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Needle Felted Circus Lion

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Ever wonder if you can make this needle felted lion with a simple needle felting kit that you can get from a craft shop? Yes, you can. We have all the details on the pattern and tutorial section to show you how to make Lumba. I would say that Lumba is one of my best-ever needle felted animals.

make felt lion

After the needle felted owl, I am back to share another needle felting animal; this time, it is a circus lion, Lumba. Lumba is a shy and kindhearted lion that misses home badly. He is a new member of the circus, and he is always nervous about the performance. Whenever he sees a star, he is homesick. He wants to go home where the jungle is and not be locked up in the cage, and get trained to be a show lion. He loves his pompadour mane and doesn’t like it to get messed up during the show.

How-To DIY Needle Felted Lion

scroll ⬇️ to get the free printable needle felting pattern & tutorial

circus lion felt

Are you ready to begin your needle felting journey to make this needle felted lion? Prepare your craft table with some felting wool or wool roving in yellow, orange, light brown, brown, hazelnut, black, white, and pink. We will be using more wool roving in yellow, orange, and light brown, but bits of them in other colors. Since we are making a core base for the body to save the price of the wool roving, prepare some yellow yarn as well.

felted circus lion

Besides the wool felting supplies above, you need the felt needle tools to make this needle felted lion. Most needle felting kit sets will provide 2 sizes of felting needles, a heavyweight and a fine-weight. We like to use a Multi-Needle Pen that is loaded with heavyweight needles, it works faster than a single needle to get the larger piece done. A fine-weight needle is used for other details felting. The kit should also come with a felting sponge. Other felting tools you will need are a toothpick, a marker, and a pair of scissors.

home sick lion

I often heard that people broke their felting needles during the piercing process, and this is frustrating. We can easily prevent this from happening. Just make sure in each and every poke, your felting needle stays straight. You can poke in & out at any angle as long as the tip doesn’t bow or bend as you are piercing into your piece. These are the 5 Common Needle Felting Mistakes that you can avoid:

  • Not Felting on a Cushion 
  • Stabbing the Felting needle deep into the Wool
  • Using the Wrong Size Felting Needle
  • Felting with the Wrong Wool
  • Breaking Felting Needles
needle felted lion

After making this felt lion, I am so eager to make more needle felted animals and give each of them a character. Wouldn’t it be fun for all of them to have their own unique personality and a story to tell? Perhaps I can come out with a needle felted animals book if some publishers would love to work with me. Hoping and looking forward to this day!!!

I hope you enjoy making this felted lion with this needle felting tutorial… I find that crafting is therapeutic 😀

Happy Needle Felting!


  • Start needle felting and share your completed handmade on Facebook and/or Instagram. Remember to tag us, @craftpassion, so that we are able to see them.
  • Pin it to Pinterest for a future To-Do List.
  • Share with your felting groups for a craft-along event.
  • Browse more craft ideas to make, particularly for Needle felting crafts
Needle Felted Lion - How To

Needle Felted Lion - How To

Yield: 3" Mini Lion
Active Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours
Difficulty: Avid Beginner/Intermediate
Estimated Cost: $5 - $10

Lumba is a shy and kindhearted lion that misses home badly. He is a new member of the circus and he is always nervous about the performance. Whenever he sees a star, he is homesick. He wants to go home where the jungle is and not being locked up in the cage, get trained to be a show lion. He loves his pompadour mane and doesn’t like it to get messed up during the show.

Enjoy felting this little circus lion!


  • Wool roving in yellow, orange,light brown, brown, hazelnut, black, white and pink
  • Yarn – yellow



Reference tutorials with video:

Easter Carrot 

Little Bird 

Basic Needle Felting with a cookie cutter (external Youtube video)


    1. Gather all the materials and supplies needed for needle felting the circus lion.needle felted lion
    2. Wind a bunch of yarn around your palm, take out. Wind yarn around it and wind more at one end to make a round head for the lion.
      Make a small yarn ball, place it on the other end, wind some yarn around them. This is the backside of the sitting lion.needle felted lion
    3. Pull a few inches of wool from the roving. Loosen up the wool.
      Wrap the wool around the yarn structure of the lion. Try to cover as evenly as possible. Add more wool if needed and make sure to cover it completely.needle felted lion
    4. Needle felt the wool with the felting needle until it is smooth.
      Add some wool to patch up any uncovered space if needed.needle felted lion
    5. Mark the shape of the muzzle on the face.
      a. Place a small amount of eclipse-shaped white wool on the face. Pierce a few times at the middle to felt it in place.
      b. Pierce the middle line of the muzzle.
      c. Pierce on the white wool to a shape of a slanted oval (as shown in picture)
      d. Add dark brown wool and felt it to the center of the muzzle to make the nose of the lion.needle felted lion
    6. a, b, & c, views from a different angle of the muzzle and nose.
      d. Pierce 3 little dots with a tiny amount of black wool at each side of the muzzle to make the vibrissae of the lion.needle felted lion
    7. Mark 2 circles above the muzzle as the eyes of the lion.
      Pierce the eye with black wool, add a hazelnut strip to make a ring inside the eyes as the iris of the eyes.
      Finally, add a dot of white to the eye.
      Repeat the same to the other eye.needle felted lion
    8. Pierce 2 slanted eyebrows above the eyes or you can do other expressions with different shapes of eyebrows.needle felted lion
    9. Roll the wool into a long strip and felt it to make the tail of the lion.
      Add a tassel to the tail end by felt loosely a mixture of the brown-colored wools.
      Leave the wool at the other end of the tail loose.needle felted lion
    10. a. Make 4 limbs for the lion. To make the foot, felt one end of the limb into a ball-shaped, larger than the limb. Make 4 snips to the foot with equal spacing, pierce the cuts to make 4 obvious lines to the feet of the lion. Leave the wool at the other end of the limb loose.
      b. Add a little detail to make the metacarpal pad.
      c. Pin the limbs into the desired position, pierce to felt them in place.
      d. Felt the tail to the back of the lion.needle felted lion
    11. Roll tiny wool on the toothpick, pull out. Bend it into U-shaped and pierce a few times to fix the shape. This is the ear of the lion.
      Repeat the same to make another ear.needle felted lion
    12. Attach the ears on the head of the lion. Felt in place.needle felted lion
    13. Pull about 4″ length of brown wool form roving. Mixed some dark brown and orange wool to the brown wool to make the mane.needle felted lion
    14. a. Mark the outline of where the mane is. Take some mane wool and fold them into half, place them on the neck and both sides of the face respectively, felt them in place.
      b. Cover the back of the head with more mane wool by placing the wool vertically. Pierce them in place.
      c. Check the mane density by viewing from the front, add more wool if needed.
      d. Felt the back of the head until the wool is smooth and even. Slowly “comb” the bushy mane, pierce the ends to the head to neaten up.needle felted lion
    15. Felt the mane to give the lion a pompadour hairstyle.needle felted lion
    16. This is how it looks like at the back of the lion.needle felted lion


  1. When doing needle felting, pierce your needle straight into the object (don’t bend or prick the needle) to avoid the needle from breaking.
  2. Use a multi-needle in heavyweight for quick felting and use a fine needle to perfect the finishing.
  3. Draw and mark the outline of the shape on the felting object that will guide you on where to felt.
  4. Never cut wool instead, pull it out from the roving unless instructed otherwise.

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Did you make this project?

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Charlotte B

Friday 11th of August 2023

Thank you so much for this! Mine didn't turn out as cute as yours, but I am pretty proud of it! I am new to felting, but it is so much fun!

Craft Passion

Saturday 12th of August 2023

Glad you venture into this new craft and having fun with it. Your skill will improve over the time, just keep on making and practicing.


Sunday 17th of September 2017

Thanks for the tutorial. I'm brand new. It feels like I'm getting no where on the first coat on the lion- the wool over the yarn base- becoming smooth. Does it take hours of poking? Is it more than sticking the needle into the ball of yarn repeatedly? Please advise- I'm admittedly lost. Thanks ahead of time!

Craft Passion

Sunday 17th of September 2017

Needle felting needs lots of piercing and poking all around the wool.

Puntos de Fantasía

Sunday 24th of April 2016

Thanks for tutorial!! Cute!

Sarah G

Wednesday 25th of November 2015

When you said "make 4 snips to the foot..." did you mean with scissors? Or with something else? OR is this a felting term that I don't know because I am new to felting? Thank you!

Craft Passion

Wednesday 25th of November 2015

Yes, it is with scissors.


Monday 27th of October 2014

Super Cute

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