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Felt Flower Frenzy

Clearly, it’s been a while since Katie or I have posted anything. To be honest, we kind of burned ourselves out from all of the crafting we did around Christmas – more than we initially even realized. And again, in full disclosure, that’s kinda my (and her) usual mode of operation after the rush from Christmas crafting and gift making. But we got started back up again and have been working on some big projects. Thing is, we were so busy with these projects and our deadlines that we didn’t even get a chance to document any of our processes!

March Madness

The main thing I worked on kept me busy all through March. I, along with the help of Katie and my mom and my sis-in-law, made a gajillion felt flowers for my brother and SIL’s wedding. I wanted to bless them somehow and knew they were on a tight wedding budget, so I made it my mission to add as many felt flowers as possible which went perfectly with their country-boho-chic themed nuptial decor.

It was at times a little stressful but mostly just a heck of a lot of fun. I was able to try out a lot of new techniques that made a huge impact in the way my flowers turned out and got me all re-inspired on trying new ones. Some of them took FOR-FREAKING-EVER – seriously – and some of them were so quick and easy that we were able to bust out a whole bunch with minimal effort. I’ll get into those techniques and details for each flower in other posts later on…but here are a couple of shots mid-process that I managed to snap:

Since the focus was getting the flowers done for the wedding, I didn’t stress about photographing each step, supplies, etc. I’ll have to re-do some of them another day and provide instructions and templates, but today is not that day. Today I just feel like we have been quiet for too long and need to provide some sort of an update – so here it is! We are still live and well and crafting our butts off.

Pictures!

So, here are literally the ONLY photos I have of these Completed flowers right now. I even missed taking photos at the actual wedding (to be fair, I had to do the bride’s makeup, my niece’s hair, my mom’s makeup, and my hair and makeup, place the flowers for the reception, be in family photos, dance with my hubby and son and daughter, have fun and visit with people I hadn’t seen in forever, etc…so I’m not at all upset about forgetting to take pictures)!

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I’m Dreaming of a Felt Christmas – DIY Tree Ornaments

Tis the season for custom-made Christmas presents!  If you’re like me and have a large family but a small budget, making gifts for everyone is a must. We actually draw names for gifts between the adults, but I like to come with a little something for everyone regardless of that.  Giving is the reason for this season of celebration and I like to take part and make something from the heart for each member of my family if my budget and time allows. The Man of the hour said it Himself, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”

Last year I made hand-lettered coffee mugs for everyone which was fun but also a lot of work!  I didn’t have my iPad and Apple Pencil yet so the design part took a while, a lot of erasing and re-doing, but all in all I think my designs came out great.  I found a quote or phrase that spoke to each member of my family and used Sharpie oil paint pens to write them out, then baked them in the oven to really let it set.

This year, with the help of my new Cricut Maker and my iPad/Apple Pencil setup, I created templates to cut out and sew together cute little felt ornaments.  Personally, I think we have some incredibly cute designs for all of our amazing Hedge & Fox fans who are into making things and would like to give this one a try! If you’re interested in any of these let me know in the comments and I can send you the details! 🙂 You don’t have to use a cutting machine – trust me (up until a few months ago, I never used one to cut out my felt projects)!  So don’t let that stop you from giving this a try.  It’s actually really easy and there aren’t all that many pieces to cut which is great.

This is a fantastic project to do with kids but takes some prep work beforehand if your kiddos are between 3-10 or so years old.  The amount of prep all depends on your kids abilities, of course, so if you have a little sewing genius on your hands you can probably skip some of the steps outlined below in the tutorial.  Another thing to note is that you can use all different types of hand sewing stitches when sewing these together… a running stitch being the quickest and easiest method.  Check out this amazing post for more info and video tutorial instructions on different types of beginning stitches!

Supplies:

  • Felt in multiple colors, depending on which template you use and what overall result you’re hoping for
    • On a side note, while I didn’t do this myself, I would recommend using premium felt for these – especially
  • Embroidery thread (or yarn) matching the colors of felt you selected or in a contrasting color of your choice
  • Embroidery needles (or yarn needles)
  • Stuffing
  • A small hole punch (if you have small kids doing the sewing….I have a leather hole punch which I found on Amazon
  • Depending on which item, you may need an assortment of add-on supplies (as little or as many as you want):
    • Glue and glitter (or glitter-glue! My son used this to decorate his H&F Christmas Tree ornament)
    • Beads (you could use these to make the face and buttons of the snowman, or the eyes of any of the ornaments needing them.
    • Tiny pom-poms (I used a red one for the reindeer’s nose…but if you get an assortment of colors you could use them in many different ways!)
    • There are a lot of other things you could use, like ribbon, buttons, tiny jingle bells…let your imagination go wild!

Since I have a mini supply of kid-friendly craft supplies, I just used what I had around already, like glitter-glue and beads.

Cutting the felt:

  • Start by cutting out all of the pieces you’ll need. third color if you choose!).
    • If you are using one of the templates that has a scarf (for the snowman or the penguin), you can add some fray at the ends of each side of the scarf by snipping four ½” slits like so

Putting the ornaments together:

Here is where the instructions will vary piece by piece.

General:

  • Depending on the ornament you’re making, if you are going to add details like eyes or buttons or noses, do this FIRST before sewing any pieces together!
  • If you have small kids doing the sewing on this, you’ll need to punch holes around the edges of the felt so they know where to sew and don’t have any trouble getting their needle and thread/yarn through the pieces.
  • Before getting your kiddo started, take a safety pin and pin the two pieces of fabric together for them to keep them in place.
  • If you’re planning to embroider the year or any wording, write out what you want the ornament to say first in a marker that’s close to the color of the felt. This will help ensure your embroidered lettering/numbering turns out the way you want it to, and as long as your marker color is close enough to the felt color, you won’t even see the line once the threading is done.
    • Make sure you explain where to start and where to stop, having them stop early enough to leave space for adding your stuffing before sewing the piece shut all of the way
    • Note: If you have a kid who maybe isn’t ready for sewing yet, you can get everything prepped for them to just add the accent pieces once it’s already sewed together and stuffed!

    For Santa:

    • Start by sewing the front piece that is for his beard/hair to the background piece that is his face, then add your details for eyes and nose and/or mouth (if you’re adding those, that is).
    • Next sew the back hair piece to the front hair/beard piece.
    • Sew the hat together, leaving the bottom open like a real hat so that you can place it on his head and tack it down once you’re finished
      • You can either sew the white rim and ball to the red pieces before sewing the hat together or you can glue them on, it’s your choice

    For the Penguin:

    • After adding his eyes and beak, start by sewing the white accent part of the body to the black piece that will be the front.
      • You can glue the feet and beak on, if you’d prefer, to keep things easy

    For the Snowman:

    • Be sure to add all details to the front before sewing the 2 pieces of white felt for the body together (eyes, nose, mouth, stick arms and mittens if you’re
    • When sewing the piece together, start with the hat but leave the brim open – sew the front brim to the front part of the snowman’s head.  Then sew the back brim to the back of his/her head.  Last, sew the body pieces together and then add stuffing.

    For the Reindeer:

    • When sewing this guy together, place the antlers in between the 2 pieces for the head/body until they line up perfectly.
    • If adding a pom-pom for the nose, take your scissors and cut a little flat space on the bottom of the pom-pom for where you will place the glue (I find that the nose sits on the top a little better when doing this)

    For the Christmas Tree:

    My 4 year old decorated this for our tree and I love it!

    • Place the trunk piece in between the 2 tree pieces at the bottom and pin together before sewing
    • If you’re gluing on all of the décor pieces, sew the tree together first and add your stuffing before decorating.

    One last thing I like to do is add the year to the back of any ornaments I make. For these, I just grabbed a fine Sharpie marker and placed “2018” on the back. I also added my son’s initials for the ones he helped with so that I always know which ones were his and how old he was when he made them. I find this is a lot of fun to talk about years later when pulling ornaments out to decorate the tree!

    What do you think about how these turned out?  I absolutely adore them.  My favorite is the Christmas tree that my son decorated.  I know I will treasure it for years and years and have fond memories of making it with him every time I unbox it and go to put it on our Christmas tree!

    If you’re interested in using any of my templates let me know!

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    Super Sunny – DIY Felt Sunflower Wreath

    Hello my lovely fellow craft-loving friends! I hope your September has been fun and creatively inspired! Ours sure turned out to be. Oh and it’s been busy, and at times hectic, and at others felt chaotic, but that doesn’t change – whether we craft or not – right?!? So might as well carve out a little time for some art therapy :oD The dishes and vacuuming can wait till tomorrow!  I find crafting cathartic and the end result once my craft is finished rewarding – usually, anyway. I do totally bomb on an attempt to make something sometimes, but I chalk those up to a learning experience and then give it another go on the next attempt (I do my best to stay focused on the positive rather than wallow in the “what or how I did wrong” so that I don’t get down on myself or my failed attempts at creativity). And that my friends is how I usually stay inspired to keep on making things! Or at least trying to…

    And on that note, here is something newly made which luckily didn’t bomb at all in my opinion. I really love the way this felt sunflower cafe out and am pretty pleased with my second attempt at adding bead work details to fabric (my first one was a ribbon belt piece I made for my Aunt to wear at my parent’s vow renewal ceremony which they did for their 40th wedding anniversary! 40 YEARS!!!!!!). Anyways, I digress (because 40 years of marriage isn’t exactly something to gloss over). My point is that I think this flower turned out to be absolutely stunning. Especially when paired with the beautiful crocheted leaves that Katie made to go with it for our 2nd fall wreath!!! I’ll get into the details of how to make the flower, the leaves, and attach them all to the wreath below.  As usual, I have added notes on steps you can skip if you aren’t trying to spend as much time as I did in making this flower.

    Supplies

    • 1 piece of felt fabric in yellow (or alternate color of your choice)
    • 1 piece of felt fabric in brown (or alternate color of your choice)
    • Scissors
    • Thread in the same/similar colors as your felt
    • A needle for sewing everything together (if you’re going to do the beadwork on the center, you need a needle small enough to fit through the smallest beads used)

    Optional – for the more detailed look:

    • Assorted brown beads for the center detail (or alternate color of your choice)
    • Marker to add petal detail (I used an orange permanent chalk marker)

    Also optional – to make the wreath

    • A wreath to add everything to once it’s finished (I used a birch twig wreath that I already had which you can find at just about any craft store)
    • Crocheted leaves (or you can make some out of felt if you’d prefer!)

    Cutting the Felt

    I lucked out in a BIG WAY this time around when it came to cutting my petals!  Katie and I got together for a crafting night and invited our other sister-friend over to hang out and help (her name is Christine, and she is absolutely WONDERFUL!).  So while I worked on beading the center, Christine cut out ALL of my petals!

    • Cut 35-40 petals out in the color you want the flower to be
    • Cut out a medium-ish circle in the same color (this is for the back and won’t be seen)
    • Cut out a small-ish circle in the color you want the center to be

    I didn’t add any waves to these petals – sunflower petals are typically pretty crisp so I just left them as-is.

    Adding Detail

    As I scoured the internet for photos of sunflowers, I knew I wanted to find a way to make the center of mine the focal point.  I didn’t want to use embroidery, and I knew I didn’t want to just throw a felt center in there.  Thankfully the idea came to me while looking at images to attempt a beaded center that had tons of texture and a circular structure!

    As usual, some or all of these steps can be skipped if you want to make your flower much quicker. 

    Adding Detail to the Petals

    To add some depth to the petals, I took my orange marker and swept lines from the base of the petal out toward the tip (just like I did in my last post where there are photos of the process – only this time I didn’t do them fanned out, rather just down the length of the petal, stopping just before reaching the very tip).

    Next I stuck the two bottom corners of the petals together (the same way I did with the felt peony post from last month, but this time with thread instead of glue). You can skip this step, but it gives the flower more depth and volume once it’s all put together if you choose to do it.

    Making the Pistil

    This is where the bulk of the work happens with making this particular sunflower. I started by sewing a larger bead to the very center of the small circle and then went around that with my small beads, sewing each one to the felt individually. The best way to really keep the circular shape is to first sew each bead of the circle to the felt, then take your needle and go back through the whole circle of beads with the thread, then sew back down into the felt and pull somewhat tightly.

    You keep doing this, one circle at a time, until you’ve got a beaded circle in the right size.  I alternated beads whenever I felt like it but kept the same size of bead at least while sewing each individual circle. Here is what it looked like once I was finished:

    Making the Leaves

    Katie crocheted the leaves that go with this flower and they look AMAZING! She found and bought a super cute leaf pattern here and used leaf 2, generic leaf. She used “I Love this Cotton” yarn from Hobby Lobby (the pattern calls for thread size 10 but we wanted the leaves to be bigger and sturdier). Since we couldn’t find yarn in the exact color of green we were hoping for, we went ahead and used some green fabric dye. Once the dyed leaves were dry, I starched and ironed them to give them some stiffness.

    Don’t you just love them?!

    Putting the Flower Together

    To put this flower together, I took the medium sized circle of felt and started sewing petals to it, starting with the very back layer of petals and working in towards the center.  I used yellow thread and added my first round of petals which had 13 total, and then I placed my next round so that each petal was sewn in between the previous and just a tad closer to the center than the last.  I did this over and over until I had all of layers of petals attached with the layer at the center being the topmost one. It looked like the picture below once I was all finished.

    Next I attached the beaded center using a brown thread. I went around the outermost layer of beads and sewed the middle to the petals, making sure each stitch landed in between two beads and not over the top of any of them. I started my stitch inside the outermost circle, went up and over it (again, at a point where two of the beads met so my thread ended up hidden) and back down into the circle with the petals attached. I did this all the way around the middle, adding a stitch every 1/4″ or so until it felt securely tacked down.

    And this is what my flower looked like when it was all finished!!!  I LOVE IT!!!

    Putting the Wreath Together

    I laid the flower out with the petals in order to get an idea of how it would look once I attached it to the wreath.  It wasn’t until I did this with the wreath behind everything that I really figured out how it was going to look and what would be just right for the overall look.

    At first I wasn’t sure it was going to look good at all – and then I found that adding some movement to the leaves made ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD!!!  So, when placing the leaves on the wreath, I laid them in such a way that the leaves curved with the wreath but also up away from the wreath, then back down toward it.  Sewing the leaves onto this wreath took a lot of patience as I had to navigate through all of the sticks and take care not to break any off (ok, so I broke a few, but not so many that it mattered!).  While I could have glued the leaves and flower down, since this is going to be outside and possibly in the heat, I felt it was best to stick with sewing in spite of the frustration doing so caused for a short while.

    It took a little playing with it to get the overall finished look but it was well worth it, don’t you think?!?

    I hope you enjoyed this post! I sure do love my new front door wreath 🙂

    I would love to hear from you – your thoughts on the tutorial, questions, or whether you tried making this yourself!

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