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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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!