The Natural World Of Needle Felting – Book Review

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The projects included in Fi Oberon’s book are inspired by our own natural environment and the adorable animals we will find in them.Needle Felting - Front Cover FINAL

Title: The Natural World of Needle Felting: Learn how to make more than 20 adorable animals
 Fi Oberon
Photography: Brent Darby
Format: Hardcover, 144 Pages
ISBN: 9781910254585
Publisher: Jacqui Small LLP, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group.
Published: September 15, 2016
Price: $30.00 USD, $39.00 CAD

Fi Oberon

The Natural World of Needle Felting

Learn how to make more than 20 adorable animals

When I opened my review copy of The Natural World of Needle Felting I was immediately charmed by the adorable critters I found inside.

I have seen needle felting before but never quite this detailed and life-like. The projects included in Fi Oberon’s book are inspired by our own natural environment and the adorable animals we will find in them.

Each project is presented with step-by-step written instructions and each Step includes a clear and detailed image demonstrating exactly what you need to do. Fi Oberon has created a fantastic resource for anyone wanting to try needle felting and a wide-range of projects to challenge both beginners and advanced crafters alike.

This book includes detailed instructions and tips for the entire process of needle felting, from choosing your wool, needles and felting block to how to sculpt, structure and even add color to your project. The topics included in Tools, Equipment & Techniques (the first 48 pages of the book) are:

  • Wool
  • Needles
  • Choosing a felting block
  • Getting started
  • Sculpting
  • How to structure
  • Wet felting
  • Adding colour
  • Creating texture
  • Creating character
  • Wirework
  • Creating sets

The difficulty level of the projects are provided with a ‘star’ ranking system:

Easy = *
Moderate = **
Challenging = ***

The projects you will be able to create with the fantastic, detailed instructions are:


  • Sussex Hen (**) & Chick (*)
  • Ayrshire Cow (**)
  • Swallow (***) & Chick (*)
  • Sheepdog (*)
  • Cotswold Sheep (***)
  • Rabbit (*)


  • Polar Bear (*)
  • Reindeer (***)
  • Penguin (*)


  • Goat (**)
  • Fox (**)
  • Hedgehog (**)
  • Snail (**)
  • Dormouse (***)
  • Red Squirrel (***)
  • Owl (***)


  • Starfish (*)
  • Seagull (**)
  • Oystercatcher (*)

A helpful Resource section is included at the end of the book and it lists different local and online retailers where you can find the supplies you need to make the projects. A Glossary is also included for the terms used in the book which you may not be familiar with when you begin your Needle Felting journey.

Below are a few examples of the projects you can create by following Fi Oberon’s detailed Needle Felting instructions:

Cow - The Natural World Of Needle Felting Book Review
Ayrshire Cow
Dormouse, Squirrel and Hedgehog - The Natural World Of Needle Felting Book Review
Hedgehog, Dormouse and Red Squirrel
Owl - The Natural World Of Needle Felting Book Review

I would like to thank Jacqui Small LLC, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group for providing us with the following excerpt for one of the adorable projects from The Natural World of Needle Felting.

Make an adorable Dormouse! Excerpted from Fi Oberon's: The Natural World of Needle Felting. Click to Tweet

Excerpted from The Natural World of Needle Felting Copyright © 2016 c/o Jacqui Small LLC, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group. Used by permission of the publisher.  All rights reserved.  Photography by Brent Darby.

Dormouse The Natural World of Needle Felting


This little dormouse is a complete darling, fast asleep in her horse-chestnut case. She is one of my most popular exhibits at shows. Be prepared to put in quite a bit of time, as the charm lies all in the level of finish.



A felt mushroom and a papier-mâché (paper-pulp) horse-chestnut case (are complemented by real forest finds.


  • Felting block
  • Needles: sizes 38 and 40
  • Pre–felt: 20 x 10cm (8 x 4in)
  • Wool fibre: 25g (1oz) fine in flesh pink, mouse brown, white and black.


STEP 1 Create the component parts. Make a pre-felt ball 5cm (2in) in diameter. Cut a tiny isosceles triangle of pre-felt to help shape the head. For the legs, roll and prod, with a size 38 needle, a thin cylinder of flesh-pink fine wool fibre. Cut it into four lengths of 3 cm (1¼in). For the tail, roll and prod a fatter cylinder 6cm (2⅜in) long in mouse-brown fine wool fibre.



STEP 2 Offer up the triangle of pre-felt to the ball and prod to attach it.



STEP 3 Cover the head with mouse-brown fine wool fibre, prodding to attach it. Continue over the back of the ball, leaving the tummy area white.


STEP 4 Fatten out the cheeks using brown fine wool fibre and refine the area around the face.


STEP 5 Attach the forelegs by prodding them into the body. Prod to refine the feet, creating three tiny toes on each.


STEP 6 Attach the rear legs by prodding them into the body in the same way. Prod to refine the toes and heels.


STEP 7 Using the ‘pancake’ method (see below) and mouse-brown fibre, make two tiny (1.5cm/⅝in diameter) semicircles for the ears. Fold and prod to form the ear shape before securing them to the head.


STEP 8 Add the facial details using fine fibre and a size 38 then 40 needle. Prod tiny white circles with a central black line to make closed eyes, and a pink nose.


STEP 9 Attach the tail so it curls around to the body and refine the join with mouse-brown fibre. Refine all over with a size 40 needle.


FINISHED DORMOUSE Make a papier-mâché (paper-pulp) horse-chestnut case (see page 43) and pop your dormouse inside so she can snooze in comfort.



The gills of the mushroom were created by making a cardboard disc with a central hole. Wool yarn was wound through the hole and around the cardboard repeatedly until the cardboard was covered and there was enough wool thickness at the outer edge to attach a hemisphere of felt by needle felting. This became the mushroom cap. A cylinder of felt was attached to the central hole to make the stalk.



To create the prickly horse-chestnut case, a sheet of kitchen foil, about the size of this book, was ripped from a roll and folded into quarters. This was slowly fashioned into a dish shape by bending the edges inwards. The foil was gently manipulated until a basic shape had been formed. This was covered with layers of newspaper papier-mâché (paper pulp), both inside and out, and left to dry thoroughly. Layers of glued newspaper were wrapped around lengths of plastic straw, which were cut at a sharp angle. These were attached with newspaper to the horse-chestnut case. This process was repeated until the surface was covered in plenty of prickles. Once dry, the case was painted green.





This method is ‘best practice’ when teaching young students, as it provides a handle, or ‘stem’, to hold while working on a small item, keeping the fingers safe from prods.


STEP 1 Place a thin layer of fine wool fibre onto the felting block. Prod all over with a size 36 needle.


STEP 2 Lift and turn the wool over. Prod some more, starting to concentrate in the middle and ignoring the perimeter area. Keep lifting, turning and prodding.


STEP 3 Fold the ‘pancake’ in half and prod to attach it to itself.


STEP 4 Lift and fold a third of the shape in to the middle, and prod again to attach.


STEP 5 Lift and fold again. Prod, leaving the edge fluffy. This fluffy edge is used as a handle when you prod the middle.


STEP 6 The fluff also helps you attach the small object to the main sculpture. It can be tidied up after attachment.

Excerpted from The Natural World of Needle Felting Copyright © 2016 c/o Jacqui Small LLC, an imprint of Quarto Publishing Group. Used by permission of the publisher.  All rights reserved.  Photography by Brent Darby.

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  1. I really want to try Needle-Felting but scared to. I can’t believe how realistic they look. Would love to have the time to learn this. This book looks like it has so much value and tons of patterns.

  2. I’ve been wanting to learn how to needle felt but have been scared to try it.

  3. I have been wanting to try Needle felting. Your review of this book, and the photos, are great . Would love to have a copy of this. Thank you!

  4. ok, I am seeing Verizon, dish adds. Anyway was really interested in this book, I would really like to learn to felt, cute designs!

  5. Hi Kristin, The only ‘pop-up’ I have that I am aware of is the one you will see when you visit my site for the very first time. Letting you know there is a newsletter available. Once you close it it never shows up again. If there are any others I am unaware of them and they should not be there. I do not have pop-up ads enabled with my ad agency. Thank you for your feedback and I hope you managed to read the article. Rhondda

  6. Too many popups on your site. I was going to just leave without reading the article, but decided to share my feedback.