Handmade Holiday 2008 – Part 3

Posted by Liz McCoy Friday, December 5, 2008

Felted Wreath Ornaments

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  • a green 100% wool sweater (goodwill finds work great!) Suggestion – Different colored sweaters or a sweater with more pattern will add more dimension and color to your felt pieces.
  • scissors (Adult size not child safety scissors)
  • large needle
  • green embroidery floss (I used 1 1/2 packages)
  • 5/8” wide roll of ribbon (I used holiday red)
  • hot glue gun
  • a washing machine
  • laundry detergent
  • a Pair of blue jeans (optional)
  • zippered pillow case (optional)

Step 1: Felt the sweater.  Felting is taking the loose wool fibers and matting them together to make thick dense felt. (yes you can buy the felt at the store if you so desire)

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Put the sweater, laundry detergent, the blue jeans into the washing machine adjust your settings so the wash is HOT water and the rinse is COLD.  Run the cycle. Repeat until the sweater has shrunken and is dense. Dry the sweater on HIGH heat in the dryer.

HINTS: Putting the jeans in with the sweater helps agitate the fibers more quickly than the sweater by itself.  I read online that you can put the sweater into a zippered pillow case and that will contain the left over fluffies that result from the felting process.  I however did not use a zippered pillow case and there weren’t too many fuzzies to easily clean out the washer.

Once finished the sweater should have shrunk to approximately 1/3 the original size.  And the fibers should be very dense.

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Step 2: Cut the sweater.

I found it easiest to cut the sweater into sections along the seams, you can leave the seams on the material for this project they won’t interfere with your end look.

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The cut the material into strips.

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Cut the strips into squares, triangles, or random shapes.  I did squares.

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Step 3: String your felt squares.

I purchased a pack of Yarn Darners needles at Walmart for $.88 and the embroidery floss was $.33 at JoAnns. 

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HINTS: I liked working with a bigger needle it was easy to handle and it easily pushed through the felt. I was able to line up 6-8 squares on the needle before pushing them onto the string. Also it was very easy thread the needle.  I did not cut the string ahead of time I strung on the felt while it was still connected to the floss bundle.

Thread as many felt pieces onto the the string and cut the string from the bundle and leave 3+ inches of string on each end.

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HINTS: I liked staggering the felt pieces rather than just threading them through the center of the felt square.  It really gave more dimension to the wreath.

Cinch the strings together and tie a knot with the string.

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Use the extra string and tie another knot at the top and you have the loop to hang it from the tree. Just trim off the tails.

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My sweater yielded eighteen wreath ornaments.

Step 3: Adding the finishing touch.

One thing I learned was that glitter just doesn’t work for this project.

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I used a holiday spool of ribbon and tied little bows and hot glued them at the top of the wreath. The red ribbon adds just the right amount of color and finishes off the wreath perfectly.

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Thanks for checking out my latest craft project.  I love how these wreaths turned out and can’t wait to give them away to friends and family.

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Handmade Holiday Craft Series

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