“What do you use to make the needle felted eyes and teeth for your dolls?” The answer is easy… White Merino Batting!
If your goal is to make your needle felted creations sparkle with life, this is the wool you need. You will see touches of it in all of my Felt Alive characters. Perfect for teeth, eyes and an absolute essential for all Felt Alive Video Workshops
If you need a bright white wool to make your needle felted creations sparkle with life, this is the wool to use.
.20 oz sounds like a tiny amount but it’s enough for hundreds of needle felted eyes and teeth.
White Merino Batting is the best and brightest white wool we can find for needle felting eyes and teeth. It is a favorite for needle felted doll makers. You can find it here.
BhedaWool is made from a mixture of different New Zealand sheep breeds, such as Rylend, Suffolk, Shetland, Romney, Jacob and others. It is imported from The Netherlands and comes in +-25g (1oz) bundles.
It is slightly coarse and hairy with longer fiber than our Felt Alive wool. It’s also not quite as lofty but you will find it felts up fast and fun with your felting needles.
These dense, charcoal grey foam pads make a perfect needle felting work surface. Needle felting involves the use of very sharp felting needles and it is essential to a have a durable yet resilient surface to work on. These pads take the abuse of those sharp needles while providing a stable work surface. Softer foam, such as upholstery foam, can cause your project to bounce with each stab of the needle making it difficult to work with – and difficult to focus on. You are sure to have more accidents with your felting needles if your project is bouncing around so a stable, resilient surface for needle felting is a great idea.
Merino Prefelt is short-fibered merino batting that has been partially felted into very thin sheets on industrial needle felting machines. It’s a favorite for needle felted doll clothes. Since the wool is not quite felted, it can be torn (or cut) leaving fluffy edges that can be needle felted right to the dolls. No sewing is necessary to make clothes for your needle felted dolls using prefelt.
I love using Merino Prefelt for needle felted doll clothes because it requires no sewing at all! It can be torn or cut and needle felted right into place. Seams can be needle felted together so they don’t show at all. I demonstrate using prefelt for doll clothes in my 10 hour doll making video workshop.
But it’s use certainly isn’t limited to doll clothes.
It can be used similar to batting – especially for small detail like shading and even for eyes. Just tear a small bit off and fluff it up with your fingertips to use it like you would use batting.
It can be cut into designs, layered and flat needle felted. I made tropical print prefelt using this method to use for Li’l Weird Al’s shirt, but you can embellish all kinds of things.
Anything you could embellish with wool roving or batting, can be embellished with prefelt. I share lot’s of examples, here of how I use it in doll clothing.
Prefelt is widely used for traditional wet and nuno felting and here at Felt Alive we are pioneering its use as clothing in needle felted doll making. Besides that, there are endless possibilities and we’d love to see what you do with your prefelt!
I used one sheet of Baby Blue Kettle Dyed Prefelt to make the suit for Li’l PSY (Korean Pop Singer.) He stands about 11″ tall.
I’m certain you will find Merino Prefelt Sheets every bit as FUN as I do.
.5 oz Flesh Tone colored wool
1 oz (.5 oz ea of 2 colors) Needle Felting Wool
2 ea 6″ x 6″ Sheets Merino Prefelt
Wool for Details – small amounts of pink, brown and white + needle felting stick
Fiber For Hair – hand spun wool yarn, curly wool locks or merino roving
Felt Alive Felting Needles
1 Single & 1 Double Point Yellow 40t, 1 Single Black 36t & 1 Single Blue 40star
1 Foam Felting Pad 9″x6″
Here are the video chapters. The full discs are below.
Fully jointed, flexible and fun. No wires, no glass eyes or clay noses – all you need is wool and a felting needle to needle felt a new best friend!
While learning some amazing and fun needle felting techniques, you will create an adorable puppy dog! With big, goofy paws and floppy ears, a tail that wags and jointed legs so he can jump and bound. These PUPS can even sit, stay & roll-over! No need for wire armatures, glass eyes or clay noses – you can do it all with wool!
Felt along with me and learn the magic of sculptural needle felting! While learning some amazing and fun needle felting techniques, you will create adorable little bunnies!
With floppy ears and a cotton (err…wool) tail, Felt Alive Bunnies are great little pets and so fun and easy to bring to life!
No Sewing – No Stuffing – No Wire Armature – No Painting – NO PROBLEM!
As your needle felted Bunnies come to life on your felting pad, you will learn to make heads with expressive faces that will connect with a needle felted body using only wool and single barbed felting needles. No sewing or wire armatures here. Your finished Bunnies will be solid needle felted wool that seems nearly alive!
This is such a great video for learning advanced techniques for sweet, smiling needle felted faces with simple bodies. Santa stands on his own without using any wire armatures – from head to toe he’s all needle felted wool.
Introduction | Santa’s Torso | Santa’s Head | Santa’s Legs
Santa’s Arms Santa’s Feet | Santa’s Face | The Mouth
Felt along with me, and learn the magic of sculptural needle felting! In my easy-to-follow workshop – Needle Felted Funny Faces – You will learn fun and easy techniques for making funny faces out of wool using single barbed felting needles.
As you learn to make a head with a funny face, you will learn about wool and felting needles and many, many tips and tricks as I chatter away through 138 minutes of needle felting fun! I really do make it easy! Even a beginner can make a Funny Face!
Not long after I learned to needle felt dolls, I discovered I had a knack for making the wool look like real people – funny little versions of the real thing. From Elton to Elvis, Janis Joplin to Ellen Degeneres, I’ve been busy bringing the wool to life and the list in my head is endless of who’s next. Like real celebrities, they enjoy the camera very much – and I love capturing their candid moments. This gallery is a collection of some of my favorite Felt Alive moments.
Serendipity: While taking a Sunday drive we spotted a person in a furry costume with a sign that said Farm Open. We followed the sign to a Suri Alpaca Farm and decided to stop in to see if I could find some hair for the doll I’m working on – Freddie Mercury, the late, great singer from Queen. I found the perfect fiber and in chatting with the owner of the farm, it turns out he is old friends from college with Brian May, the guitarist from Queen. What are the chances of that? The hairs on my arms were on end the whole way home but things like this have been happening since the day I first picked up a felting needle. Someday, I might need to write a book about it. But something made this story even more magical – before talking with the owner, I had a discussion with another fiber artist I met at the farm about how serendipity led us both to our crafts – I even mentioned that if you don’t pay attention, you might not notice it’s happening. So pay attention to the signs – especially if a furry creature is holding it!
Here is my Felt Alive tribute to Freddie Mercury – (5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991)
Part of what I love about needle felting great musicians is listening to their music while I’m working and watching their amazing performances on YouTube during my breaks. This video of Queen performing A Kind of Magic live at Wembley Stadium in 1986 inspired this Li’l Freddie Mercury doll.
UPDATE – I’m most honored to say that Li’l Freddie Mercury is happy at his new home in the official Queen Archives in England.
I was so excited to be commissioned to bring Whoopi Goldberg to life in needle felted wool. I couldn’t have thought of of a better subject myself! She is solid needle felted wool with flexible needle felted joints. She stands on her own and is about 12″ tall. I wet felted her dreadlocks using Merino Roving and for her glasses I used Merino prefelt that I needle felted and then wet felted. She was quite a project and a fun collaboration with my client. My only problem is saying goodbye! I literally fall in love with my dolls as they come to life on my felting pad. I have only recently started doing custom dolls for others instead of dolls for me – it is getting easier to part with them but never easy!
If you would love to learn the magic of sculptural needle felting, I’d love to show you how! I have several fun and comprehensive video workshops along with all of the tools and supplies you need! www.needlefeltingsupplies.com
I needle felted these silly little woolly worms today over wire. I rarely use wire but this was easy and fun! I wrapped core wool roving around cloth covered florist wire, needle felted it using Felt Alive Super Duper Double Felting needles and covered them with Norwegian C1 premium felting batt – available Felt Alive Needle Felting Supplies
She stands on her own and is about 14″ tall – no wire armature, just needle felted wool! And the good news is that all of the great supplies I made her with are available in my NEW needle felting shop. www.needlefeltingsupplies.com
Lyle Lovett has such an interesting face so I thought he would be the perfect subject for a recent workshop where I taught advanced needle felting techniques for working from photographs. It was the first time I’ve shared my techniques for bringing wool to life as an actual likeness.
And I must mention that I’m a huge fan of Lyle Lovett! I’m on a new mission to introduce Li’l Lyle to the real Lyle Lovett. I have a feeling he would get a big kick out of him and I would love nothing more than to get a picture of the two of them together.
Today I am so happy because I get to unveil a new Felt Alive Li’l Celebrity.
Ladies & Gentleman…….Li’l Ellen DeGeneres!!!
And it seems the rest of the Felt Alive stars were pretty excited about her arrival on the scene.
Li’l Spock likes these guys but disco dancing remains illogical.
After all – Ellen is the life of the party… She can even get Li’l Trump to lighten up and give new meaning to a Trump Tower.
I am scheming of ways to get Li’l Ellen in the hands of Big Ellen. I’m busy going through the Ellen Show website and did submit some photos. Maybe I need a Felting Friends campaign to Ellen’s show. Any volunteers to suggest that her producers to take a look at her Ellen’s Felt Alive Felt-Alike?? http://ellen.warnerbros.com/show/respond/?PlugID=10
I was looking at my website stats and noticed a bunch of hits coming from a blog called Sweet Station. Then I remembered I had recently submitted a link to my website-They feature really sweet stuff, you can get lost for hours scrolling through the posts & I was delighted to find my Li’l Celebs featured.
An unexpected perk of my Felt Alive business is the amazing emails I get from people just discovering needle felting. I got a great one the other day that I am compelled to share.
Hi Kay! My name is Michelle and I asked for your four disc workshop for Christmas and I got it! I am so happy to see how you do your stuff and make a fantastic Felt Alive doll.
I discovered needle felting just a few months ago. Vriad Lee was featured on an art site I look at. I was amazed that the animals were made out of wool and I had to find out how that was possible. I did a search on youtube and the first video I watched was called Needle Felting Basic Shapes Tutorial. It was really interesting to me and I thought it was something that I might want to try.
It was the very next day that I was in a bookstore and looking at the magazines. There was one that caught my eye with a Halloween cat on the cover. So I picked it up and looked through it. That’s when I found the article on needle felted dolls. There were all of these l’il celebrities featured by Kay Petal. They were amazing. I couldn’t believe that someone could make those amazing dolls out of wool. I went home and googled Kay Petal and found a website and blog and some other things leading to Felt Alive creations. I was so amazed by what I found. It was then that I realized that it was you that I watched on youtube at the very beginning.
I showed your site to whoever would sit and listen to me go on and on about your dolls. It impressed everyone that I showed. I always saved George as the last doll I showed. I love George and that his dentures come out! HIs teeth come out! So for a few weeks I researched how to needle felt and what I would need to start. My husband works at a fabric and craft store and his store carried a few needle felting supplies which I got for my birthday. I was thrilled to try it out to see if I would like it or not. The first thing I did was a red ball. I was totally floored that I could take a blob of wool and shape it into a ball. Then I made a small penguin. He came out really cute. I was hooked at that point. I found it relaxing and fun to stab the wool.
I then wanted to try out a bigger project, something for my husband for Christmas. I started in October so I would have plenty of time to get the present complete by Christmas. It only took me a few days to complete my project and in the end I was really happy how it turned out. My husband really likes anything to do with Bigfoot, so I decided to take on the challenge of making him one. I ordered up some wool from the sites you recommended, I ordered the felting pad from the site you recommended and the super duper rubber coated needles from you. I love the wool from the New England Felting Supply website. The Norwegian C-1 is perfect! Here are a few pictures of him so you can see what you inspired.
When I started this project I went to a friend who is a professional illustrator. He helped me visualize Bigfoot with a concept sketch and I used this sketch as the basis of my “softie.”
The fact that I am in any way involved in Michelle’s discovery of needle felting is really wonderful. Her enthusiasm reminded me so much of my discovery of needle felting. I am looking forward to pictures of the project she creates with her Christmas present.
And here is Michelle’s favorite Felt Alive Doll – George –
We are packing up the dogs, some wool and felting needles and some other bare necessities into our new home on wheels. We have shed most of our worldly belongings and are leaving Alaska for destinations unknown in just a few days.
This picture is myself and Patti – a dear friend and one of my only felting connections here in Alaska. www.dreamfelt.com Patti embellished this photo (the rv doesn’t really have my name plastered on the front but it looks funny!)
And here is the view from my seat! Pretty funny! The little dogs you see are minis of my poochies that are no longer with us. They were made for me by Gunilla I started a brand new blog for my exciting big Felt Alive adventure – www.feltalive.blogspot.com so my friends can follow me on my felting journey.
I have to thank my amazing online students for giving me the idea and the courage to create this project. My students have expressed appreciation for my short, online videos that supplement the written instructions but have requested many times for the videos to be put on DVD for ease of viewing.
So, I took it a step further and made an entire workshop for a needle felted doll on DVD. The 4 Disk set contains 10 hours of needle felting fun. I create a cute and lively character from start to finish, explaining in great detail every step along the way.
And here is a little sneak peek that we put together. I think the close-ups really make it easy to see exactly how the wool reacts to the needles.
Those of you familiar with my work know that I rarely offer my dolls for sale. As living conditions for my collection get more and more crowded, I am faced with the reality that I must learn to say goodbye. So!!
My husband requested a Will Ferrell caricature, my nephew suggested the Elf costume – I think it all worked out although I must admit, this li’l dude sort of gives me the creeps. He looks like he is up to no good if you ask me.
I had to make a Li’l Travolta Saturday Night Fever style! Boy does that take me back. I have to find a place with a disco ball for his official photo shoot but in the meantime we took him out sightseeing here in Alaska. When we stopped in at McHugh Creek along Turnagain Arm he learned an awful lot about the Dall Sheep we spotted in the moutains…Hmm….I wonder why he was so fascinated????
I have never needle felted will Dall Sheep wool. Sounds interesting, though.
I must say, I’m pretty smitten with my Li’l Cash – he looked like Sean Connery for so long and while I am a fan – Li’l Sean was NOT who this guy was supposed to be. So, like I usually do at that one special moment where my character comes to life – I shouted out with glee “I DID IT!!!!!!” It really is a fun moment…really fun.
Li’l Cash stands about 12″ tall and is 100% needle felted wool. He is fully jointed with needle felted joints and stands on his own without the use of wire armatures.
I made Clementine for a VERY special project. She made a long trip to China to a doll manufacturer to study her for possible mass production of my designs. Well, it was no big surprise to learn that they can not be easily reproduced – the style does not lend itself to the assembly line. I was glad to get her safely back home!