Introduction: Needle Felted Wool Dragon

For this project I used wool roving in two shades of green, cream, and blue, a single needle needle-felting tool (all purchased at a local craft store, and/or gifted from a friend with an ewe), and wire found in my garage.  I separately purchased a set of glass eyes from online for around $.34.

With The Hobbit coming out soon, I have had dragons on the brain!  First I drew a sketch of what I wanted my dragon to look like to have a very rough idea of how to mold him.

I decided to put a very basic wire structure on the inside of my dragon so that  he would hold his shape a little better.  I literally just  formed a small loops of wire for his head, body, tail, wings, and two front legs.  The head, body and tail were one continuous piece of wire, the legs and wings were added separately.  In retrospect I should have made wire back legs as well, but oh well!

I began by needle felting the body and head onto the wire structure, then felted the front legs onto the wire structure.  Afterwards, I separately shaped the back legs and attached them to the main body.  Essentially the process used with needle felting is just adding more and more wool a little at a time by continuously poking it with a felting needle.  The wool gets more dense and tighter as you work, thus ultimately your wool roving goes from a shapeless mass to something more mold-able.  Depending on the size of your sculpture, this can take hours and hours.  I made this dragon over the course of about two days while hanging out with family, and I poked myself in the fingers many times.  

For the wings I added detail to a cut piece of flat white felt, then needle-felted that onto the wire structure.  This was probably the most time consuming and tedious part of the process.

Finally, I inserted glass eyes and felted the eye lids into shape.    I was happy with the final result, and my husband received a handmade gift!  


YamiEridani made it! (author)2013-07-08

How big did your dragon end up? It looks like it could fit on a shoulder.

forthegoodknight made it! (author)forthegoodknight2013-07-20

Yep! He is just the perfect shoulder size. I do not have him in front of me to actually measure, but the body was about the length of my hand plus the tail.

YamiEridani made it! (author)YamiEridani2013-07-20

How big around would you say? 1.5in diameter? I want to do a beaded version and your dragon has just the right proportions.

forthegoodknight made it! (author)forthegoodknight2013-07-21

I would say his the main tube of his body is around 1.5" in diameter towards where the neck begins and more like 2" near his back legs and tail. The neck is about 1" in diameter and probably 2" long until where the head begins...and the head is about 2" from snout to the end of the green area around his horns.

Maybe that is too specific, but I hope it helps. Please make sure you send me a link to a photo of the dragon you make, I would love to see it!

poofrabbit made it! (author)2012-11-29

Congratulations on being a finalist in the fiber arts contest!! Good luck to you!

forthegoodknight made it! (author)forthegoodknight2012-11-30

Thanks so much! It is exciting!

Penolopy Bulnick made it! (author)2012-11-28

That is awesome and those eyes are just perfect for that dragon!

Mr.Sanchez made it! (author)2012-11-16

So Cool !! Voted.

forthegoodknight made it! (author)forthegoodknight2012-11-21

Awesome and thank you!

ChrysN made it! (author)2012-11-06

Gorgeous! What a wonderful gift.

forthegoodknight made it! (author)forthegoodknight2012-11-21

Thank you!

flyingpuppy made it! (author)2012-11-19

I think this is my favorite entry. Adorable.

forthegoodknight made it! (author)forthegoodknight2012-11-21

Thanks! It was fun to make, and only the 2nd needle felted sculpture I've made!

scoochmaroo made it! (author)2012-11-06

So cute! I have a whole bag of eyes I ordered for projects like this. . . and well, yeah. I like your use of an armature!

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