The deer is one of the most well-loved woodland creatures and this doe-eyed deer from Needle-Felted Animals will look fantastic on your mantelpiece, in a shadow box, or simply as a toy.
You Will Need:
Merino wool in: peach 0.90oz (25g), dark brown 0.07oz (2g), light brown 0.10oz (3g), orange/yellow 0.01oz (0.5g), white 0.01oz (0.5g), pink 0.03oz (1g), and black 0.07oz (2g) Alpaca wool in warm brown 0.10oz (3g)
Felting needle with handle
Wooden kebab skewer
Sharp embroidery scissors
How to Make a Felt Doe-Eyed Deer
Make a Basic Body, making an egg-shaped body measuring 3½in (9cm) long by 1¼in (3cm) wide at the fattest point from peach wool. Make the neck 2in (5cm) long and the head 1½in (4cm) x ¾in (2cm) from peach wool, making them the shapes shown. Make the legs 2 ½in (6.5cm) long and ¾in (1 cm) thick and attach them with 1¾in (4.5cm) hanging below the body, noting that the deer's rear end protrudes beyond the back legs.
Angle the head and legs as shown and squeeze and needle them into position. Add wefts of peach wool to blend the base of the neck into the back and pad out the haunches and shoulders. Make a small peach wool sausage and attach it to the deer's rear end for the tail. Using dark brown wool, make two flat teardrop shapes for the ears, measuring 1 in (2.5cm) long. Needle them onto the head around the curved end, keeping the tips pointed.
Add light brown shading to the deer's back, then up the back of the neck to the top of the head and down the muzzle. Add brown on the outside of the legs to about halfway down, fading it out to the ankle. Shade the sides of the face and the chest with the yellow/orange wool and put a few strands on the back. Add some white wool to the chest, keeping it light so that the colours underneath show through. Cover the belly and the inside of the legs with white, carrying the colour around under the tail, blending the edges. Add a few strands on the outside of the legs, allowing some peach and brown to show through. Add some white wool to the chin and cheeks, making the chin jut out a bit. Add some pink to the inner ears, some strands of white to the outer ears, and some black to the tips. Needle a few strands of white onto the top of the head.
Needle in the eye sockets and pinch and needle the muzzle to shape it. Shade in around the eye down to the chin with light brown. Use pea-sized balls of white wool to make slightly slanting, almond-shaped eyes. Then add a smaller black almond-shaped iris and a thin black outline. Add a highlight in each eye. Add an upside-down triangle in black for the nose, then needle on a little more black wool to make the nose protrude a bit. Add a small sliver of black wool for the mouth: needle on the strand in the centre just under the nose and then guide the rest of it into place with the needle.
Using the embroidery scissors, cut the tips of the legs at a 45-degree angle. Pinch and needle the hoof so that the tip is slightly pointed. Then add black wool for the hooves, adding more wool at the front and less at the back.
Add some dark brown and peach strands to the back of the deer's neck. Then add white dots all over the deer's back and some peach spots around the rear end, making them slightly different sizes and not too big.