A-Z of miniatures crafts: F for felting


Learn the basics of needle felting and make your own miniature needle felted teddy bear with this delightful tutorial by Ann Sutcliffe.

The needle felting technique can be used to make all sorts of tiny items for your dolls house like little mice, realistic dogs and cats, or other soft toys. Needle felting is addictive, and so rewarding – well worth having a go at!

If you’re wondering how to needle felt a miniature bear, you’re in luck! In this tutorial, Ann shows you how make your own needle felted teddy bear – a lovely addition to your miniature scene.

Needle felted miniature bear tutorial

You will need

  • Felting needle 
  • Foam pad 
  • Wool in two contrasting colours 
  • Small sharp scissors 
  • Small piece of ribbon

Method

How to make the bear’s legs

1. Pull a piece of raw wool from the ball, roll and shape into a flat log.

raw-wool-with-needle

2. Start felting by pushing the needle into it until it comes together and firm up. Take small sharp scissors and cut this flat log into two forming legs that are approx. 0.5in long. Felt each leg until it's shaped.

felting-miniature-bear-legs

3. Take a tiny piece of wool from a contrasting colour and roll into a ball between your thumb and forefinger. Using your needle on the foam pad, felt this until it's round and flat. 

wool-balls-for-miniature-bears-legs

4. Place on the bottom of the leg and felt into place with your needle. Repeat for the second leg.

miniature-bear-needle-felted-legs

How to make the bear’s torso

1. Work up from the top of the legs with your felting needle all the time shaping and forming the torso. Repeatedly pushing the needle in at a point below the belly will cause the body to bend upwards and make your teddy into a sitting bear.

miniature-teddy-bears-torso

2. The torso should be about another 0.5in up from the top of the legs at the front, but about 0.75in from the sitting bottom at the back. Needle in right around the neck area to create the end of the body and the beginning of the head.

needle-felted-bear-legs-and-torso

How to make the bear’s arms

1. Take another small piece of wool and roll into a log. Needle it at one end, creating the first arm shape.

needle-felting-miniature-bears-arms

2. Make another little black pad in an oval shape, and needle into the palm at the end of the arm.

needle-felted-teddy-bear-palm

3. Pull/cut away the arm at about 0.5in long. Needle the cut/frayed end firmly into the body. The fur/thread will stay in position without anything more than the action of the needle. Repeat.

attaching-bears-needle-felted-arms

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How to make bear’s head

1. Form a ball of felt from the remaining wool at the top of the body for the head by rolling it up and felting together with your needle. 

felting-miniature-teddy-bears-head

2. Keep needling the head to firm it up and whilst doing so, try to form the ears from the ball by going round with the needle to form the shape. If you can’t form ears this way add more felt and needle them on.

forming-teddy-bears-facial-features

3. Make two tiny balls of black wool and needle inside each ear. For his nose, make a rolled log of the brown raw wool exactly as you made the arms and needle into a cone shape. Needle in a tiny ball of black at the snout. Cut the nose from the log and needle in place on his face. Make two more minuscule black balls and needle in place for each eye.

finished-needle-felted-miniature-bear

How to finish your miniature needle felted bear

Take a pair of small sharp scissors and trim off any stray fibres around the finished bear. Tie a piece of fine silk ribbon around his neck.

finished-needle-felted-miniature-bear-with-ribbon


Learn more about felting with our focus on needle felting or master more techniques from our A-Z miniatures crafts series... go back to 'E for embellishing' and learn how to embellish miniature furniture or skip ahead to 'G for glass painting' and learn how to paint a miniature stained glass window!