Friday, March 7, 2014

Dessert, anyone?

Welcome back!

So, if you're reading this, you need to know that you're really awesome.  Now that we have agreed on that, let's also agree that felt food is awesome.

Let's talk about the "pros" of working with felt*:
-It's sturdy
-It holds it's shape
-It doesn't fray when you cut it
-It comes in every imaginable color
-It's CHEAP.  Like, really cheap. (So, if you mess up, you lost $0.25.)

Let's talk about the "cons" of felt:
-You can't wash it.... unless you want to try your hand at felting... But that's a craft for another day!  I'll let Martha teach you about that.

*The felt I have been using is the acrylic blend craft felt that you can find at any craft store. I think it holds up well, and is great for these kinds of crafts, but if you want to step up the quality and durability, you can look for real wool felt.  It is only a little bit more expensive than the acrylic felt.  Check out this shop on Etsy.  :)

Ok, so my love of felt food started a few years ago (before the age of Pinterest), when I made a "sandwich kit" for my nephew, Calvin, who was turning two.  (You can follow his awesome mommy here, by the way.)  I had seen a very popular (and expensive) set of play food in a toy store, and thought, "Someone could totally make that."  We've all said that, right?  Well, now "someone" is you!

The sandwich kit I made for Calvin looked a little something like this "BLT" I made recently:

I was completely sure I would have more fun cutting out slices of cheese and tomatoes than my nephew would ever have playing with it.  But I'm telling you, a few weeks ago, I was treated to about 35 servings of felt sandwiches, pitas and wraps from my now 4-year-old nephew and his 6-year-old big brother.   Seriously.  It doesn't get much better than that. 

So, I decided to try my hand at felt creations again, and I wanted to see what Pinterest had to offer.  

If you want to be inspired/completely overwhelmed and paralyzed, you should look here.  
Still with me?  Okay.  Shake it off.  
Let's keep going!

This will be my first attempt at a tutorial of any kind.  Sticking to my usual MO, I'm just going to do it, and then will probably look up a tutorial on how to make a good tutorial later.  
My apologies it if it's totally confusing! :)

Also, know that this is just what worked for me!  I fully expect and encourage you to take this idea and run with it!  I am sure you can improve on it, and make it your own!  Have fun!

Alright---This is just as fun to make as it is to play with!  

Today's project is...... 
The Felt Cupcake!!
(And, a birthday cupcake, to be more precise!)

Here was my first attempt at a cupcake:

This purple-y cupcake became a pin cushion for a friend's birthday. :) 
(See? Grown-ups can get in on the felt action too!)

And now, the Beta-version.  This was my second attempt, and I found it to be a lot easier.  So, we're going to work our way through this one! (If you want to know more about the first one, let me know!)

For this cupcake you will need:
-Felt (whatever colors you want for the cupcake wrapper, cupcake top, frosting, candle, flame and sprinkles)
- Needle and thread (I used an embroidery needle and embroidery floss, but any thread will do!)
-Fabric glue or hot glue
- Stuffing (I used Polyfill)

Ready?  Ok, step one, decide how big you want your cupcake to be.
If you have a cupcake paper, it could make a great template.
I, however, was out of cupcake paper; so I used a plastic cup to make a template.

First, trace the bottom of your cup, and cut out the circle. This will be the bottom of your cupcake.
Also, go ahead and trace this circle onto a piece of cardstock or cardboard.  
We'll be using this to make our cupcake sturdier in just a bit.
Next, you're going to use your cup to make a template for the side of the cupcake.
Make a mark on your cup for where you will start, then put the cup on its side, on your felt, and trace along the bottom and top of the cup as you roll it back to your starting mark.
I would suggest cutting this side piece a little longer than you traced to give yourself a little wiggle room for later.  You can test your tracing skills now; cut out the side piece and wrap it back around your cup to make sure you're on the right track. :)

(You can see, I decided to make mine shorter than the cup-- it just depends on what you want!)

So far, so good?  Give yourself a hi-five!  
Now let's keep going!

This next step is completely optional.  
I wanted to try to find a way to make my cupcake "wrapper" crinkly like a real cupcake wrapper.
So, I used the sewing machine to sew tucks into the felt.  Know in advance that the downside of this step is that it will make this side piece shorter, which means you'll have to shrink your cupcake a little bit.  So, if you want to try this, make sure you've cut this side piece longer than your template.
So, here is what I did:

Now, let's prove the point about cutting your felt piece longer than your template...
Oh well!  

Now, sew your ends together, to end up with something that looks like this:
Look!  I see a Christmas project in your future!  You've just made a coffee cup/mug cozy!
(If you skipped the tucking step, you could just go straight to this step and just sew the sides of your side piece together, either with a sewing machine or by hand with a whip stitch or running stitch.)

Now, turn this "cozy" inside out, and we will attach the bottom piece!
I had to trim the bottom circle a bit since I shrunk my side piece.  I just used purple thread and attached the bottom using a whip stitch. 
(PS- Don't know what the heck a whip stitch is?  No worries!  Look here for a great, easy to follow youtube tutorial.)

Remember, this is not about perfection!

Keep going, all the way around!
You did it!
Now, I recommend getting up to stretch.  :)   You should probably make yourself some tea too. :)

Ready for more?
Now, pull out the little circle you cut out earlier and place it in the bottom of your cup to give your cupcake some stability and help it to stand up straight. :)
Ok, let's give this cupcake some stuffing to help it keep it's shape  before you add the top piece.
 Now, turn your cup over and trace a circle, a little bit bigger than the opening, onto the felt of your choice.  This will be the top of your cupcake.
Now, cut it out, and attach it to the top, just like we added the bottom piece.
You can use a whip stitch or a blanket stitch to attach it. :)

Don't sew all the way around (I learned this the hard way), so that you can finish stuffing your cupcake before you finish your seam.

...Anyone else really want an apple pie right now? ... or a PBJ?

Anyways, hey, look what you made!  You made a muffin!   Give yourself another hi-five!

Take another stretch and meet me back here when you're ready. :)

Ok, are you ready to celebrate?  I am.
To make this a cupcake worthy of a birthday, let's make the candle.  
(This may be my favorite part.)
Cut out a small rectangle (about 2-3" x 5") for the candle and little flame shapes from orange and yellow felt. 
Then plug in your hot glue gun and take a snack break while you're waiting for it to get warm.

You could also use fabric glue for this; it just requires waiting and patience... neither of which is a strength of mine.

Now, glue the first piece of your flame to the top of your felt piece near the edge.  
Glue the other flame piece on top of the first.

Now, CAREFULLY, glue along the short edge of the felt and start to roll it in, tightly.  Glue as you need to while you roll up your candle.

Ta-daa!  You'll never need a real birthday candle again.  :)

Ready for the best part??
I thought so... the icing!!!!
All I did was cut a couple of thin, curvy, long pieces of felt for my vanilla icing.
Next, use a needle and thread to do a running stitch down the length of the felt pieces.
Pull the felt down the thread to make it like a ruffle, as loose or as crinkly as you like!
You're almost done!
Tie a knot at the end of your felt icing ruffle, and pull out the glue gun again!
Just start by playing with the placement of the icing on the cupcake.  You will be putting the candle in the center of your cupcake, and will wrap the icing around it.

I started by gluing the outside edge of the icing and slowly winding my way around the edge of the cupcake.
Then, apply hot glue to the bottom of the candle and place it in the middle.  Keep wrapping the icing ruffle around until the cupcake is covered and the candle is wrapped.
My hot glue gun is one of my best friends.

Look!  A delicious cupcake!!  You did it, friend!

Now, you could just eat this one up as is.... or, you could add sprinkles!
Easy as pie... cut some tiny felt rectangles and put the glue gun to good use again. :)

Not too shabby, eh?
Now, go and enjoy the party with your fun, felt confection!

Make a whole box of them!  Change the frosting! (Maybe try with some yarn!)  Use thread or more felt to decorate/embellish the candle!  The possibilities are endless. :)
I hope you have fun, and thank you for reading!!

This little cake will be a birthday gift for a sweet niece who is turning 6 soon. :) After she gets it, I want to show you guys how to make a fun little friend, like this one I made to accompany her cupcake!

Happy Crafting, everyone!

By the way, just so I can try to organize myself, my plan will be to write a post every Friday... who doesn't love to start the weekend with something fun?

For the rest of March, I'm going to keep working with felt, and we'll move on to something different in April.  So... stay tuned!
If there is anything in particular you want to see, or if you see something that "someone could totally make", let me know, and we'll figure it out!

PPS- Jessica, if you read this, don't show the birthday girl! ;)


  1. I love it! that is so cute, I will have to do one of these with my grand kids. By the way I love the way you wrote up your tutorial, very fun. Oh yes, I am visiting from Mary's blog Life In a Small Town. I love to do all kinds of crafts, so I'm following you. :D

    1. Nita, that is wonderful! So glad you enjoyed it, and I hope you and your grand kids have tons of fun! :-)