Making A Wool Felted Bird Ornament ...

This is an explanation of how the humming bird was made for the White House Christmas Tree. Some of you have asked for instructions on how to make one. It was a combination of techniques, some of which are explained on other pages on our site. The instructions for making a flat piece of felt can be found at
One step beyond basic felting: Laying out wool for a large sheet of wool felt.

Step two: Felting the large sheet of felt

and then the basic instructions for needle felting can be found at

One Way to Use Felting Needles ... Using Felting Needles to Apply Designs to Felt

To see other animal ornaments that are available: Dinosaur, Sea Otter, Koala, Sheep, Panda, Bat, Fish, Bison, & Cat Ornament

So, you will need to have made a piece of flat felt in the colours of the bird you want to make. Then later you will be ready to cut bits of colour felt and needle felt them into place. You will also need some washed, carded wool (batts or roving) to use for the insides of the bird.

I wanted to make the bird so that it wasn't cut and sewn then stuffed. There are limits as to how small you can cut and sew and still turn it inside out so the seams aren't so obvious. I didn't want there to be any seams. If I started from the inside and worked out, using the needle felting then there wouldn't be any seams.

making the wire armature making the wire armature

The difficulty was figuring out how to make a beak and attach it to the felt. By making a wire armature, that is possible. I used 22 gauge brass jeweler's wire, cut a length and then twisted the end to be the humming bird's beak; then twisted the rest of the piece of wire into a small circle for the head and a larger circle for the body. The trick is, to make the beak smaller than you think it ought to be. For some reason this just looks best.

making the beak making the beak

I used a small amount of polymer clay to make the beak over the wire. I rolled it out and pressed under and over the wire so that the wire was covered. By rolling it more in my fingers I shaped it and made it smooth. Polymer clay objects have to be heated in an oven, but those instructions are on the clay box.

After the heating, it can be painted with acrylic paints the proper colour for the bird you are making. Its also a good idea to use some clear acrylic spray to coat the beak after the paint has dried. It just makes everything a bit more sealed and permanent.

painting the beak

Making A Wool Felted Bird Ornament: Part 2

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