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How to Make the Most Adorable DIY Felt Ornaments

Plus, a bonus DIY felted gift.

November 28, 2021
Photo by Mark Weinberg

When the weather cools and the days shorten, I like to have a few crafty projects going that I can work on—in front of the fireplace or TV—ideally using cozy materials like wool roving or yarn. (And, if the projects make nice gifts for someone on my list, even better!)

Needle-felting wool is a fun, easy, and incredibly satisfying craft—all you really need is the wool roving, felting needles, and a foam felting mat. Joining loose wool strands into something solid almost feels like magic. Wool fibers have scales and when they are agitated (like when they are rolled are stabbed with a felting needle) the directions of the fibers move around and the scales permanently lock into each other, creating felt! The more you stab the needle all over your shape, the smaller, tighter, and smoother the shape will become.

Pro-tip: Always wear a thimble to protect the finger you’re using to hold the roving while you’re needling!

There are lots of basic needle-felting tutorial videos online in case you want to see it in action before making these. Once you try it and see how easy it is, you’ll want to create all kinds of shapes of your own!


Basic Felting

What you’ll need:

  • Wool roving (cream to use as the base, plus other colors)
  • Felting needle
  • Multi-needle felting tool (optional, for felting larger areas quickly)
  • Thimble (optional)
  • Foam felting mat
  • Pipe cleaner (optional, for mushroom)
  • Thin cord and a big eye needle
  • Scissors
Photo by Jodi Levine
  1. Pull off (rather than cut) a section of wool roving and roll it into a ball, egg, cylinder, or other shapes, rolling it somewhat tightly. Layer on some more pieces of roving to make it larger.
  2. Carefully use the felting needle (single or multi-needle tool) to poke the shape, working on top of a felting mat. (Remember to wear thimbles on the fingers holding the ball.) Keep stabbing the needle into the center until it starts to shrink and the fibers connect to form your firmly felted shape. Leave one or both ends unfinished if you’re going to attach another shape, like a leaf or mushroom cap.
  3. Continue stabbing and turning, adding more roving if needed to correct your shape. Periodically roll between your hands to even out your shape and smooth the needle marks.
  4. Take small amounts of colored roving and lay over the section of the ball you want to add color to and stab it over the cream base. Continue to stab over the shape and roll between your hands to smooth out the shape and needle marks.
  5. To turn your shape into an ornament, thread a needle with a fine cord. Sew the cord through the top of the shape, take the needle out, and knot the two ends of the cord.

Felted Vegetable Ornaments

Photo by Jodi Levine

Turnip & Radish

  1. Make a cream-colored ball (turnip) or egg (radish) as described above, leaving the top and bottom unfinished.
  2. Make the root end: Roll a piece of roving into a rope and stab it gently at its middle. Use your fingers to roll a pointy tip at one end. Take the unfinished end and stab it onto one of the unfinished ends of the ball.
  3. Add color: Lay some colored roving on the top half of the ball or egg and stab it on, as in step 4 (above).
  4. For the turnip stem: Roll two roving ropes and stab them until they start to become firm. Fold each rope in half and needle each at the fold to the top of the ball.
  5. For the radish leaves: Lay down some green roving, roughly the desired size of the leaf. Poke an outline of the leaf (leaving the bottom unfinished where you will attach it). When the outline is firm, fold the fuzzy edges over itself into the leaf shape you outlined and needle it gently and at an angle (so you don’t attach it to the foam base). When the leaf is complete, rub between your hands to smooth out.
  6. Needle the bottom of the leaves to each other and to the radish top. If you want your leaves to stand up, you can place a piece of pipe cleaner in between them and felt them together to sandwich the pipe cleaner inside.

Mushroom

  1. Take a pipe cleaner and fold the top so it is the desired height of your mushroom. Cut down the extra folded pipe cleaner to about a half-inch.
  2. Wrap cream roving up around the pipe cleaner and under the folded end until it is fatter than you want your stem to be. Stab it to form the stem, leaving the top unfinished.
  3. Make the cap: Roll colored roving into a flat coil and rub it between your hands. Fold one side of the cap over the small folded piece of pipe cleaner to attach it to the stem. Add some more roving if needed to cover the pipe cleaner. Lay it over the edge of the foam and poke it all over with the needle (at an angle so you don’t felt it to the mat) until it is felted. Add more roving if needed to create a bowl shape.
  4. Add dots to the cap: Take a tiny amount of roving and use wet fingers to roll it into a ball. Needle it to the cap and repeat for more dots.

Felt Gift Card Envelopes

What you’ll need:

  • Felt
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine (optional, you can hand-sew these)
  • Needle and thread
  • Ruler
  • Disappearing ink marker (optional)
  • Small buttons
  • White glue (optional)
  • Thin cord
Photo by Jodi Levine
  1. Cut a 4” x 6” felt strip for a standard-sized (2 ⅛” x 3 ⅜”) gift card or fold a paper around your gift card to make a template, adding at least ⅝” to the width and almost 3 times the height to allow it to fully fold over the card twice and almost a third time, for the flap.
  2. Fold one end of the strip to form a pocket (so the card will fit in) and pin it in place. Use the marker and ruler to draw a line for the seam on one side and sew it. Put the gift card back in to check the placement for the next seam, draw the line and sew. Trim the edges to even them out, if needed.
  3. Make a pointy flap: Mark a midpoint on the bottom of the envelope flap and draw a line from either top corner of the flap to the center point to make a triangle and cut it out.
  4. Sew a tiny button on the flap and on the envelope front. Optional: glue a tiny felt scrap to the button and trim around it to cover the button.
  5. Knot a piece of cord to the top button. Wind it around the bottom button. (Tip: If the end of the cord is unraveling, knot that end too)

Would you try making any of these adorable items? Let us know in the comments below!

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jodi levine

Written by: jodi levine

1 Comment

m.sharpe November 28, 2021
this is such a cute idea but def going to have to youtube. step by step images / vid are needed for this project imo but look forward to doing more research!