Tag Archives: heirloom

Why I love Felt Toys – lets hear it for handmade!

6 Mar
Homemade, handmade toys

This handmade stuffed dog (or is it a bear) has been in my family for generations.

After the sixth or seventh time my daughter turned to me and said ‘We gotta get that!’ while watching cartoons this morning I had enough and suggested we head to the play kitchen.  Spending the next hour or so playing with her large collection of felt food I realized what a respite homemade toys really are.  In a world dominated by advertising where children are viewed as simple marketing opportunities, handmade toys don’t ask you to collect the whole set or sing along to their jazzy theme songs, all they ask is that you use some imagination and leave the batteries behind.

I feel comforted in knowing that my grandchildren will not have to ask “what’s that?” when they play with the wool felt carrots I have created as they will with the Teletubbies, Sponge Bobs, and Dora the Explorers.  Don’t get me wrong these toys have their place but not every toy needs to have a logo or Television programs’ name slapped on its side.

In a world of mass machine production where our childrens’ toys are made thousands of miles away in foreign countries by unknown people under unknown conditions with unknown materials there is something wonderful about a handmade toy.  A link to the past and a promise for the future.  Well make playthings with lasting value that transcend fads and corporate marketing schemes.

Handmade toys have a unique character and story that can’t be said of mass-produced hunks of plastic.  Each detail is a choice lovingly made, each stitch an act of love.  I can’t promise that my daughter will treasure or even keep her handmade toys forever but I can be certain that looking at pictures of her childhood she will have a story to tell about the toys her mama made her.
These toys don’t come with stories they create them, they quietly sit back and let your child be the star of playtime, they don’t suggest you memorize all their names, instead they become part of lifelong memories.
I just thought I would share a little of my rumination with you in hopes that you all feel the same.
Lets hear it for handmade!

Margaux napping with the felt toy her older brother made years ago...a slug.

Maybe not on trees but money does grow on Sheep!

18 Sep

FELT MONEY:

bill

It’s inevitable that once your child collects enough felt food he or she will want to make an imaginary store or restaurant. Since no little grocer or waiter wants to work for free little shoppers will need to cough up some cash and what better way to pay for felt food than felt money. This is also a great way to teach your child math by helping them to make change for their purchases and you can be sure your wool blend money will last through thousands of mini transactions.

This pattern is super easy to follow for every 10 bills you will need:

1 sheet Cilantro colored wool blend felt

2 sheets  Buttercream colored wool blend felt

1-2 sheets  Fresh Cut Grass colored wool blend felt depending of the size and amount of numbers you are making

Cream thread, green thread, and or felt glue.

First cut your  Cilanto or money colored felt  into ten bills. Since our felt is sold in 9″ x 12″ pieces just cut as shown into a little larger than 2″ x 4.5″ inch pieces.

cutguide

Or if your cutting from yardage use this template

dollarbilltemplate

Next you will need to cut 2 buttercream circles for EACH bill so if your only making 4 bills you will need 8 circles, for 10, 20 circles and so on.  Each circle is about 2″ in diameter.

Circle Template:

billcenter

Lastly you will need to cut numbers in whatever denomination you like from the Fresh cut grass, or darker green color, don’t forget little circles for the inside of the 0’s. For each bill you will need a set (2) of matching numbers.numbers template

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Step 1 : Sew numbers to circle as shown,using green thread to match your numbers you’ll obviously want to do these in matching sets. You may want to use felt glue to speed things along. Felt glue is wonderful and your numbers will stay on indefinitely however your bills may be a little stiff. I like the homespun look of sewing but if time is of the essence nothing is faster than felt glue.

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Step 2: Pin circles to both side of the money making sure your numbers match, for clarity I have left off the number in the example picture.

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Step 3: Stitch around the circle using cream colored thread and a running stitch, watch to make sure that each stroke looks nice from both sides. Finish hiding your knot along the ridge of your circle. Again I have left the numbers off the example for clarity.

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And VIOLA! Felt money…if only making real money were this easy!

billstack

Enjoy and please remember our patterns are for personal use only!

lovefelt

 

C is for cookie- Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Felt Food Tutorial

11 Jun

Felt Chocolate Chip Cookie Tutorial - Lots more felt food patterns too

I’ve received a few emails asking me for a starter felt food project so here it is, the chocolate chip cookie this one is an absolute basic felt food tutorial but it’s a great starter project if your new to sewing it’s also great for kids since it really couldn’t be easier. I also threw a few variations in at the end for you overachievers! Oh and the milk carton is from our Picnic Lunch pattern.

Here’s what I used:

1 sheet wool blend felt in Camel (will make at least 3 cookies)

Scraps of chocolate brown felt.

Thread to match Camel colored felt

Thread to match  Chocolate colored felt

A small amount of batting, I prefer wool batting.

OPTIONAL: Stuffing beads (these add a small about of weight to the cookie which makes them more fun to play with and can help a child develop a sense of balance when picking them up with a toy spatula.)

Felt and batting can be purchased at American Felt and Craft.

AFCcookietemplate

For each cookie:

Cut light brown colored felt into 2  3″  circles

Cut Chocolate colored felt in 1/4″ circles (as many chips as desired)

Cut Batting into a slightly smaller than 3″ circle.

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Step 1 Sew chips onto outside of one of the cookie rounds, since you are using felt your only goal is to affix them firmly so a simple X stitch on top will do.  I used light green here for illustration.

smaller than cookies

Step 2 Check batting size by sandwiching between the two cookie halves, now is the easiest time to trim it if you need to.

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Step 3 with batting removed whip stitch around outer perimeter until your a little more than halfway done, stop and place your batting and stuffing beads (if using) into cookie. Whip stitch the rest of the way around and your cookie is complete!

Varations on the theme:

Cookie Counters:

felt counting cookies from American Felt and Craft Make the desired number of cookies using 1 chocolate chip on the first, 2 on the second and so on. Before sewing the pieces together using cross stitch thread back stitch numbers onto cookie bottoms before sewing matching cookie tops and bottoms together.

You and your little one can practice basic math skills by counting the number of chocolate chips and then turning the cookie over to see the corresponding number. They can also be used to learn the numbers by asking questions like, Which cookie has the number 4 on it and then turning them over and counting to see if the child is right. These are a big hit at my house!

Gifted with love

Felt food chocolate chip cookies

Your felt cookies are sure to last a lifetime or two so why not help history out a bit by marking their beginning.  Here I used Orchid colored felt to cut a small heart shape followed by the giver and the year.

White Chip

Chocolate and white chip cookies

By using the same process you can make a white chocolate chip cookie. Here I used Chocolate and Buttercream felt.  Perhaps you live in a magical house where cookies are pink and purple, the combinations are endless… have fun and send pictures!

Andie
American Felt and Craft

You may also enjoy:

DIY Play felt food cookies perfect or your next tea party

Tea Party Cookies Tutorial

Free Felt Fortune Cookies pattern, template and tutorial

Felt Fortune Cookie Tutorial

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