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A Newbie's Guide to Needle Felting a Reindeer Christmas Ornament

As an artist and homeowner, Donna enjoys creating unique decorative items and holiday ornaments to welcome all to her artistic abode.

Handmade Needle-Felted Reindeer Ornament  (c) purl3agony 2012

Handmade Needle-Felted Reindeer Ornament (c) purl3agony 2012

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.

Needle-Felting Materials  (c) purl3agony 2012

Needle-Felting Materials (c) purl3agony 2012

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.

Starting the Ornament  (c) purl3agony 2012

Starting the Ornament (c) purl3agony 2012

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.

Modelling the Shape of the Reindeer  (c) purl3agony 2012

Modelling the Shape of the Reindeer (c) purl3agony 2012

Warning: Regardless of how careful you are, you will poke yourself with the felting needle . . .

Getting there! (c) purl3agony 2012

Getting there! (c) purl3agony 2012

. . . probably many, many times. And it hurts.

Adding the Beaded Antlers  (c) purl3agony 2012

Adding the Beaded Antlers (c) purl3agony 2012

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.

Almost done! (c) purl3agony 2012

Almost done! (c) purl3agony 2012

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.

I used a bead to make Rudolf's red nose. (c) purl3agony 2012

I used a bead to make Rudolf's red nose. (c) purl3agony 2012

Completed DIY Reindeer Ornament (c) purl3agony 2012

Completed DIY Reindeer Ornament (c) purl3agony 2012

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!

How cute is he? (c) purl3agony 2012

How cute is he? (c) purl3agony 2012

© 2012 Donna Herron

Comments

Donna Herron (author) from USA on October 17, 2013:

Hi CraftytotheCore - Thanks so much! That means a lot to me, especially coming from someone as creative and talented as you! Hope you are inspired too by the upcoming holiday season! Thanks again!!

CraftytotheCore on October 17, 2013:

I would vote Amazing if there was such a choice. Brilliant! This is so beautiful. I'm so impressed with your talents purl! :D

Donna Herron (author) from USA on October 16, 2013:

Hi moonlake - Thanks so much! I can't believe the holidays are almost on us again (yikes!), but it's fun to look back on past projects and get new ideas. Thanks again for commenting!

Donna Herron (author) from USA on October 16, 2013:

Thanks Heather! The antlers were actually the first inspiration for this project, then I sort of figured out how I wanted to do the body. I'm so glad my plan worked out :) Thanks so much for your comments and pin!

moonlake from America on October 16, 2013:

Very nice. Love the reindeer and you did such a great job explaining and the with the photos. Voted up and shared.

Heather from Arizona on October 16, 2013:

This ornament is so precious. I love his antlers the most since they look like they're decorated with lit-up Christmas bulbs. I love to look at ornaments every year and the felted ones are always my favorites. I'm continually in awe of your crafty skills. Great job :) Pinned to my crafting group.

Donna Herron (author) from USA on April 16, 2013:

Hi Sallybea - Even when you do kind of expect it, it hurts :) But it's fun and interesting to see the shape develop while needle-felting. I'll be doing more of it. Thanks for your comments! I appreciate it!

Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on April 16, 2013:

This is really cute and you sure know it when those needles give you an unexpected jab, just when you are least expecting it, ouch!!

Great Hub.

Donna Herron (author) from USA on January 21, 2013:

Thanks, Jill! This was an unexpected project, but I really enjoyed it and plan to do more needle felting in the future. Just what I need - more crafts :)

Jill Spencer from United States on January 20, 2013:

This is the sweetest thing! How did I miss this hub before Christmas?

You really have some talent, girl!

Donna Herron (author) from USA on December 17, 2012:

Hi Natashalh - Thanks!! It was actually difficult to take pictures of the reindeer once he was finished - he kept on spinning in circles :)

Thanks for your comments!!

Natasha from Hawaii on December 17, 2012:

So cute! And you have fantastic pictures, too. I've always been curious about felted critters. My cousins can make them, but I've never tried. Thanks for the tips!

Donna Herron (author) from USA on December 17, 2012:

Thanks for your comment! I was kind of winging it, but I had nothing to lose :) I'm happy with the finished ornament, and it was fun.

Thanks again!!

KerryAnita from Satellite Beach, Florida on December 17, 2012:

Oh, this is so cute! I never would have thought to felt in this way:) Thanks for sharing!

Donna Herron (author) from USA on December 04, 2012:

theframjak - I'm glad you like it and want to make your own:) Would love to see it! And my husband loves the red nose too.

Donna Herron (author) from USA on December 04, 2012:

peachpurple - Thanks so much for your interest! I made this ornament for a gift exchange, so someone else now has it. Sorry. Have you thought of making your own?

theframjak from East Coast on December 04, 2012:

Very cool. I need to make one of these for my tree. Love the red nose.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on December 04, 2012:

So beautiful! I love yr reindeer. Can i get it from you? Would be nice on my Christmas tree... Best hub!

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