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How-To: Making a Needlefelted Turkey

Nov 4, 2008

by daniellexo

I was recently shopping local and bumped into two great Etsy shops for heartfelt and natural kids toys, winsomehollow & littleloveblue.  Turns out these Etsy sellers are sisters! I invited them down to the Etsy Labs to do a live how-to in the Virtual Labs and luckily, they were thrilled to share with the rest of Etsy.  Here’s a gorgeous photo tutorial they put together for those who can’t make it November 6th, Thursday at 7pm EST.  (Note: After the how-to we’ll be showing our favorite kid’s toys on Etsy. So come on by and get some holiday shopping done! For a good starting point, check out our Top 10 Waldorf Toys.)

 

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Materials:

Here are the basic steps for the turkey:
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Pull off a large handful of wool stuffing, spreading the wool into a long piece. Roll the wool tightly into a ball shape. This will be the basic size of the turkey’s body.  You can add or remove wool to change the size.

 

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Using the foam felting surface, place your wool ball on the foam and begin poking the ball (and poking and poking!) all around and through to the center with the felting needle. Do this until the wool is relatively firm and equally dense around. 
Tip:  Try to poke the needle at a straight angle, so as not to bend or break the needle!

 

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Pull of some small pieces of brown roving (your base color for your turkey) and spread thin layers around the ball, again using your felting needle to poke and attach the color to the ball.
Tip:  After applying the color, gently roll the ball around in your hands to smooth the wool surface.

 

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Continue to poke what will be the bottom of your turkey’s body, until the bottom is a flat surface. This will make the turkey stand upright.

 

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To make the head, roll and felt another smaller wool ball (this is for the turkey’s head). This time leaving a section at the end unrolled for the turkey’s neck.  Roll and poke this unrolled section until firm and shaped like a neck.  Cover the head in brown roving as well.The turkey’s head can either be sewn with brown thread onto the front of the larger ball (more firmly attached), or needle felted onto the front of the larger ball.

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To create feathers, pull off small, thin strips of various colors of wool roving, and smooth into long fluffy pieces.  Again using your felting needle, attach one end of these pieces of roving, in alternating colors, in a semicircle around the back of the larger ball, so that the pieces stand tall like turkey feathers.

 

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Roll a tiny piece of dark roving between your fingers for the turkey’s eye, poking this piece onto the face of the turkey with your needle. Repeat on the other side.  Remove another small section of roving for the turkey’s beak, felting one end of the piece onto the turkey’s face.
Tip:  Wet your fingers to smooth and shape the roving into the pointed shape of a beak.


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The basic wool ball can be made into any number of sweet little animals.  Add a round head, long ears and a small fluffy tail to make a bunny.  for a a hedgehog, elongate the head into a more pointed shape, (adding a cute little nose on the end and two ears on top!), and cover the body with a coarse fluffy brown roving.

Don’t forget: to see this how-to live, join us November 6th at 7pm EST in the Virtual Labs!

Top 10 Autumn Prims | Top 10 Waldorf Toys | More How-to projects

43 comments

  • thefunkyfelter

    thefunkyfelter said 9 years ago

    This is awesome! I love the turkey, the process, and this whole article :)

  • shavingkitsuppplies

    shavingkitsuppplies said 9 years ago

    Thanks for this! I've always been curious about the process.

  • Stamperooni

    Stamperooni said 9 years ago

    Adorable, it looks much easier than I imagined it would be. Thanks. :)

  • SilverSunshine

    SilverSunshine said 9 years ago

    Aww! Love the bunny!

  • lolos

    lolos said 9 years ago

    Wow, thank you for the tutorial!!! The turkey is awesome!!!

  • Leelinau

    Leelinau said 9 years ago

    omg Viola (woodland girl) is sooo flippin adorable. ^_^

  • JANETLILY

    JANETLILY said 9 years ago

    Thanks Ive allways wondered how this was done! :)

  • julieincharge Admin

    julieincharge said 9 years ago

    Lovely tutorial!

  • nichan

    nichan said 9 years ago

    I thought, I was using too much roving when making the bigger project than this (I usually make a cake)...I usually use small amount but then add it and add it...I just thought...uh, I'm using the roving too much and it makes me guilty...I wasn't sure for what i was doing...but this tutorial shows me that even for such a small project, we need much roving...I feel relieve now... Thank you thank you for tutorial...

  • TheSingingBird

    TheSingingBird said 9 years ago

    Great tutorial Katy and Cary! What a fun way for sisters to spend time together! :)

  • buzzhandmade

    buzzhandmade said 9 years ago

    Etsy, this is littleloveblue and winsomehollow, now you have been introduced to 2 of my very favorite shops. Happy shopping!

  • GumballGrenade

    GumballGrenade said 9 years ago

    Very well put together tutorial!

  • houndmade

    houndmade said 9 years ago

    so cute!

  • laralewis

    laralewis said 9 years ago

    thank you so much for this tutorial! i love felted creations and have often wondered how in the world they are made!

  • Tina7383

    Tina7383 said 9 years ago

    I am so there for this. I have been wanting to find someone to give lessons in this great craft and have not been able to find any classes. I am so stoked that I will now be able to learn this cool art form.

  • hamesgirl

    hamesgirl said 9 years ago

    I bought the DIY Felting Kit from MaryJanesAttic last January - and bought another one for my niece. Great price, easy and fun (made some eyeballs for Halloween). Just watch the fingers! ;>)

  • goldgatsby

    goldgatsby said 9 years ago

    Hi! Tina, Please show me the book, what kind of animal do you want to make?

  • goldgatsby

    goldgatsby said 9 years ago

    Hi! Tina, where are you!!!

  • goldgatsby

    goldgatsby said 9 years ago

    Is this turkey you want to learn how to make?

  • LegendaryTigerHero

    LegendaryTigerHero said 9 years ago

    Thanks! Now I know a way to make a turkey without tracing my hand!

  • 4TheSparrowsNest

    4TheSparrowsNest said 9 years ago

    LoooOOoove Felt!! Yay!

  • satellitedaisy

    satellitedaisy said 9 years ago

    So...That's how you do it!!!! Tres cool! Thanks so much for the info!

  • autumnsarrival

    autumnsarrival said 9 years ago

    I still think I need to leave this up to the very talented professionals! Very cute items- love the pumpkins. All this wool makes me dream of snow!

  • 1920

    1920 said 9 years ago

    so sweet, love them all.

  • BluCille

    BluCille said 9 years ago

    I love the turkey and acorns. So festive!

  • GilmoreCreations

    GilmoreCreations said 9 years ago

    Awesome turkey! Now... another crafting desire to add to the list! Love the step by step instructions - Thanks!!

  • mopsical

    mopsical said 9 years ago

    I was so glad to see this article; I've been wondering about 3D needle felting for a long while now. Thanks so much! =)

  • KnitKnit

    KnitKnit said 9 years ago

    The step by step photos look great! Wonderful work ladies!

  • oritdotandolls

    oritdotandolls said 9 years ago

    Thanks ladies!

  • manaturallyinspired

    manaturallyinspired said 9 years ago

    Ok, now I'm inspired to try making a turkey too! This was a wonderful instruction. Thank you!

  • TheBrassHussy

    TheBrassHussy said 9 years ago

    Perfect, I wanted to try needle felting some jewelry pieces, and this article is just the jump start I needed.

  • daniellexo

    daniellexo said 9 years ago

    Don't miss the live how-to starting at 7pm EST!

  • LuLusMeltShoppe

    LuLusMeltShoppe said 9 years ago

    How cute is that turkey? Very!

  • MorganNichole

    MorganNichole said 9 years ago

    So cute!

  • SNucciDesigns

    SNucciDesigns said 9 years ago

    Incredible! Had no idea how these were made. The Felt acorns set and the Blubird are very cute. Thanks for this article.

  • HModine

    HModine said 9 years ago

    My 13 year old daughter just started needle felting, she loved this, tried it and we are thrilled!!! Great instructions :)

  • dayanra

    dayanra said 9 years ago

    You guys are great teachers!

  • cheriedesigns

    cheriedesigns said 8 years ago

    I have the cutest little bluebird made of felted wool. And of course I got it on etsy :)

  • riorita

    riorita said 7 years ago

    I liked watching this! Cute Turkey!

  • pasin

    pasin said 6 years ago

    Wonderful work I loveall of them

  • pasin

    pasin said 6 years ago

    Wonderful work I love all of them

  • dexihexifelting

    Dexihexi Pouch Puppies from DexihexiPouchPuppies said 1 year ago

    Nice tutorial

  • irisdenise

    Denise Greene from irisbearyspecial said 1 year ago

    Thank you so much for sharing! Got to learn this!

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