So last time I talked about sizing your mini pet. This time, let's give you a tutorial on how to needle felt. I teach this as a class, so look for it coming soon, online!!
Lay it on the profile picture to check the size again, and then adjust it so your dog stands by itself. I begin adding wool fibre in thin strips, winding it tightly around the wire skeleton. Once you have covered the whole skeleton, tack the ends in place with a felting needle. You need to work on a sponge work surface when felting. Add more fibre to thicken the body and legs. The tail will need more at the base than the tip.
Now you have well covered the skeleton, begin adding muscles. A dog is fatter below the spine than above, so to continue winding around the spine would create a cartoon shape. Add pads of folded fibre under the spine, to thicken out the ribs and belly. Back legs also need thicker haunches, so add pads of folded fibre here too. Keep felting as you add each layer and build the body up gradually. Keep referring to the picture.
Take a close look at the shape of the head. This is what distinguishes one breed from another. It begins round, and then shapes into the snout. This can be added once the top of the head is established on the neck wire. Eyes can be added with dark fibre rolled into tiny balls, or use black glass beads and stitch them into the head.
Ears are made by laying out two equal amounts of fibre. You don’t need much! Fold each pad into a triangle and felt it into the ear shape, leaving the wide edge loose, for attaching to the head. Felt the ears in place and give the dog some character! Who can resist a tilted head and a cocked ear?
That’s it! Add spots, extra big feet or whatever brings the dog to life. Give him a collar in leather, too! Maybe a leash for walking will finish off the new pet. Using a profile picture, you can create many kinds of animals in all sizes.