Sunday, September 4, 2011


Needlefelting a Giraffe

I was asked to needlefelt a giraffe for a girlfriend's son. He loves giraffes and, she wanted to surprise him with something really special. I agreed but had never made such a structure before so, I felt a bit unsure yet was glad for the challenge...or so I thought.

I started out with the natural, cotton pipecleaners and began wrapping with wool as the pic shows above.

I continued wrapping the white wool and realized I had better look at pictures of giraffes so I could continue to sculpt the correct physique. I did make sure that my girlfriend was fine with a bit of artistic interpretation...she was so I knew if it look a bit askew, I could pass this off as my artistic flair :)
After some time, I was ready for giraffe type colors and began to layer yellows and oranges with some Peace Fleece and Child's Dream Come True wool.
As time continued to pass and I continued to rely on pics of giraffes, it grew more life-like with additions such as horns, felt ears, glass bead eyes until...

...Walla, it was finished. Now all told, this project took me sixty-five hours...YES the big 65...and I was burned out with needlefelting. This giraffe is rock solid and can be played with gently. My children have needlefelted animals and if they are not rock solid, they often fray and do not last as long as I would like. Therefore, I decided to make this as durable as I possibly could.

My girlfriend really likes this creation, so did everyone else who saw it whether during the process and/or as a finished project, and her son adores his giraffe...HOWEVER...I must ask you mamas out there a quicker, easier way to get a finished project? Although crafting is almost always a labor of love, does it mean less than a dollar an hour for time? I figured this is what I made after sixty-five hours. Any help is appreciated and, I always adore your comments!


  1. Wow, this turned out wonderfully! Love the step by step pictures! I know what you mean about hand crafting, I used to labor away to sell my crafts, until I realized I was making about a dollar an hour after supplies and time were figured in. I decided I would stick to crafting items for my family and home, I don't mind spending hours making something for my home. It really makes you appreciate the work that goes into store bought items that are hand crafted- as well as makes one wonder how the workers could possibly be getting paid a fair wage.
    Great post!!

  2. It is simply stunning. Thank you for sharing the process.

  3. Thank you for your sweet and helpful comments!

  4. I adore this! I have no suggestions on how to craft without selling yourself short, but I can sure drool over that giraffe. I'm very inspired!

  5. You got that giraffe's head dead-on! It's a wonderful likeness.

    Honestly, at this point I just don't sell my time-intensive crafts. I only sell my works that take a reasonable amount of time to create, and I list far more of items that I can pay myself more to make. I do still sew the occasional I Spy quilt, for instance, because I like to, but only very occasionally, because I only earn about $10 an hour for that quilt. If I wanted to earn $10 an hour, I wouldn't be a stay-at-home, homeschooling momma of two, you know? I'd rather go to the park with my girls. I can pay myself far better for my hand-dyed play silks, which take far less time to make, and I can make play silks for my girls in the same dye pot, which is a big bonus, so I try to list more crafts like that to sell.