Advent Calendar Project ’14 – Week 19

(For the 24 weeks leading up to December 1st, we’ll be making a Christmas ornament, giving you enough to fill an advent calendar.)

Last weekend Matt and I were at the Mall of America Christmas shopping (Don’t gasp, we need to have a bulk of it done before Thanksgiving.) We were looking through a gift shop and saw these large felted deer with sticks for legs. I thought they would make darling ornaments if done in a smaller size.
Advent Calendar Project '14 - Week 19
Ok, this could be my favorite ornament yet. I just think he is so sweet. I’ve never needle felted an animal shape before, (Mainly, I’ve made simple beads or needle felted a beard on a Santa.) so I was a little nervous about how hard it would be. It actually wasn’t. Yes, it took a little time to get the shape just right, but I got it on the first try. It’s a little tricky to try to explain how to needle felt the shape of the head and body, so I’ve included a lot of photos here for you to use as a guide.
Advent Calendar Project '14 - Week 19
This ornament is a little on the delicate side because of the twigs inserted into it for legs and antlers. Make sure to glue them in securely, it makes a big difference.
Advent Calendar Project '14 - Week 19
As you can see, my deer is quite small, but you could make these into larger ornaments or even do big ones for a tabletop display.

Needle Felted Deer Ornament


  • brown wool roving (I went for a natural look, but these would also be fun done in a color.)
  • felting needle
  • felting board or hard styrofoam
  • small twigs
  • small piece of brown felt
  • small piece of white felt
  • scissors
  • tacky glue
  • jump ring
  • thread to match roving
  • hand sewing needle

1. Start by needle felting the shape of the body, which is basically an oval with a flat bottom similar to a loaf of Italian bread. You can make yours any size, but mine was about 1 inch long. You want to felt until you have a nice, firm shaped.
Advent Calendar Project '14 - Week 19
2. Use a small piece of roving and felt the neck shape on to the body. Leave a little loose as you will felt it on to the head as well.
Advent Calendar Project '14 - Week 19
3. Needle felt the head piece. The shape of the head is similar to an egg with one pointed end and one rounded.
Advent Calendar Project '14 - Week 19
4. Felt the head on to the neck. Keep working with the felting needle until the deer is the exact shape you like.
Advent Calendar Project '14 - Week 19
5. Cut four small twig the same width and length for legs. Mine were about 1/2″ long.
Advent Calendar Project '14 - Week 19
Use the felting needle to make holes for the legs.
Advent Calendar Project '14 - Week 19
Put a drop of glue on one end of each leg and put in the holes. I also put a little glue around the edge of each hole once the twigs we in. Let dry (I was able to stand mine up and let it dry that way, it kept the legs straight.)
Advent Calendar Project '14 - Week 19
6. Cut two small leaf shapes from the brown felt for ears and one from the white for a tail. I glued the ears on and then needle felted the bottoms a little to make them stand up nicely.
Advent Calendar Project '14 - Week 19 Advent Calendar Project '14 - Week 19
I just glued on the tail.
Advent Calendar Project '14 - Week 19
7. If you want to add antlers, cut two small twigs with a “y” shape. Make holes for them just behind the ears. Glue in place the same was as the legs. (The ones I saw in the store did not have antlers, but I think they add a lot.)
Advent Calendar Project '14 - Week 19 Advent Calendar Project '14 - Week 19
8. Hand sew a jump ring to the back of the deer for hanging.
Advent Calendar Project '14 - Week 19

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