Thursday, September 21, 2017

Felt Crafts

L O V E working with felt.  We first met in the 50's when I learned simple sewing stitches in school so we could make dolls. We used felt for the bodies - and yes, my mum kept them.  Please note I was only 8 at the time.....

Felt and I are now grown up, but we remain fast friends.  We just don't see each other as much as we used to, so I was excited to participate in the Designer Crafts Connection blog hop sponsored by Kunin®.

Felt is SO versatile, the hardest part of the project was trying to decide what to create with the samples of felt and trim I received.

I grew up reading stories about fairies, elves and gnomes and over the past few years I've being seeing lots of fairy gardens and fairy houses. Thinking it might be fun for my granddaughter and I to make our own little village, I've been saving small cartons and plastic bottles.  Now seemed like a good time to start. Since felt is made from recycled plastic bottles, I thought it only right to start with an empty water bottle for my project and so it began......  First came the fairy house, which is also a night light,


then the "Kunikins".....

a tree of course.....


and before the day was over I had the beginnings of a small fairy village for the hearth:

Welcome to "Kunindorf"!

Fairy House/Night Light

You will need:
Classic felt 9"x12" craft cuts in 2 shades of green and a light color*
1" Smoothfoam™ Ball
Small and large Pom Pom trim as shown
Lo-temp glue gun
2" LED Tea light
Metal (or metal edge ruler)
Craft knife
Cutting mat
Empty plastic water bottle
Small rubber band
* There are lots of wonderful colors of felt to choose from, so please feel free to use colors of your choice.

1.  Use the craft knife to cut the top (rounded part) off the bottle.  This will be the roof.
2.  Cut the bottom of the bottle to about 3" high.
3.  Cut a 3" x 9" strip of light colored felt.  Tip: I prefer to use a craft knife for straight cuts, but make sure the blade is sharp.

4.  Roll the felt and place inside the bottom half of the bottle. Trim as needed.  Place the tea light, upside down in the top.   

5.  Cut a 2.5" x 9" strip of neon green then cut 1.25" deep slits along the edge about 1/2" apart.

6.  With edges even, glue around the top of the bottle.  You may need to adjust the width of the strip to cover the top, since each brand of bottle is different.  Smooth the strips upward towards the neck of the bottle, overlapping as needed then hold in place at the top with the rubber band.

7.  Cut a second strip of felt about 2.5" x 5" in a darker green color.  Cut 4 slits from the edge to within 1" from the opposite edge.  Cut as shown to form an approximate leaf shape.  Cut 5 additional leaf shapes then glue these on top as shown.  With the added leaves on the under side, glue the "collar" around the neck of the bottle on top of the neon green.

8.  To finish, glue large pom pom trim around the bottom edge of the "roof" and the smaller pom pom trim around the neck.  Glue the Smoothfoam ball over the opening at the top of the bottle.  

9.  Since this is a Kunin sponsored project, I printed the Kunin logo onto adhesive backed paper, wrapped it around a toothpick, then inserted the toothpick into the top of the ball.  To finish I added a small pom pom to the top of the toothpick and glued a door shape on the front of the base.  A quilt pin pushed into the bottle is the door knob.


You will need (each):
1" Smoothfoam ball
Classic felt cuts (your choice of color)
Fur yarn - white
Quilt pins - large red; 2 small black

1.  Cut a 2" x 9" strip of felt.  Roll tightly then secure end with lo-temp glue.

2.  Insert a toothpick into the ball to use as a handle, then glue fur yarn around the center for hair and beard.  Add as much as you like, then trim as needed. Insert the toothpick into the center of the rolled felt (body) and secure with glue.  Push the red quilt pin into the center of the ball for a nose and the 2 black quilt pins will be the eyes.  If the quilt pin is long and comes thru to the opposite side, trim with wire cutters. 

3.  To make a long, skinny hat, roll a 3" wide strip of felt into a cone shape.  Glue then trim into shape.  Secure to the head with 1 or 2 small pins, or glue.  Glue a white pom pom to the tip of the hat.


4.  To make the arms, roll felt (about 3" long) around a piece of cord.  Glue along the edge to secure, then glue the center to the back of the body.  Trim if necessary.


Kunindorf Tree

You will need:
Green or other color of either Classic or Premium felt
2" Wood spool for base (Option: recycle a spool of thread)

1.  For each tree, cut one each 2", 3" and 4" circles.  I used my Cricut® Maker for this - quick and easy, but scissors work fine of course.

2.  Cut each circle in half then roll into a cone shape.  Secure with glue.  Starting with the largest cone, stack and glue the cones on top of each other then place over the top of the spool.  Trim the edge of the bottom cone with small pom pom trim to finish.

3.  Cover the spool with scraps of felt.

Our little village wouldn't be complete without a "Welcome" sign, so I cut small, 1" x 1.5" banner shapes (one for each letter) from felt on my Cricut Maker (easy to cut with scissors too), then added Joy® iron-on embroidered letters.

I hung them from a length of cord with tiny clothes pins between 2 bamboo skewers, stuck into a rectangle of Smoothfoam. 

I'm sure I'll be adding more to our little village as the days go by....  this is just the beginning......  Look for more felt projects on the Designer Crafts Connection blog then comment on your favorites for a chance to win a collection of Kunin felt.  Enjoy!  Y'all come back now. 

Yours truly,
Julie :)


Monday, September 18, 2017

Gift Market Trends - Fall 2017

I was able to visit the Dallas Gift Market last weekend and took lots of photos of the product displays in many of the showrooms.

Gift market is where owners/buyers go to purchase items to sell in their stores, so the showroom displays are a pretty good indication of the trends being promoted and trends we'll be seeing over the next 6 months or so.  As you look thru this photo gallery of displays, it's pretty obvious how much Joanna Gaines' "Fixer Upper" style continues to influence products and "look" for our homes - metal is everywhere. I also saw cotton twigs and magnolia leaves to accent the popular "Farmhouse" look.

Grab a glass of wine, cup of tea or coffee, put your feet up and take a stroll with me thru the gift market showrooms via the photos below, then share which trends YOU see in the comments:

Hope you enjoyed your walk thru the Dallas Gift Market with me.. That was a lot of photographs to look thru (it was certainly a lot to edit), but hopefully they gave you a little insight into what stores may be offering to their customers over the next few months or so, and a little inspiration for your own home......   Don't forget to share what you are seeing in home dec trends in the comments section.  Y'all come back now.............

Yours truly,