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Needle-Felted Llama Ornament

This woolly white llama is handcrafted of soft felted roving, a richly embroidered saddle blanket, and a sleepy smile that makes him a charmer to children and adults alike.

needle felted llama ornament hanging from sparkly branch

Photography: Manal Aman

Source: Martha Stewart

Introduction

This idea comes from our friend Manal Aman. Her cute companion is made by needle-felting. This technique involves sculpting shapes from unspun wool called roving by manipulating the fibers with a special needle until they interlock and become dense. An experienced crafter can make one of these llamas in about an hour. The main difference between this project and our other needle-felted animals is that you will skip the step of pipe-cleaner armature since this llama is meant to hang from the boughs of your Christmas tree.

 

For more ideas, scroll through our entire collection of handmade Christmas ornaments and kid-friendly shatterproof ornaments.

materials

  • White felt roving (Similar to pictured: Ashland Bay Undyed Merino Wool Roving — 19.5 micron, $2.15 per ounce, theyarntree.com.)

  • Colored felt roving for saddle blanket

  • Felting mat (Similar to pictured: Clover needle felting brush mat, in Large, 3 1/4" by 5", $18, clover-usa.com.)

  • Needle felting tool (Similar to pictured: Clover needle felting tool, $17, clover-usa.com.)

  • Detail scissors

  • Embroidery needle (Similar to pictured: Clover gold eye embroidery needles, $2.60 for set of 16, purlsoho.com.)

  • Black embroidery floss (Pictured: DMC Cotton embroidery floss, in #310, 77 cents per skein, dmc.com.)

  • Gold embroidery floss (Similar to pictured: DMC Metallic Pearl Cotton embroidery floss — size 5, in Gold, $4.45 per skein, dmc.com.)

  • Ribbon and applique trimming (Similar to pictured: Looped braid trim, in Light Gold, 1/2", $3.98 per yd., mjtrim.com.)

  • Craft glue

steps

  1. Pull off a large amount of white roving; pinch off smaller pieces to allot for different body parts of the llama as shown. (Note: Don't worry if your llama looks too large; the wool roving will compress in size as you needle-felt. For comparison, our pre-felted llama measured as 6 inches wide and 4 inches tall.)

    needle felted llama ornament cut body parts
  2. For each body part, place roving on a needle-felting mat; punch the fibers all over with a needle-felting tool, manipulating the roving with your fingers as you work until they feel dense and firm. (Tip: Always be sure your needle is pointing straight down, not pointed on an angle as it can break that way.)

    needle felted llama ornament needle felt body parts with hand
  3. Assemble the llama: Join the head, neck, and limbs to the body by punching the fibers with the tool and using a bit of additional roving if necessary.

    needle felted llama ornament join body parts together
  4. Add facial features to the llama: To embroider a mouth, thread needle with black embroidery floss and knot one end; insert it through the snout and wrap around the other side; knot the other end. To embroider eyes, use stem stitch by stitching at a slight diagonal, making all visible stitches the same length.

    needle felted llama ornament embroider facial features
  5. Add accessories to the llama: Cut a square sheet of pink roving, embellish by glueing on decorative trim, and drape over the llama's back. Tie gold embroidery floss around the snout and neck to make a harness. Then thread a loop of embroidery floss through the llama's back, tying the ends into a knot, for hanging.

    needle felted llama ornaments completed with pink ribbon

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