Glowing Fairy Jar Nightlight

18 Aug

glowfairy2This adorable fairy in a jar nightlight is no power, super soft and totally portable. Since the fairy is there completely as a friend and is free to leave at any time there is no lid on this glowing bedside jar of magic. This project is surprisingly easy and fast to put together. The toughest part is the cutting the fairy details. For a full rundown on the easiest way to cut felt shapes check out this post: Felt Lab – 5 cutting methods tested or this one: How to cut small or detailed shapes from felt. 

You will need:

Glo Felt– Large Size*

3″ x 4″ scrap black felt*

Stuffing

Cord or string for handle around 11″ -12″ long

Fairy Nightlight template at the end of post

Beans, rice, peas or stuffing pellets to add a tiny bit of weight (optional)

*Matching thread

glowfairy

Cut glow felt on fold to form one long rectangle, and one top and one bottom from glow felt

Cut 1 fairy from black felt for more on this see Felt Lab- Difficult Shapes.

1Sew fairy to the center of the cut out jar, be sure to place her near the bottom so you have enough room to make the jar top ridges.

2Turn piece so fairy faces inward and overlapping the short end sides of the jar sew down with a running stitch. 3

  Sew bottom to bottom (where the fairy’s feet are) 4Turn inside out so the bottom looks rounded and fairy is now showing.

5Fold down top 1″ and around the top with a running stitch. 6Unfold and fold remaining area in half again. Sew down with a running stitch as you did above. 7Unfold and add stuffing. If you want to add stuffing beads  to insure it always stays upright if put a small amount in before adding the stuffing. It won’t take much. Stitch top to jar with an overcast stitch.

Knot each end of the cord and sew to opposite sides. with matching thread.

glow fairyPlace in a window sill to charge. 8Enjoy the magical glow. 9

Felt Fairy Jar Template:

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Happy Crafting!

~Andie

glowfairy

Check out other glow projects:

fireflyheader Glowing Ghost felt finger puppets

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.

cutlab2

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

 

 

Felt Gems

14 Aug

gemscover

No fantasy is complete without gems. Whether it’s a mine craft cave or a pirate treasure there are times you just need some gems. These felt gemstones make short work of scrap and while the stitching may look intimidating given their smallish size they require just a few stitches on each angle. The finished products are so soft and squishy you can sleep like a dragon on a mound of treasure.

At the end of this post you will find the pattern for five gems, 2 marquise sizes (3″ x 2″ finished and 4″ x 3″ finished), 2 hexagon shaped gems (2.5″ x 1.5″ finished and  2″ x 2″) and one emerald or baguette cut (2″ x 1.5″ finished). Of course you can easily size these felt treasures up or down to suit your needs.

gems

You will need:

For the marquise and hexagon gems you will need 4″ x 6″ scrap per gem to create either size in any color *

For the emerald gems you’ll need 3″ x 4   in any color *

*matching thread

Stuffing

Gem templates at the end of post.

gems4

Felt gems await…

mar

To create these 5 pointed gems you will need 5 pieces of either template A or B. fold Cut each of the templates in the center so that they fold easily and stitch over the line using an overcast stitch and matching thread.

Repeat with all pieces. Start sewing sides together along the long side with stitches facing out. Repeat until all sides are connected and stuff before closing.

hex

Cut out 1 of pieces containing the center hexagon from either C or D and the 5 matching sides in that size.

Cut to create a joint in the pattern where indicated on template. Sew tops of all the longer pieces to the hexagon in the center using an overcast stitch.

Sew along the center joint of the sides by folding them over and overcast stitching.

Sew the short sides together and then the longer edges.

Stuff before closing.

em

This guy can be tricky. Begin by cutting out 2 center pieces and 2 sides with cuts where indicated, keeping the sides together this way will really cut down on frustration.

Sew center into place and then connect the shorter sides together.

Repeat with second side.

Sew the two sides together with the stitching facing outward as shown. Stuff before fully closing.

That’s it, you will be swimming in felt gems in no time!

gems2

Happy Crafting

~Andiegemtemplate

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Stop by the SHOP and see what’s new.

nb

Feeling Star Beanbags

7 Aug

starsYou are the sky- everything else is just the weather.” – Pema Chodron 

Identifying feelings is tough for kids (and some adults) understanding feelings are temporary can be even tougher. These shooting star bean bags are designed to help with both. The weighted  bean bags are comforting and the ribbons are prefect for fiddling with. When your child is ready they can simply let go of the feeling and move on.

Great for preschools and toddlers. You can make these in any feeling or color scheme you can dream up. The star bean bags come together quickly and are prefect for developing a strong emotional IQ not to mention they are just plain cute!

s3

You will need: 

Felt in star colors 4″ x 8″ per star. I used Crushed Coral, Teal, Aqua, Grey, Banana Cream Pie, Honeydew and Lavender. *

Scraps for details in blue, yellow, pink and black

Embroidery thread in black and white.

Stuffing beads, beans, rice (whatever you  are planning to stuff with.

Various ribbons in various lengths. I used 4 styles per star varying in length from 6-8″.

Star bean bag template (at the end of post)

  * And matching thread.

Stitch faces to bean bags, if you are nervous about placement you can stitch over tracing paper and then carefully tear it away. add white spots in the eyes with white embroidery thread and a french knot.

s4After adding details stitch of star to the back. Leave side open to add filler and ribbon.

s5

Fill star beanbag.

Stack ribbons with the smallest on the top.

s6s7

Tuck the ribbons inside and stitch closed with a running stitch.  Repeat with the remaining stars.

stars

Happy Crafting!

~Andie

Star template print at full size.

template

Felt Beach Ball Toys

31 Jul

ballsWe’re closing out our July Seaside theme with these great little felt beach balls. Super soft and indoor safe these DIY felt toys stitch together easily. The addition of a jingle ball makes this toy at least 9000x more charming.

You will need:

7.5″ x 7″ Felt in White*

2.5″ x 7″ scrap of 3 other colors, I used Aqua, Hot Pink, and Sunshine

Stuffing

Jingle bell noisemaker (Optional)

*matching thread

Cut 3 ball pieces from ball template (below) in white and one each of the remaining color. Cut 2 dot pieces for the center from color of your choice.  Lay a white piece and a color piece together and overcast stitch around one of the edges. You will be turning this inside out so keep the knot on top. Set aside and repeat with remaining pieces sewing white to color.

Lay the felt pieces together with outsides facing in and stitch the colored sides to white sides.  Leave the end pieces a little open on one side to turn it right side out. Turn right side out and stuff, add noisemaker to your toy if desired. Since this is a soft ball it will hold it’s shape better if it is well stuffed.

Sew center closed and cap stitch the beach ball accent to the center. Roll the ball in your hands to distribute the stuffing more evenly to get the ball shaped correctly.

bb333

Darker felt beach ball in White, Navy, Lipstick and Egg Yolk.

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Happy Crafting~

Andie

Felt ball template print at full size.

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Felt Octopus Needlebook

28 Jul

~American Felt & Craft ~ Blog

DIY felt needlebook tutorial

Octopus are awesome. That’s just factual. You can Google it if you want I’ll wait…

This sea themed needle book features a sequined felt octopus holding all your project needs in his undersea lair.

Your fish pins will love the wave shaped book pages and your organized side will appreciate the small thread pockets on the sandy felt bottom and sides.

The pockets are perfectly sized for small thread scissors 4″ or less and can easily hold 4 or more colors of thread on each side.

One long tentacle wraps around to a faux pearl button closure keeping everything safely tucked away until project time.

You will need:

1- 9″ x 12″ sheet pinkish felt (I used Orchid)

1- 9″ x 12″ sheet pale blue felt (I used Ice)

1- 9″ x 12″ wave blue (I used Capri)

8″x 8″ scrap sand color (I used Banana Nut…

View original post 341 more words

How to Make Teething Rings

27 Jul

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Teething rings are by far one of the easiest and most personalized gifts you can give. If you can string some beads you can make a teether, it’s really that simple.

Of course because these are given to small children there are a few safety precautions you will want to take but all in all these handmade teethers go together in just a few minutes and are shockingly strong. Follow our quick and easy tutorial to find out how to make piles of super strong, beautiful handmade teethers for your next event, craft fair or baby shower.

To begin you will need to know how many beads you need to make a teething ring and that depends on the size of the beads.

Silicone teething beads come in all sizes shapes etc but in the simple bead shape we carry 3 sizes. 19mm, 15mm and 10mm. We also carry decorative versions like bunnies, basketballs, mushrooms, succulents, letter and heart beads but for clarity we will leave those for another day. Be sure to use medical grade silicone beads made for teethers. These will be dishwasher, had wash and washing machine safe if they have no wood otherwise I would recommend a simple hand wash.

Above is the size difference between the beads. To make a 3″ ish inch circle you will need a 7.5″ ish string.

The smallest silicone teething bead we carry is the 10mm. Three small beads will give you one inch of string.

In the middle is the 15mm silicone teething bead, two of these will equal one inch.

The largest teething bead size we carry is the 19mm one and a half of these beads will give you one inch.

siliTo find out how many teething beads you will need for a teething ring simply add the numbers until you reach 7.5″ to 8″.sili2Here they are pulled into circle.

Now let’s make teethers:

easyto

1. After beading your 2mm synthetic string to about 7.5″ pull the loose ends together as tightly as possible to form a ring. Add any teething pendants you are using.  Pull very tightly and knot twice.

2. Cut leaving a small tail on either side. 

3. Using a lighter burn both ends carefully push them together to permanently fuse the string.

Because this bond is so tight it should NEVER be used on anying large enough to fit around a child’s head or neck ect. 

4. Work the melted knot area into the hole of one of the beads on either side of it pull until the knot gets stuck.
The tauntness of the ring will keep it from being exposed again. And further protect the knot by distributing any stress to the piece evenly.

Pull on the ring several times to make sure the bond is secure.

teether

American Felt and Craft carries over 200 different teethers, wood teething beads, silicone beads and all kinds sizes, styles and colors. Which means you can make a nearly infinite number of different and unique pieces.

Below are 3 ideas to get you started.

seasteetherString silicone teething beads onto cord using pattern shown in the photo. Slide the shell and star wood teethers into place, pull together. Knot twice melt and tuck into place.

turtleteether

Add wooden teething beads to cord, slide crochet bead in center, slide turtle teether into place and add 2 small teething rings. Pull, knot twice and melt. Tuck not into bead.

tropicalteether

String silicone teething beads onto cord using pattern shown in the photo. Slide the citrus and pineapple wood teether into place, pull together. Knot twice melt and tuck into place.

It’s so simple right?

howtomaketeethers

Remember there are a few simple rules for making teething rings:

  1. Keep the circle tight. You don’t want little fingers to be able to get in between the beads and possibly pinch, you don’t what it to be super floppy or be able to be twisted around a wrist or any other small person part. Silicone beaded teethers will always be tighter because the small amount give to the beads allows them to be tied tighter than wood.
  2. Keep the circle small. The silicone teether shouldn’t be much bigger than a 2 or 3 inch circle when done. If you want to make a larger piece breakaways are required to prevent any possible strangulation hazard.
  3.  Knot at the end of each side of the beads to secure  pull ends together to form the ring and knot ends together…twice. You want 0 chance the knot is going to come loose.
  4. Melt and fuse cord. Use 2mm thick synthetic cord, anything larger is hard to bead with and anything smaller doesn’t hold the melt long enough without cooling to properly fuse. If you properly fuse the ends it should hold a minimum of 15 lbs of constant pull. AKA there is NO WAY it’s ever coming apart.
  5. Wiggle the fused knot into the beads. A good shimmy and a little finesse should allow the knot to wedge itself somewhere near the center of the bead, this keeps the knot from any baby teeth, improves the look and helps keep an even pressure on the knot.
  6. Give the piece a good tug to test before giving it to your child. Go ahead pull all you want it will should never ever break or budge no matter how hard you pull. It’s small size, round shape, tight beads, fused cord, not one but two knots one on top the other make it extremely strong. That should give you some understanding of the strength of this method and why it should never be used on larger pieces like necklaces. Give it a good tug, if it feels even slightly loose cut it apart and do it again.

That’s it!

Have some questions about teething beads or making teethers, let me know. I am always happy to help!

Happy Crafting – Andie

Stop by the shop:

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