A felting needle.
A felting mat.
Core wool: This is coarse wool that provides the bulk to make the Snowman shape.
White wool: For the Snowman's body, head and scarf.
Black wool: For Snowman's eyes, mouth, buttons and top hat.
Orange wool: For the Snowman's nose.
Red wool: For the scarf, you may select a different colour if you wish.
We design our kits with the environment in mind and therefore our kits use 100% wool and we have designed eco felting mats, made from cotton with a biodegradable filling - making them both reusable and recyclable. If you have alternative felting wool and/or a foam felting mat you may follow these instructions with these. All materials for this kit may be provided through our Snowman Kit.
This project uses the dry felting method, which involves repeatedly stabbing the wool using a special felting needle. The needle has very small barbs which catch the fibres and matt them together. Needles come in a variety of gauges and with a varying number of barbs. The needle we use in our kits is a 38 gauge star needle which is a great all rounder.
Before you start here are some words of advice from my experience of stabbing my fingers - ouch!!
- Felting needles are sharp. When felting, take care to keep fingers away from the area you a felting.
- Always felt on a felting mat! A needle in the leg hurts!
- Always push the needle in and bring it out at the same angle to minimise the risk of breaking the needle.
Here's a brief overview - Step-by-step directions further below.
To create your Snowman you will need to first create the body shapes and then felt on the details. Creating the body shapes is done with the core wool. Roll the wool tightly and as close to the required shape as possible and then felt. It will get smaller as you felt so don’t be alarmed if it looks large to start with. To felt, stab repeatedly moving the shape around to ensure it remains even. Don’t rush this part. It will take some time but it is worth it to create a solid starting point. Ensure that you push the needle all the way into the centre of the shape. The more you felt, the firmer the shape will become. You want to ensure that it is firm enough to support the other features.
When adding details such as the arms or head, felt through the part you are adding through to the body. This will bind the fibres together and hold the item in place. When adding colour, such as the white to the body and head there is no need to felt all the way into the body. Keep it light and on the surface. Always felt on the mat to protect your legs and the needle, also ensure that you regularly move your piece to such that it does not felt itself to the mat.
Step 1: Body
For the Snowman's body you are felting to create a slightly conical cylinder. It should be slightly thinner at the top than the bottom.
Take some core wool and roll into a cylinder with slightly more wool at the bottom than the top. . Approx. 12cm long makes a good size decoration for your Christmas tree when finished, but base the size on the amount of core wool you have. You'll need to use around 2/3 for the Snowman body and 1/3 for the head.
Resting on the felting mat, repeatedly stab the core wool with the felting needle to bring the fibres together. Remember to watch you fingers, felting needle are sharp - ouch! Do this all over the cylinder including both ends to form the wool into the desired shape. Continue until the shape is the required size and the body is firm.
Take pieces of white wool and wrap around the body piece leaving sufficient overhanging both ends to fold over to ensure full coverage. Using your felting needle and mat, felt the white wool to the body including both ends, ensuring that no core wool shows through. Once the white wool is firmly attached you may leave if fluffy or felt more for a smoother finish.
Step 2 : Head
Now you have completed the Snowman body you are looking to felt a ball to form the head. Roll some core wool into a ball and felt until you create a ball the required size for the body you have made. Again be carful with your fingers, also remember to continuously more the ball around as you felt, this will help produce a sphere shape as well as preventing the wool being felted to the felting mat.
Ensure that you regularly turn the wool the ensure that you get a neat ball shape. Take some more white wool and cover the head as you did in step 1 for the Snowman's body. Wrap the white wool around the head ensuring enough coverage such that no core material shows through. Your Snowman parts are coming together well now - time to grab a cuppa, or top up the wine :).
Step 3: Attach the head to the body
To attach the head to the body place the head on top of the body and felt through the head,1/2 cm from the bottom, into the body. Repeat this all the way round until the head is firmly attached. If the head doesn't feel firmly attached repeat, felting around the neck line again. Ensure that your felting needle goes in and out of your Snowman at the same angle to prevent it breaking
Step 4: Scarf
Using a finger and thumb pinch a length of coloured wool (Red in our example) and a length of white wool. The lengths need to be long enough to easily go around the Snowman's neck to make a scarf. Holding both ends of the length of wool twist first the coloured wool and then the white. Allow the coloured wool to twist up while you twist the white as shown.
Once both lengths of coloured wool are individually twisted take both lengths, hold together and twist to create a striped scarf. The twist in the lengths with the wool frictions will hold the scarf together ready for felting to your Snowman.
Wrap scarf around the neck with the ends down one side of the body. Push your felting needle though the scarf and into the Snowman's body to attach. Repeat this around the whole scarf in the desired position. Ensure that the needle enters and leaves your creation at the same angle, bending the felting needle could make it break.
Step 5: Hat
To create your Snowman's top hat, you will need 2 similar sized pieces of black wool, one for base and one for the top of the top hat. Ensure that you also have enough black wool for all the buttons, eyes and mouth. Roll the first piece of black wool into a cylinder and felt to form the top of the hat.
Take the second piece of black wool and fold flat approx. 2cm x 2cm felt into a flat circle to form the base of the top hat. Ensure the size fits with the top of the hat that you have already created. Use the needle to fold over and poke in the edges to create the circle shape.
Felt the top and rim together and then position onto the snowman's head and felt through the hat into the head to fix in place.
Your Snowman is really coming together now with hat and scarf in place, we just need to add some character now with a face and buttons.
Step 6: Details
For the Snowman's buttons take a tiny piece of black wool, roll together between your fingers and felt into place.
Follow the same method for each eye and felt in place.
Finally take a tiny piece of black wool for the mouth. Twist the piece of wool into a small rope and felt in place.
Take a slightly larger piece of orange wool and roll between your fingers and felt in to place to form the Snowman's orange nose.
That's it, from a heap of wool you've created your very own handmade Snowman decoration. A beginner needle felter you are no more! Happy Crafting.