Animals are easy to needle felt, just felt the basic shapes and put them together (see tutorial for details).
For very small children (under the age of 4), small pieces such as the collar,heart, jaw and tongue should be eliminated from the toys so as not to become a choking hazard!
This cute needle felted dog and cat make great toys for kids or the perfect gift for a dog or cat lover. The tutorial shows the basic steps, which work for both the dog and the cat.
Needle felted Dog/Cat Tutorial
Dog: 7″ long x 6.25″ tall (not including tail) x 3″ wide/18cm long x 16cm tall (not including tail) x 7.5cm wide
Cat: 5.5″ long (not including tail) x 7″ tall x 2.5″ wide/14cm long (not including tail) x 18cm tall x 6.5 cm wide
acrilon (poly fiber fill) or core wool
coarse wool (Shetland or New Zealand) for felting cat: yellow, cream, black, pink, red
coarse wool for felting dog: cream, brown, black, pink, red
felting needles-small, medium and large gauges
needle handles-(I prefer to use multiple needles to speed up the felting process)
sponge: felting work surface
felt: for collar
glue (to glue collar together)
needle (for sewing heart to the collar)
thread (for binding acrilon or core wool and for sewing heart to collar)
*Substitute wool colors if you’re making a specific kind of dog or cat.
Note: Small gauge needles: for smoothing out areas of wool for example use a small gauge needle to smooth out a bumpy area. A small gauge needle doesn’t make “poke” holes in the wool.
medium gauge needle: for firmly applying wool, for example a medium gauge needle is the best for applying spots to the dog or the white muzzle to the cat. I use this sized needle the most, a good to use as an all purpose needle.
heavy gauge needle: for applying one piece of wool deeply into another piece, for example a heavy gauge needle is the best for applying eyes. Also good for making lines or details, for example this needle is great for making the indentation at the top of the heart.
1. With sewing thread, bind acrilon or core wool into the basic shapes of your animal.
2. Base shapes: Cover the base shapes with the color of wool you want your animal to be, needle felt till smooth and firm.
3. Legs: To make the animal legs, pull off a long piece of wool. Roll the wool tightly (into a tube) and needle felt the wool tube firmly each time you roll it.
4. Keep folding and felting the wool till you have achieved a firm tube. If the tube is not big (wide) enough, roll it in another piece of wool and keep folding and felting. Cut the wool tube into equal pieces for the legs.
5. Finish the legs & feet: Once all the base pieces are prepared, sew the feet onto the bottom of the legs. Wrap the ankle joints with wool and felt till firm and smooth.
6. Sew the cat/dog’s body pieces together: Once the legs and feet are sewn together and the ankle joints are felted, sew the legs, tail to the body with a doll needle and thread to match the wool. Wrap the area where the legs and tail attach to the body with small pieces of wool, felt till smooth.
7. Ears: To make cat ears, fold wool down from the left to the center, felt till firm. Fold the wool from the right to the center, felt till firm. To make dog ears or other shaped ears, the wool should be arranged on the sponge in the approximate shape of the ear, felt till firm. Turn the ear over and felt again. If the ear is too thin, add additional layers of wool and continue to felt both sides till firm and smooth.
8. Cat’s Head: cut the small sphere in half for the snout, the snout for a dog doesn’t need to be cut. Sew the snout and ears onto the head. Cover the connecting stitches with a thin layer of wool, felt till firm and smooth.
9. Add details last: Felt a small sphere onto the snout for the nose. Felt small piece of black wool for eyes. Once the head is put together, sew it onto the body with a doll needle. Felt a small oval of wool beneath the snout to form the jaw for the mouth. Other details include a tongue (felted flat), spots/stripes or different colored ears or feet.
10. Cut a collar from felt 4.5″ long x 1/4″ wide (11.5cm x .5cm). Wrap around the neck, stitch or glue closed.
11. Heart: make a base shape, like the cat and dog body parts. Cover the shape with wool and felt till firm and smooth. Sew the heart onto the cat/dog’s collar.
Cat and Dog shape diagrams: