A Newbie's Guide to Needle Felting a Reindeer Christmas Ornament
I'm always interested in trying new crafts, but I never thought needle felting would feature among my DIY adventures. I'm so glad it did!
This year, my knitting group decided to do a handmade-ornament exchange for the holidays. Each person who wanted to participate was to make an ornament to swap. I had a number of ideas for my decoration and settled on using scrap fabric to sew a stuffed reindeer with wrapped copper wire and beads for festive antlers.
Then I won a needle-felting kit on CraftGossip to make a felted pony (thanks, Denise!). Although I had never done needle felting before, I had seen demos of it. After reading the directions that came with the kit, I figured I could probably use it to sculpt a deer instead and decided to try to make a felted ornament.
I didn't use most of the stuff that came with the kit. I only used the fiber, needle, and protective pad from it. I had already found an image of a reindeer silhouette that I was going to use for my fabric deer. I used this instead as my stencil as I modeled the basic form of the reindeer. Then I went to work.
Warning: Regardless of how careful you are, you will poke yourself with the felting needle . . .
. . . probably many, many times. And it hurts.
I added the details as I went along. Then I made one antler by coiling copper wire around itself. While coiling, I added little beads. When one antler was done, I poked the wire ends through the deer's head (it hurt me more than it hurt him) and started on the other side.
Attaching his ears helps keep his antlers up and in place. Once complete, I just needed to sew on a red nose, tie on a ribbon, and add a hanger.
This project was a lot of fun. I might just be a new convert to needle felting. And luckily, I have enough fiber left to make myself an ornament too!
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© 2012 Donna Herron