Craft Project: Felt Christmas Cards

Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:22 am
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Recently I have discovered the joys of felt. Felt is such a wonderful material! I am currently working on two new laptop sleeve models in rich wool felt which are coming along nicely, however a couple of test runs of materials and sampling of different colors have left me with additional felt just waiting to be used for something .

felt
And making Christmas cards are indeed a lovely way to use small scraps of felt or other fabric. What I love about felt is that it has such a thick feel and it doesn’t tear. I have previously made cards with regular fabric which I have sewncards on top of the card. That can come out very nice, however with felt, you don’t need to sew additional stitches, all you need is glue and good scissors. In addition to felt I also used some burlap and rustic string.

I decided to cut out Scandinavian inspired small santas for the majority of the cards. I have always loved this image: the santa is tiny and grey and he has a big nose that is peeking out under a large hat. He lives in a dark forest and there is something dreamy about the whole image, which makes you think of the Swedish artist John Bauer and his fairytale forests.

For the rest of the cards I cut out Christmas trees with presents and square box houses in a row.

cardcards

Making these cards is easy, fun and a little time consuming. You could of course make large cuts instead and save some time, however I have a fancy for small details. I also like how gluing felt on top of felt creates some depth. Felt is also very cheap if you don’t buy the wool kind, and many craft stores sell sample packs of different colors which would be perfect for this project.

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Learning How To Knit

Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:49 pm
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There is always something special about learning something new and becomingyarn fascinated by it. I was never really a knitter. I learned how to knit when I was a little girl; however I never really did much with it. But a month or two ago I saw a nice yarn at the local fabric store and I was thinking that it might be nice to take up knitting (or in other words: re-learn it altogether). Said and done – I purchased the yarn, bought some needles and spent some time online figuring out how to cast on and knit. Soon I learned that there are actually two basic knitting stitches (yes I realized very soon that my knitting knowledge was very limited). And so after two scarves of basic knitting stitches, I’m now working on another in beautiful grey wool with alternating knit and purl rows. I love the fact that you can actually create designs by simply changing the stitch – it’s so simple, yet you can really make it personal and come up with interesting patterns. yarn

And who knew knitting could be so addictive and satisfying? Well, I’m sure most knitters are aware of this, but I didn’t realize how much fun it actually is. Knit, knit, knit, purl, purl, purl - over and over again. It’s such an even, mechanical movement and immediately you see your work appear. Wow – knitting turned out to be quite a surprise, never would I have thought that I would spend my entire evening relaxing with needles and yarn, and enyoing it so much!

So far I haven’t knitted anything that requires a pattern of any kind, however I am tempted to try this one, I love the woven-like pattern. But that's a completely different project for another day.

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Fall Leaves & Greeting Cards

Tue Nov 18, 2008 2:17 pm
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As we are entering into the end of November, most leaves on the trees have already fallen, and the glorious spectacular of color they bring forth every year during such a short period of time is unfortunately over, or at least it will be very soon.

card
card

However if you can still find a nice tree with colorful leaves on its branches, or in good condition on the ground, then I suggest you pick a few, admire their interesting shades and bring them home. Then place them in an old phone book, a couple of leaves on each page, and top with more books. A week or two later, they will be dry and perfect to have around for a variety of craft projects. Like making unique cards for the holidays for example. Along with some nice ribbon, you can easily glue them on hardstock paper, write a short greeting and send them of.

leaves

It’s such an easy way to make somebody’s day a little brighter, plus it’s always nice to receive a handmade card that you know some effort went into making.



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How to make your own Gift Advent Calendar

Sat Nov 15, 2008 9:11 am
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That advent calendars (paper, chocolate or gifts) can be quite lovely to receive,calendar has already been established. And to make your own advent calendar for someone special does not have to be hard. Of course there are many ways to make one - essentially all you need is a place to display 24 gifts in a decorative fashion. Last year, I decided to make one for my mother. I wanted it to be simple to make, somewhat rustic and easy to ship. And here is what I made: a burlap calendar with red felt numbers and metal rings for attaching presents. It could not be simpler in design, yet the burlap distinctly gives it a Santa sack touch (in my eyes, dark Scandinavian Christmas feel) which is just perfect for the month of December.

This calendar is very easy to make. All you need is burlap, a small piece of red felt, appliqué letters (or simply choose a font you like and print large sized letters from your computer, then cut each letter out), 24 metal rings, a round wooden stick the length of your burlap, a sewing machine (you can do without), and needle and thread.


Burlap


Felt


Craft Metal Rings

- Cut the burlap into an appropriate size for your calendar (rectangular), add 1/2 inch seam allowance. Add a couple of inches at the top (so can fold it over and sew a gap in order to create space where a wooden stick can later go in).

- Create a clean edge all around the burlap by folding and sewingcalendar in the seam allowance by machine or by hand. Once that is done, fold an inch or two over what will be the top of your calendar and sew a pocket at the top. (This is so you can later create structure and place a stick here so you can hang the calendar straight on the wall, with the weight of the presents.)

- Make sure you have cut out numbers in paper of the appropriate size. Transfer these numbers on to the felt (sketch with a pencil around the edge of the letter onto the felt) and cut out felt pieces for all your numbers. Sew these felt numbers by hand with red thread on to the burlap in an organized fashion. Make sure you have enough space under the numbers to sew on the metal rings and for the presents to hang.

- Once all the numbers are spaced out properly and sewed on, sew on a metal ring under each number (day).

- Place the wooden stick in the gap at the top of the calendar. At the far edges, you can attach some string to create a hanging mechanism. (I didn't do this step, since I needed to ship my calendar out and a wooden stick doesn't fold very well, so it's not present in the picture.)

Of course you could always create further designs on the calendar by appliqué such as the name of the recipient (perfect if each child will receive one), or maybe a greeting such as Merry Christmas, or simply Advent Calendar.


When the calendar is done you simply (and it's not always so simple) have to come up with 24 small gifts.

Here are some ideas for perfect advent calendar gifts:

Candy and chocolate, socks, candles, a nice pen or pencil, small writing books, make-up or skin products, a lovely soap, individual hot chocolate or apple cider packs, Gift Cards or toys.

If you have someone interested in crafts or art, you can always break up a set of paint or brushes and wrap each one individually for separate days.

If you would like to make an advent calendar for the impossible person who already has everything, then a fun set of gifts might be a collection of different holiday beers, with a new beer wrapped for each day. Or perhaps a unique set of spices with a new jar each day. The possibilities are endless!



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