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Fay Hodson - Mandrake Workshop - Materials and Tools

Below are the materials for making one mandrake. If you wish to make a second creation of approximately the same size, double the amounts of wool and wire. Ideas for making the second creature will be provided in the second part of the workshop.  There is a kit available for purchase (before Sept 23, 2022) if you do not have the small amounts needed in your existing stash.


  • Exterior surface colour wool – at least 25 gm of wool batt.

  • I used Custom Woolen Mills felting batts. They are merino and rambouillet. The fibres go in many directions and the batt has quite a bit of loft or bounce. These characteristics make it easy to apply and feel what is happening.

  • You could use merino batt, but it may handle differently than seen in the videos so you might need to modify the process according to how the wool responds. Using tops is challenging – the fibres are parallel, tend to be long and it is difficult to ensure complete coverage – if you want to try these and have problems, create a batt by cutting (2 inch lengths) and carding the fibre.

  • Wool for the core – at least 50 gm – same or lighter colour than the exterior surface.

  • I used Custom Woolen Mills roving, but if you have excess surface colour batt, you can use strips of it for the core. Find the direction that the fibres primarily go in and tear off approximately 2 inch wide strips.

  • Alternatively, any inexpensive wools that felt, don’t have guard hairs, and have some loft will work.

  • Wool Tops – assorted colours for making top knot attachments and surface designs.

  • Curls or locks – small quantity for the curl top knot.

  • I used mohair (loose bunch about ½ inch in diameter).

  • Ball of yarn for binding the core - can be synthetic or wool.

  • It must be strong – we will be pulling hard on it to bind the core.

  • Galvanized Steel Craft Wire 20 gauge (+/- 2) at least 2.5 meters – available at home depot.

  • Tools

  • Wire cutters/pliers (nothing fancy – just to cut and work crafting wire) e.g. jewelry pliers sets available through Michaels

  • Safety glasses are recommended when working with wire

  • Disposable razor for shaving if necessary

  • Needle felt needles (medium) and foam block or other surface to needle into

  • Regular eyed needle and strong thread (depending on top knot choice)

  • Scissors

  • Felting tools

  • Bubble wrap  (2 pieces, at least 1 sq ft)

  • Rolling tool  (ideally a pool noodle but a rolled towel or rolled bubble wrap will work)

  • Sheet of clear flexible plastic (1 sq ft) – painters drop cloth or cut plastic bag

  • Warm soapy water and basin, bar of soap

  • bath towel and dish towel

  • Watering bulb or water bottle with holes punched in the lid to drizzle water


  • Surface fibres such as silk tops and banana fibres

  • Stretchy ties or panty hose for binding

  • Drawer liner or textured surface

  • Mesh or screen

  • Small wire brush or coarse tooth brush

  • Other felting tools that work for you


Note: some links are provided, but they are not always stable – check that they are what you want!

Copyright Fay Hodson – please do not distribute or copy without permission.

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