Needle felted Jack-o-lantern Tutorial

What would Halloween be without jack-o-lanterns! Who doesn’t love cutting out the scary face and scooping out the mushy slime of the pumpkin! This needle felted jack-o-lantern tutorial gives you another method to make your jack-o-lantern, a little less messy than the original!  

Materials: felting needles, sponge for felting surface
Wool:I suggest using coarse wool like shetland, New Zealand or Burgschaft
orange (pumpkin)
cream or white (interior of pumpkin)
a thick stick (pumpkin stem)
scissors
poly fiber fill or core wool (base shape)
spool of thread
glue
piece of soap (for drawing the face)
  

  1. Wrap several handfuls of core wool or poly fiber-fill (depending on the size jack-o-lantern you want ) with thread to form the base shape (sphere or oval).   

  2. Base shape: wrap the sphere with orange wool, felt till firm. Use a large felting tool (4 to 8 needles.)  

  3. Cut the top out of the sphere as you would do to a real jack-o-lantern.  

   4. Pull out the inner (unfelted) layers of fiber-fill or core wool, but not too much! If you’ve felted the sphere firmly enough, the felting needles will have made about 1/2″ crust-like outer layer of orange wool and fiber-fill or core wool under it. IMPORTANT: you must leave about a 1/2″  to 1″ shell on the pumpkin. If you pull out too much fiber-fill or core wool and leave a very thin layer, the pumpkin won’t be firm enough and it won’t retain it’s spherical shape.  

  Raw shell of the pumpkin.  

  5. Needle felt cream or white wool inside the pumpkin and on the under side of the pumpkin cap.  

  6. Felt a dome on the under side of the pumpkin cap. The dome will envelope the end of the pumpkin stem.  

  7. Felt around the pumpkin cap so that it fits into the hole.  

  8. Cut a hole in the top of the pumpkin cap. Put glue into the slit and insert a thick stick for a stem. The dome on the underside of the pumpkin cap allows you to glue and insert the stem deeper into the cap.  

  9. Draw the eyes, nose, mouth and top onto the pumpkin with soap.  

  10. Cut out the face shapes.  

   11. With a needle and thread, sew around the cut out shapes of the face. This makes the width less and easier to felt wool into the cut out shapes. I decided not to cut out the nose so the face would be sturdier.  

  12. Needle felt cream or white wool into the cut out face shapes. 

  Completed option # one. You can stretch the eyes and mouth for a variation of expressions. For a jack-o-lantern with a 3-D nose and more facial details, continue… 

 13. Eyebrows, cheeks, nose: Roll wool and felt till firm. 

 

 14. Nose and two cheeks 

 15. Apply nose and cheeks to jack-o-lantern face. 

 16. Apply another layer of wool over the eyebrows, cheeks and nose to “blend” the new pieces into the pumpkin face. The additional layer of wool lightly felted down allows you to see the shape beneath, but erases the line made by applying the pieces to the pumpkin face. 

 17. Sculpt the face with the felting needles. You can also shape the facial features to some degree with your fingers. Pull the mouth and/or eyes to widen them and change the expression. 

 18. Tongue: in the final step, fold a piece of cream wool and felt it in the shape of a tongue, till firm. Insert the tongue into the mouth, felt the tongue to the interior of the pumpkin. Voila!

Consider putting a very low voltage light (like an LED light because it gives off very little heat) inside the jack-o-lantern to light it. IMPORTANT: Never put a candle inside your needle felted jack-o-lantern and if you put a small flashlight inside, make sure the light source is not touching the wool.

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