Thursday, December 31, 2015

Rainbow Quiet Book 2

I took a break from selling on Etsy for most of December to devote some time to personal craft projects and learning to use my Christmas gift from my husband...a new embroidery machine!  I am in love with it and I can't wait to make some fun toys for the shop with it.  In the meantime, I wanted to make another quiet book for Rhys to play with during our Christmas road trip, and I finished it just before we left!

This book is similar to my first Rainbow Quiet Book, but I included different activities in this book and added decorate buttons to most of the pages to use up some of my button stash :)  I also fastened the pages with button holes and baby links this time, instead of grommets and binder rings.

I embroidered my son's name onto a piece of felt and sewed it to the cover.  It's not perfectly straight but I'm happy with it!

The red page is a lacing activity (remember my Quidditch lacing page?) where he can lace a white string through the loops of ribbon on the rainbow.  The string is stored behind the clouds at the bottom of the page and I glued blue felt to the tip of the string to make it stiffer and easier to lace.

The orange page is an I Spy activity with different colored button shapes hidden in the white buttons. I also sewed matching buttons around the border as a guide for what to look for.

The yellow page has a rainbow of six zippers to play with, because he can never have enough zippers!

The green page is a buckle/weaving activity that includes six buckles.  It was a little tricky trying to figure out the placement of the buckles to get them to overlap without covering each other, but I love how it turned out!

The blue page is a shape matching activity, and it was my first attempt at using my embroidery machine! The shapes were all sewn by the machine which is why they look awesome and perfect :)

The turquoise page was my second attempt with the embroidery machine and again...I was so impressed!  I embroidered the color names onto each piece of felt, and then stitched a rectangle around each one to make them into little tiles that Rhys can velcro on and off.

Finally, the purple page is a simple little abacus activity to practice counting!  The purple felt warped a little while I was pulling the strings tight to sew them down, but at least I know the strings and beads are secure!

Here's a close up of the button time I might make them a little bigger but I think these worked out well for a first attempt!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Felt Christmas Advent Calendar

Last year, I decided to make a felt advent calendar as a new Christmas tradition for our family.  It was my first felt project and it took me weeks to finish it, but I was so proud of the outcome!  I never had a chance to take decent pictures of it, so better late than never :)

I've learned so much since last year and I know this process would go a lot quicker if I attempted it now (I hand cut all of those numbers!), but this project was definitely a huge undertaking!  I wanted to make an heirloom piece that we could add to and update throughout the years, so I'm happy that I put a lot of time and thought into it.  I hand sewed the entire thing except for the advent pockets!  The ornaments are all made out of felt and embroidery floss, and I glued a small loop of satin ribbon to each one to hang it on the tree.

I hand stitched a white outline around the tree and hand stitched all 24 buttons onto it.  I used my sewing machine to sew the advent pockets. I layered four strips of felt on top of a large square piece of felt so that they were each slightly overlapping, and sewed vertical lines on top of them to make the separate pockets.

I scoured Pinterest for ornament ideas, made a list of what I wanted to make, then hand cut and hand stitched all 24 of them! I plan to update some in a few years once I get better at hand sewing.  I also realized after I took these pictures that one of the ornaments was still hiding in a's a small red heart in case anyone is wondering :)

Monday, November 23, 2015

Bright & Colorful Busy Mat

When a friend contacted me to make a custom busy mat for her daughter, the first thing she requested was bright, bold colors.  I'm so happy she did because this turned out to be one of my favorite projects! I even found fabric to match the colors on the mat, and the fabric has silver sparkles for an extra bit of fun!

This mat is also one of my favorite projects because it incorporates so many activities all in one toy! It has FIVE activities on the inside and a zippered pocket on the back to store the lose pieces.  I love how *busy* this busy mat is and I hope it keeps its new owner happy and entertained during her travels!


*Safety note about the shoe lacing activity - if you make one for your child, sew the laces down to prevent them from coming undone and becoming a potential hazard*

Close up of the pretty sparkles!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

No-Sew Felt Christmas Tree Tutorial

Download the pattern for the ornaments and the star here!

There's a picture that's been circulating around Facebook for a few weeks of a felt Christmas tree, and I've had a lot of friends share it with me since I clearly love everything felt :)  I decided to make a pattern and write a tutorial for this since it's an easy, no-sew craft! The picture being shared on Facebook originally came from this post by Rachel over at Sol and Rachel do a Blog, so make sure you check out that post to see more pictures of her adorable tree!

I wanted to make this for Rhys last year, but he was way too young and out of control to enjoy it then.  He would have had more fun tearing the tree down than decorating it, but I think he'll really enjoy it this year!  If you have a spirited toddler like mine, they will definitely be able to pull this off the wall if they want to, so keep that in mind before you pull your hair out having to re-attach this to the wall a dozen times :)  Otherwise, this is an easy and affordable project and doesn't require any sewing!

First, here are some basic FAQs for this project if you don't need the full tutorial.  Otherwise, use the pattern linked above to cut out the ornaments and bulbs, then follow the steps in the tutorial below to make the tree!

Where do you buy such a large piece of felt?
-Most craft stores sell basic colors of felt in a 36x36 inch square.  Check for it hanging in a bag near the felt sheets. You can also buy green felt by the yard from fabric stores or Walmart!

How do the ornaments stick to the tree?
-Easy answer...felt sticks to felt! Actually, I would say that felt 'clings' to felt but you get the idea. Felt is made from compressed fibers so the fuzzy and fibrous texture allows it to stick to itself as long as the pieces aren't too heavy.

How do you attach the tree to the wall?
-I used velcro command strips and painters tape to attach my tree to the wall. It works well and won't damage the wall or the tree, but Rhys could pull it off if he really wanted to.

This tutorial makes a tree that is 33 inches tall and 33 inches wide at the base.

-Large sheet of green felt (sold in a 36x36 inch square at most craft stores, or on a bolt in fabric stores)
-9x12 sheets of felt in assorted colors for the ornaments, bulbs and star (2 sheets per color)
-3 sheets of 9x12 inch felt for the presents
-Hot glue
-Chalk or marking pen
-Velcro command strips and painters tape
-Ric rac or ribbon (optional)

1. Start by folding a large piece of green felt in half lengthwise.  I used a piece of felt that was roughly 36 inches wide and 40 inches long. Use the chalk or pen to draw half of a tree shape against the folded edge of the felt.  Cut away the excess felt and open it to lay the tree out flat.

2. If you want to add ric rac or ribbon as decorative garland, add it to the tree now by gluing and pressing a few inches at a time.

3. For the presents, cut two 9x9 inch squares and one 9x10 inch square in different colors.  Keep the extra felt from those sheets and cut the excess into 1 inch strips to use as ribbon on the other presents.

4. Glue 1 inch strips of felt across each gift and cut additional strips to make the bows.

5. To make the bows, take a 1x7 inch strip of felt and shape it into a figure eight.  Glue the ends to each other to keep it in shape, then wrap a small piece of coordinating felt around the center and glue it in the back.  Lastly, take a small strip of felt and fold it in half.  Glue the folded end of the strip to the back of the bow and glue the entire bow to the present.

6. Cut 3 squares out of your leftover green felt to fit slightly smaller than the presents.  Arrange them on the back of each present box, and glue 3 sides of each green piece to the back of each present, leaving the top edge of the presents open to form a pocket.

7. Cut out your ornament circles (I made 10) and all of the bulb pieces (I made 15).  Glue the white tips onto the top of each light bulb.  You can decorate the ornaments by gluing more felt shapes (stripes, dots, etc) onto them or drawing on them with puffy paint, but if you make them too heavy they won't stick to the tree.

8. Turn the tree and presents over, and attach velcro command strips to the back of them (sticky side to the felt).  I used velcro strips and painters tape to attach the tree to my wall.  I attached the matching velcro strips to the strips on the tree and then removed the backing on one piece at a time while I placed the tree on the wall.  I used painters tape (doubled over) to attach the tips of the tree branches to the wall.

The presents act as pockets to store the ornaments - cute and functional!

There you have it!  That seems like a lot of pictures and steps, but it's a really easy project once you get started :)  I hope I explained everything well, but leave me a comment if you have any questions!

Copyright © 2014 Today I Felt Crafty