How Much Does A Needle Felted Pet Portrait Cost?

If you are like me, your pets are more than pets, they are a part of your family. You want to bring them with you on trips, you celebrate together, and you even include them in your Christmas family photos.

Every year I receive more and more Christmas cards with photos of my friends and their pets.

So maybe you are not that person, but you know someone who is very much that person. Either way, you have found this article and are therefore interested in finding out how much it would cost to obtain a custom pet portrait. You have great taste. Personalized needle felted pet portraits are wonderful gifts for the pet lovers in your life.

Now you might be saying to yourself, “This sounds great, but how much is this going to cost?”

You might be pleasantly surprised. A needle felted pet portrait is a moderately priced one of a kind gift.

First, let’s take a look at a couple of samples.

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This is Marley. She belongs to the daughter of a coworker of mine at my “day job.” My coworker dog sits for Marley a few times a year and has really made an impression on a woman who said she would never have pets. Marley’s portrait now hangs in the kitchen to keep my coworker company between dog sitting and visits.

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Here is a cat portrait of a white and black kitty named Peek. She belongs to a customer who has been following my work for some time. Deb was one of the first ones to contact me about doing pet portraits.

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Last but not least, this is Daxter, who is a corgi that happens to belong to my cousin. Daxter is still young and extra small, but has made a big impression on the family. They live in New York, and I live in Connecticut, and due to the pandemic, have not had a chance to meet the puppy, but I follow his antics on Facebook!

What does it take to make a felted pet painting?

Once you send in a photo of a pet to me, I first have to evaluate the photo to make sure it will work. A photo of the pet must clearly show the pet’s face so I can get the details right. Additional photos that show the sides of the face may help.

If the photo works, I will adjust it to be the proper size and then print it out in color. This photo becomes my guide or pattern.

Next, I gather the colors that I will use along with a felt tip pen and the correct size hoop or frame. I need to make sure the finished piece will fit properly before I do any felting.

Then it is time for the magic. I spend the next few hours creating the portrait. Sometimes I will get pretty far before realizing something isn’t working and then I have to start all over again. This is part of the reason lead times are about two to three weeks normally.

Once the portrait is complete, I put it in the frame and make final adjustments. Then I take photos and prepare for shipping or transportation.

The whole process can take a long time. If everything goes just right and I get into the flow state, it could take as little as two hours to do the needle felting portion, but that is not the norm.

What factors decide the price?

Total Price: $45 to $100+

When I set my prices, I have to take many variables into account. Those include the following.

1. Materials

-Hoop or frame

-Wool

-Needles

Of course, there is the cost of the frame or embroidery hoop. Hoops only cost a couple of dollars, but there are fancier options nowadays that can run more than ten dollars each, which will effect the cost.

I use felt sheets to stab the wool into as the base of the portraits. A piece of felt is rather inexpensive, but it is possible to use other material as the base, which again, will effect the final price.

Wool is one of the biggest costs. I source my wool batts from United States based small businesses only. The wool is 100% sheep’s wool unless otherwise specified, and hand dyed. The cost for an ounce of wool can be anywhere from three to seven dollars. Depending on the size of a portrait, I can use up to an ounce of wool.

2. Cost of goods sold

-Image printing

-Shipping costs

-Packaging

-Processing fees

 

Then there are the printing and shipping costs along with the fees. I do print out at least one, but usually two or three photos of the pet, then I print the packing slip and shipping label. The platform or shop take a cut, the credit card processing company take a cut, and then I have to pay the taxes. Not to mention the cardboard box and packaging materials used to safely transport the finished product to the customer. All of that adds up.

3. Final cost

Overall though, a needle felted pet portrait comes in at a moderate price. It is not as cheap as, say, a dog collar or blanket, but it is not as expensive as a dog stroller (have you seen those?), so it comes in in the middle.

Currently, a five inch (5”) round embroidery hoop costs $45. A seven inch (7”) hoop or a five by seven inch (5” x 7”) shadow box costs $55. Custom frames are done on an individual basis and will significantly add to the cost. 

Custom pet portraits are not just for cats or dogs. I can felt birds, horses, or pretty much any other animal you love. I’ve even made this mama and baby bear for a dear friend. It never hurts to ask if you have something in mind.

Pet portraits can be found at Trish’s in Seymour, CT, or in my Etsy shop.

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