Thursday, 26 September 2013

How To: Make Mini Felt Shells

To celebrate the launch of my new book, Super-Cute Felt Animals, I'm sharing a collection of free tutorials that you can mix and match with the projects from the book.

This week's projects coordinate with the animals in the "Under the Sea" chapter... today you can learn how to make two different types of seashell.  You could stick to natural colours or sew a whole set of little shells in different bright colours, decorated with colourful embroidery threads.


To make the shells, you will need...

- the template sheet at the bottom of this post
- cream (or white) felt, approx. 2 x 4 ½ in (5 x 11 cm)
- pale brown felt, approx. 2 ½ x 3 ¼ in (6 x 8 cm)
- a small piece of pale pink felt
- cream (or white), pale brown and pale pink sewing thread
- cream (or white) and light brown embroidery floss (thread)
- stuffing & a pencil or other small stuffing tool
- needles, pins & embroidery scissors (great for cutting out small felt shapes!)


To make the flat shell:

1. Use the templates provided to cut out one of each piece from cream felt.

2. Place the front shell piece on the bottom shell piece, using the back piece as a guide so the front and back of your shell will line up later. Sew the front and bottom pieces together with whip stitch in matching cream sewing thread.

 

3. Cut a length of matching cream embroidery floss and separate half the strands (so for six stranded floss use three strands). Switch to a larger needle if necessary and use the floss to stitch seven lines on the front of the shell, as pictured. Start by sewing the central line and then sew three lines on each side. Sew up to the top of the shell with running stitch and then sew back down again filling in the gaps to create a continuous line of stitching.


4. Place the front and back of the shell together. Use matching cream sewing thread to whip stitch the sides together. Leave a gap at the top of the shell large enough for your finger, stuff the shell and then close up the gap with more whip stitches. Finish your stitching neatly at the back.

 

To make the spiral shell:

1. Use the templates provided to cut out the front and back shell pieces from pale brown felt, and the inside piece from pale pink felt.

2. Place the front shell piece on top of the pink inside piece. Use the back shell piece as a guide to make sure the front and back of your shell will line up neatly. Whip stitch the pieces together with matching pale brown sewing thread.

 

3. Cut a length of pale brown embroidery floss and separate half the strands. Switch to a larger needle if necessary and use the floss to backstitch four curved lines on the shell as pictured. If you don’t feel confident about sewing the curves freehand, draw them onto the felt lightly with a pencil and follow the pencil lines.

 

4. Place the front and back of the shell together, and use matching pale pink sewing thread to whip stitch along the pink felt edge.

 

5. Use matching pale brown sewing thread to whip stitch around the rest of the shell. Start by sewing down towards the point of the shell, and then sew around to the other side leaving a gap at the rounded end of the shell. Stuff the shell and then close up the gap with more whip stitches.


Click here to view the template sheet in another window/tab, and print it at 100%.


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


Super Cute-Felt Animals is published by CICO Books, RRP £12.99. It includes 35 fun felt projects, each with illustrated step-by-step instructions. It's available to buy at Amazon UK and Amazon USA and many other bookshops.

Please note: the Amazon links in this post are affiliate links.

2 comments:

Natalie Stewart said...

I really love your tutorials and the patterns are awesome, I'll be making some of these over the weekend, thank you! :) x

BugsandFishes said...

Thanks Natalie! I hope you had fun sewing some of the projects :)

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