Ali Edwards Capture life. Create art.

September 1, 2009

Tuesday Tutorials : Tania Willis : Embellishing With Felt

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This week Tuesday Tutorials welcomes Tania Willis with a fabulous, inspiring tutorial on creating felt embellishments.

You can download the PDF of Tania's tutorial here.

TWfeltflowercollage 500 
EMBELLISHING WITH FELT

In today’s session we are going to explore several ways to
make plain, boring, lifeless felt look absolutely amazing. When felt is pieced together with some
buttons &/or fabrics, then embellished with a bit of hand stitching, you
end up with a unique, one of a kind, inexpensive accent. That’s what I call a recipe for
success!

This project is one that looks rather complex and
complicated (read: like you spent a lot of time making it), but it’s so very
simple that I often have my 6 year old joining me to craft some of her very
own. It’s another project that
I love to tote along during those times when I know we’ll have a wait or even
just sitting for a spell to watch some television.

LET'S TALK SUPPLIES

Before we get started actually making some flowers, I want
to share some insight into the supplies we’ll be using and offer some tips to
help keep things organized.

TIP #1: Felt By The Yard.
If you aren’t familiar with fabric stores you may not know
this, but felt can be found in the general crafting section in pre-cut 8×11
rectangles, AND can also be found on a bolt, just like fabric and can be cut by
the yard. Some fabric stores offer
a larger variety of color choices by the yard; if you can’t find what you need
pre-cut rectangles.

TIP #2: Printed Felt.
Sure, I know, printed felt looks rather cheesy, but you just
might want to add a piece or two to your stash. Trust me? I’ll show you some examples using it
later in the tutorial.

TWprintedfelt 500

TWprintedfelt2 500  
TIP #3
: Go Stiff.
I love to use a mix of pre-stiffened, glittered felt, along
with the regular felt to give my projects some added dimension and
sparkle. These types usually cost
about 10 – 20 cents more, but are worth the extra money, rather than trying to
stiffen/glitter them yourself with a fabric stiffener or glitter spray.

TWstiffenedglitteredfelt 500

TIP #4: Look for Pre-packaged Cut Shapes.
If you aren’t concerned about the frugalness of the craft,
you can certainly look to pre-packaged product. There are many manufacturers in
the industry that make plain, un-embellished felt products. Prima has some really cool options.American Crafts makes them available in various shapes & colors, sold in
clear canisters. Making Memories sells them in clear pillow packs. Queen &
Company sells intricate felt ribbons. 
Other companies that sell basic shapes are Heidi Swapp, Jenni Bowlin and
KI Memories.

TWprepackagedfelt 500
TIP #5
: Die-cutting Felt.
Oh, YES, you can! 
For those of you with personal die-cut machines (i.e. Sizzix, Cricut, etc.),
give it a try. If you don’t have a
personal die-cut machine, turn to your local scrapbook store or even your local
library. Most offer use of an
Ellison or Accu-cut machine for a minimal charge, and at the library it is
FREE. There, they are generally
located in the children’s department. Often times, you will find them at the main branch, instead of your
smaller suburb locations.

TEMPLATES

I’ve included some template pieces (Tania Willis Templates)—hearts & flowers, but I just wanted to share some other ideas for
templates.  Your felt pieces surely
aren’t limited to just hearts & flowers.

  • Use
    stencils to draw your own template pieces
  • Use
    die-cut pieces already in your stash
  • Use
    raw chipboard pieces (butterflies, people icons, houses, etc.)
  • Use
    negative space from chipboard die-cuts.  As you punch each piece out, you’re left with what is
    called negative space.  This
    space instantly becomes perfect to trace around for a template piece.

TWnegativespace 500

USES FOR FELT ACCENTS

  • Embellish
    cards/layouts
  • Attach
    a bobby pin for a unique hairclip
  • Attach
    a pin to wear as a brooch
  • Gift
    topper just like the yo-yo flowers
  • Embellish
    kid’s clothing
  • Use
    with a felt board for homeschooling projects.

Let’s get to the making part!

SUPPLIES:
Felt Rectangles
Embroidery Floss (also known as DMC floss)
Needle
Buttons
Thimble (optional)

1. Gather your supplies.

2. Trace your template pieces onto your felt using an ink
pen or fine-tipped marker.

3. Cut out just slightly inside the line so you are cutting
away all of the traced markings.

TWcutfelt 500

4. Cut a 12” (or more) length of embroidery floss.

5. Knot one end several times and thread the other end
through the eye of your needle. Again, when stitching you’ll want to hold the
pieces with your non-dominant hand and take control of the needle/thread with
your dominant hand.

6. Gather the other pieces you want to layer on top of your
felt accent and begin stitching them in place to hold all the pieces
together. Bring your thread up
through the bottom of your largest piece, through all layers and grab the
needle and pull out through the top.

7.  At this
point you can add your buttons by threading your needle through one of the
holes. Do this by threading the
needle through the bottom of the button, coming up through the hole and then
pushing your needle back down through the other hole, through all layers of
felt. My favorite kinds of buttons to use are the kind with the holes hidden on
the bottom like this one.

TWfeltflower1 500

8. Tie 2 or 3 knots on the backside of the felt to hold the
button in place.  Do this before
going any further with decorative stitching.

9. Embellish further with some decorative stitching. You can
see the stitching on the photo above.  

OTHER EXAMPLES

TWfeltflower2 500

For this one, I stitched the 3 layers together with a long
straight stitch in the cream floss and then I finished it off with a
polka-dotted button (Doodlebug) with coordinating orange floss.

TWfeltflower3 500

This is pretty self-explanatory. I just poked through a handful of brads and a brad-pronged
eyelet to spruce up the plain flower.

TWfeltflower4 500

Remember that cheesy flower printed felt? Here’s an example of it put to
use! I simply cut a felt heart
using the template pieces, and then added the decorative stitching with orange
floss. Then, I cut out two flowers
from that pre-printed felt. They
were each stitched individually to the heart and embellished with buttons to
cover the centers. The blue flower
piece is a pre-packaged piece from Prima.

TWfeltflower5 500

Here’s an example of how simple, yet beautifully handmade
these flowers can be. Who knew
stacked felt with a button could be so beautiful?

TWfeltflower6 500

This example shows the
stiffened/glittered felt stacked with just one other felt piece and a slew of
buttons.  When doing this it makes
the most impact if you use the same color of floss to sew all the buttons
instead of changing the color to match each button.

A FEW MORE POINTERS

  • Don’t
    worry about the messy look of the stitching on the backside of your piece
    as it doesn’t get seen, and really it is helpful when you want to make it
    into a hairclip. (Shown below.)
  • Use
    glue dots to hold your finished accents on your projects.
  • Cut
    several templates in one sitting making the creative process of layering
    and embellishing seem a little less tedious.
  •  When traveling with your supplies,
    make use of empty spice jars to store a small supply of buttons. Pack it
    all together in a pencil supply box.
  • Consider
    wrapping your floss onto embroidery floss cards, or small pieces of
    chipboard to keep them from becoming a tangling mess.  you can even label the cards with
    the floss number (found on the wrapper) to keep from purchasing duplicate
    colors next time you shop.

TWfloss 500

  • Trace
    all template pieces onto chipboard or a recycled cereal box and label them
    just like we did with the yo-yo tutorial. Keep them all together in one
    spot for use over and over again.

BONUS TUTORIAL

Turning your embellished felt into a hair clip.

SUPPLIES:
Headband
Bobby Pin
Embellished Felt Flower

TWhairclipsupplies 500
1. Gather your supplies.

2. Insert a single bobby pin through the messy stitching on
the backside of your felt piece.

TWinsertbobbypin 500

TWinsertbobbypin2 500
3. Slide bobby pin onto headband. I prefer to have mine off-center to the right or left.

TWcliponheadband 500

TWfinishedheadband 500
4. Wear in hair and look super cute!

NOTE: You can also wear these in your hair without a
headband. Just clip back some hair
with bobby pins, then pin the flower over top of them.

TWnoheadband 500

If you are interested in adding more
fabric (including felt) to your layouts, come take a peek at my newest
online class, Scrapbooking with Fabric–starting September 7th.
Registration is currently open.

PS…..today,
on my blog, I'll be offering a chance to win a free pass to class!

Dottedline

Tania BIO picture Tania Willis
has been scrapbooking in some form or another for the past 14 years, and doing
so professionally for the past 8. During her time as a freelance artist, she
has traveled across the country to teach her talent and share her love for all
things beautifully handmade. She
has three books in print: “Circle Journals,” “Pens and Needles” and “Go Figure:
Scrapbooking with Number
s”- all published through Pinecone Press. 

She
spends most of her time developing online classes for Get It Scrapped!
and also serves on the design team for Karen Foster Design and Little
Yellow Bicycle
.
She has a
lengthy publication record in both national and international scrapbook
publications and was a long time contributor on the editorial team at Scrapsupply
providing free downloadable tutorials. Those tutorials are now available for free download on her blog.

Tania
is known for her love texture and dimension and adding lots of layers.  Her layouts are rarely called complete
unless they have just a touch of handmade added into the mix. Most often, that finishing touch comes
in the form of hand stitching—something she considers her signature on a
project. 

She
lives in Central Ohio with her husband of 14 years, and her 2 spunky
princesses—Ashlyn Rose (7) and Emma Grace (4). Random Fact #1: She totally
loathes shopping *gasp*. Random Fact #2: She LOVES peanut butter and dill
pickle sandwiches.  (Before you say
ewwwwwwwwww, she’ll dare you to try it at least once!). Random Fact #3: Years
ago, she earned a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.

Comments

  • 1.
    Cathy G said…

    Love these! Will definitely be having a go at making some soon…

  • 2.
    Heidi said…

    Hey Tania …
    HOWZIT! all the way from sunny, mid-winter South Africa: just wanted to say I LOVE your felt stuff! I’ve worked w/ fabrics & felts in quilting for years, & love incorporating it in my scrapping. Also have 3 GORGEOUS GORGEOUS girlies for whom I LOVE embellishing clothes (esp!! when lengthening corduroy pants etc!! LOL)!!
    Thanks for a great post on AliE’s.
    Hugs for sharing,
    Heidi

  • 3.
    Gale said…

    Thanks. This was a wonderful Tip Tuesday.

  • 4.
    AmyGee said…

    awesome & inspiring…love them.
    simply cannot wait to get started on making some!
    i have a HUGE stash of felt just waiting for me.
    thank you so much!

  • 5.
    shana said…

    I just had to say {again} how much I love your blog!
    have a super fun day!
    shana in mn

  • 6.
    Jennifer M. said…

    So cute! Love that last flower in the hair.

  • 7.
    Kristy said…

    they are darling!! just wondering where i find the printed felt. maybe you shared that info and i missed it. i’ll go back and check. i love the polka dots :O)

  • 8.

    I love felt anything and this tutorial just rocks! Oooh the gears in my head are turning now with lots of options and ideas from this. Thanks Tania and Ali!

  • 9.
    Jo said…

    Woweee, love these – what a great tutorial! Jo x

  • 10.
    tania willis said…

    hi Kristy! i’m not sure if you are in the US or international, but the printed felt was purchased at Hobby Lobby, but can also be found at Walmart and JoAnns. if you can’t find any, email me and i’ll be happy to grab some for you and put it in the mail. :o )

  • 11.
    Stephanie said…

    This was such a great tutorial-such cute ideas! Thank you :)

  • 12.
    Joy Buss said…

    Love these ideas! I have a little fettish for felt so this is a huge reminder to use my stuff!! Thanks!

  • 13.
    Sharon K said…

    Hey Tania, guess WHO????
    Can’t wait to see the rest of your fabric tips next week when we start our class!! WOO HOO!!! Ladies, check out Tania’s blog to see what I’m talking about “willis”. . . .

  • 14.
    Krystal said…

    Love this! This is definitly an inspiration! Thank you for sharing!!

  • 15.
    madelia said…

    Really love these felt goodies can’t wait to try them myself.

  • 16.
    Rebekah said…

    Tania and Ali–
    Really liked this tutorial. It’s fun, cheap, easy, and so very, very cute. Thanks for the sweet ideas!

  • 17.
    Linda said…

    Cute.

  • 18.
    Lara said…

    These are so yummy!!!! I will be trying some for sure!! Thanks for the tutorial!

  • 19.
    Jane said…

    love it!

  • 20.
    kimberly said…

    so fun and colorful and inspiring- my crafty friends just may be getting a little box of felt embellishments for their birthdays! thanks Tania for sharing some of your creativity with us, you’ve got me inspired to jazz up some felt !

  • 21.

    ADORABLE! And found today, of course – the very day I packed away ALL the supplies from my craft room, including my lovely stash of felt (we’re moving…)
    I bookmarked this page, so when I do finally unpack I’ll be back!
    : )
    xox, Susan
    http://confessionsofasineater.blogspot.com/

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  • 23.
    Heidi Yu said…

    Great, it is very beautiful, but it is very difficult to make it beautiful. cheers

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