Needle Felting Basic Tools & Instructions

I often get asked – What is needle felting?

Well the simple answer is: It’s a fibre craft that uses a barbed needle to felt wool roving into a solid 3D shape.

I have put together a very simple guide with the basic tools and instructions to getting started for those of you that may want to give it a try or just as a little insight.

Needle Felting tools

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The basic materials you will need include:

felting needles

38 Gauge Star Felting needles – Linconshire Fenn on Etsy

Felting needles – These needles are made from hardened steel and have little barbs on them that tangle up the wool fibers as you poke your wool to felt it together.

Needle felting foam pad

Dense Foam Pad for needle felting – Cupid Falls on Etsy

Foam pad – This is a work surface that will absorb needle stabs an stop your needle from breaking (and stop you from stabbing yourself).

wool roving

Assorted wool roving – Benzie Designs on Etsy

Wool roving/top – Available in many colours and qualities. Wool fleece that has been washed and carded (brushed). You can dye your own as well as buying it pre dyed.

Dying instructions here – How to Dye wool fleece

Needle Felting Technique:

You are essentially trying to bond the loose wool fibres together to make a solid felted shape by poking/stabbing it repeatedly with the felting needle. You can create different shapes by wrapping the wool roving into balls, cylinders and cones and then working it with the needle.

The more you needle the wool, the more compact and firm the wool shape will be.

How to needle felt -

Here is a small example of how i have used a few shapes to create a little sausage dog…

How to needle felt a dog -

How to needle felt -

Please feel free to leave questions in the comments and I will try to cover them in another more detailed tutorial.


  • Stephanie and Carlos says:

    This is great. I have been researching on and off the best way to dread wool roving. It will be my first felting project which i plan on using as hair extentions. I shall be picking up a small felting needle and a foam block now!! YAY…

    Xo Steph

  • Chantal says:

    Thanks for sharing this.I've often wondered how it's done. The dog is adorable!

  • Jodie says:

    You're very clever – I have always imagined that felting was so difficult, you make it look so easy. I'm not yet convinced!!! A great post Cintia 🙂

  • Claire says:

    how did you do the head? you left that bit out.

  • madeleine says:

    Hi there,
    I was just wondering how was your experience using the Nova Natural needle holders? I checked the site out after reading your post since I am looking for a needle holder (I am a newbie when it comes to needle felting) and wanted to know if your fingers got sore at all using the holder since it looks like its made out of wood? I have also wondered if the plastic holders are easier to use? I thought the needle holders on the Nova Natural site were great since there were kids size ones (I’ve got hands that are the size of preschoolers lol). Any insight would be great!

  • Nancy Ballesteros says:

    Sorry to say but the wool at Spotlight is absolutely aweful. I am a bit of a wool expert after being in the wool business for over 30 years. Their wool has not been treated properly. It on the most part will not wet felt, and is much harder to needle felt than other more reputable wools on the market. Don’t have a bad experience, go elsewhere!!

    • I do agree that their needle felting supplies leave much to be desired. It’s probably the most accessible place for most beginners to access needles although not all stores have them in stock. I’ll check out your website.

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