Tuesday, 1 October 2019

A Year of Wreaths: October Cosy Cat Felt Wreath Tutorial

This month’s wreath is all about cosiness: curling up with a colourful blanket, like this cute sleeping kitty!

sleeping kitty wreath

I’ve stitched a grey cat but you could easily customise this wreath and make a cat that looks like your own pet - switch the felt colour, add some felt patches, and use embroidery thread to add stripes or other markings. You could also sew the sleeping kitty onto other things (maybe a bag or a cushion?) or use the cat’s head templates to sew a cute cat brooch.

This tutorial originally appeared on The Village Haberdashery's blog - visit their shop for lots of crafty goodness! I'm sharing all twelve seasonal wreath tutorials here on my blog as the year progresses.

You will need:

*The template sheets provided (click here to view, download and print the PDF)
*A 30cm polystyrene ring wreath base
*Wool blend felt in assorted colours: grey and pink (or your chosen cat colours) plus three colours for decorating the wreath (I used dark purple, light purple, and light blue) and a contrasting shade (e.g. white) for the Zs.
*Black and white embroidery thread
*Pink and grey sewing thread (to match the felt)
*Toy stuffing
*Sewing needle and pins
*Sewing scissors
*Embroidery scissors for cutting out small shapes
*An air erasable fabric marker pen (optional but very helpful!)
*A ruler and pen/pencil
*Fabric glue or other strong craft glue
*A glue gun and glue
*A heat-proof mat for the glue gun
*Newspaper to protect your workspace from any glue drips

To make the wreath:

1. Use the rectangular template provided to cut the felt strips for wrapping the wreath. You'll need 24 strips in total, so cut 8 of each of your three colours or (to make a wreath exactly like the one pictured) cut 12 of one colour (dark purple) and 6 each of the other two shades (light purple and light blue).

2. Lay the strips on top of the wreath in colour order (if you're copying my wreath, every other strip should be dark purple, with the light purple and light blue alternating between the dark purple strips), overlapping them slightly so that none of the polystyrene ring base will show through at the edges of the wreath.

When you’ve added all the pieces and are happy with the arrangement, insert pins to hold the felt in position then turn the wreath over. One by one, wrap the felt pieces around the wreath inserting pins to hold the felt in place.

covering the wreath base with felt strips

The back of your wreath will now look something like this:

securing the felt to the wreath base with pins

3. Use a glue gun to secure the ends of the felt at the back of the wreath. Work on one piece of felt at a time, removing the pin(s) holding it in place and folding the felt back slightly. Carefully add a dab or two of hot glue to the wreath base then very carefully press the felt down into position.

IMPORTANT: take care when working with the glue gun as the glue gets very hot! Always place it on a heat-proof mat when not in use, and use newspaper or other scrap paper to protect your workspace. Work slowly, squeezing the gun with care to control the amount of glue you’re using and keeping your fingers out of the way of the hot glue.

Tip: you may find it helpful to test glue a couple of scrap pieces of felt before you start, so you can see how much glue you need to use to hold each piece in place.

Once the glue has dried, turn the wreath over and remove the pins from the front. The front of your wreath will now look something like this:

felt secured to wreath base with pins

4. Use the templates provided to cut out the cat pieces from felt: two body shapes, two head shapes, two pink ears and one pink nose.

pieces for making the felt cat

5. Sew the ears and nose onto one of the cat head shapes, sewing them with whip stitch and matching pink sewing thread.

add the ears and news to the felt cat

6. Cut a length of black embroidery thread and separate half the strands (so, for six-stranded thread just use three strands). Use the black thread to backstitch the cat’s eyes and smile, then add three very small stitches on each of its cheeks.

I used an air erasable fabric marker pen to draw the markings onto the felt first then followed the ink lines when stitching. If you don’t have an air erasable marker, just sew freehand using the photos as a guide.

embroider the cat's face

7. Use half strands of white embroidery thread to add the whiskers. Sew the whiskers with backstitch, using the air erasable marker (if you have one) to draw guide lines for your stitching.

embroider the cat's whiskers

8. Place both cat head pieces together (so the decorated side is facing upwards) and sew them together with grey sewing thread and either blanket stitch or whip stitch. Then place both cat body pieces together and sew them as well.

finished felt cat face
felt cat face and body ready to assemble

9. Use the templates provided to cut out six Zs from white felt (one of each size). Using embroidery scissors will help you cut out the small shapes more precisely. You can hold the paper templates to the felt as you cut around them, or use an air erasable fabric marker to draw around the templates then cut along the ink lines.

felt Zs

10. Cut four felt rectangles measuring 7 x 2.5cm and two felt squares measuring 2.5 x 2.5cm. Use a ruler and an air erasable fabric marker to draw straight onto the felt, or use a ruler and pen/pencil to draw paper templates. I cut these pieces from grey felt but you could use any colour you have spare as they will be hidden behind the cat in the finished wreath.

felt pieces ready to sew

11. Sew the felt pieces together to form a box. Use whip stitch and matching sewing thread to join the long edges of the rectangles then add the squares on each end. When you’ve sewn three sides of the final square, stuff the shape firmly with toy stuffing then sew up the gap.

Tip: add small pieces of stuffing at a time, pressing it down into the shape with your finger.

stuffing the felt shape

The finished shape will look something like this:

the felt shape, stuffed

12. Use the glue gun to attach the shape to the bottom of the wreath, as shown. Add plenty of glue to one of the long edges then press it into position on the wreath. You’ll be using this shape to support the cat, so make sure it’s positioned towards the front of the wreath.

add the felt shape to the wreath

13. Arrange the cat pieces and the Zs on the wreath, as shown, with the Zs getting larger as you move up the side of the wreath. When you’re happy with the position of all the pieces, pin them in place.

arrange the felt pieces on the wreath

14. Carefully glue all the pieces into position, removing the pins as you work. Use the glue gun to stick the cat to the wreath base and the stuffed felt shape. Then use fabric or other strong craft glue to attach the Zs (these are a bit too small for using the glue gun!).

Hang the finished wreath with a matching piece of yarn or ribbon, or directly from a hook or nail.

finished sleeping cat wreath


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P.S. Subscribe to my newsletter for a monthly free pattern and visit my crafty tutorial archive for lots more free projects.

This tutorial is for non commercial use only: you can use it to make as many wreaths as you want for yourself or as gifts, but please don't make any for sale. You may borrow a couple of photos if you want to blog about this project, but remember to credit me and link back to this page on my blog, and do not reproduce my entire tutorial / share my templates on your site. Thanks!

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath Tutorial

This month’s wreath design celebrates the arrival of autumn! It features berry red yarn, a bit of sparkle, and a cluster of felt oak leaves stitched with the opening line of John Keats’ famous poem ‘To Autumn’: “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”.

autumn oak leaves wreath
embroidered felt oak leaves
 
This tutorial originally appeared on The Village Haberdashery's blog - visit their shop for lots of crafty goodness! I'm sharing all twelve seasonal wreath tutorials here on my blog as the year progresses.

You will need:

The template sheet (click here to view, download and print the PDF)
A 30cm polystyrene ring wreath base
Some dark red yarn (I used two balls of Rico Essentials Soft Merino Aran yarn, in Brick Red)
Beige wool blend felt
Dark red stranded embroidery thread
Gutermann Metallic Effect sewing thread shade 36 (or other gold/copper coloured embroidery or sewing thread)
Some sewing thread (any colour will do)
White tissue paper (or tracing paper, or baking paper)
Sewing scissors
Sewing needles and pins
A fine dark pen
A glue gun and glue
A heat-proof mat for the glue gun
Newspaper to protect your workspace from any glue drips
Optional: embroidery scissors (these are great for cutting out felt shapes)

To make the wreath:

1. Wrap the wreath base with your chosen yarn. Secure the yarn with a knot at what will become the back of your wreath. Begin wrapping the yarn around the wreath base, passing the ball of yarn through the hole in the centre of the wreath as you wrap the yarn around the outside. Hide the loose yarn end under the yarn as you wrap, and make sure that you’re not leaving any gaps where the white wreath base shows through. Continue wrapping, gradually covering the whole of the wreath base, and switch to the second ball when needed.

Wrapping the wreath takes a while, so I highly recommend wrapping your wreath while watching a film or some episodes of your favourite TV show.

Once the whole wreath base has been covered with yarn, tie a knot securely at the back and carefully trim the loose end so it won’t be visible when the wreath is hung up.

wrapping the wreath base with yarn
 yarn-wrapped wreath base

2. Use the templates provided to cut out the leaf shapes from beige felt.

felt oak leaves

3. Trace the words on the template sheet onto pieces of white tissue paper (or tracing paper or baking paper) with a fine dark pen.

poetry ready to stitch

4. Position one of the words on its corresponding leaf and secure it with large tacking stitches.

lettering template attached to the felt leaf

5. Embroider the letters with dark red embroidery thread and backstitch, using half the strands of the thread (so for six-stranded thread just use three strands).

embroidered lettering

6. Remove the tacking stitches then carefully tear away the paper – you may need to use a pin to remove any remaining small pieces.

felt oak leaf with embroidered word

7. Use Gutermann Metallic Effect Thread to stitch veins on the leaf, freehand. Sew a line up the centre of the leaf, sewing between the lettering. Then add lines to each “point” of the leaf, as shown. You could use backstitch for this but I used running stitch, sewing a line and then sewing back along it filling in the gaps between the stitches.

Tip: this metallic thread is easy to sew with, but I’d recommend cutting a shorter length of thread than you’d usually work with to make sure it doesn’t tangle. If you're using stranded embroidery thread, just use a couple of strands for the embroidery.

using metallic thread to embroider the oak leaf
embroidered felt oak leaf

8. Repeat steps 4-7 to embroider all the leaves.

9. Position the leaves on the wreath and pin them in place.

adding the oak leaves to the autumn wreath

10. Use a glue gun to attach the leaves to the wreath. One by one remove the pins and add a small amount of glue to the back of each leaf, pressing it carefully in position on the wreath base.

IMPORTANT: take care when working with the glue gun as the glue gets very hot! Always place it on a heat-proof mat when not in use, and use newspaper or other scrap paper to protect your workspace. Work slowly, squeezing the gun with care to control the amount of glue you’re using and keeping your fingers out of the way of the hot glue.

Tip: you may find it helpful to test glue a couple of scrap pieces of felt before you start, so you can see how much glue you need to use to hold each piece in place.

felt oak leaves on an autumn wreath
felt oak leaves on an autumn wreath
felt oak leaves on an autumn wreath

Hang the finished wreath directly from a hook or a nail, or hang it using a leftover piece of the dark red yarn.


Enjoyed this free tutorial? Buy me a "coffee" and help support my blog!

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

P.S. Subscribe to my newsletter for a monthly free pattern and visit my crafty tutorial archive for lots more free projects.

This tutorial is for non commercial use only: you can use it to make as many wreaths as you want for yourself or as gifts, but please don't make any for sale. You may borrow a couple of photos if you want to blog about this project, but remember to credit me and link back to this page on my blog, and do not reproduce my entire tutorial / share my templates on your site. Thanks!

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Faux Leather Crafts: Mini Covered Notebook Tutorial

Make a mini notebook with a vegan leather cover to keep it protected in your bag or pocket!

vegan leather mini notebook tutorial

These little notebooks are simple to make, and you can easily remove and reuse the leather cover once the notebook is full.

This tutorial is the last in the series of synthetic leather crafting ideas I've been sharing this week. It originally appeared on the Village Haberdashery's blog and was created using synthetic leather and other craft supplies from their shop.

You will need:

- The notebook and notebook cover templates (follow the links to view and download the PDF template sheets).
- Some synthetic leather
- Coloured card
- Plain or scrap paper
- Sewing thread to match the card
- 90 cm yarn in a co-ordinating or contrasting colour (or embroidery thread or narrow ribbon)
- A standard sewing needle and a large, sharp sewing needle for the yarn
- Sewing scissors
- Scissors for cutting paper and card
- A ruler
- An air-erasable fabric marker pen or an ordinary felt tip pen

To make the notebook: 

Use the card cover template to cut a piece of blank card, then fold it in half. Then use the page template to cut eight pages from plain or scrap paper and fold these in half as well.

Use a large, sharp needle to poke three holes in the fold of the card, measuring their position with a ruler. Make one hole right in the centre of the fold then one above and one below it, each 3cm from the central hole. Then poke holes in the pieces of paper (two sheets at a time) in the same positions as on the cover.

vegan leather mini notebook tutorial: cut out the pages

Line up the pages and the card cover, and sew them together using a double thickness of sewing thread to match the card. I started in the central hole of the card cover, leaving a length of spare thread hanging loose then returned to the centre after stitching the pages and card together, knotting the two ends of thread together securely then trimming away the excess.

vegan leather mini notebook tutorial: assemble the notebook

Use the leather cover template to cut out a piece of the synthetic leather. Place the paper template on the back of the leather, trace around it with an air-erasable fabric marker pen or a felt tip then cut out the shape with sewing scissors.

Wrap the cover around the notebook until you’re happy with it, then unfold it and open the notebook to the first page. Use the holes in the card as a guide to pierce three matching holes through the leather.

Cut a 90 cm piece of yarn (or embroidery thread or narrow ribbon). Use the large needle to thread the yarn through the two outer holes as shown, threading it through the leather and the card of the notebook. Pull the yarn through the holes so there is an even length of yarn at each side.

vegan leather mini notebook tutorial: attach the notebook to the cover
vegan leather mini notebook tutorial: attach the notebook to the cover

Thread both ends through the central hole, pulling the yarn tight. Knot the yarn to secure the notebook and leather cover together.

vegan leather mini notebook tutorial: knot the yarn

Close the notebook and leather cover as shown, wrapping the yarn around it and tying a bow to secure it.

vegan leather mini notebook tutorial: the front of the notebook
vegan leather mini notebook tutorial: the back of the notebook


Enjoyed this free tutorial? Buy me a "coffee" and help support my blog!

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P.S. Subscribe to my newsletter for a monthly free pattern and visit my crafty tutorial archive for lots more free projects.

This tutorial is for non commercial use only: you can use it to make as many notebooks as you want for yourself or as gifts, but please don't make any for sale. You may borrow a couple of photos if you want to blog about this project, but remember to credit me and link back to this page on my blog, and do not reproduce my entire tutorial / share my templates on your site. Thanks!

Friday, 23 August 2019

Faux Leather Crafts: Geometric Necklace Tutorial

The third tutorial in my mini "crafting with vegan leather is awesome" series is... a geometric necklace!

geometric vegan leather necklace tutorial

Use a chain from an old necklace, or a length of ribbon, to make a bold geometric necklace. Use the templates provided or get creative and draw your own design! You could also make this necklace from felt instead of faux leather.

This tutorial originally appeared on the Village Haberdashery's blog and was created using synthetic leather and other craft supplies from their shop.

geometric vegan leather necklace tutorial

You will need:

- The necklace templates (follow the link to view and download the PDF template sheet)
- Some synthetic leather
- Matching felt and sewing thread
- A necklace chain or length of ribbon
- A sewing needle
- Sewing scissors
- An air-erasable fabric marker pen or an ordinary felt tip pen

To make the necklace:

Use the templates provided to cut out pieces A to F from the synthetic leather. Place the paper templates on the back of the leather, trace around them using an air-erasable fabric marker or a felt tip pen then cut out the shape using sewing scissors.

geometric vegan leather necklace tutorial: cut out the pieces

Sew the pieces together using whip stitch and matching sewing thread (I used blue thread throughout). Start with the smallest pieces, sewing piece A to piece B then piece B to piece C and so on, so you’re only stitching through two layers of the leather at a time.

geometric vegan leather necklace tutorial: sew the pieces together

Once you’ve sewn all the pieces together, use the leather shape as a template to cut out a matching piece of felt for the back of the necklace.

geometric vegan leather necklace tutorial: cut a felt backing piece

Place the felt and leather together then use sewing thread (in the same colour as before) to sew along the top edge, joining the layers together. Place the middle of your necklace chain (or ribbon) between the two layers, so it will be held in place when you sew around the rest of the necklace shape. Make sure there are even lengths of chain (or ribbon) sticking out from each side of the necklace.

geometric vegan leather necklace tutorial: add the chain

Blanket stitch around the rest of the necklace – making sure you don’t let the chain or ribbon slip out as you sew.


Enjoyed this free tutorial? Buy me a "coffee" and help support my blog!

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

P.S. Subscribe to my newsletter for a monthly free pattern and visit my crafty tutorial archive for lots more free projects.

This tutorial is for non commercial use only: you can use it to make as many necklaces as you want for yourself or as gifts, but please don't make any for sale. You may borrow a couple of photos if you want to blog about this project, but remember to credit me and link back to this page on my blog, and do not reproduce my entire tutorial / share my templates on your site. Thanks!