Learn How To Create Needle Felt Gnomes | Diane Stafford | Skillshare

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Learn How To Create Needle Felt Gnomes

teacher avatar Diane Stafford, Artist & Designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

9 Lessons (44m)
    • 1. Class Introduction

    • 2. Equipment and Supplies

    • 3. Start Your Basic Shape

    • 4. Build Up Shape

    • 5. Hat Shape + Add Nose & Beard

    • 6. Add 'Over-Hat' Part 1

    • 7. Continue 'Over-Hat' Part 2

    • 8. Needle Felt Finishing Tips

    • 9. Other Characters & Beard Wool Tips

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About This Class

In this class you'll learn how to create Needle Felt Gnomes, using a few basic needle felting supplies.

The topics covered:

  • basic needle felting equipment
  • starter shape building options
  • adding beard fibres
  • gnome hat additions/blending/shaping
  • importance of perfecting the base
  • needle felt finishing tips
  • other characters you couldĀ make

Needle felting is a slow and steady, yet very rewarding, art & craft.

Once you've grasped the basics covered in the class, you'll soon be creating your own needle felt gnomes, and other characters similar to those shown in the video.

To complete the class & project you'll need the basic equipment and supplies, plenty of time and someĀ happy patience.

For needle felt design inspiration, supplier info and a few tips, download the pdf from the projects & resources section.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Diane Stafford

Artist & Designer


Hi, I'm Diane Stafford, artist and designer at White Lane Studio, based in the UK

A life long artist and mixed media experimenter.  Having studied various artistic disciplines including print making, textile art, photography, life drawing and ceramics, I love how many art and craft skills also transfer over into digital art.

I enjoy art in a variety of physical and digital forms, some of which I share here through Skillshare. I also create digital products through White Lane Studio.

Skillshare is the perfect place to learn from an array of talented artists and crafters.


See full profile

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1. Class Introduction: welcome to the class on. We're going to learn how to create needle. Felton owns a class for beginners arm. Diane Stoppard on the class has been requested by friends, but new friends of very welcome. If you want to learn how to make gnomes like these, we're going to look at needle belting. The basic equipment that you'll need will look at creating the basic shape for your gnomes , adding the beard, nose and hat trims well, think about style choices for perhaps in particular, and we'll also look at other types of characters that you can create with felt, so let's get started. 2. Equipment and Supplies: you will need a phone part. You made a couple of needles. I've got two different sizes here. So I've got the 36 which is a thicker one on the 40. I also got a tool, which is a multi needle tool. It actually has five. Although I've taken one out. Which of me you think here, right for the pattern. I don't actually dio by a pattern. I just go by I So basically, we require wall you needles you phone part on. Then we're going to form a no shape based on a cone shape. Okay, The next thing to think about is war. I personally recommend the Marino walls are give you information about where I I buy from. So Marino Wall is nice and fine. You can actually start cone off with a core wall, which is cheaper, and then cover it with your final wall. This one is. It is actually a merino wool heart. This one which is not too fine. It's not as fine as this one on you can see, and it's it's quite quite dense. And where is this one's quite fine on flimsy. Okay, so you can just see that the fibers were a little bit sicker, although this is actually a 21 micron, which is quite fine that it just seems to hold better on of a call. So that's a good one for a court. If you wish to use a call and this Warne com, remember what this one is on. That's this one 100 grands of OMT. Got no idea what that is, so apologies. No idea. But I would imagine that So also a merino and one of the whites. This one's slightly off white. On this way, I'll difference. So that one is is quite nice to work with. Start off. That's the Marino fine, which you can use is the top. Now the over we'll need to mention is the beard. Now for the beard, I recommend using any of the curly walls that you can buy. This one is quite nice. It's more hair like and I think very fine and natural boats. It's a little tricky to work with. This is actually a soya bean top in the cooler, horny on, but exactly what abused on these gnomes you don't have to use the soybean have experimented with quite a few walls. And I think although I really like this one, I would probably go for a more curly wall, which I haven't got in stock at the moment. But basically, you can use merino wool as well. If you're going to go for the body in whatever call you want on, then a contrast ing lighter on door, darker color for the beard will work just as well, and you can actually twist the wall into blocks if you like. 3. Start Your Basic Shape: we require wall you needles you phone part on. Then we're going to form a no shape based on a cone shape the size that you won't remember . You can add to whatever size you make first, make it longer. So if it's got a long hot like this one, you can add to the cone shape. Teoh make that longer on. In this case, he's probably what this is seven inches on. He's probably about six inches high, so I'm just going to pull. I lent for this on that seven inches, so probably got about 22 inches. The so, First of all, you need Teoh run out your cone shape. Um, some people do this on a knitting needle. Andi, if you choose that way, this one is a number 12 millimeter just to know Knitting Needle I've got hunting on. Basically, all you would do is take Ubell. Andi, start rolling, gets tightly around you needle pulling that in Pullen, Pullen, Pullen. And then you just make sure that this and is thicker. Don't worry about this too much because you be felt ing that down. Facer. Once you've got it's hard and you got the basics off a cone shape. Now, if you do needle felt on the needle, just make sure that you go in at an angle so you're not going directly and hitting the needle on breaking the needle, so you'd want to go side on light. That's and that's not my preferred method only because it tends to get longer and thinner as you do it. So I tend to just have my shape there. I'm just roll it by hand. I will just start off with and my chosen wall. Or if you're using the core, so this one is a core and you would start by rolling. You will folding its hope as tightly as you can and then start forming you cone shape on, then taking the 36 needle the thickest needle. I will literally just start stopping in the shape 4. Build Up Shape: I'm going to look at this cone and might think now and which no mama making what shape door wants. Don't have anything in mind, Andi. I'd like him a little bit thicker, so I'm actually going to pull some off the white wall and then I'm just going to have it folded over, like so. Or you can be stuck it like so pull back to the shape that you want rocket around tightly on, then always thinner towards the top. That just going to task of up, down. Um and you can take you to just give it a quick attack. It just speeds with praise for a little bit. It doesn't finish it, but it tax it in place for you and the speed needle melting process of control. Just mind your fingers from I want to feel it tapped home, you know, Just stop. I talked tit. It's always pay attention to the bottom of the base off look home. Important thing is that the stands same. You can actually fold this in over the banks, but bearing in mind that you want to make sure that it's always able to stand also every now and again. You just want to check. See, now that's not standing. Who you just work that around, Flatten against a food surfing and you can get a a judgment of, um, which bits raised on which need I need a melting down. And then again, you just carry on. I think your way around the piece on again. If you think you need to make him a bit fatter at the base, you literally You're OK at that stage because you don't have to felt each piece. Just problem. So another couple of inches three or four inches there re stuck. If you wish. Fold over on, man. Let's make him a bit butter having in mind. You want to thin this out, Uncle, Have a radiant wait. Okay, too. What's going to be the hat? Get not testing place. Just pulls while I carry on with. Okay, I did, uh, the wall on I've very badly tucked it down with the needle founds Now, Normally, I would just carry on with this for hours until I have a perfect finish. As opposed to this, which is all hot air pocket saying it's not finished nicely. So you just keep going. If Larry is a two time until you have the finish, you bonds right. So let's assume that this is finished nicely. Now we want to think about the shape. 5. Hat Shape + Add Nose & Beard: So let's say we want Teoh on a nose here. Where do we want the front in the back? Because obviously it's no completely cylindrical. So there might be some shaping going on, or you might have added a bit more to make the back end his bottle area heavy. Uh, make sure that the base is nice and solid and that it stands at this stage. Okay, so let's say we are going to put the nose here. Beard here. I will make this Koertzen a wonky hats. So the first thing I would do is and attend to the curl on this area. So I would take my stick a needle and just start needle felt in this area. Oh, around like so, To start firming gets up into this shape on all sides. That contract the well in those areas quite tightly on helps that whole position. So just carry on without Okay, so wants you'll happy with the curl section doesn't have to be perfect again at this stage . Um, you would blend this in asbestos possible. It doesn't must too much about under here at this stage because we're going to add the hat , tell him having difficulty leaving this. But I'm going to stop myself from being perfectionist, right? So next we want to add the and nose so we'll happy's out sideways on. And this is a little names that did early just from this wall. Um, Andi, I'm just going to take a fine needle. Our needle felt that's family on. More family didn't get away with some softness on this one. It's not going toe unravel. It's a nice, tight little bowl. Um, ca need dropped it. We can leave. Um, it's a bit fluffy looking. I am. Once you're happy again. I'm not going to become that, you know. But between the palm of your hands and then with a fine needle, just decide where you want to place the nose and literally you just want to start so I can get down point. So we've got the basic position for the nose. Um, you come do with it in either knows, first beard later, or you can do the beard first on the nose. Later. It's entirely up to you the block there that I don't want. So that's basically where we're going to position the nose. Don't worry about it too much again. It's, um you can finish it off towards the end. Now, we want to think about the bid. Now, if we're going to use the, um, soybean top, you can see this is quite fine. So you pull off a few lengths off it like so decide how much you want to make you bid on the length off it. So if we want to make this a short one, what you're basically going to do is half this. It's about what, 1234 inches long through four inches longer. And we're going to cook that not quitting how we're going to be folding getting half. But first of all, we need to get some no mobile to use as a bitter burn and UNCA so maybe a couple of pieces of this because this is so fine. It's it doesn't hold very well. So you really do you need some sort of I'm into it. So just with a needle, just try and uncle this thes threats in to a merino wool, so oh, oh, you cool Try and I don't want to go. Two wines with that would just pull of pieces at the Onda. Of course you can use this tool, but then, poor's, I want to give much. So when you think you've got an anchor, this won't be perfect. I'm not spending the time on it, but would normally spend quite a bit of time just anchoring this down, folding in the different cover like so So it's not too obvious when we get it onto the actual cone shape of the No, Just check the front. Andi need to get a little bit of a talking down. Just push some of those white threads through again. But again, don't worry. If you've not done, you knows. First, you knows would sit over this and hide a bit that. But it's fine either way, so spend a bit of time on. That's try and anchor this down as much as possible and you'll see why very shortly, right? So I know it's quick but will decide now which we want to be the front view that way or that way. So let's have a look. So do we like the Do we like the look of the beard like so? Oh, yeah, nothing will go for this way and basically, we're going to be talking not, but folding it back over. So you've got the double tear off the beard. All right, So when you've got that body position that essentially it was near a central to the nose on , then you need to just take your pick in eagle and start talking that under the news a se If you put a beard on first before the nose, you could just tuck. It's on essentially, as you think it needs to be again. I'm not going to do this perfectly, because off time constraints, right? On the months you have formerly tax that, you'll see that you can still see some of this Anka wall, and you just need to start working the whole thing down around the news. And you need to just spend time on this to just rips firmly as possible because this type of wool is going to come away if you don't catch each threat. I thought start sticking up, even just tap little areas down and again. Don't worry too much because we are going to port. How about over here? So some of this won't be seen around this, so pay. Okay, so we've got quite a nice beard starting to go on that. Just court. Nice. Now, obviously, it's still quite loose there on. And what you can do is just lift up that first here that topped here. And you can actually tack this gown on into the body as well, leaving bottom section free. But this is under the top. Here they just tack. That's down. Is what does she come again? You won't get said before either I should take. I was, And I was now is to do so right. Um and just give it a good shake out. You can see it's a bit more from ready. That is quite nice on Just take needle. You start splitting, has and now you can see. Here's an example of how many of the has or how few have actually talk down. So it's important that you actually do comb through other with the needle or with son back home, whatever is to hand and then just start pulling out some of the loose has the last thing you need is to choke anybody. Should a child particularly end up with this on their that side cabinet will be tempted to sort this. So if you giving it to people with Children and you are using something Harry like this, that is very fine. The news that might be silk or whatever. Then do take the time to at the head, properly secure, they should find. All right, just clear off that little man, right? And then So you would just keep going. Is that making sure say that this is tucked down as nicely as possible? Onda securely as possible. Getting rid of those live spits. So he's looking looking nice, even though he's not secure yet. So the nose if there's still a little bit of this tucking war showing you don't want it to show, you can literally just maneuver your nose down a little bit. Take any thought and start changing its position slightly from where you originally fixed it on again. Take the time to secure the nose from shore. A little child comes would, uh, soon, how, but little probably nails off. Obviously, mind your fingers. I know where my fingers are, So I'm not stopping the felt. I'm not going to deep, but just take her there. All right, so way think is ready for a hat now 6. Add 'Over-Hat' Part 1: Okay, so now we want to think about giving him the heart. Most of the hotties there, the hat shape is started. You can decide on what shape you want, where you want. Point it. Although we've done a little bit of work on the bend here, we can still change. That's so we just need to decide on and the core of the hearts on day where we're going to put it so we need to form the basis off the hat for their on that again is just going to be some additional wall. So choose the cholera that you want going to add a darker gray hat, basically have pulled off a couple off pieces off this college ball lane on top of each other on the amount that you need is going to pay from over the nails. It's got to go across there, and then it's got to go around at the park and allow for some shrinkage. So a couple of inches what, 1234 inches or so? We want not to think on one side and a little bit thicker on the other, so that could be the fire inside. I'm just going to pull that out a little bit. Um, we're going to fold this over and this is where you're to consent to get up. Not now. They fight on. Pelting on now is actually I call about side. We'll explain more in a minute. And when you look on the other side but just gives it that it smoother finish coming on, I just want to get that attacked. And as you can see, it's start spreading out with this tool being taken at this stage, a measure against your no allowing for a little bit of fold under so you'll have a thicker edge to the names hats, which is going over the gnome. Just measure the same and then you can see on the length whether you've got enough length there or not. I'm just going to tack down, but will the fold. I'm not really bothered about the edges because those will work in. You can do this chance and but the sides will actually work in when you start adding it to , you know. Okay, so I'm reasonably happy that obviously I would spend a lot longer on. I would do some hand with one needle as well. Just getting this section particularly refined a little bit more before it goes on to the name. But for demonstration purposes, well, just get on with it. So taking the name doesn't matter about the second thing thick an thin because that's all gonna work into the no. Right. So decide where you want it. Sort of hold, you know? So you go a finger on each side. You've got that positioned where you want again. That is to say, I'm not happy with that. I would have that thicker. In fact, I'm just going to thinking that's up just a little bit, just so you can see. So I'm just holding that central piece over. I want a little bit of a thicker house area going over the Nome's nose position. That's are the side on. The first thing to do is move any hair beard her away that you don't want it entrapped or brought around the back side and then taking your ends of the hats just sort of fold that under. So it looks like you've got a nice, neat rich there carrying on from there. Um, then just checking that beard because that's that's just going that's been called and just want to kept it a That's okay. It's come out of position of it with me for I think about. So get him in position. Get that round on, then start to talk this mind your thumbs and fingers and just drug this section roamed. If you can see that the lights getting out here now they literally just start talking. That's don't be too precious. You just want to make sure that that's but a little attack for you to start working on. He's tapped there. Bring this round again. Sorry, I want some of that beer. Don't on. Then Don't worry about the top it. We're concentrating on where you nose is going. How much knows do you want to show etcetera. So about on that, I'm trying to make this look like a reasonably neat half. Reject the bark, some just drawing, not through on tucking in always will blend in later on. Then again, just tucking these down, saying Sorry, the light might be a bit, but just talk. Please dough. Don't worry too much and then gain, but to the nose start to Pulis into position. So given the little shake, check his beard out. Right? So if we're happy now that we've got this in position, I would start talking this down and start integrates in this round the nose. Not too firmly, if you don't. Unreasonable felt thing on on the hat extension. If you like, or the over hats. Then you won't need to do a lot of work on this, so just make sure you attacked him in, and then you want to tidy up these edges all the way around and then carry on blending this in to the underlying half area until it's all tucked in tightly. I want this to blend in towards the top, or you can actually pull some fibers on. Start blending that way. I'm talking those down, you know, Stop there and they'll carry on in, Come back 7. Continue 'Over-Hat' Part 2: Well, I've been taught that down a little bit more, not finished by any means. But the light is going here today. Obviously, I spend a lot more time on finishing this and making sure he's attached safely and securely . Andi, everything is positioned where I want it just to remind you that even at this stage you can still change the direction off this. If you want him more upright, you can still change that. And then just carry on finishing you piece in that position. If you wanted to insert him in a left hand bend, you wanted a buck bend. You could actually do that now, by following the same steps we did before felt ing around before you finish on the piece. So I'm not too bothered where he goes because he's just a little test piece on The final thing to say is, does he stand up? Because the base is also extremely important. It must be a sperm, as you can get it on you Montana extra firm at the bottom. Even if the top parts are softer on more squash e, you really need the firm base for it to have the weight at the bottom of the understand. So let's give him a test. Does he stand brilliance? So whenever you make any adjustments again, just make sure you're corrupt. 8. Needle Felt Finishing Tips: code on with the known that we were making on you can say have made some changes to the hat without adding any extra wall. I've just run this through my hands. You just get your cone shape on. You wanted to fitness out and lengthen. It helps to have some dump on your home, so I'm just going to wet my homes. Just a little bit of water just to get some traction on, which really run the cone top of the cone. Anything goes between your hands and you can see it starts flattening out. And that's basically what it did with the cone shape for this chappie Andi to making curl but twisted the top of the comb, bend it into the shape I want and then, with a fine needle, just poke into the wall until it's, um, forms the shape that you want to sculpt it into. You carry on doing that around that section all the way around until it holds into the shape that you are trying to achieve. You'll also see that I've found been firmed up the heart area so it's still over the nose. If you need to add more warm to this front section, which could happen. Then just blend that into the existing hat area on. Then you want to finish the peace just by finally felt ing with the finest needle and felt ing in small areas a little bit of time. So you just keep felt in your piece until you achieve the finish that you're looking for. If he's just going to be hung on a Christmas tree, for example, is an ornament you might not want or need the finest of finishes, in which case he'd be fine. But if you want to present this as a present as a bull sculpture, then the finer finish the better. It's all about patience having time. I'm just concentrating on the piece that you work income. 9. Other Characters & Beard Wool Tips: thing is the basis for most of the work. I create myself to show you in comparison. Although we're making gnomes, you can actually use this shape as a starter for any type of character, depending on your own style. You see, this is a little hair. It's this cone shape on. Then I've been this buck, and then I've added the little face on top and also the bubble tail. So basically, you can start with the cone and convert back to any shape that you want or any character you want. Another one is this is a little cat shape on. You can see how have shaped the cone to form the body off the Count's, albeit obstruct Andi. It's got a flattened head, and that's again just my particular style. The like. The abstract shapes that's a a smaller cone shape, say about so high flattened had added to it and then added to shape the actual body again. Here's another little cat we've got again. A cone shape you can see flattened had hey, uh on then again shaped body to an emphasize the actual shape off the cat's again. Another little counts on day one with a tail and this one I don't particularly like. But just to show you that you conform all thoughts of things that we dig out of the couple , you can go more shapely. Obviously, that's not a cone shape, but that's an example off a sculpt cat shape on earned. My favorites are my little hedgehogs, and again you will see that this is actually a cone shape that started with the cone shape on. Then around the cone shape, I've wrapped wool Andi Needle felted it to form the body. And again, he's an abstract, really know spiky bits. I'm not into when or with fluffy bits that go on there. Andi, What else it would go. There's a little little tiny hedge Hoke that started off in a cone shape and that's just been added to or formed to create the body. Little prototype most, but always do basically start off a other cone shape. Here's another hedgehog, but he's like him. I call in my pebble hedge hawks, but basically come shapes for the beard. I recommend using any of the curly walls that you can buy. This is actually a soya bean top, experimented with quite a few walls, and I think although I really like this one and I would probably go for a more curly wall, but you can use on merino wool as well.