Yummy felt houses – made from jars – useful and cute
These felt houses are made on a jar base and the top of the jar is glued inside the conical top so it is a fully functional jar.
They are made on a paper mache cone base which you can find at a craft store – mine came from Michaels – it is around 6″ tall and it fits over the top of a small jam jar or something similar. I used a jar from Kozlowski farms which is a multi-sided jar – but a round one might be easier to use.
Here’s what you need:
Recycled jar with lid
Paper mâché cone
Felt in assorted colors
DMC #5 Pearl Cotton embroidery thread – assorted colors
Fabric glue stick
Scissors, pen, pencil, paper, embroidery needles
Start by making sure the jar fits in the cone comfortably and that the jar lid isn’t too tight on the jar – you want to be able to get it on and off pretty easily later on.
Lie the cone down and make a paper pattern for it. It’s easiest to wrap it with paper, tape in place, cut to fit securely, remove the paper, cut it to open flat and voila! there is your pattern.
Cut the house lid from felt leaving a little extra on the long edge – about 1/8 inch for sewing and make sure it overhangs the bottom edge by around 1/4 in.
Sew up the long seam to make a cone shape and place the felt cover on the paper mache cone. Now cut small scallops around the bottom edge of the felt cone cover. It is easiest to make marks approx 1/2 in apart around the base then cut a small V shape at that point. Round the corners either side of the V and you have a small scallop. Now do a button hole stitch around the entire edge to make the scallop edge.
For the house, make a paper template the size you need plus around 1/4 in. Mark on it where the house ‘bits’ will go. Because my jar was multi-sided I wanted the doors to be on the flat sides not an edge so I made sure everything would line up.
Transfer the pattern to the felt you will use - I just roughed it out with a lead pencil – and then embroider away. I used felt for the windows, doors, cat and the letterbox. I used my new fabric glue stick to put it all in place. I learned about it from Lime Riot’s felt embroidery tutorial – I used to use Fabritac but it stinks and it is really messy when used in small amounts – I am finding a fabric glue stick is so much easier to use and I can place it more accurately.
I sewed everything on and embroidered everything with size 5 DMC Pearl cotton – I like its luster and I prefer using it to other embroidery threads. The flowers are basically lazy daisy, french knots and some straight stitch. Nothing too complicated here. I cut the cat freehand and stitched it on and sewed the whiskers.
I did all the embroidery on the felt laid flat – it’s just easier to work that way. To finish, pin the felt to fit the jar, trim any excess and sew the side seam. Cut a piece of felt the shape of the base of the jar plus 1/8 inch and sew onto the sides.
To finish, glue the top of the felt to the jar first making sure that the cone roof will fit onto the jar without the felt all bunching up – you could add some ribbon trim at this point if desired or finish the top edge in some other way.
Glue the jar lid inside the roof – I use Ranger Glossy Accents as a glue – it makes a great glue for metal and because it is all hidden any drips won’t matter.