Friday, March 28, 2014

Garlands, Garlands, Everywhere

Hello everyone!

Happy last Friday of March!

Today, we'll be having some fun with.....

Felt Garlands!

I love garlands of all shapes and sizes.
I pretty much just love celebrating things.
Birthdays, graduations, holidays, seasons... You name it, and I'll hang something on the wall to celebrate it! :)

I've seen garlands like this all over Etsy and Pinterest.... Check some examples out here:
One Year Subscription for Garlands (It can be yours for only $127.50) ;)

Feeling Inspired?

When you're working with a sturdy material like felt, you're really only limited by your imagination and your patience with cutting shapes over and over again.

So, here we go!

What you'll need for this project:
-Sharp scissors
-Sewing machine and thread

I started by pulling out all of my leftover felt to see what colors spoke to me.

I decided to make a rainbow rectangle garland first. :)
(Think about it... garland... Judy Garland... Somewhere over the Rainbow... 
it only makes sense, right?) :)

Ok, the first thing I did was cut out the rectangles.  I wanted the rectangles to be close in size, but each varying slightly.

The number of shapes you need to cut out will vary depending on the desired length of your garland.  
(Or you can just cut until your cutting hand starts to cramp... that was my method.)

Once you have cut out your shapes, you're ready to sew!

You can make the garland with or without space between each felt piece.  This is entirely up to you!
For the rainbow garland, I wanted a little bit of space between each piece.

Pull 6-12" of thread out of the machine before starting, so that you can have thread to tie this side of the garland.

Now you're ready to sew!
Sew the first piece, and after it passes under the presser foot, keep your foot on the pedal (keep the same pace) while pulling gently on the piece you just sewed.  With my foot on the pedal, I counted to 2 before feeding in the next piece. (If you want more space between pieces, count longer, and vice-versa.) :)

**To be honest, I was not at all confident that this would work, but I was pleasantly surprised! ;)

Now, keep it up!

When you're done, pull extra thread again, cut...... 

...and you're DONE!  Easy as pie!

So, now you have the technique, and the possibilities are limitless!


Next, I decided to make a circle garland.  I traced a small circle onto a piece of chipboard for these.

Planning any graduation parties this year?  Why not make some felt garlands in the colors of your favorite graduate's Alma Mater?

My not-so-little brother will be graduating from a pretty fantastic school this May:

I think garnet and black are some of the most beautiful colors.  :)

For this garland, I didn't want any space between the circles, so I fed the circles as closely together as possible under the presser foot.

Lovely!  You can hang several strands vertically or hang it horizontally across a doorway, window, mantle... whatever you like!


Next, we will be celebrating one of our niece's birthdays on the same day as her dad's birthday with a "Beards and Butterflies" birthday party.

So, naturally, we need to make some garlands to suit!

For the butterfly garland, I made a butterfly template by first making a heart, then tracing it twice to make a symmetrical butterfly.

Follow the same cutting and sewing process, and you're done!

These will need some kind of antennae, but that will be a project for another day. ;)


Next, came the "beards".... or, mustaches.
Since mustaches are so popular now, I took advantage of the number of mustache illustrations available on Google images.  :)

For the mustache garland, I traced two mustaches then made a template of each with chipboard.  After that, it was just a matter of cutting out way too many mustaches.

Ready to celebrate!


The last garland on my list to make was a star garland with large and small stars.
I made a template and started cutting.

Cut and sew again!


I thought I was done at this point.... but then the crazy kicked in....
I looked at the stars, and then I looked at my circle templates, and it came to me....

Of course! ;)  Who doesn't need a Solar System garland??
Well, I don't, but I decided to make it anyways!

This is a good time to use up your felt scraps!

Here are my felt pieces before I glued down any of the details*....

*Yes, I know Pluto isn't a planet anymore.  But, come on, he's been a part of my planet-loving life for so long....It just felt wrong to exclude him from the felt party.

After gluing, it's time to sew!  Just like before!

Now, I wish I had put more space between the planets.  I was so nervous that the pieces would fall apart while I was sewing, that I may have rushed it a bit. :)  Oh well!

So, that's it!  I hope you've had some fun--- go enjoy the weekend and make a garland! ;)

Next week we'll start April with a sewing project!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Happy Spring!! Felt Flower Headbands :)

Happy Vernal Equinox to you all!!

I hope you're soaking in as much Vitamin D as you can-- I know I am!  There is something about sunshine that just makes everything a little happier, you know?

Unfortunately, Larry Sprinkle told me that more silly cold weather is on its way next week.  But, the good news is, even if the weather is dreary, you can celebrate bright, happy Spring indoors with these felt flowers!

Today, we're making headbands and hair clips with these felt flowers, but you can use them on anything! 

I've seen beautiful, fun bouquets with felt flowers, or you can pin them to your clothes, shoes, dog, whatever!
Jolene loves her accessories. :)

I'm always a fan of cranial accessories, so this is right up my alley!  

I looked at several tutorials, and this was the one I liked the best.  The "box fold" flower is really straight forward and holds together well.  It's also beautiful!

So, this week, rather than make the tutorial myself, I'm going to show you what I did with the flowers inspired by this awesome tutorial from iCandy Handmade.

Check it out here first!
Ok, so do you love it, or what??

So, after looking over the tutorial, I wanted to 
experiment with different flower shapes. :)

 Here is what I came up with....

(I just made up these shapes, but you can also find anything you like and trace it!  I started with a small circle for each and just drew different petals.  You can't do this incorrectly!  Just look outside your window, every flower is a little different!)

You can make the flower shape as detailed, curvy, big or small as you like, just remember you have to cut it out FIVE times.  
The little petals on the template I made for the yellow flower almost did me in after about the second of five pieces. :-)

Slight variation from the tutorial:
 Rather than tracing and then cutting, I just held my templates over the felt and cut around them. (I like cutting out steps where I can.) ;)

Ok, after cutting out the felt, here are the pieces:

I used different shades of purple and pink for those flowers, so don't feel limited to one color choice for your petals!

**I also highly recommend small, very sharp scissors for cutting the felt.  It will make the detail work so much easier! I LOVE these from Cutter Bee.

After following the tutorial, I decided to raid my buttons and beads to find fun centerpieces for the flowers.

*My button stash is the result of years of saving the extra buttons that came with sweaters, jackets and shirts.  Never underestimate buttons, they can make just about anything even cuter.  :)

Ok, so now you can see what the flowers look like with differently shaped petals.  
I hope you're getting some ideas!

So, now I have five flowers.... but what to do with them?  :) 
Well, since they're each destined for a different little head, I asked a few mommies what they preferred.

First, the red flower will be a headband.  I followed the blogger's advice about making a "headband sandwich."  I made this headband with gray stretchy elastic, so I placed the flower to be able to cover up the seam.  Hot glue is your friend here, just be careful. :)

And now, for a super cute flower model: 

Second, the yellow flower will be a headband too, but I decided it needed some leaves.  

I cut some leaf shapes out of some of the leftover green felt from the green eggs and ham.  :)   I didn't follow the tutorial for the leaves.  I just cut a couple of leaf shapes, (no sewing required), and they were ready to glue!  
Glue on the felt backing for the "sandwich" first. 

  Next, glue the leaves onto the elastic, then glue the flower on top.
 Here is what the finished back looks like:

I followed the same process for the purple flower.

Next, the pink flower will be a hair clip---  I just love flowers and bows in hair!  

For a more finished look, if you like, you can cover the clip with a ribbon of your choosing, before attaching the flower.

Use a ribbon with about the same width as your clip.  Now, apply a small amount of hot glue to the back and press to secure it. 

Now, wrap it around the back-end and glue the ribbon to the top of the clip.

You will be wrapping the ribbon over the end of the top prong, so check the length of your ribbon to make sure it isn't too long.  Trim it if needed. :)

Now, just apply glue under the top prong and press the ribbon down.  

You can use this technique to make simple, cute ribbon clips, or to cover the clips for any other kind of bow or flower you decide to use! Fun!

Next, glue on the flower!

I cut and glued another small piece of the pink felt to cover up some threads on the bottom of the flower, and make it a bit more secure.


I did the same for the white flower. :)

....  And that's it!

A beautiful, short and sweet project with endless possibilities!!

Enjoy, and have a beautiful weekend!

Go make something fun!

This little sweet one says, "Stay tuned for one more week of felt fun!" ;)