Needle Felted Finger Puppets Tutorial

finger puppets
The puppy licked my nose!

Finger puppets help bring out the imagination in our children; the imagined worlds and characters of children are fascinating to watch! With this simple tutorial, you can make animals, monsters, aliens, sea creatures, people or whomever your imagination might introduce to you. Adults and children alike,please be careful with the felting needles, as they are very sharp, please supervise your children while felting.

playing with finger puppets
piggy tail

The secret to needle felting is SHAPES! You determine the shapes that make up an object, felt each one and sew and/or felt them together-Voila-easy as pie! I will show you step-by step how to make the frog finger puppet in this tutorial, but there is a shapes guide that can be printed for the cow-pig-rat-frog and dog at the end of the tutorial to help you determine the shapes that make up the other animals.

figer puppets
pig, cow, rat, frog and needle felted finger puppets

Needle Felted Finger Puppet Tutorial

Materials for Frog: Green wool (frog head and body)
White wool (bottom of frog’s head, eyes)
Black wool (frog pupils)
A piece of sponge approximately the size of a child’s finger (to make the finger covering)
Felting needles-medium gauge
Sponge-work surface

Note: Coarse wool such as Shetland or Coringdale is the fasted felting wool and best for this project, fine wool such as Merino is best used for wet felting or hair.

1. Wrap wool around your finger and a piece of sponge together (use your little finger to better size the finger puppet for small children). Wrap a thick layer of wool around your finger till your whole finger is covered.

wrap entire sponge and finger with thick layer of wool

 

a thick layer of wool

2. With a felting needle, carefully poke the wool into the sponge, at the sides. Poke the wool several times on each side so that the wool will stay on the sponge when you pull your finger out.

Carefully! felt around your finger

3. Hold onto the wool with your other hand and gently pull your finger out of the wool.

pull the sponge and wool off your finger

4. With the felting needle, continue to felt the wool finger covering with the sponge inside of it. Before the wool becomes attached to the sponge and you can see that it will retain it’s shape without the sponge, pull the sponge out of the finger covering.

felt the finger covering till firm

5. Continue to felt the finger covering, remember to continue pulling apart the wool so the finger covering doesn’t become felted together. With a single needle, felt on the inside of the finger covering as well. Felt the finger covering till it is smooth and firm. (Using a needle holder that holds 4 or more needles will help the process to go much faster).

finished finger covering

 

6. Form a head by wrapping the wool tightly into an oval. Felt the bottom of the oval with white wool. Felt the head till it is firm and smooth.

frog's headtwo-toned frog headtwo-toned frog head

 

two-toned frog head

7. Felt two small circles for the eyes of the frog. Sew the eyes onto the top of the head and then felt them onto the head (sewing the eyes onto the head helps insure that they won’t come off during play and become a choking hazard.)

frog eyes

8. To make the eyes seamless on the head, wrap a strip of wool around the eyes and felt.

make the eyes seamless

9. Felt white and black onto the eyes.

finished frog head

10. Sew the head onto the finger covering. Wrap a strip of wool around the neck of the frog and felt the head and body together.

finished frog finger puppet

 

playing with finger puppets

Details for the other finger puppets: see the diagram finger puppet diagrams

  • Pig’s tail: Wrap peach wool around a 2″ long piece of pipe cleaner, roll it firmly between your palms to secure it to the pipe cleaner, then spiral the pipe cleaner onto your little finger. Cut a hole into the pig’s body, insert tail and sew it into place.
  • Yarn for hair
  • felt for tongues
  • pink pastel -to color noses and ears (the pastel stains light colored wool to add subtle color)
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