Introduction: Needle Felted Embroidery

Picture of Needle Felted Embroidery

This piece is a combination of needle felting and embroidery.  I found this image online which I really loved and wanted to turn it into something real - a picture or a pillow, or something like that.  It seemed like the perfect opportunity to experiment with an idea I had to felt a flat image onto fabric, and embellish it with embroidery.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

You'll want to gather up a variety of wool roving, a thick piece of foam, and a felting needle.  You'll also want embroidery floss, an embroidery hoop, and needles for the embellishment.

There are a lot of ways to transfer your image onto your canvas (in this case, my canvas is some fabric from a discarded bed sheet!).  Since my fabric was sheer enough to see through, I placed the image underneath and used a water-soluble marker to trace the image onto the fabric.  The marker will disappear when sprayed with water!

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Step 2: Needle Felting

Picture of Needle Felting

Needle felting is easy and addictive, but it is also dangerous!  Those needles are barbed and they hurt like something else when you accidentally pierce yourself.  Felting a flat image makes this less likely than felting a 3D object, so I recommend starting with this technique when you're learning needle felting.

Place the fabric on top of your thick foam piece.  Tear off a piece of the wool roving and start stabbing it into the fabric.  Because the needle is barbed and the wool fibers are crimped, stabbing them repeatedly will cause the fibers to grab onto each other and shrink together (think of what happens when you throw a wool sweater in the wash!)

So just start stabbing around the shape that you want until the entire space is filled in.  You can add more roving and cut excess away as needed.

The wool is going to go all the way through the fabric and stick into the foam.  Just gently peel them apart and trim down the excess wool on the back of the fabric.

Step 3: Embroidery

Picture of Embroidery

To embroider the detail, place your fabric in an embroidery hoop.

I used really loose embroidery stitches to highlight the text, and smaller stitches to outline different features of the dinosaur.

Check out jessyratfink's awesome Instructable on how to do a variety of embroidery stitches.

Step 4: Admire Your Work

Picture of Admire Your Work

It really comes together in the end when all of the final details have been added.

Frame your piece, or turn it into a pillow or other accessory.  I put this one in a frame I covered in yellow washi tape, and used spray glue to keep it taut in the frame.

I hope this project inspires you to try out this technique!  It's super fun, pretty quick, and very addictive.



angryrobot17 (author)2013-07-17


vorpal_forklift (author)2012-11-21

This also works quite well with most yarns, and other fiberous materials (Felt, obviously!). I used yarn to felt a spider on to a plain sweatshirt for my mother once, though I imagine wool roving is much better for bigger projects!

sunshiine (author)2012-10-29

This is adorable! Thanks for sharing this! I bought some supplies to try this last year. Just haven't tried it yet! You might have pushed me a little to give it a go.

HollyMann (author)2012-10-28

wow..I"ve never even heard of doing this before...i like it! Sounds like fun..i like danger..I have stabbed myself too many times with a sewing needle..i think i can do this! :)

HollyMann (author)2012-10-28

This is SOOO cute! I love it!

NaturalCrafter (author)2012-10-12

I always break for fiber arts I have some I need to be creative with too.. You have inspired me!

Tomdf (author)2012-10-07

Dinowin RARRWR

Keko (author)2012-10-07

Well said, dinosaur!

shellycaron (author)2012-10-06

This is adorable!!

PotatoCoffee (author)2012-10-06

RARW it means I love it in dinosaur.

PotatoCoffee (author)2012-10-06

RARW it means I love it in dinosaur.

bajablue (author)2012-10-05

How completelycute is that!?!?!?!

mikolynn (author)2012-10-05

Raar too!

rocket (author)2012-10-05


Pixie Puddle (author)2012-10-05

really really cute, love it. :)

SHIFT! (author)2012-10-05


Carleyy (author)2012-10-05

I think this is my next valentines gift for my boyfriend! So cute!

craftknowitall (author)2012-10-05

My daughter made the same saying,only different, " Roar is Monster for I love you." on a T-shirt for my grandson. It worked really well. Really cute and well done.

pjamestx (author)2012-10-05

Super cute!

ATatteredCanvas (author)2012-10-05

Going to have make one of these for my Sister!

usb-e-kits (author)2012-10-05

Nice job!

PitStoP (author)2012-10-04

RaRr to you too.. So cute! =)

Kitana Kellaway (author)2012-10-04

Aww that is like the sweetest think ever!!
btw u speak dinosaur too?? it's very rare to find someone that can

PotatoCoffee (author)2012-10-04

This is so cool! You speak very good dinosaur.

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2012-10-04


rrkrose (author)2012-10-04

This is the most adorable thing I have ever seen!

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