Learning the basics of needle felting is relatively easy. However, once you want to use those skills to make a toy or embellish a sweater you'll soon realize that skills related to drawing and sculpting are extremely helpful. Some of those abilities, such as layering colors, will only come with experience. Watching these needle felting instructional videos will also be a great start. It's certainly better than a poke in the finger (watch out for those).
Needle Felting Basics: Tools and Materials
Watch the hands, read the captions and you'll learn much of what you need to know about getting started needle felting. Be sure to track down a star tip or triangle tip needle as well as a thick sponge before you get started. Of course a little corriedale wool is helpful for beginners as well.
Needle Felting: Molds and Combining Colors
Prefer to have a reassuring British teacher to talk you through the basics? The Crafts Channel's instructor explains how to needle felt with molds and also discusses the basics of combining colors.
Needle Felting: Making Shapes
Once you understand the basics of compressing and shaping the wool through needle felting, the next step is learning how to use those techniques to create shapes such as a ball for a head, a flap for a wing and tubes for legs. In this video, Living Felt teaches how to make those shapes and you'll start to understand how crafters turn the needle-felted wool into toys and sculptures.
Making Needle Felted Clothing Embellishments
A variety of uses exist for needle felted wool in addition to making toys and sculptures, including clothing embellishments. In this video, HGTV Handmade shows how to use heart-shaped cookie cutters, a needle felting pen, and wool, to add a texture and a pattern to a sweater. You'll quickly realize that binding different types of wool is an important skill.
Needle Felting Tips
Before you start jabbing your fingertips with a needle, be sure to watch Maqaroon's video of needle felting tips, including using Band-Aids to protect your fingers and the proper way to hold the wool so you don't harm yourself. Plenty of more great suggestions.
Building a Needle Felted Sculpted Animal
Creating a needle-felted animal is fairly complex. Sara Renzulli has a series of videos about sculpting a fox (yeah, we're kinda partial to the fox). In this first tutorial, she explains how to build the armature, a necessary part of many needle felted toys and sculptures. To learn more about creating the needle felted fox, track down all of the videos the series.