Paper template of robin
Paper template of wings
Tailor's chalk pencil
Sheet of felt
Sheet of brown felt
Scrap of black felt
Woollen fleece in brown, red, white and grey
Clover tool and mat
Needle and thread
Brown florist's tape
You needn’t be a skilled needlefelter to get this robin right – just take your time and go carefully with the needle, which is very sharp.
Assuming you have the basic tools, this craft project can be completed for under £10.
Experienced needlefelters can complete this in a day – beginners should allow themselves a long weekend.
Trace the robin and wing shapes onto the brown felt using the tailor's chalk pencil and cut them out. Cut a small beak shape from the scrap of black felt and leave to one side.
Pull off small tufts of fleece and begin felting it to the robin shape using the clover tool and mat. It doesn't matter if your fleece spills over the edges, you can trim the bird later. Just make sure you keep lifting the robin up to avoid needlefelting it to the mat. If you punch your design lightly at first you can easily rectify mistakes. Once you are happy with your design repeat on the other robin shape (just remember the two sides should be facing opposite directions so that they match up when put together). Repeat the process with the wings.
Needlefelt a wing to each robin shape; you will only need to punch at the base of the wing to give a 3D effect. Now place the two sides of the bird together insert the beak and punch around the edges of the bird shapes (you will need to hold the wings out of the way), securing the beak and leaving a small gap between the base of the bird and the tale end. Stuff the robin lightly with a small amount of brown fleece then seal the gap together with the clover tool adding the tail feather as you go. You may need to trim your feather down to be in proportion to your robin, though we love the fact that its flamboyancy is unrealistic.
Stitch two beads onto the face for the eyes
To put the robin onto a stick, take a barbecue skewer and wrap in self-sticking brown florist's tape. Make a small hole on its underside by delicately pulling the two sides apart and insert the sharp end of the barbecue skewer. Add a little glue if needs be, alternatively use a single needle to felt the skewer in place.
With thanks to Jayne Emerson
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