Posts Tagged ‘fiberfill’

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Make a rainy day wall hanging in felt

rain cloud felt hanging raindrops3 Make a rainy day wall hanging in felt

See how to make a quick and easy rain cloud wall hanging from wool felt

I love clouds and this wall hanging celebrates the beauty of clouds – especially the fluffy rounded variety.

Even though this is all about rainy days, it’s a cheerful wall hanging thanks to the fluffy felt and yummy colors. Looking at makes me think of being warm and rugged up safe inside and listening to the rain dropping on the roof.

This is a simple project and will keep you entertained for a couple of hours. You will need:

wool felt in white (or off white) and blue
DMC Pearl Cotton #5 thread in blue and white
fiberfill
Needle, scissors
pencil and paper

Start by drawing your design or download my pattern from here: rain and cloud wall hanging pattern.

cloud and rain drops pattern Make a rainy day wall hanging in felt

Cut two pieces of white felt for the cloud and then 14-20 rain drops. I cut both sheets of white felt at once so they are identical. I fold the blue felt in half and pin and cut the rain drops both halves at the one time – again so they match. I also cut a few slightly different size and shapes of raindrops – they are only a little varied but they are a bit. I leave the paired pieces pinned together until they are sewn so they don’t part company from each other.

rain cloud felt hanging raindrops1. Make a rainy day wall hanging in felt

Start with the cloud. To add some variety I used blue thread on the white felt and white thread on the blue felt – I like being able to see the stitches. Sew almost all around the edge of the cloud pieces with a straight stitch about 1/4 inch in from the edge. Fill lightly with fiberfill – you just want it a bit puffy not a ball! and then finish sewing it up.

Now attack the raindrops. I start half way down one side and sew around the pointy bit back to the same place on the other side of the rain drop. This leaves you the rounded bit to stuff very lightly with a small bit of fiberfill. Push it into the pointy bit on the raindrop and then finish sewing around the edge. Hide the knots inside the piece. Repeat for all the rain drops.

rain cloud felt hanging raindrops4 Make a rainy day wall hanging in felt

To assemble, I used 1mm clear nylon beading elastic but you could use a .5mm size if you like or snaffle some fishing line. Thread the filament onto a large needle and then loop it through the cloud and through a rain drop. I knotted the filament at the bottom of the cloud and passed it through the rain drop from top to bottom only knotting it for the final rain drop – the filament is a bit ‘sticky’ so the drops won’t move easily. It will help you make sure the design looks good if you lay everything out on a table so you can see it all looks balanced and attractive before sewing it.

rain cloud felt hanging raindrops2. Make a rainy day wall hanging in felt

When you are done it’s ready for hanging – I added a small loop of white ribbon for this.

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Friday, April 5th, 2013

DIY Finials with polymer clay and gingko clay molded shapes

finials clay oil paint molds 2 DIY Finials with polymer clay and gingko clay molded shapes

One cool thing about today’s crafts is that there are so many things to work with and so many great and inexpensive home decorative elements that you can embellish.

Here are some finials we made using polymer clay and molds. The wooden bases can be bought at any good hardware store – they are turned and unfinished with screw ends. They can be baked in the oven so they will take polymer clay as we did here.

These finials were covered with an ecru color clay mix – roll the polymer clay to around 1/4 inch thick and then cover the finial with it. Smooth it fairly evenly but then finish it off with some texturing – you can texture with anything that you have handy and which has a rough surface.

The gingko leaves are made from a mold. Choose a flattish type of mold and fill it with clay. Press the clay out of the mold and press to adhere to the finial. Repeat and place the molded shapes over the finials.

finials clay oil paint molds 1 DIY Finials with polymer clay and gingko clay molded shapes

When you are done, bake the finials in the oven following the clay manufacturer’s instructions. It is always a good idea to leave the pieces in the oven when done until they cool off. If you support the pieces with fiberfill in the oven they won’t get flat spots on them.

To age the pieces, paint with sepia colored oil paint. Cover with a light layer of the paint making sure to push the color into the texture surface and around the edges of the molds. Then clean off the paint with a soft cloth – leaving the paint in the creases and texture areas.

The molds used here are from Krafty Lady Art Molds.

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Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

Flying High – sew a felt helicopter

felt helicopter opener Flying High – sew a felt helicopter

Recently I got inspired by a small wooden helicopter that I’ve had on my desk for some time. Frustratingly every time I move anything on the table the helicopter falls over. But it has a cute shape so each time it falls over I just stand it back up again. Recently I took a good look at it and decided it was time to do something with it.

The outcome is a cute little felt helicopter. It is a fun project that takes only an hour or two to complete. You can make your own design or use mine which you can download here.

What you need:

- Blue-gray, pink and white wool felt

- Recycled plastic container or plastic sheet

- Fiber fill

- Needle and embroidery thread in colors to match the felt

- Scissors

For my helicopter I used a small plastic drinking cup but I think next time I’d use a flat plastic sheet of some kind as the bend that the cup gives just isn’t really needed.

Start by cutting the felt following the pattern. You need two blue-grey pieces for the rotor, two pink pieces for the body and a single long body piece. Cut a couple of white windows, and four blue-grey pieces for the skids. Cut a couple of pieces of recycled plastic just a little smaller than the skids themselves. I always but always use wool felt – it just holds up so much better in use than the fake stuff which tears along the seams way too easily.

felt helicopter step1 Flying High – sew a felt helicopter

Using blanket stitch and matching thread, stitch the felt over the plastic to make the two skids. The plastic in them will help stabilize the helicopter later on. Note that the hole in the plastic for the skids is much larger than the hole in the felt!

felt helicopter step2 Flying High – sew a felt helicopter

Sew the windows onto the helicopter sides and then sew the sides to the long panel. The long panel ends attach at the tail so the widest part of it goes around the main body of the helicopter. On the pattern I’ve roughly marked out where each piece should match up with the body of the helicopter.

felt helicopter step3 Flying High – sew a felt helicopter

As you stitch up the helicopter body, stuff it firmly with fiberfill.

felt helicopter step4 Flying High – sew a felt helicopter

Put the two rotor pieces together and sew the pieces together using blanket stitch around the edges. Fill the rotor with fiberfill as you go and make sure you push the fiberfill right down into the ends of the rotors so they are pretty firmly stuffed.

felt helicopter step5 Flying High – sew a felt helicopter

Finish sewing up the rotor and attach it to the top of the helicopter. Before sewing the skids to the body pin them in place to test the placement. You need to make sure the body will stand on the skids and that it will balance there. Once pinned in place, sew the skids to the body.

felt helicopter step6 Flying High – sew a felt helicopter

I think this is a cute and fairly quick and easy project. You could make three or four and some stuffed clouds and use them as a mobile in a child’s room.

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Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

Up Up and Away – make a cute Felt Balloon

felt balloon 3d opener Up Up and Away   make a cute Felt Balloon

Balloons and Felt are so in right now so the combination has to be a winner!

 

I love hot air balloons and I think lots of folks do too. Balloons were a popular theme at the Craft and Hobby Association  Summer show in 2012 with lots of manufacturers having hot air balloon papers, stamps and other scrapbooking elements.

I’ve been making a few felt things lately and the combination of felt and hot air balloons just seemed so obvious to me. The fun was in getting everything to work right and the first thing to do is to cut the panels for the balloon.

Along the way I learned the math for creating the panels to make a circle – once you understand the formulas it is quite easy to make your own panels. However, to help you out I’ll give you the pattern I used as a free download and save the math for another post.

 

felt balloon 3d 1 Up Up and Away   make a cute Felt Balloon

Start by cutting the panels for the balloon – you need 6 sides so a good combination is to use 3 of each color or perhaps 2 of 3 colors – I used two colors only.

balloon pattern e1354661826345 Up Up and Away   make a cute Felt Balloon

As always, use wool or wool blend felt – it just stands up to the process so much better and the stitches won’t tear away from the felt when you stuff it later on. Use embroidery thread – at the time I made this I was still using 6 strand thread but I’ve changed lately and I now use DMC #5 cotton as it is so much nicer and has a cool luster to it. Sew up the side seams – I like to use a simple blanket stitch and to put the stitches on the outside.

felt balloon 3d 2 Up Up and Away   make a cute Felt Balloon

Stuff the balloon with fibrefill or your choice of filling – carded wool will work too and is much nicer if you don’t like plastic filling!

felt balloon 3d 3 Up Up and Away   make a cute Felt Balloon

Cut a small circle of felt and sew it to the top to cover the seams at the top – the very top is never a pretty site so this just hides the mess!

If you want a wire for hanging the balloon, before you put the top on, twist a short length of wire – around 4″ of it into a loop and pull the ends outwards so it will go inside the top of the balloon as shown – but don’t put it in there yet. First cut a small hole for the wire in the middle of the felt circle  bend the wire ends back together and push through the hole in the felt.

Bend the wire ends back out and insert into the balloon – then sew the top in place. If you forget – it’s pretty easy to add the wire though a small hole in the felt circle after it is sewn.

felt balloon 3d 4 Up Up and Away   make a cute Felt Balloon

To make this basket I took some brown felt and cut into a slightly curved length so it would be smaller at the top than the bottom and sewed it into a round shape and added a base of brown felt.

felt balloon 3d 5 Up Up and Away   make a cute Felt Balloon

Then I twisted some wire into a loop and added three sides for the balloon ‘string’. I used fairly substantial copper wire – I suspect around 18-20 gauge.

felt balloon 3d 6 Up Up and Away   make a cute Felt Balloon

I put the wire in the ‘basket’ and stuffed it with more fiberfill.

felt balloon 3d 7 Up Up and Away   make a cute Felt Balloon

Then sew another small circle of felt on top.

felt balloon 3d 8 Up Up and Away   make a cute Felt Balloon

Finally put the wires into the balloon, add a small circle of felt to the base of the balloon and sew into place making sure to catch the wires as you do so it all holds together.

felt balloon 3d opener Up Up and Away   make a cute Felt Balloon
Free downloadable pdf pattern for the balloon gores (panels)
 

 

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Thursday, December 27th, 2012

Have a whale of a time making this felt whale!

whale Have a whale of a time making this felt whale!

This felt whale is easy to make and very cute to boot.

I’ve been playing around with making my own stuffed creatures from wool felt and my own patterns. So far I have made an elephant, some hot air balloons, a  helicopter and now a whale.

This little guy is made in blue felt but he could be any color. I filled him with some pony beads to make him more stable but next time I’d add a sealed bag of sand instead – I’m becoming a fan of sand in the base of these pieces as it weighs quite heavy, you can sew it into a little pouch to use really easily and it’s natural!

The pattern is free – from me – and you can download it here.

You will need:

blue wool felt (body, back and flippers)

white wool felt (belly and eyes)

pink wool felt (mouth)

black wool felt (pupils)

fiberfill

needle and thread

sand or something to weigh it down with

Cut two body pieces and a long strip which goes from the head across to the tail – all in one color is good. Also cut four flippers from this color.  Cut a belly piece and eyeballs from white, and pupils and mouth. Please, do yourself a favor and use wool felt because it really is far superior to the other stuff. Wool felt stands up better to being stitched close to the edge and it really feels much nicer to work with.

Sew eyeballs and pupils in place on the face.

Sew the mouth to the body both sides then add the belly piece and stuff it with fiber fill as you go. Add a pouch of sand or something to weigh him down and continue to sew him up inserting the belly and long back strip between each side as you go.

When he is all sewn up sew the flippers together in pairs and stuff as you go. Sew to the body in a position they can help support him and you’re done. He would look great in a mobile for a kids room or he’s happy to sit on your desk to keep you company too.

 

 

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Sunday, November 4th, 2012

Sew your own felt elephant

Felt elephant 3d Sew your own felt elephant

This cute elephant is the first real 3D pattern I have made for an animal. I based it on a circle so its body is made from a circle with the base cut off and then I cut out the areas for under the trunk and between the legs. It is best at this point to trim just a little from the length of the trunk too so it doesn’t sit on its trunk later on. Cut pieces for the ears,  tail, belly and then five tiny small ovals  for the base of the feet and trunk. It is pretty easy to make the pattern yourself but I’ve  scanned mine so you can download and use it yourself.

I recommend you use wool felt not the stuff that is made from non natural fibres. The reason is that wool felt stands up to more of a beating and stitches close to the edges are less likely to pull out.  I used fibrefill and some eyes that I got for making amigurumi animals.

Start by sewing the legs and the underbody together, add the ovals for the bottom of the feet. Stuff as you go. Then sew up  the trunk and add an oval of felt to the bottom of the trunk and then sew all around the piece.

Add the tail which is rolled felt  with a fringe at the bottom. When you’re done stitch the ear pieces together and then stitch them to the sides of the elephant body.  The eyes go  into small holes made in the head – attach with a dot of fabric glue.

Link: Download free felt elephant pattern here.

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Saturday, February 11th, 2012

Stuffing dark amigurumi animals

knitpix wool roving Stuffing dark amigurumi animals

A problem I’ve encountered as I have been making and stuffing Amigurumi animals is that it is impossible to get black polyester fiberfill. It seems that they just don’t make this stuff. I did find someone who could get it manufactured for me – but they would have to get it specially manufactured and I would have to purchase it in 2,000 pound quantities. That is a lot of stuffed cuties! Needless to say, this wasn’t an option for me.

My solution is to buy black, brown or colored wool top or roving depending on the color of the animal I am making. I get my roving from Alpaca Direct. I can buy 4oz of black alpaca top wool for around $11.99 to stuff the little critters. I estimate it will stuff around 4-5 small Amigurumi dogs. So I’ll be able to stuff my animals really easily with good clean alpaca wool roving which is environmentally great because this stuff is wool and in some cases it it wool that would otherwise be discarded but here it is being recycled, it is clean and natural – what’s not to love about that.

Other alternatives to dark fiberfill

There are other options too that I like. At Knitpicks you can get a Furry Friends Wool Roving pack comprising 1/4 oz each of 8 colors of wool (making 2 oz in total) for $11.99. There are heaps of different color combinations here.

You could dye your own white wool tops/roving so you can make it any color you like and white wool is easier to find that colored.

At Knitpicks you can also get Special Reserve roving – 3.53 oz for $6.49 – there is no black but there is brown, and light and dark grey which will suit many projects and you can’t complain about the price.

Overstock.com is always worth trying to see what they have.

Outback fibres has mixed bags 8oz weight with a minimum of 8 colors per pack of merino fiber for $20 plus shipping but you don’t get a guarantee of color – just the palette – there is a natural palette that looks good.

Mohairandmore.com has mohair and more! I found Corriedale Cross Wool in ecru color for $1.15 an ounce and other wools are priced upwards of this. If you want to dye your own, this is good value.

Weirdollsandcrafts.com has a lot of cool stuff including wools and their 4oz natural wool roving is $7.50. The site is great so make time to browse around it.

Mielkesfarm.com has dyed merino tops which are very inexpensive and available in a range of colors for $7.50 for 4oz.  and dyed corriedale for under $8 for 4 oz.

Take care and calculate value

One thing to watch is that wool roving is typically priced by weight. A very tiny amount of wool can look enormous on the web! And you don’t want to unwittingly pay a lot for a small amount of fiber because it might look huge. Check the weight in oz in the pack and compare – expect to pay from $8 up to triple that or more for 4oz of wool.

Why you need dark fiberfill for toys

The reason I need black or dark fiberfill to use with dark designs is because if I use the white fiberfill it will show through the crochet stitches.

There are some other options – you can line the project with something black such as felt or a recycled stocking and then fill the shape with fiberfill. In that case, you could use the white fiberfill if you line the project with a dark lining.

For my money, finding a good source of black wool fiber in place of impossible to source dark polyester or Dacron fill is going to work a whole lot better. Amigurumi animals and similar tiny projects are just too difficult to line with something additional in the way of stockings or felt – it adds an unnecessary layer of complexity to the project. Considering my dogs’ legs are a mere 5 crochet stitches around there is precious little room to move in them.

For me, wool roving is inexpensive enough that I can buy it for the projects that I need it for and it really does offer the best solution.

That said, if you find a reliable online source for black or dark brown polyester fiberfill or Dacron, I’d be interested to know.

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