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Felt Animal Art

Use felt to create a whimsical winter scene for your holiday decor or the kids' room. This how-to comes from crafter Kristin St. Clair.

Photography: Rob Tannenbaum

Source: The Martha Stewart Show, December 2011


  • Embroidery hoop

  • White spray paint

  • 100 percent wool white felt

  • Craft scissors

  • Medium bulldog or binder clips

  • Rit liquid dye in Evening Blue

  • Hot water

  • 2 containers (plastic bins, large pots, or similar)

  • Paper towels

  • Paper

  • Double-stick tape

  • Black acrylic paint

  • Paintbrush

  • White glue

  • White ribbon (optional)


  1. Select embroidery hoop in desired size (we used an 8-inch hoop), and paint the outer hoop with white spray paint.

  2. Cut a square piece of white felt about 1 inch larger than the diameter of your hoop and attach bulldog or binder clips to bottom edge of felt to prevent floating when dip-dyed.

  3. In one container, prepare dye bath, mixing 2 gallons plus 4 cups (36 cups total) of water with one bottle of "Evening Blue" liquid Rit fabric dye. In the other container, prepare a separate clean, warm water bath.

  4. Dip binder-clipped edge of felt into dye bath, submerging about an inch of felt every 5 seconds. Repeat until desired gradient is achieved.

  5. Remove felt from dye bath and dip into clean water bath. Repeat dye process a second time, skipping the clean water bath.

  6. Remove felt from dye bath and place on a stack of 3 or 4 paper towels for about 5 seconds, blotting the top of the felt with another paper towel if necessary.

  7. Stretch felt over inner hoop of embroidery hoop, secure into place with outer hoop and let dry completely.

  8. To make animal shapes, download, print and cut out templates.

  9. Using double-stick tape, attach template directly to a piece of white felt and cut out animal shape with sharp craft scissors. Use a craft knife to cut detail lines on template into felt.

  10. Remove paper template from felt, fold felt along cut detail lines, and use scissors to finish trimming slits on interior of animals.

  11. To add details to animals, paint felt with black acrylic paint, thinned with water.

  12. Once dyed felt has dried, trim excess felt flush with embroidery hoop back and attach animal shape(s) to front of felt as desired, using white glue.

  13. To embellish embroidery hoop, use glue to attach 3/8-inch- to 1/2-inch-wide white ribbon on outer edge of hoop. Using same ribbon, tie a bow and attach to hoop hardware with glue.

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