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Needle Felted Squirrel

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Picture of Needle Felted Squirrel
This is my first Instructable, so please bear with me!  I plan to get more specific as I gain experience.  Anyways, here goes... this is a collection of step-by step photos of a squirrel I needle felted .  Needle felting is a method of felting wool using a barbed needle.  Basically, you repeatedly stab a clump of loose wool.  The barbs on the needle cause the wool fibers to tangle.  The more you poke, the more tangled the wool becomes.  Eventually you get felt!  As you can imagine, needle felting can be a very cathartic experience.
 
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Step 1: Get a lot of wool

Picture of Get a lot of wool
There are tons of online sources for wool and other feltable fibers.  You'll quickly discover there are many different types of wool- roving, batts, etc.  Batts are the easiest to felt with, however they can be expensive.  Do a bit of searching- the cheapest option may be loose wool that's been washed, but otherwise unaltered.  That said, here's my pic of processed wool roving in every color of the rainbow...

Step 2: Make a Wire Skeleton

Picture of Make a Wire Skeleton
Like the saying about build a house on a strong foundation or measure twice and cut once, if you want a realistic-looking needle felted critter, you have to be anal in the beginning.  Start by making a proportional skeleton.  A skeleton will ensure your needle felted creation will stand up on its own.  And as a bonus, it'll make your critter flexible and able to be posed.  Here are a couple skeleton pointers:

-  I usually use cheap floral wire to make my skeletons.  You can also use pipe cleaners.
-  Search online for a sketch, diagram, or photo of the skeleton you're making.  Size it to the proportions you want your critter to be and print it .  Use this as a guide when making your skeleton.
-  Once you've made your skeleton, tightly wrap wool around it to create a "base" to felt onto.
Nulli5 months ago

He is sooo cute! I wanna make one!! He looks like the two live squirrels who get themselves nuts out of the squirrel-feeder that hangs in front of my window, so realistic!

kcli1 year ago
Now that's what I call a crafty squirrel, and really nice!
jkanne (author)  kcli1 year ago
Thank you kindly!
"Nope, it's just Chuck Testa."
Nicely done instructable.
jkanne (author)  Pat_Maroney1 year ago
Ha! I had to look up Chuck Testa- hilarious! Thank you!
bajablue1 year ago
Beautiful work, jkanne!!! This little squirrel is 100% adorable!!!
jkanne (author)  bajablue1 year ago
Thank you!
ChrysN1 year ago
It is so cute, very lifelike, nicely done!
jkanne (author)  ChrysN1 year ago
Thank you kindly!
pantalone1 year ago
This is adorable, and super-realistic! I bet it really freaks out your pets.
jkanne (author)  pantalone1 year ago
Thank you! My dogs want to eat every critter I make. I think they're jealous because I spend hours hunched over little fuzzy wool animals when I should be petting them!
mncannon1 year ago
He is really cute! Nice job!!
jkanne (author)  mncannon1 year ago
Thank you much!
"little innate artistic ability" pshhhhh
That is awesome! So squirrel-like, you are oozing artistic ability :D
jkanne (author)  Penolopy Bulnick1 year ago
You'd think differently if you saw my stick figures! Maybe 2D is where I lose it :). Anyways, thank you for your kind comment!
MYT CR8TiV1 year ago
These are so darn adorable ! I've never needle felted before but this makes me wanna try it and make my own cute squirrel or something.
jkanne (author)  MYT CR8TiV1 year ago
Thank you kindly! I hope you give it a try!
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