Needle felted Dog/Cat Tutorial

needle felted dog and cat
Needle felted dog and cat.

 Animals are easy to needle felt, just felt the basic shapes and put them together (see tutorial for details).

Kitty cat
Kitty cat with a heart collar

 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!   

puppy dog
Needle felted puppy dog with a heart collar.
needle felted puppy dog
Dog face

 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.

base shapes
Make base shapes from acrilon or core wool.

 1. With sewing thread, bind acrilon or core wool into the basic shapes of your animal.    

Wool covered base shapes.

 2. Base shapes: Cover the base shapes with the color of wool you want your animal to be, needle felt till smooth and firm.    

folding wool to make shapes
Fold wool to make legs.

 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.     

keep folding and felting
Keep folding and felting the wool you have a firm tube.
folded wool
Folded/felted wool makes great legs, tails, flower stems and snakes!

 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.    

base pieces for the cat
Lay out the base shapes to be sewn together.

 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.    

wrap joint
Wrap the ankle joint with a piece of wool and needle 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.    

pieces of the cat
Sew the feet to the legs, the legs and tail to the body.

 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.     

needle felted cat ears
Fold corners of a piece of wool to make triangle shaped cat ears.
needle felted cat ears
Needle felted triangular cat ears

 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.    

cat's head
The cat's head, snout and ears sewn together.

 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.    

cat's head
Finished cat's head
needle felted cat
All pieces of the cat are sewn together, the seams are covered and the detail have been added.

 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.    

the collar
Cut a collar from felt.

 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.    

Needle felted red heart to sew to the animal collar.

 Cat and Dog shape diagrams:    

cat shapes
Cat shape diagram for needle felting
dog shapes
Dog shape diagram for needle felting
All needle felted animals are made by putting shapes together; learning to recognize which shapes an animal (or any object) is made up of is the key to being able to felt anything! See the two base shape diagrams at the end of the tutorial for a guide.  


9 thoughts on “Needle felted Dog/Cat Tutorial”

  1. Oh my daughter would adore the dog! I really need to get needle handles since all the work I’ve done so far has been by single needle.
    LOVE your blog, I actually spent half a day going back though all your post. You do some awesome work with felt and those mushrooms, wow! I wanna be like you when I grow up haha 🙂

  2. Dear Amelie,
    I’m soooo sorry to hear about your kitty. Good luck with the sculpture and please e-mail me if you have any questions.

  3. Hey, this is great stuff….I was stuck creating clunky designs,and now I can see how easily I can make the tail, legs and ears. thanks so much. I am totally inspired and cant wait to get started.

  4. Just what I needed to know. There seem to be so many ways of felting. This is great, and the photos are a terrific help. Thank so much.

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