Many of you have expressed interest in my post on Wool Roving Angels. In this new post we are once again working with wool roving, but now with less of a holiday theme and more of a barnyard theme. Let me show you how to needle felt finger puppets. The puppets are not only great to make with your kids – but they also make great baby gifts.
I made an entire collection of animals, basically a farm animal series. However, in this post I provide detailed instructions for making the pig with wool roving. The same techniques should give you all the information needed to make a whole barnyard full of animals.
If you like this project (or if your kids liked it), then also check out making Rock Monsters (another great kid project). I must say that Monster finger puppets would be a fun parent-child activity as well!
I like to purchase my felt from Living Felt. They are a great supplier out of Texas and have everything you need. They have some great instructional videos and kits on their website too. I have no affiliation with this company.
I hope that your finger puppets become as beloved as mine. I had thought about giving these puppets away, but they found a home right here!
Wooden cooking spoon
Wool roving (neutral, pink, and black – and whatever other colors you will need in your barnyard)
Needle felting needle
High density foam (~1.5 inches thick)
Instructions on how to needle felt finger puppets:
1. Make a form for the finger puppet by wrapping a small section of the neutral wool roving loosely around the handle of the spoon. Immerse the wool into a tub of warm soapy water. Pick a soap that doesn’t foam too much. Agitate the wool with your hands, gently at first, until the fibers start to stick together. If the fibers stick to your hands too much then you can cover the wool with the toe from a pair of women’s hosiery. The technique is similar to starting my Rock Monsters (linked above). For more information you can watch the video in the Rock Monster tutorial.
2. Remove the form from the spoon handle. If there are any stray fibers in your form use a needle felting needle to situate the fibers. Using your needle, and a long thin section of pink roving make the neck of your pig. You may want to put a small piece of foam inside your finger puppet. If you do, be sure to remove it periodically or you will needle felt it in place and have a hard time removing the foam. Once the neck is defined, cover the entire form with small sections of pink roving, securing each piece with your needle. Be sure to only plunge the needle straight into the fibers and pull straight out. Other motions may cause the needle to break.
3. Take a small section of pink wool and curl it around itself (photo above). Use your felting needle needle to secure the fibers into a disk shape for the nose. Add more wool if necessary.
4. Place the nose onto the pig form and use your needle and some additional wool to secure it in place.
5. In the same way as the nose, make two ears. With the ears leave a trail of wool at the bottom as shown above. Use this wool to secure to the head instead of additional wool.
6. Attach a small amount of white felt to make the base for the eye. Work the wool, attaching in a circular motion until you can not see pink through the white and the eye is the desired size.
7. Outline the aye and add the pupil using black wool.
8. I also added a couple black accents for nostrils. Tails can be fun too! Finished!
The technique used to make all the animals is the same, so don’t be timid. Try some of my other animals using the photos above – or set off and create your own. If you want to make this project a bit faster and easier you can use cutout felt pieces for ears, eyes, noses… Be sure to purchase real wool felt though. Other fibers will not attach with the felting needle.