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14 craft projects for felt prints.

16 Sep
Who among us hasn’t seen a felt print we couldnt live without and thrown caution to the wind only to find themselves later wondering, ” What can I make with felt prints?”

Cast your worries aside because here are 14 free projects geared toward printed felt. When crafting with felt prints you will want to consider the size of the print in order to showcase your prints properly. And when mixing prints try to match either color or scale so the pieces all come together. Read on for 14 easy free felt projects perfect for showcasing your printed felt .

  1. Bunny Hoops – the inner of these bunny hoops feature some fun spring prints, felt prints are especially fun when used for unexpected detail areas.

2. Bean Bags – Simple and striking making felt bean bags lets your favorite felt print really shine.

Felt Bean bag tutorial - super easy.

3. Play Bandages – A touch of hook and loop makes these re-useable felt bandages a fun addition to any play doctors kit. Using printed felt ups the fun factor even more.

4. Felt Heart Ornaments – These felt heart ornaments are great for any size felt print and are as simple to sew as they are cute.

5. Garland – Try using your favorite printed felt in silhouettes for the season. These bunnies feature beautiful floral prints

6. Mug Ornaments – Abstract designs take on even more dramatic role when used in these fun mug ornaments.

7. Faux Potted Plant – Use your favorite felt print to create a little plant friend. This pattern features three different succulents and can be easily sized up or down.

8. Birthday Blocks – Use your felt print to stitch up a soft gift block for a soft sweet reminder of a great celebration.

9. Sloth Stocking – Printed felt looks great when used for accents like the stocking holding this felt sloth.

10. Llama blanket – Consider customizing your llama with a printed felt blanket instead of the valentine theme.

11. Felt ball – Felt balls in various patterns would be a patchwork dream come true. Learn all the steps to make them using this free pattern.

12. Doggie Pillows – This no sew pillow project would look great in a print.

13. Tic Tac Toe Board – Here giraffe felt print takes center stage but this project could be created with an initial or symbol of any kind.

DIY Felt Giraffe Tic Tac Toe Tutorial

14. Sachet – Be greeted every morning by your favorite felt print livening up your dresser drawers, these felt drawer sachets are super simple and would look great when made with a patterned felt.

Nearly any project be accented with a printed felt. Using felt prints adds an unexpected detail to felt crafts and allows just a touch more personalization. Need more inspiration to get your creative juices flowing?

Check out our huge selection of felt prints.

12 back to school supplies for felt crafters

29 Jul

12 awesome back to school supplies for felt crafters

If you’re anything like me the sight of sharpies on sale makes your heart skip a beat. Sure the back to school season heralds in shorter days, the promise of new friendships and crisp autumn afternoons but mostly it’s all about the amazing sales on school supplies.

You may not consider the back to school isle to be a treasure trove for crafters but with a closer look and you’ll see endless possibilities all at great prices. Take advantage of the back to school sales and stock up on some unexpected “back to school” items perfect for felt crafters. Here’s our top 12 in no particular order.

12.  Plastic Storage Containers

6qt+Latching+Tote-+Clear+w_Agave+Lid+and+latches

Store your felt treasures in air tight comfort with a new plastic tub. Small and mid sized tubs aimed at departing college students are often on sale at unbeatable prices this time of year.

Stick with smaller sized boxes (around 6qt or less) so your items are snug and easy to sort, opt for a clear tubs to make finding ornaments and toys simple. Store your tubs  in  a larger plastic light tight opaque storage tub for safety and easy garage storage. For more tips on storing felt items see: How to store felt stuff

Storing things made from felt

11. Rulers

aSince most felt projects are rather small a standard ruler can handle most if not all your projects. This time of year you’ll usually see a great assortment of fun sizes, materials and themes. Stock up, now’s your chance to pick them up at a fraction of what they will be in 2 months.

10. Sketch Book

sketching felt ornaments

Stock up on plain sketching paper. Felt Ormaments

Nothing beats a good hand sketch to get the juices flowing. Having a stack of clean white sketching sheets at the ready is a must! Interested in making these cuties here are the free tutorials Gumdrops, Snowman

9. Scotch Tape

cutting small shapes from felt

Clear tape is the magic that makes cutting small shapes a breeze! Simply cut closely around your pattern, tape to felt and cut! a4For more tips on cutting with tape see our post on Cutting Small Felt Shapes.

 

8. Pencils

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Take advantage of fall sales and pick up a pack or two of #2s. A good quality freshly sharpened #2 will write on wool blend felt with ease making freehand pattern making or template tracing super simple.

While #2 pencils are the industry standard snatch a set of #1s for a softer lead or if you’re really lucky you may pick up a sketching pencil (#’s 5B- 9B) for soft lead and ultra dark markings just go slow and softly so you don’t end up smearing the lead.

7. Tracing Paper

aaTracing paper is a great low tech way to create pattern pieces. Trace each segment of a sketch for perfect patterns.

6. Pens

Quill Pen Topper- felt craft tutorialOk this one is technically not so much for crafting as the actual craft. Treat your future self to some fancy fountain pens perfect for all those Christmas cards you’ll be firing off in a few months. A well timed back to school buy makes a bag of 24 as low as .33! INK PENS FOR EVERYONE!!!

Get the tutorial for the fancy pen of your dreams HERE felt craft- pen toppers

 

5. Sharpies

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Color your thread! Low on thread, have an odd color to match or just don’t like stopping to change thread colors? Try using only white thread and coloring your tread to match. Simply run the sharpie marker (or any permanent marker) over the exposed white thread so it absorbs the color. Carefully color the exposed thread allowing the pigment to soak in. This works best with cotton threads and wool blend felt.

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Pre- test your thread and markers before use by coloring on a bit before attempting to color a finished piece. Avoid using on acrylic or synthetic felt blends the sharpies won’t absorb into the acrylic creating a marker mess.

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You can also use the pens to outline areas on the felt you want to stitch over.

4. Pencil Cases

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Hard sided pencil cases make great thread storage. I was able to fit over 20 in each box.

3. Chalk

bts6Mark off your patterns standard chalkboard chalk. Standard white chalk is great for darker felts, it marks clearly and dusts off easily. When working with felt drag lightly across the felt you only want the chalk on the surface of the felt not ground into it. When you’re done simply tap or flick a few times to remove all traces. You can also remove with a wet wipe by dabbing lightly.

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Need a finer edge? Run the chalk piece at an angle along concrete or chalk board to create a slanted edge, for very detailed or delicate patterns you can grind the chalk and apply with a brush. For more on chalk outlines see THIS

2. Pencil Pouch

bts7You can take it with you! Pencil pouches make the perfect home for your work in progress. Grab it on your way out the door and work on your craft during practices, pick ups and lessons. Look for a clear pouch to make finding your pieces a snap.

1. 3″ 3 Ring Binder

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The bigger the better! Store your threads in style by winding them on smaller bobbins and sticking them in clear pockets. For the full tutorial on making a sheep bobbin binder little bo peep would be proud of see our post on Storing Embroidery Thread.

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sale

Stock up on felt for all your projects at American Felt and Craft

Felt Lab- 5 methods for cutting felt tested.

16 Aug

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Felt is a great crafting medium for at least a megaton of reasons one of which is the fabric fibers are tangled together and therefore they do not require seams to prevent fraying. This makes felt perfect for applique or detail pieces. Cutting simple felt shapes like squares, circles etc can be accomplished by simply holding the pattern near the center with the thumb while rotating the piece as you cut, but cutting smaller or detailed felt pattern pieces can be tricky. I have written about this before: Here  But since this is something I literally do everyday I thought it could use a more through evaluation.

Here are 5 well known methods (if you know of others I would love for you to let me know in the comments below) broken down and analyzed. These opinions are obviously my own and you may find other methods work better or worse for you.

The felt cutting methods are, freezer paper, a commercial spray called No Pins, packing tape, chalk outline and actual pins. The felt used is a wool rayon blend in black. I am going to break this down into 5 categories and then let you know the overall winner and why.

Catergory 1 Fuss

How hard is it to locate the product? Does this add additional cost or steps?

Freezer Paper-  Finding freezer paper sized to go through your printer can be difficult and printable freezer paper will NOT work with laser printers. It is however fairly easy to trace and draw on if you aren’t working off a printed pattern. Freezer paper in rolls is available in the bag and plastic wrap area of your local store. The rolled freezer paper is not the same as the sheets sold to go through printers, these sheets are too thin and curly and will jam up most printers even if you manage to cut it to the perfect size. You will also need an iron and an ironing board.

No Pins- I ran across this brand spray, which is a temporary adhesive for paper patterns, in a quilting store. It works by spraying onto the back of a pattern, pressing it into place and ironing to set. I had never seen the product so I am not sure how easy it is to locate. You will also need an iron and an ironing board.

Tape-  You can use any clear tape but packing tape is my go to, the cheaper the better. I find I do have to clean my scissors blades after a long day of cutting. Packing tape is easy super easy to locate, easy to transport, inexpensive and always at the ready and can be used to cover nearly any size template. It does make that classic tape sound so if you plan to craft while waiting in the hall of your kids karate class be prepared for some odd looks.

Trace – Typically you can trace with something much easier than chalk so the ease of use on a color other than black would be much better. I used a compressed chalk with a brush but tracing pens, chalk etc can be found at a craft store and may work better.

Pins-  Chances are you have some of these old standbys lying around. But if not they come in a variety of sizes and shapes and are pretty inexpensive they can usually even be located in the random house junk isle of the grocery store. They aren’t that easy to transport unless you have a needle book or pin cushion – otherwise one spill can make cleaning out your purse a real adventure. You also have to be careful where they end up which is less than ideal for you fellow couch crafters.

WINNER TAPE – while tape and trace are both very portable, locating tape is much easier than any other item on this list.

cutchalk

Ease of use

Can it be used anywhere? Do you need additional tools? How portable is this technique? Is it messy? Does it make trash? How easy is it to cut?

Freezer Paper-  You need an iron and ironing board so this is not the most portable method. The paper sticks to the felt making for very easy cleanup and creates minimal waste. Freezer paper is reuseable up to 6 times depending on the quality of your brand. And the freezer paper actually helps hold the felt stiff so cutting is SUPER easy.  Nothing shifted and lines were easy to follow, the stiffness of the paper did make curves a bit more tricky to round. The paper can also lead you into a false sense of security with the size of your cuts, you may find they are too thin to hold together without the paper.

No Pins-  Oh boy! Protect your work surface! This is literally spray glue, you were warned. No matter who you are there will be over-spray and it will be gummy and sticky and you will wonder what has become of your life. Surprisingly it stuck down very easily and ironing did not seem to be needed, but I am nothing if not a rule follower so I ironed for you dear reader. Dispite it being a lot of steps the pattern held firmly and was very easy to cut and easy to go back over in the areas I missed the first time. So while the attaching experience was a pain the cutting was actually quite easy and very easy to get the proper cuts. That being said it is NOT portable unless you pre- prepare your pieces, it is messy, and did I mention you have to iron?  The pieces are said to be reusable but I haven’t tested.

Tape-  Take it with you! You can tape pieces down nearly any place. Getting it down could not be faster simply cut around your image (not exactly) and tape down. 5 seconds. It won’t move if you use classic packing tape, although it will shift as you cut and pieces start to fall away from the attached areas. Cut high detailed or small areas first to minimize any issues with shifting. The template will fall away after you cut it and the tape will have stiffened it making it reusuable and more sturdy. There will be some tape waste and you may need to clean your scissors with rubbing alchol to clear off any stickiness.

Trace – Again typically you wouldn’t use chalk unless the surface was very dark there are pens and markers available for this with “ink” washes away when wet but frankly I don’t like to wet my work, I don’t have the patience for it to dry or the fortitude not to assume it will destroy something (which very rarely happens)

My point being that this may not be a the best assessment of tracing. Cutting the template to outline was a pain, basically you have to cut your shape twice, with this method. The chalk went on easy and wasn’t nearly as messy as I assumed…until I cut it, then little flecks got on the scissors and I had to clean them off a few times during the cut. The cut was very accurate because I could clearly see my piece as I worked but this was offset by the flopping of the piece as I moved it around because unlike the other methods nothing was helping hold the felt taunt. The thin areas were much harder to cut without paper. The chalk didn’t hold detail as well as I would have liked and your ability to handle the piece is limited because the chalk will move. This method produced no trash and was very simple.

Pins-  Right away I learned placing the pins on these small pieces would be difficult. I had to move them around as I cut and any area not actually holding a pin moved away from the template. Details were extremely hard to cut because the template and the paper kept wanting to separate. The upside is there was no extra trash however you are limited on how much you could reuse the piece before the holes would make it unusable. You can pin anyplace without a lot of fuss so that’s an advantage.

WINNER TAPE – Tape is my ride or die – simply because it is so easy and quick to work with, easy to locate, it’s cheap and works with any template.

HONORABLE MENTION FREEZER PAPER – Freezer paper loses out big because of the need to iron BUT it brings up the rear with accuracy and ease to cut. Ironing pieces and setting them aside makes this a great portable option.

cutnopins

Release

Does it remove cleanly? Does it fray or pull the fibers, distort or tear the shape?

Freezer Paper-  Peels off perfectly. No residue, no distortion no tearing.

No Pins-  NOPE – even with my best effort the image was distorted and the smaller pieces tore and stuck to the paper. Fibers got pulled up. I think this product is best used on standard fabrics. 🙁

Tape-  Piece falls loose, no issues no distortion, no residue, The cut around the star was too thin and didn’t hold but the tape wasn’t at fault for that.

Trace – No residue stayed in the fibers, no distortion, no tearing although I did have to dust off a few areas.

Pins-  No visible holes, no distortion, no tearing.

WINNER FREEZER PAPER –  Clean and easy release.

HONORABLE MENTION TAPE – Tape also clean and easy but pulls away as you cut.

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Accuracy

Did it work, that seems pretty important.

Freezer Paper-  Works like a dream

No Pins-  The mess, the ironing, the distortion…hard pass.

Tape- Works great.

Trace – Results were pretty good.

Pins-   Results were pretty good.

WINNER FREEZER PAPER – Freezer paper

HONORABLE MENTION TAPE – Tape – oh how I love you packing tape.

cutlabBonus Points

Can you reuse it?

Freezer Paper– Yes

No Pins– Why would you want to? But can says yes.

Packing Tape– Template yes, tape no.

Tracing– No waste. Nothing to reuse.

Pins – Reuseable.

Overall ranking

  1. Freezer Paper – Excellent  precision felt cutting. (but ironing boo) 
  2. Packing Tape – Easy, low key and gets the job done.
  3. Pins – Tricky and potentially dangerous
  4. Tracing – I miss the sturdiness of the template. Floppy. 
  5. No Pins  – too many steps, makes the felt all fuzzy. 

 

What are your thoughts? What works well for you? Had any better luck with products like No Pins? Let me know in the comments.

~Happy Crafting~

Andie

 

 

Easy Sew- DIY Cowrie Shell Bracelet

19 Jul

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These cowrie shell inspired felt bracelets add a touch of the tropics to your child’s summer crafting. Easy to make these can be made start to finish by a beginning sewer with minimal effort. To make sure these beauties were totally doable for the tween crafter I enlisted the help of my 10 year old niece Ruby.

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And they turned out fabulously!

You will need: 

9″ x 1.5″ Bracelet felt color – Ruby used Chocolate, Lavender, and Embossed  felt.

6″ x 6″ Off white felt/ shell color,  she used Linen.

3/4″ Button per bracelet – she used  wood grain buttons

Brown thread

Scissors

Sewing needle

Felt glue

Clothes Pins

Packing tape- Optional

1Loosely cut around the bracelet template and try on to get it close to the right size. It will need to overlap so the button works.

Trim the template and tape or pin it down to the felt and cut out.

Cut out 4 shell shapes per bracelet cut the edges of these shapes with pinking shears, scallop scissors or just cut small triangles out along the edges with regular scissors.

2Mark where the button should go and sew down with criss crossing stitches.

3Mark the correct spot for the button-hole and carefully fold over the felt and cut. Cut less than you need to, you can always make it bigger.

When you’re done your bracelet should button up!

4Lay down the shell shapes and sew along the middles with a simple running stitch.

5To make the shells curl place small dots of felt glue fold over and clip clothes pins to hold them until dry…about 15 minutes. Then remove the clips and rock those babies!

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Kids cowrie shell bracelet template:

cowrietemplate

 

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Happy Crafting!

Ruby & Andie

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