Tag Archives: kids

25 days of Felt Christmas Crafts Day 2 No sew Felt tree.

30 Nov

Felt crafts for Christmas

Few things say Christmas crafting as much as felt. Felt is a perfect medium for nearly every Christmas project.

Lest you doubt this I will be featuring free felt Christmas crafts and templates from the blogosphere for the next 25 days .

So sharpen those scissors break out that felt stash and craft along.

Day 2

Isn’t this toddler tree adorable?? And it can be made in 1 naptime! And… wait for it…ITS NO SEW!

You will need:
  • ¾ yard of  72″ wide felt in green (can be found on the bolt at craftsstores such as JoAnn- often on sale!)
  • 4-5 sheets of 8 ½” x 11″ felt in your choice of colors
  • ¼ yard Heat N Bond (either the Ulta Hold red label that is ‘No Sew’ or the Lite sewable in the purple package)
  • Command Adhesive strips
  • Iron

Picture via the empty bobbin

For the full tutorial check out The Empty Bobbin http://emptybobbinsewing.com/2010/12/12/o-christmas-tree-o-felt-christmas-tree/

See you tomorrow!

American Felt and Craft online

Jelly Beans!

30 Jan

What is it that makes Jelly Beans so exciting? It could be that every bean is a new taste sensation sure to be delicious (except of course the nasty black jelly beans and the slightly mouthwashy green ones), or their bright colors heralding in spring and warm weather days, maybe it’s because they are only available once a year. No matter what the reason I always feel a little giddy when I see them roll out the first bags of beans at my local stores.  What little felt food play store would be complete without a few boxes this Easter?

For this project you will need:

Colored roving: I used both sets in our mini packs (brights and pastels).  About 6″ of roving per bean.

Dish soap

9″ x 6″ piece of felt in color  you’d like your box, I used honeydew and matching thread

White felt scrap – 1.5″ X 3″

Thin Clear Vinyl– 3x 3 square

Cross stitch thread

Sewing and embroidery needles


Rattle insert (optional)

Templates at the end of this post.

Making the beans:

You will need to make your jelly beans and allow them to dry before the next few steps, fortunately the jelly beans dry quickly (an hour or two) and if you have some little ones around you can easily whip up a whole slew of beans in less than an hour.

To make these jelly beans you will need to wet felt them, ok breathe…don’t panic, it’s easy I swear! How easy, allow my adorable 4-year-old daughter to demonstrate:

Here is a more detailed run down.

Step 1:

Pull off the amount of roving you need from the rest (about 6″ long ). Pull into a thin strand. Starting at one end roll upwards (it may help to have slightly damp fingers) wrap around and over to create a ball shape.

Your felted piece will be approximately 50% smaller than this so you want your roving ball to be about the size of a large gum ball or quarter.

Step 2:

Once you have a reasonable facsimile of a ball shape you will need to begin the felting process. This is done by agitating and shocking your wool. If you have ever been a teenager you should be well versed in shocking and agitating. Begin by gently dunking your ball into a bowl of warm water add a small drop (almost a half a drop) of hand dish washing liquid to the top of your ball. Gently move the ball from one hand to another squishing it ever so slightly. Dunk in cool water and squish and then warm water. Lightly rub the wool so the wool catches on itself.

DO NOT roll  between your hands yet, if you do this the fibers will come apart and you will end up with a very unsightly shape.  Continue cradle and lightly squish your soon to be jelly bean from one hand to another for about 30 seconds to 1 minute better to overdo than underdo. You will need to be gentle to prevent your roving from coming apart, my daughter likes to pretend that the ball is an egg. I think that’s a good way of thinking about the level of stress you want to put on your piece at this point.

Step 3:

There! You’ve finished the hard part now to finish the jelly beans. making by rolling in between your hands moving the piece from warm to cool water to help shock the wool into place. You should begin to feel your piece firming up. While it still has some give to it roll between your palms in one direction to create more of an oval shape.

Step 4:

From here you want to manipulate into a  bean shape you can do this many different ways. Working it so that one end is thinner than the other, by thinning out the middle or by pressing a finger into the center while pulling the ends upwards. Experiment and see which method works best for you.

Lay out to dry and repeat as desired.

Making the Jelly Bean Box

Step 1:

Cut out template pieces

Cut 2 of each A, B and C from the color felt you have chosen for your box.

Cut the jelly bean shape out of only 1 of your A pieces.

Step 2:

Place your vinyl piece over the window area and stitch down using a running stitch.

Step 3:

Trace out the letters for Jelly Beans onto your white felt scrap insuring that they will fit on the front of your finished box. Using cross stitching thread and whatever style stitch you like , stitch the letters into place.

Cut around the letters to create a more fun feel.

Stitch label into place.

Step 4:

Assemble the box by adding one side piece (B) to the side of your completed front and overcast stitch up the side.

Continue with the other side piece.

Add back to the box by stitching side pieces (B) to back (A).

Stand box on it’s head and stitch the bottom piece (C) in place using the overcast stitch.

‘Before continuing you will need to decide if you plan on having an open jelly bean box or a closed one.

If you plan on using a rattle insert place, box front side down and add your jelly beans until nearly full, slip the rattle into the back so it isn’t visible and adjust jelly beans if needed. Place box right side up again and add top the same way you added the bottom.

To make an open box start attaching your top from where you want the opening to begin, stitch around until you reach the matching point on the other side. Continue your overcast stitch around the unfinished edges to create more of a polished look.  Enjoy!


Copyright American Felt and Craft for personal use only.

Don’t forget our great Easter collection pattern available now for a limited time only!


Felt Tree Frenzy (or why my family ate spaghetti twice this week)

9 Dec

This year I knew I wanted to do a tutorial for a felt Christmas tree on our blog. I quickly got to work and whipped up three sweet little trees, however my mind began ruminating on another idea, so of course I had to at least try it out… and while finishing that one up I had a great idea for three more! Well not one to ignore inspiration I worked out the logistics on the others and made them too!

Picking just one to showcase on the blog this month was tougher than I expected so I decided to get more opinions. When I showed my  handy work to my brood, my daughter ooohed and awwed, of course she has a real appreciation for anything that sparkles. And my son piped up to ask if these were the reason we had to have spaghetti twice in one week. And I am proud to say they are! And they were worth it!

The projects themselves aren’t really all that time-consuming unless you are trying to design tree styles, make templates, shoot tutorials, make them all and shoot the finished product all in 2 days, in which case you may want to stock up on spaghetti sauce!

The templates are available for download on our website and are totally free,

http://www.Americanfeltandcraft.com (under kits and patterns)

And don’t forget to tell us which is your favorite by leaving a comment here or posting on our Facebook page.  One person will be picked randomly to win a set of the adorable bird picks like those used in the project! Hurry contest ends December 17th at midnight. Winner will be announced December 18th, contest open to U.S residents only please.

Pudgy Trees

These little cuties are SO easy to make they are the perfect project for a beginning sewer or an older child. You can make just one of the trees but I think everything looks better in threes. To make them you will need:

A quarter yard Dark Green felt (I used AFC’s Fresh Cut Grass)

Matching Thread



Glitter (optional)

A sewing needle.

Templates (available for free download here) or on our Facebook Page 

Begin by cutting out template pieces.  You will need 1-piece  A & E   2- pieces B and D ,   3 – piece C,    as well as the base of each of tree.

Fold each pieces A- E over and stitch up the side using a running stitch

Turn each of the template pieces so the stitching faces inward.  You will be working with one template piece A  1 template piece B and 1 template piece C.  Set all other pieces aside.

Using an overcast stitch attach the largest base to 1 A piece, stopping when 3/4 of the way done to stuff. Then sew closed. * You may need to trim the base piece down a bit depending on the exact size of your tree.

Repeat with one B to medium base and one C to small base.

Once completed stack unstuffed pieces B and C onto stuffed A to create the largest tree

Stack unstuffed  pieces C and D onto stuffed piece B to create medium tree.

Stack unstuffed D and E onto stuffed piece C to create the smallest tree, decorate with felt glue and glitter if desired

A partridge in an avant garde tree

These trees are both whimsical and a bit sophisticated, they are by far the most time consuming of all of the trees but I think they are worth the time.

You will need:

1 1/4 yard dark green felt (I used AFC’s Fresh cut Grass)

1/4 yard lighter green felt (I used AFC’s Key Lime Pie)

A few hundred sewing pins


Foam tree shapes (we used 3 different sizes but you can use any sizes you like)

Scrap paper

Bird or other picks for top (optional, sold in the Christmas section of many craft stores)

Template F  available for free download on our website ( 2.5″ circle)

Cut circle template from both felt colors (piece F in the PDF download) it is impossible to give you an exact number since tree sizes will vary as well as placement technique but let me just tell you it will be A LOT!  Please note circle shapes don’t have to be perfect but they should all be around the same size. Since you will be cutting a lot you may want to free hand them.

Map out the design you intend to use for trees by pinning scrap paper in the areas you want the lighter felt to be, this will ensure you will not accidentally cover them with the wrong color of felt.

Here I did a large polka dot, a swirl and one broad stripe but you can do just about anything you can dream up.

Begin by folding circles in half, then into quarters push a pin through and place along the base of the tree with the poofy end facing downwards.

Cover the bottom row along the base of the tree before moving upward this will allow you to cover the pins of the bottom pieces with the next piece.

When you get to the design it may be necessary to angle pieces so that the design can be clearly pinned. Complete all of the darker parts of the tree before moving on to the design.

Note used lighter felt to mark my design for clarity but paper works just as well.

After you have covered all but the paper design go back and begin to cover it in the same way you covered the rest of the tree. Once complete look over the tree and puff out any areas you need to in order to better hide pins. Repeat with remaining trees. Insert  picks into the top of each tree you may need to cut the picks to a smaller size first.

You will need

1/4 yard Dark red felt (we used AFC’s Poinsettia)

and 1/4 yard lighter red felt (AFC’s poppy)


1 foam tree shape

White pearl head pins (100 pieces)

Red glitter, foam brush & felt glue (optional)

Template Piece G

Cut out poinsettia templates (marked G in the PDF file) from the colored felt. Approx 33 of each color. You may need more or less depending on the size of your foam tree.

If you’re planning on using glitter lightly brush the darker red pieces with glue using the foam brush. Sprinkle glitter onto pieces and allow to dry.

Stack the darker red poinsettia pieces on top of the smaller poinsettia pieces.

Place onto foam tree starting from the base, push three pins into the center of each flower to secure to tree.

Continue around the base moving upward until you reach the top in the same method used for the avant-garde tree. Fluff as necessary.

Happy Holidays one and all!

Something To be Thankful For!

29 Oct


You too can make this adorable Thanksgiving garland for your get together this year. It’s a great family project!*


Time to complete: 1.5 hour or less depending on your garlands size and number of helpers.

*Time to complete if one of your helpers is a 3 year old who thinks she may have swallowed a wooden bead and it is stuck in her throat so you have to go to the ER during Swine Flu season: 7.5 hours



1 large container of wooden beads

1 skein of good quality yarn or twine

Felt in various fall colors I used, Monkey, Oatmeal, Gingerbread, Sweet Potato, Alburn, Mud Puddle, Cilantro, Red Rock, Gold Nugget, Chocolate Moose and Red Wagon

6 felt balls in Valentine (opt, if you use felt balls you will need a large needle to string them)

A wide eyed needle (opt but helps move things along much faster)

Your insurance card (opt)

Directions to the nearest ER (opt)

Your pediatrician’s phone number (opt)

A full tank of gas (opt)

A great excuse for the cops  (opt.)

First you will need to cut your leaves out of various colors of felt. The number you will need depends on the look you are going for and how long your garland will be. Here are the leaf templates I used:


After cutting out the desired number of leaves begin the stringing process by creating a loop for hanging and creating a series of knots large enough to keep the beads from sliding off.  When making this project with multiple children you may want to make a few smaller strings and tie them together when they are complete.


 You can then begin the stringing process by adding a few beads followed by leaves and an occasional felt ball for color be sure to clip a small slit in the leaves so that they string easily. Repeat stringing process creating another loop at the end to easily hang.





* Please note this is where the instructions end and my harrowing journey begins read on…if you dare!

On a lovely fall evening I sat down with my brood to start the fall garland project I have been meaning to begin for about a month now, having already cut out my fall leaves we were ready to stringing. Normally one might assume this to be  a quick and fun family project, however my older boys quickly got into a fight and disappeared presumably to find their light sabers and finish each other off. So my darling daughter and I continued to string and talk (mainly about princess movies).

My adorable daughter’s throat must have been getting dry from the amount of talking only three-year old girls and micromachine men can sustain so she said she was going to go drink her juice in the kitchen.


I then heard the universal mom equivalent to the nuclear button being pushed CHOKING…ok ok so it was more of a slight coughing… but come on she’s the only one in this house who shares my adoration for eyeshadow so I tend to panic easily. I fly into the kitchen with my superhuman mom speed to rival that of  a True Blood vampire, to find my daughter calmly sipping her juice. “Are you OK?” I ask she says yes and we head back to the family room and proceed with the stringing.

anatomy lesson

Then my beautiful blue-eyed daughter looks over at me and makes little throat clearing noises. I ask again if she is ok and she replies, “Yeah I just have bead stuck in my throat and I can’t get it out…” “WHAT?” THIS IS CODE RED! THIS IS NOT A TEST REPEAT  THIS IS NOT A TEST!!!…What do I do…I look, she’s not blue at all..so I lift her shirt (ok so I realize this maneuver will give me not actual usable information but hey at least I was pro-active) seeing nothing abnormal I then look back up at her face and I notice she is a little blue mainly around the eyes and a little…sparkley?? I then realize that I am looking at the aforementioned eyeshadow.

So what do I do? I think about attempting the hymlic manuever but I am not sure I can remember it…then visions of my arms around her chest and the bead popping slowly out of her throat only to land further in completely wedging itself and cutting off her air supply irrevocably nearly make me have a stroke…besides she can still breathe I don’t want that to change. I think about calling 911  but then decide that “bead stuck in my daughters throat” might not be taken for the kind of life threatening emergency I am now positive this is…AHH HA I will call my AFC business partner a registered nurse and she will be able to tell me some magic nurse voo doo which will remove the bead causing no harm to either my baby girls windpipe or my psyche. She doesn’t answer, turns out she is working at the ICU that night, probably nursing sick little ones who swallowed beads because their negligent mothers sent them in to the big kitchen unsupervised thus allowing them to enter a life threatening situation…tisk tisk. I tell her to sit very still in her chair positive that even the slightest jostling will cause her to lose conciousness.

I call the pediatrician and am asked a series of ridiculous questions like, what is her date of birth, and what is a phone number the doc on call can reach you at…DON’T THEY GET THIS IS AN EMERGENCY??? I wait for a return call and figure we will need to rush her to the ER… my cave girl gathering instincts kick in I gather one of every different kind of bead we have been using and a few leaves, cause you never know maybe one of those is in there too, some books and insurance information, a bottle of water, and extra pair of socks…I am debating on bringing blankets and my laptop when the phone rings…10 minutes what kind of service is that she could have died waiting!?


The frighteningly calm almost the point of being bored by my plight doc asks me how big the beads are I tell her they are smaller than a grape but bigger than a pea, kind of like an olive the klamata kind not the black kind but round and some have ridges I am just about the tell her the wood composition when she stops me and tells me just to go to the ER.    I knew it! This is an emergency! I tell my 13 year old he is in charge of his brother until dad gets home in 20 minutes, hoping another intergalactic battle doesn’t break out. I then remember my cars tags have expired… too bad I’ll have to break the law to save my daughters life! I plan my succinct version of events to share with the cops should it become necessary as I carefully put her little UGGS over her tights sure that the choking will begin in earnest any minute and load her into my illegal crime mobile. We drive to the nearest ER. with the gas light on the whole way. I try to get her to talk all the way there to ensure that she can still breathe, apparently having grown tired of mommies freak out she tells me she just wants to rest because she is tired. NO NO NO I scream…in her defense it is 8:00 and she missed her nap that day but to me this is a further sign of her slip towards the white light. I think about getting her to sing but I am sure that this will in fact force into her airway more (especially the way my little broadway star can belt them out) and once again the image of the bead lodging itself in her tiny trachea makes me feel like I am the one with beads in my throat.

We arrive at the packed ER and fill out our form while I try not to yell out various words I have heard on ER (like STAT, CODE BLUE, and CBC BLOOD CHEM) to get my daughter more attention in her obviously life threatening situation.


The rest of the night involved a long wait followed by series of X-rays where I valiantly risked exposure to radio waves to save the life of my only daughter followed by an even longer wait dealing with the girl in the curtain next to me tell the doc she is having a panic attack (She probably heard my story and is panicking at the mere thought) reading princess story books, using the restrooms touching as few swine flu infected surfaces and my balance and their supply of paper towels would allow… more waiting.

Finally a doctor with the creepiest blue eyes I have ever seen (I think he may have been some kind of supernatural creature that can only work nights) arrives to tell us that “things don’t actually get stuck in windpipes and allow a person to still breathe…and the esophagus is amazing lined with muscles  which move swallowed things into the stomach…blah blah blah… should pass on it’s own…only should have worried if she was vomiting, losing conciousness blah blah blah..to big to go into a lung….blah blah blah free to go.” At this point I feel as though I may lose consciousness and vomit.


We arrive home and my business partner calls and says “That’s no big deal…things don’t actually get stuck in windpipes if a person can still breathe, really the esophagus is an amazing thing…” Her cavalier attitude towards what I am still not entirely certain wasn’t a near death experience forces me to tell her I have to go.

We’re giving our garland away…or maybe bronzing it.

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