Tag Archives: wet

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

Scissors

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!

Templates

Copyright American Felt and Craft for personal use only.

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

Another Reason Felt Rocks!

4 Jun

feltRocks

How many times have you wished your kids had SAFE rocks to play with? Never? Well me neither but you should still check these out! These are actually made from wool felt, no kidding how cool are they?

They are part of the exhibit Fashioning Felt at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and are available for purchase from Molo design.

Can’t justify the whopping $240 price tag on these babies, make some of your own with our Felt Rocks! Tutorial. 

A perfect project for those who have never wet felted before and a great clean but messy project for the kids! Make few small ones for kid friendly coffee table decor and a sure fire conversation piece or throw a rattle in a big one for a baby toy Bam Bam would be proud to own! You could turn it into a learning activity by arranging the rocks from largest to smallest or Group the rocks by color or felt with lots of color layers and cut apart to learn how rocks are formed.happysheep

Happy Crafting!

feltrocks!

Felt Rocks! Tutorial.

4 Jun

AFCfeltrocks2!

This a perfect project for beginning wet felters and kids since you can’t mess up a rock!

AFCfeltrocks3!

You will need:

Roving in your choice of rock like colors or just plain fun colors our site boasts over 70 colors so take a look around but we used:

Greyrovingeye

Hot Lips

Dish Soap

Legacy 100% wool stuffing

A sink, kiddie pool, bathtub or even big bowls filled with very warm water and a drop or two of handwashing dish soap just enough that your water feels slippery between your fingers.

(optional) rattle or bell-  what could be more  fun than a rattling rock for your little cave baby?

Your little ones are sure to get soapy so dress accordingly

feltrocksstep1!

Step 1

Create a core for your rock using a handful of wool stuffing, pull off thin a piece of your roving and lay core on top. Place another thin layer of roving and roll up in the opposite direction.  Roll as you would a ball of yarn, changing direction and tucking in corners. Sometimes it helps to have slightly moist hands. Don’t worry if it’s not right you can always unroll and re-roll if needed. Place rattle in center of your core if you are using one, they are water tight so just throw them on in, you will want to keep your rock on the smaller side,  4 inches or less, so rattle sound will still be clear.  Your finished rock will be about two thirds the size of this looser form.  If you want to make your rock larger you can add more colored roving to outside, or start with a larger core.

feltrocksstep2

feltrocksstep2streaks

If you want to add streaks of another color to the outside, pull of wisps of streak colors and wrap around outside.

Step 2

feltrocksstep3

 Saturate your “rock” with water by gently submerge in water, you may want to cradle it in the palm of your hand since the wool will want to drift apart, especially if you didn’t roll tightly enough. Hold rock underwater until no more bubbles surface.

Step 3

Pass rock from one hand to another, carefully as if it is an egg, this will help toughen the wool rock and keep it from coming apart. This is the hardest part of wet felting and it’s really not that hard. After about 20 or so passes you will notice your rock will appear less stringy and more solid. This will take a few minutes and you’ll know your done when your wool feels more firm and looks more secure.

feltrocksstep5

Step 4

Keep rolling, squeezing between you hands, you do not have to treat it as delicately as before. Try to  keep your rock very wet and a little soapy.  As it felts, the wool will shrink and become firmer, and you can become more aggressive with it.

This firming will happen naturally if you try to speed the process your felt will buckle and create a kind of wrinkled look but your making rocks so that might be what you want, I did this with the round flat rock and I think it makes the rock look more realistic (on the bottom right hand side of the picture below.)

While felting try to keep your water warm, the warmer the water the faster your rocks will felt. Some people swear that dipping your ball from warm water into cold and back again speeds up the felting process, this just annoys me leave me with more dishes to clean so I just use the one bowl. Keep working it until you can’t separate the fibers from the surface of your “rock” anymore. Rinse soap from wool, a final rinse in vinegar water will return a woolly texture and feel to the outside.

While still wet you can manipulate your rock to flatter or more jagged looking forms, work it with your hands, bang it on the corner of a counter or on the concrete outside to make it flatter, use your imagination. You can also place your “rocks” in the dryer on high to felt them further although this does tend to round them out a bit!

feltrocks!

Have fun and send pictures!

Andie

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