Furfamily Love ... and Fur!
The heart shown in this post contains a little bit of fur from all three of our pets; however, it won’t be my last furry heart. As much as I hate to ever think of losing any of my boys, I also plan to make another individual heart for all of our pets that I can keep forever along with their clay paw prints.
Crazy? Perhaps. But I also already know I’ll treasure it.
Why not make your own now while you can giggle about it? The only downside of needle felting is avoiding stabbing your own fingers and post-loss tears would definitely not help!
Needle Felting with Pet Fur
Needle Felting with Wool Roving vs. Pet Fur
Woolly fluffy fur works very much like roving; however, for short and/or wiry haired pets, even if you blend fur and wool roving, it stays visibly furry. You can reduce the fur factor by using small quantities of fur in the blend, concealing the fur in an outer layer of roving, and/or using complimentary colours so that the fur is less evident (much like my entire wardrobe).
Gathering Pet Fur for Felting
Brushing is an easy way to gather fur from many pets. Depending on your pet and the quantity of fur you want for your project, a single brushing session may be enough, or you might need to gather a fur supply over time. Cleaning your brush off into a container is an easy way to collect fur over time. It’s also a sweet option for a keepsake in its own right. Alternatively, if you pet sees a groomer, you can ask them to save you some fluff from a clipping session.
Making a Needle Felted Heart with Pet Fur
Supplies and Materials
To make a similar heart, you will need a few special supplies, including a felting needle, wool roving in a colour of your choice, and (optional) a heart-shaped cookie cutter.
- Gathered pet fur
- Wool roving
- Needle felting needle(s)
- Heart shaped cookie cutter (optional)
I use a Clover needle felting pen tool and find it very easy to handle, but you can use a plain felting needle or any tool you wish. My roving (love!) is from Ashford, locally produced in New Zealand. You can find wool roving through specialists, large craft stores, or online. Quality wool roving makes a huge difference when crafting – much easier to felt with. Using a cookie cutter instead of manually shaping was inspired by this DIY heart garland by My Poppet.
Making a Needle Felted Pet Fur-Filled Heart
To make your own pet fur-filled needle felted heart, you’ll first need to gather a small amount of fur. As noted above, brushing is a great option for many pets. Enjoy some s-paw time and give your pet a good brushing, then collect some fur from the brush. Now it’s crafting time!
- Stuff a layer of wool roving into the cookie cutter, taking care to fill the bottom and cover sides.
- Fill the inside of the heart with your fur.
- Stuff additional wool roving onto the top, taking care to ensure the fur is fully surrounded.
- Needle the wool, taking care as noted below, turning periodically to felt from both sides. Be attentive when working near the sides of the cookie cutter to ensure that the heart is well-felted and that you don’t break your needle.
- Add additional wool roving at any time for even coverage or for additional thickness if/as needed.
- Once you are happy with the thickness and have a firm felty heart, remove it from the cookie cutter for final touch-ups.
- Carefully needle the sides if/as needed to firm up any fuzzy areas and other final touch-ups. Take extra care at the cleft of the heart to ensure it is well-shaped.
- You can leave your other edges sharp, or round them slightly as I did with my heart. Be cautious near the bottom to avoid accidentally rounding the pointy tip of the heart.
Needle felting is best done on a soft surface, such as a foam pad; however, you can work with care on other surfaces if you prefer. ALWAYS keep track of your fingers (ouch) and enter/exit straight to avoid breaking your needle(s). Every needle action compresses and entwines the wool fibres, slowly turning the loose wool/fur into firm felt. Don’t be intimidated – felting is as simple as repeating that action over and over. It just takes time, patience, and attention to detail. Peppy music is a fun addition and this is very cathartic crafting if you are feeling a bit “stabby”. Haha!