Needle Felted Rudolph Ornament Tutorial

Rudolph the red nosed reindeer
Why does Rudolph have this expression?
Afraid to fly!
fear of flying

 Hohoho! Once again, it’s the time of year to make Christmas tree ornaments! Last year I made a gnome ornament tutorial that was very well received, you can see that here. This Rudolph ornament is based on the same  idea of transforming one simple shape into an ornament.

You will need these materials:
brown wool (body,ears,snout)
beige wool (belly)
white wool (eyes)
core wool or poly-fiber fill (base shape)
black, red, beige sewing thread (to wrap core wool, sew on beads & wrap wool antlers)
2 black seed beads (eyes)
sewing needle (to sew on eye and nose beads)
1 red bead (nose)
sponge (felting surface)
tiny branches (antlers)
fabric glue (to glue in antlers)

Base shape/oval: 3.5″ or 9cm long x 4″ or 10cm diameter
cone shape/snout: 1″ or 2.5cm long
leaf shape/ears: 1″ or 2.5cm long

NOTE: I’ve included my hand in many of the photos so the proportion of the pieces is easier to understand.

NOTE: Needle felting this piece will be faster and in my opinion easier if you use a coarse wool like Shetland, Corringdale or a wool labeled as “fast felting”.

 1. With sewing thread, wrap a handful of polyfiber-fill (pillow stuffing) or core wool into the base shape. Wrapped tightly, the sewing thread keeps the polyfiber-fill or core wool in your desired shape.

needle felting
base shape for reindeer ornament


2. Wrap the base shape with brown wool and needle felt till firm and smooth.

needle felting ornaments
base shape plus wool


3. Take a tuft of brown wool and roll it into a cone shape. Needle felt the cone shape till firm, then felt it onto the base shape .

Christmas ornaments from natural fibers
tuft of wool for reindeer snout
natural fiber ornaments
reindeer snout


4. Use a tiny tuft of white wool, roll it into a ball then needle felt it above the snout, where the eyes will  be. Felt a beige oval onto Rudolph’s belly.

making a reindeer ornament
tiny tuft of wool for eyes
needle felting Christmas ornaments
eye placement


5. Take two small tufts of brown wool to make Rudolph’s ears. Lay the wool on the sponge and fold over both edges toward the center (this gives the edges a clean finish). Felt the ear into a pointy leaf shape. Don’t felt too long on one side of the ear or it will stick to the sponge, turn the ear over every few needle stabs so both sides are felted and the ear doesn’t become stuck to the felting sponge. Leave one pointy end of the ear unfelted, use the unfelted end to felt the ear to the reindeer head.

laleebu needle felting
fold the wool into an ear shape
how to needle felt
Two reindeer ears
natural Christmas ornaments
reindeer ears in place


6. Sew a black seed-bead into the middle of each white eye area. Sew a red bead on the end of the snout for Rudolph’s nose.

ornaments made from natural fibers
seed bead eyes
rudolph's nose
red wooden bead for Rudolph's nose


7. Antlers: Find 2 small twigs (that look like deer antlers!) to glue into Rudolph’s head OR you can wrap a pipe cleaner with beige wool instead. After you wrap the beige wool around the pipe cleaner, wrap beige sewing thread around the wool to help secure it to the pipe cleaner. Each way is cute, but looks very different. Cut two small slits on top of the head. Fill each slit with fabric glue and insert the twig or pipe cleaner.

Rudolph's antlers
wooden twig antlers or wool wrapped pipe cleaner antlers


santa and Rudolph
old friends

5 thoughts on “Needle Felted Rudolph Ornament Tutorial”

  1. Great tutorial for Christmas ornament especially now that Christmas season is near. This work needs patience and creativity. It will surely test your art skills.

  2. Hi,love your tutorials. I’m a beginner felted but I am trying to make the frog prince,so far so good. My question is on how to do theverything dryer felting. How long should it dry for,and do I put the eyes in after?

  3. Hi,
    I’m glad you like the tutorials! Put the pieces in the dryer till they’re firm, smooth and dry. If you take them out before they’re dry, you’ll have to let them air dry because you can’t felt wet wool. And yes, put the eyes in after you’re done with dryer.

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