needle felted snowflake tray tutorial
{from katydid & kid}

by @according2kelly on November 20, 2012

for the entire month of november we will be baking, sewing & crafting up a storm, preparing handmade gifts for this holiday season.

& the holidays are coming a wee bit earlier for a few lucky readers, thanks to our three amazing giveaways. be sure to head over to today’s featured blogger {katydid and kid} for a chance to win a silhouette portrait, decoart paints & stencils, and michael’s gift card.

so dust off your sewing machine, & head on over to skip to my lou for some fabulous sewing projects.

rev up your mixers, & visit a southern fairytale for lots of edible yummies & holiday-inspired recipes you definitely don’t want to miss.

& to check out ALL of our crafty & creative projects go HERE.

today, our featured blogger is kathleen, of katydid and kid. kathleen writes…

I love working with fibers–not the kind that you get with your bran flakes, but the kind that turns into stuff like fabric and felt.  Felting is one of my favorite crafts, especially in these colder months when I just want to cozy up to some wool, either on my knitting needles or elsewhere.

Jingle and bells, Santa and reindeer, snow and hot cocoa–some things are meant to be together. For today’s Holiday Craft Along, I wanted to share a needle-felted snowflake tray that I created.  It’s perfect for serving up hot cocoa after frolicking in the land of snowflakes.

Needlefelting is a way to adhere wool to itself by using a barbed needle to attach the fibers together. Unlike wet felting which relies on water, friction and heat to bind wool into felt, needle felting is also called dry felting and results in a similar product. Needle felting gives the artisan more control over details, unlike when one does wet felting.

MATERIALS

  • pre-painted wooden tray (I painted an inexpensive wooden tray found at a craft store with acrylic paint)
  • piece of glass cut to the size of the inside of the tray (your local hardware store can usually do this for you)
  • scissors/pinking shears
  • 3-barb felting needle
  • cleaned, carded wool in various colors. I used Peace Fleece batting in greens from Halcyon Yarns
  • Needle felting pador foam for punching the wool100% wool felt (from a fabric store)

 

STEP ONE

Measure the inside of your tray and cut your wool felt to fit. Then use pinking shears to fancy-up the border.

STEP TWO

Plan out your design, either on paper or just in your head like me. I wanted to do snowflakes of varying sizes and designs and fill up the white space of the felt. You’ll be using the wool to “draw” on the background.

STEP THREE

Take a small amount of wool in a color you like…

and roll it together like you’re making a coil of clay or play dough.

This will tighten the fibers and make a “line” for you to draw with.

STEP FOUR

Lay out the lines for your design and pin them down if you wish.

I worked snowflake by snowflake rather than putting my entire design on the felt background. I didn’t want to keep arranging the design as my hand was working on one flake.

Then lay the entire piece on top of the felting pad or foam.

STEP FIVE

Take up your felting needle which has tiny barbs on the end, and begin to do your needle felting.

What you’re actually doing is using the barbed parts of the needle to tangle the fibers together.

You just keep going along the line, poking the needle in and out. The fibers will tighten and look more uniform. The best part is is that if you make a mistake, just pull the fiber off. Just keep working your wool until you’re happy with the result. You can mix colors, or add more wool if you need it. It’s so versatile.

Eventually you’ll get something like this…

which took a few hours to make. I layered colors and filled in blank areas with smaller snowflakes. When you’re finished, cover it with the glass and you’re ready to top it with some mugs of hot coffee, tea or cocoa.  And cookies, of course.

You could change out the felt for other seasonal designs, like pumpkins for fall. I could have glued the felt to the tray, but opted to just pin it between the wood and the glass, just to keep my options open.

Needle felting is a relaxing activity to do in front of a fire or the television. If you’re interested in wet felting, check out my tutorial from last year.  Have fun and happy felting!

bake craft sew {giveaway}

ready for an amazing giveaway worth over $700? head on over to today’s featured blogger {katydid and kid} for a NEW chance to win.

really want to win? every day you’ll have a new chance to win on a new blog. so be sure to come back tomorrow.

& make sure to visit skip to my lou & a southern fairytale for even more giveaway opportunities!

____________________________________________

for more great ideas be sure to visit kathleen at her blog katydid and kid. & be sure to connect with them on twitter & facebook.

about kathleen: Prior to motherhood, she worked as an art teacher, museum educator, and fiber artist and could be found lurking in bookstores and sleeping in late. She still enjoys incorporating creativity into her life in any way that she can, whether it’s improvising a cloth diaper, knitting hats for her family, or cooking a scrumptious vegetarian meal.

baking, crafting & sewing along at home? don’t forget to play show & tell… upload your photos to our flickr group HERE. follow along with all of our featured bakers, crafters & sewers on twitter HERE, & tweet about the holiday-inspired “bake, craft & sew along” using the hashtag #bakecraftsew.

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