How to Needle Felt Cookie Cutter Shapes: Make Wool Animals, Ornaments, Appliques, Embellishments in Minutes

Needle felting with a cookie cutter is an amazingly quick, fun, and easy way to create flat wool shapes that can be used in a wide variety of sewing and crafts projects. The cookie cutter saves you the step of having to draw a template for your shape, and it also helps guide your needle while you felt. Try felting a Christmas tree shape for a holiday ornament, or a leaf shape to decorate a sweater, or a sheep for a pillow to decorate a baby’s room. The possibilities are limited only by the size of your cookie cutter collection.

Supply List for Needle-Felted Cookie Cutter Shapes

  • Colored wool roving
  • Barbed felting needle
  • Piece of 2″ thick, dense foam, about 10” x 12.” You can purchase this at a craft store or use a firm pillow instead, but make very sure the pillow is thick enough so the needle won’t poke through it.
  • Embellishments: yarn, embroidery floss, beads, etc.
  • (Optional) awl or small finishing nail for making the shape into an ornament
  • (Optional) ribbon, yarn, or cord for hanging the shape as an ornament

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Place the cookie cutter on the foam pad.
  2. Lay wool roving inside the cutter so it fills the entire shape, folding the wool to fit where necessary. You can make a thicker shape by using more roving, or a thinner shape by using less roving. Avoid leaving empty spots.
  3. With the cookie cutter still in place, use the needle to poke up and down all over the wool, paying special attention to edges and points. Be sure to hold the needle straight up and down, and keep your fingers well away from the point—it’s very sharp! You will see the fibers gradually compressing into a thick mat.
  4. If any areas look too thin, add more roving and continue felting that area with the needle until the new roving blends in with the existing wool.
  5. Remove the cookie cutter and gently detach the felted shape from the foam pad or pillow. (The act of felting will stick the shape to the pad.)
  6. If the edges look ragged, felt around the edges until the shape looks smooth and finished.
  7. Your shape is now ready to attach to any project. You can also add embellishments at this point. Use the felting needle to incorporate yarn or other colors of roving, or embroider your shape with embroidery floss, beads, sequins, or charms. If you’re planning to make a Christmas ornament, choose where you will put the hole to hang the ornament before you embellish.
  8. To make the shape into a Christmas ornament, use an awl or finishing nail to pierce a hole in the ornament by first working work the sharp point through the wool, then wiggling it until the hole is the size you want. Thread cord, yarn, or ribbon through and tie into a loop.
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