How to: Needle Felted Gnome

[26 Dec 2008 | By | 11 Comment(s) | 30,396 views ]

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Needle Felting - Pollywog's Cakewalk, for Dabbled.orgI’m the guest artist for Sluggy Freelance today – check it out!

Please Welcome our guest blogger for today, the lovely Hello, I’m Sally from Pollywog’s Cakewalk! Today she brings us a really great tutorial on how to make a little gnome using needle felting. I’ve never tried this process, and it looks like a ton of fun… Thanks to Sally for sharing with us today! Dot

I had the wonderful opportunity to take a needle felting class at a local community farm where I made this little sheep.
Needle Felting - Pollywog's Cakewalk, for

I fell in love with a gnome that was made by the instructor and decided to try and replicate it. Steps Follow:
Needle Felting - Pollywog's Cakewalk, for
1-Using a pipe cleaner I made the basic shape for my gnome. Using pipe cleaners helps stabilize your three dimensional piece. Also making it hard for arms or legs to be pulled off.
2-I started by wrapping the pipe cleaner with roving and securing it in place with the felting needle. This is done by stabbing the needle into the roving repeatedly. The sponge gives you a surface to work on that the needle to poke into while you are felting. I’m using a car washing sponge. Don’t stab your fingers, it hurts!
3-To cover the hands, I took a small piece of roving and started gently shaping it with the needle.
4-The more you stab the more firm your roving will get. I continued to wrap roving around and securing it with the felting needle until the pipe cleaner was covered and I had the shape of the body.
Needle Felting - Pollywog's Cakewalk, for
5-I added more roving around the head to round it out.
6-For the hair, I started with small strips of brown around the face and continued around until the head was covered.
7-Then I started wrapping green around the body for his jacket. Having formed the shape with the plain roving means that you only need small amounts of colored roving, which is more expensive, to add the details.
8-To start the hat, I stretched a small piece of blue across the head to make a crisp line across the hair and then continued to wrap and shape. Here I am using a tool that has five of the smallest felting needles to help me stabilize the blue roving. Throughout this process I switched back and forth from using one felting needle to the tool shown above.

Needle Felting - Pollywog's Cakewalk, for Dabbled.org9-Here I’m adding the finishing touches to the hat, using the edge of the sponge for leverage.
10-I took the tiniest pieces of blue roving to make the eyes, the finishing touch. Hello little gnome!

It took me about 3 hours after the kids had gone to bed to make this little guy. Violet has already informed me that she wants a purple one, of course! I’m excited about making more of these warm, fuzzy little characters for the kids to play with.

Needle Felting - Pollywog's Cakewalk, for

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11 Comment(s) »

  • Heather - - [] :

    That’s super cute. My mom suggested that it would be a great way to make a nativity set. Thanks for including the time needed to make it! Where’s the best place to get roving?

  • pam [] :

    Love the gnome! Have to make one but…what is roving and where do you get it?

  • [] :

    Aww…what a cutie! I love the nativity set idea above. Wow, that would be really amazing and quite the treasure! I’ll be linking.

  • Hello, I'm Sally. [] :

    Hello! Glad you are enjoying this tutorial. To answer your questions, roving is lambs wool that has been cleaned and combed and is ready to spin or felt. I bought mine at a local Waldorf craft store. I bought a pound and it is going to last me a long time! You can also find roving at some yarn stores.

  • Pollyanna [] :

    Oh Sally this is very cool. I have needle felting on my to do list. I may have to try this little guy out. Thanks for the great tut!

  • Robin [] :

    Thanks for this awesome tut! He is so cute!

  • Shealynn Benner [] :

    That is ADORABLE!!!

  • Heather - - [] :

    Okay, we started this project (we’re doing the Nativity Set idea we mentioned above), and it is fun! I posted about it on my blog

    (And I also posted a blog about it on


  • Belinda [] :

    Very cute gnome! I always wondered what needle felting was and now I know.

    Re. your comment that coloured roving is expensive, have you considered dyeing your own plain roving. It can be done with Kool Aid. See link here at Knitty


  • Dot [] :

    Cool info, thanks for sharing!

  • Delia [] :

    Hello! I found your tutorial.
    I would like to translate it into Russian and post it in my site. I will mention you and your site (let me know which one).
    Is it possible? What will be your condition?