Needle Felting a Gnome

Gnomes are a fabled race of dwarf like creatures that live underground and guard treasure hoards.  As far as I am concerned, gnomes are real.  If you search the internet, there are so many types of gnomes and so many ways to make them.  I spent a few good hours looking at video tutorials before I worked out how I would like to make my very first gnome.  Firstly, most gnomes have red hats and blue shirts.  They also have beards.  They are also not very tall.  I always enjoy how others make their gnomes.  Some people even use wire armatures.  I still haven’t ventured into making anything with a full armature.  I wanted my first gnome to be easy, but still cute.  Here he is.

Downloads2-001I can’t tell you how many videos I watched!  But I just cherry picked the bits that stood out to me and I created this little cutie.  I will tell you how I made him.  Firstly, all of his wool is Corriedale carded slivers from World of Wool.  The beard is a lovely soft topcoat that I purchased from a lady at the Fibre Fair that I went to.  Some people use curly locks, which I have, but I wanted something different.  I didn’t have any flesh colored wool for the nose, ears and hands, but I did have some flesh colored pre-felt Marino.  Surprisingly, it felted up really well and I may continue to use that as my go-to features wool.

I started by making the base with core wool wrapped around a skewer.  This little guy is made out of one whole piece, including the hat.  I sculpted the core wool for the had area and then I felted on the blue for his shirt and then red for the had.  I had to continually re-sculpt the hat area to make the folds.  I felted a separate piece for the hat brim.  Then I made the nose and ears before adding the beard.  That was the really fun bit.  I then made the arms and shoes.  I decided to use bells on the shoes.  I still thought he needed something, so I made a staff with bells on.  If I find a bell large enough, I will add it to his hat and then he will be my Jingle Bell Gnome! 🙂  Although I think this Gnome is easy to make, he required a considerable amount of stabbing as I wanted him to be very firm.  He doesn’t bend.  There are no wires.  There is a trend for what I call soft felting and moveable armatures.  Although soft felting makes it easy to pose an item, it is also easier to damage it.  So, I have decided that I will stick to firm felting and if I venture out to create critters on armatures, they will end up in one pose only.  In fact, I went over all of the little critters I made so far and gave them a good poking!  They actually look better and will last longer.

I had some time to figure out how I wanted to display my Gnome, so I made him a base as the piece of wood I have is too small for him.

Downloads2-001

I really need to take better photos, but hopefully you get the idea.  He is standing on a piece of grass with stones and moss.  After all, they do live in the woods!

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