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A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath by Laura Howard

It’s time for the September wreath in our Year of Wreaths series with Laura Howard! Read on for her autumn-inspired wreath tutorial and pick up a kit here! Take it away, Laura!

Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath
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”.
You’ll find all the supplies you need to make the wreath in The Village Haberdashery shop – follow the links below for individual items or click here for the September wreath kit.

Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath

You will need:
*The template sheet (click here to download and print the PDF)
*A 30cm polystyrene ring wreath base
*Two balls of Rico Essentials Soft Merino Aran yarn, in Brick Red
*Beige wool blend felt
*Dark red stranded embroidery thread
*Gutermann Metallic Effect thread (I used shade 36)
*Some sewing thread (any colour will do)
*White tissue paper (or tracing paper, or baking paper)
*Sewing scissors
*Optional: embroidery scissors (these are great for cutting out felt shapes)
*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

To make the wreath:
1. Wrap the wreath base with Rico Essentials Soft Merino Aran yarn in Brick Red, or another dark red 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.
A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath by Laura Howard
A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath by Laura Howard
2. Use the templates provided to cut out the leaf shapes from beige felt.
A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath by Laura Howard
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.
A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath by Laura Howard
4. Position one of the words on its corresponding leaf and secure it with large tacking stitches.
A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath by Laura Howard
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).
A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath by Laura Howard
6. Remove the tacking stitches then carefully tear away the paper – you may need to use a pin to remove any remaining small pieces.
A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath by Laura Howard
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.
A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath by Laura Howard
A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath by Laura Howard
8. Repeat steps 4-7 to embroider all the leaves, as shown.
A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath by Laura Howard
9. Position the leaves on the wreath and pin them in place.
A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath by Laura Howard
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.
A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath by Laura Howard
A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath by Laura Howard
A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath by Laura Howard
Hang the finished wreath directly from a hook or a nail, or hang it using a leftover piece of the dark red yarn.

A Year of Wreaths: September Embroidered Oak Leaves Wreath by Laura Howard

Thanks Laura!

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A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

It’s time for the July wreath in our Year of Wreaths series with Laura Howard! Read on for her super fun ice cream wreath tutorial and pick up a kit here. Take it away, Laura!

August Felt Ice Cream Emoji Wreath Tutorial with Laura Howard

This month’s wreath design is inspired by delicious ice cream, the trend for Instagram-friendly “unicorn food”, and the way we all share our holiday snaps on social media. The wreath features a large, colourful felt ice cream topped with sequin and bead “sprinkles”, a pair of heart-eye emojis, an “OMG!” speech bubble, and lots of felt hearts.

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

If you don’t fancy making the whole wreath, the ice cream would look fab appliquéd to a cushion cover and the emojis and speech bubble would make cute brooches (as well as stitching “OMG!” you could also stitch “WOW!” or “YAY!” or other short words).

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

You’ll find all the supplies you need in The Village Haberdashery shop – follow the links below for individual items or click here for the August wreath kit.

You will need:

*The template sheets (click here to download and print the PDF)
*A 30cm polystyrene ring wreath base
*Half a metre of Kona Cotton Solid in Baby Pink
*Wool blend felt in the following colours: Banana Cream, Barn Red, Black, Fuchsia, White, Beige, Baby Blue, Cotton Candy, and Wisteria
*Sewing threads to match all the felt colours
*Black embroidery thread
*Embroidery thread to match the beige felt
*Assorted sequins, bugle beads and seed beads in co-ordinating colours
*Sewing scissors
*Embroidery scissors (great for cutting out small or detailed felt shapes)
*Sewing needle and pins
*A small piece of semi-transparent paper (tracing paper, white tissue paper or baking paper) and a fine black pen, OR an air-erasable fabric marker pen
*A glue gun and glue
*A heat-proof mat for the glue gun
*Newspaper to protect your workspace from any glue drips
*Optional: a piece of co-ordinating yarn or ribbon for hanging the wreath

To make the wreath:

Use the template provided to cut out 25 pieces from the Kona Cotton for wrapping the wreath base. You may need to cut a few more strips later to finish wrapping the wreath, but it’s better to cut fewer strips to start with than end up wasting fabric!
Add the fabric strips to the wreath base one by one, using a glue gun to secure the ends at the back of the wreath. Overlap the fabric strips so there are no gaps where the polystyrene base can show through. For each fabric strip, add a dab or two of hot glue to the back of the wreath then carefully press the fabric into position. If required use the template to cut more fabric strips, adding them until the whole base is covered in fabric.
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.

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

The wreath base will now look something like this:

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

Use the template provided to cut out the emoji pieces: four yellow circles, four red heart eyes, and two black smiles. Arrange the small pieces on two of the circles, as shown, sewing them in place with running stitch and matching sewing thread. Then sew each decorated circle to a backing plain circle, joining them with yellow sewing thread and whip stitch.

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

Use the template provided to cut out the heart pieces: six large bright pink hearts and eight small red hearts. Sew two layers of each shape together with whip stitch and matching sewing thread, making a total of three large pink hearts and four small red ones.

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

Use the template provided to cut out two speech bubbles from white felt. Trace the “OMG!” text onto a small piece of white tissue paper, tracing paper or baking paper with a fine black pen. Position the text in the centre of one of the speech bubble pieces and pin it in place, sew it with large tacking stitches (avoiding the text itself) then remove the pins.

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

OPTIONAL: if you have an air-erasable fabric marker pen you can skip the paper pattern if you want and just write “OMG!” directly onto one of the felt pieces.

Stitch the text with backstitch and black embroidery thread (using half the available strands – so, for six-stranded embroidery thread just use three strands). Then remove the tacking stitches and carefully tear away the paper.

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

Sew the decorated front of the speech bubble to the plain backing piece using whip stitch and white sewing thread.

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

Use the template provided to cut out the ice cream pieces: one blue top scoop, one purple middle scoop, one pink bottom scoop, and one each of the cone pieces from beige felt.
Pin all the pieces onto a large piece of pink felt as shown (any colour felt will do for this, but make sure to use the same colour again in step 9) then trim away the excess felt, leaving a rough border around the ice cream. The ice cream should be approximately 26 cm high.

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

Begin sewing the ice cream pieces to the backing felt, using matching sewing threads and sewing only along the inside edges of the shape (i.e. not where you’ll be trimming away the excess backing felt later). Whip stitch along the bottom edges of the top two ice cream scoops then sew the top edges of the cone with one stitch between each scallop.

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

Sew a crisscrossed design on the ice cream cone to create a waffle effect. Use backstitch and half strands of matching embroidery thread, sewing lines in one direction and then the other as shown. Sew the lines freehand (they don’t have to be perfectly straight!) or use an air-erasable fabric marker pen to draw guide lines for your stitching. 

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

Decorate the top scoop of the ice cream to look as if it’s been covered in sprinkles. Add seed beads, bugle beads, and sequins, or use lots of different colours of embroidery thread to create stitched sprinkles. I started with large sequins, then added bugle beads and smaller sequins, and then filled in the spaces with seed beads.

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

Carefully trim the excess backing felt from around the ice cream, taking care not to accidentally snip any of your stitching. Use the ice cream as a template to cut out a matching backing piece of felt (I used pink felt for this, as before). Pin the layers together then whip stitch around the edges. Sew each section with matching sewing thread, removing the pins as you sew.

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

 

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

Arrange the felt pieces on the wreath as pictured and use pins to hold them in position.

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

One by one, remove the pins and secure the felt pieces with a dab or two of hot glue. To attach the large pieces, add some glue to the wreath base then carefully press the shapes down into position.  To attach the smaller pieces, add a dab of glue directly to the back of the felt shape then very carefully press it in position on the wreath.

A Year of Wreaths: August Felt Ice Cream Wreath by Laura Howard

Your wreath is now finished! Add a length of yarn or co-ordinating ribbon for hanging the wreath, or hang it directly from a hook or nail.

Thanks Laura!

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A Year of Wreaths: July Felt Pinwheels Wreath by Laura Howard

It’s time for the July wreath in our Year of Wreaths series with Laura Howard! Read on for her super fun pinwheel tutorial and pick up a kit here. Take it away, Laura!

Felt Pinwheels Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard

This month’s wreath is inspired by days at the seaside and those colourful spinning pinwheels you buy as a kid to stick triumphantly on top of your sandcastles. The felt versions are super easy to make and would also make fab brooches or gift toppers. They don’t spin like the real thing, but I hope they’ll remind you of lots of happy days at the beach all the same!

A Year of Wreaths: July Felt Pinwheels Wreath by Laura Howard

You’ll find all the supplies you need in The Village Haberdashery shop – follow the links below for individual items or click here for the July wreath kit.

You will need:

The template sheets (click here and here to download and print the PDF)
A 30cm polystyrene ring wreath base
Half a metre of Kona Cotton Solid in Turquoise
Wool blend felt in the following colours: Fucshia, Hallows Eve, Banana Cream and Chartreuse
Three coordinating buttons – I used these fun pink and white polkadot buttons
Pink sewing thread
Four paper straws – I used the pink straws from this pack
Sewing scissors
Sewing needle and pins
Scissors and sticky tape
A glue gun and glue
A heat-proof mat for the glue gun
Newspaper to protect your workspace from any glue drips
Optional: a piece of twine or co-ordinating ribbon for hanging the wreath

To make the wreath:

  1. Use the template provided to cut out 25 pieces from the Kona cotton for wrapping the wreath base. You may need to cut a few more strips later to finish wrapping the wreath, but it’s better to cut fewer strips to start with than end up wasting fabric!
  2. Add the fabric strips to the wreath base one by one, using a glue gun to secure the ends at the back of the wreath. Overlap the fabric strips so there are no gaps where the polystyrene base can show through. For each fabric strip, add a dab or two of hot glue to the back of the wreath then carefully press the fabric into position. If required use the template to cut more fabric strips, adding them until the whole base is covered in fabric.

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.

A Year of Wreaths: July Felt Pinwheels Wreath by Laura Howard

The wreath base will now look something like this:

A Year of Wreaths: July Felt Pinwheels Wreath by Laura Howard

  1. Use the square templates provided to cut out three outer squares from pink felt and one inner square each from yellow, orange and green felt.

IMPORTANT: wait until step 4 to cut along the dotted lines on the templates!

A Year of Wreaths: July Felt Pinwheels Wreath by Laura Howard

  1. Cut along the dotted lines on the templates, then use the templates to cut the same lines on your felt squares.

A Year of Wreaths: July Felt Pinwheels Wreath by Laura Howard

  1. Place each small inner square on top of one of the larger outer squares, lining up the pieces neatly as shown.

A Year of Wreaths: July Felt Pinwheels Wreath by Laura Howard

  1. Carefully fold one of the points of the pinwheel inwards, so the point slightly overlaps the centre of the square. Sew the point in position with one or two small stitches of matching pink sewing thread.

A Year of Wreaths: July Felt Pinwheels Wreath by Laura Howard

Then repeat this process three more times, folding every other point into the centre and sewing it in place.

A Year of Wreaths: July Felt Pinwheels Wreath by Laura Howard

A Year of Wreaths: July Felt Pinwheels Wreath by Laura Howard

A Year of Wreaths: July Felt Pinwheels Wreath by Laura Howard

  1. Add a button to the centre of the pinwheel, stitching it securely with pink sewing thread.

A Year of Wreaths: July Felt Pinwheels Wreath by Laura Howard

Repeat steps 6 and 7 to construct the other two pinwheels. Make sure you fold the same points down on each pinwheel, so they match each other.

A Year of Wreaths: July Felt Pinwheels Wreath by Laura Howard

  1. Arrange the pinwheels and paper straws on the wreath, pinning the felt pieces in place. For the central straw to reach across the middle of the wreath you’ll need to extend it slightly – cut a section from another straw and attach it with clear sticky tape. Make sure the extended end is hidden under the felt pinwheel!

A Year of Wreaths: July Felt Pinwheels Wreath by Laura Howard

A Year of Wreaths: July Felt Pinwheels Wreath by Laura Howard

  1. Use a glue gun to very carefully stick the straws and felt shapes in position. Stick the straws first, adding a very small amount to the bottom end of each straw (so the glue won’t be visible) and a larger amount at the top (where the glue will be hidden under the felt). Then glue the pinwheels in place on top.
  2. If needed, cut a length of twine or co-ordinating ribbon and knot it securely around the top of the wreath. Use this to hang the wreath in your chosen spot, or just hang the wreath directly onto a hook or nail.

Felt Pinwheels Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard

Thanks Laura!

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One paper pad, eight easy papercraft projects to try!

We have these totally lovely paper pads available in so many themes and motifs, but what should we make with them? The possibilities are endless but the super talented Laura Howard is here today to show us eight fun and easy papercraft projects you can make at home with just one pad! Take it away Laura!

Craft paper pads

Today I’m sharing some fun and easy ideas for crafting with paper and card.

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

This post was inspired by a range of gorgeous paper pads available from the Village Haberdashery’s shop. Each pad includes 30 sheets of co-ordinating paper and card (15 sheets of each), which all have a grid of squares on the back so you can easily cut straight edges.

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

I chose to work with the marbled paper pad – aren’t these patterns lovely?

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

As you can see, as well as the detailed marbled designs there are also some plain sheets in soft, ombré colours. You could use the papers for all kinds of fabulous crafty projects, but I’ve put together a few simple ideas to get you started!

1. Greetings Cards

I love sending handmade cards to my friends. Everyone loves a bit of proper post, and there’s nothing quite like a handmade card. Use simple shapes and geometric designs, layering patterns to create some stylish cards. Click here for some Greetings Cards Templates to recreate my designs, or draw your own.

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

Cut and fold a sheet of card to size (remember if you’re using the card from the pad there will be a grid of squares on the inside) or decorate some ready-made blank cards.

Use the card as a template to cut out a section from one of the ombré pieces. The subtle colour variations make a great backdrop for adding some bold shapes. Stick the paper to the front of the card with a glue stick, lining up the edges neatly.

Then cut out your chosen shapes and stick them in position. You can use layers of the plain paper to create frames for the shapes (like the heart) or just layer the patterned papers on top of each other.

If you want, you can use a fine pen to draw around the shapes to make them really stand out – but make sure you have a steady hand! (Can you spot where mine slipped?)

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

2. Envelopes & Notecards

As an alternative to making handmade cards why not make some handmade envelopes? These are lovely to send but they also make a great gift: make a set of five or six envelopes with co-ordinating notecards, add some plain address labels and tie them up in a bundle with a bit of baker’s twine ready for gifting.

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

Find an envelope you like the shape of or search online for some printable envelope templates. If you’re going to be making lots of envelopes, I’d recommend gluing the shape to a piece of card (part of a cereal box would be perfect) to make a sturdy template.

Trace the envelope shape onto the back of one of the patterned paper pieces. Cut it out and use a ruler and one blade of a pair of scissors to carefully score along the fold lines. Fold the paper into an envelope shape and use a glue stick to secure the edges. You can use more glue to close the envelopes later when they’re ready to send, or add a couple of strips of narrow double-sided sticky tape to the edges of the flaps.

To make the co-ordinating notecards, just cut rectangular pieces of card slightly smaller than the envelopes so they’ll tuck neatly inside.
Eight easy papercraft projects to try

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

3. Gift Wrapping

Pretty craft papers also make lovely wrapping paper! Use them to wrap small, special gifts or cut shapes from leftover scraps to create patterns on plain parcels.

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

I used the lid of a glue stick as a template to cut lots of identically sized paper circles, which I glued in a row across the parcel. You could cut different sized circles, glue them in rows or dot them at random, or explore different shapes like stripes and triangles. Get creative and turn a plain package into something fabulous!

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

4. Gift Tags

Another great way to make use of scraps of pretty paper and card is by making gift tags. Cut out lots of different shapes, layer colours and patterns, and see what you come up with!

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

Cut out a rectangle from one of the card sheets, punching a hole near the top and adding some string, twine or yarn to create the tag (or just decorate some plain ready-made tags!).

I added bands of plain and patterned paper, cutting them slightly wider than the tag and trimming them neatly to size once I’d glued them in position. I then added some card and paper circles in contrasting patterns to complete the designs, punched the holes and added some string.

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

5. Paper Chains

When was the last time you made paper chains? They are such fun to put together and make wonderfully colourful party décor.

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

Cut several sheets of the decorative paper into strips about 3cm wide (each sheet of paper makes 10 strips). Bend one strip so the two ends meet, securing them with a piece of clear sticky tape. Add a second strip interlinking with the first, and continue to build the chain mixing patterns as you go.

You can use one strip of paper per chain link, or make a chain like the one pictured with two strips placed together so the inside and outside of each loop is patterned.   

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

6. Bunting & Garlands

Bunting is a summer party classic! It’s so easy to whip up a length of bunting or a modern garland to decorate your space… then when the party is over it can be disassembled and the pieces returned to your crafty stash.

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

Use the Bunting & Garland Templates to cut out lots of bunting flags or circles from paper or card. Use a large, sharp sewing needle to poke two holes in each piece (at the top two points of the triangles or at opposite sides of the circles).

Use the needle to thread the flags or circles onto a long piece of sewing thread, yarn or thin twine. Double up the circles (as they tend to spin when hung up) and double the bunting flags if the back of the bunting will be visible when you hang it.


Eight easy papercraft projects to try

7. Party Food Toppers

Let your guests know what’s in your party treats with these colourful toppers. This is such a simple idea but a practical and pretty one.
Eight easy papercraft projects to try

Using the Food Topper Templates, cut circles from one of the less busily patterned card sheets to create labels for sandwiches, cupcakes and other party foods.

Add the important info in pen, and attach a cocktail stick to the back of each circle with a piece of sticky tape. You could also cut extra paper circles to scatter on the table-top for extra Instagram-ability!

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

8. Gift Boxes

If you’re giving a small gift, make it extra special by making a gift box. These boxes would also be perfect for wedding or party favours. Scrunch up some pretty tissue paper inside the box then add your gift.

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

Use the diagrams provided as a guide to drawing the box templates (one for the box itself, and one for the lid). If you’re just making one box, you can draw the template directly onto the back of the decorative card. If you’re planning on making lots of boxes you’ll save time by making some re-usable templates you can quickly draw around.

Draw and cut out one box and one box lid. I’ve designed the templates so both shapes will fit onto one sheet of card, but you can mix and match the patterns as you like.

Use a ruler and one blade of a pair of scissors to carefully score along the fold lines. Crease all the folds then use a glue stick to add glue to the four flaps (on the patterned/colourful side of the card) and carefully assemble the box and its lid.  

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

Thanks so much for these great ideas Laura! 

Eight easy papercraft projects to try

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A Year of Wreaths: June Felt Butterflies Wreath by Laura Howard

It’s time for the June wreath in our Year of Wreaths series with Laura Howard! Read on for her beautiful butterflies tutorial and pick up a kit here. Take it away, Laura!

Felt Butterflies Wreath

This month’s wreath is an ode to two of summer’s great joys – clear blue skies, and beautiful butterflies!

The wreath is wrapped in some gorgeous sky blue yarn and decorated with butterflies made from wool blend felt. For an extra special wreath, you could use embroidery thread to decorate the butterflies’ wings or add sequins for a bit of sparkle. You can also use the butterfly template sheet for other crafty projects: cushions, greetings cards, hair clips, etc.

A Year of Wreaths: June – Felt Butterflies Wreath by Laura Howard

All the supplies you’ll need to make the wreath are available from the Village Haberdashery shop – follow the links below for individual items or click here for the June wreath kit.

You will need:
*The template sheet provided (Click here to download the PDF templates)
*A 30cm polystyrene ring wreath base
*Wool blend felt in Hallows Eve, Fuchsia, Wisteria, Cotton Candy and Banana Cream.
*Matching sewing threads: orange, bright pink, purple, pink, and yellow.
*One skein of Manos del Uruguay Maxima – Status.
*Sewing scissors (embroidery scissors are great for cutting out small shapes!)
*Sewing needles and pins
*Glue gun and glue
*A heat-proof mat for the glue gun
*Newspaper to protect your workspace from any glue drips
*Optional: co-ordinating ribbon

1. Decorate the wreath base with the Manos del Uruguay Maxima – Status. 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. 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.

A Year of Wreaths: June – Felt Butterflies Wreath by Laura Howard

A Year of Wreaths: June – Felt Butterflies Wreath by Laura Howard

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.

2. Use the templates provided to cut out the butterfly pieces. Each butterfly is made up of a top wing piece (marked A), a bottom wing piece (marked B) and a body piece (marked C). For each butterfly, cut two of each wing piece (flipping the templates over when cutting the second pieces) and two body pieces.

Butterfly 1 = yellow and bright pink. Butterfly 2 = pink. Butterfly 3 = purple and yellow. Butterfly 4 = bright pink. Butterfly 5 = orange. Butterfly 6 = purple, orange and pink.

A Year of Wreaths: June – Felt Butterflies Wreath by Laura Howard

3. Sew the butterfly pieces together, using sewing thread to match the felt. Use whip stitch to join the two body pieces – hide the knot between the two layers and finish your stitching neatly at the back.

Then arrange the wing pieces so they overlap slightly, with the top (A) pieces overlapping the bottom (B) pieces. Join the pieces together with a line of small stitches where they overlap. On the smallest butterflies you’ll just need a couple of stitches to join the pieces together.

A Year of Wreaths: June – Felt Butterflies Wreath by Laura Howard

A Year of Wreaths: June – Felt Butterflies Wreath by Laura Howard

4. Arrange the butterfly pieces on the wreath, using the photos as a guide. Leave a small gap between the wings for the body pieces. When you’re happy with the arrangement, use pins to hold the wing pieces in position and set the body pieces aside.

Tip: you may find it helpful to line up the body pieces in the order they’ll be needed on the wreath so you can make sure to match the correct body to each butterfly.

A Year of Wreaths: June – Felt Butterflies Wreath by Laura Howard

5. Glue the wing pieces to the wreath. One by one, remove a wing and turn it over. Add a dab of glue in the middle of the wing then carefully place the shape back in position and press it onto the wreath.

A Year of Wreaths: June – Felt Butterflies Wreath by Laura Howard

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.

6. Add the remaining butterfly pieces. One by one pick up a body piece, add a small dab of glue in the correct spot, and then very carefully press the felt piece in place on top.

A Year of Wreaths: June – Felt Butterflies Wreath by Laura Howard

7. Your wreath is now finished! Add a length of yarn or co-ordinating ribbon for hanging the wreath, or hang it directly from a hook or nail.

A Year of Wreaths: June – Felt Butterflies Wreath by Laura Howard

Thanks for another great tutorial Laura!

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A Year of Wreaths: May Felt Foxgloves Wreath By Laura Howard

It’s time for the May wreath in our Year of Wreaths series with Laura Howard! Read on for her beautiful Felt Foxglove Wreath tutorial and pick up a kit here. Take it away, Laura!

Felt Foxgloves Wreath by Laura Howard

When I think of May, I always think of flowers and especially of foxgloves. They are such beautiful, striking flowers and it was a lot of fun making a felt version for this month’s tutorial.

The felt foxgloves will take you a bit of time to make, but they don’t need any advanced sewing skills just some patience. I hope you’ll agree that the end result is worth it!

A Year of Wreaths: May – Felt Foxgloves Wreath By Laura Howard

All the supplies you’ll need to make the felt foxgloves wreath are available from the Village Haberdashery shop – follow the links below for individual items or click here for the May wreath kit.

You will need:

*The template sheet provided (click here to download and print the PDF)
*A 30cm polystyrene ring wreath base
*Wool blend felt in Fuchsia, Cotton Candy and Pea Soup
*Sewing thread to match the felt (bright pink, light pink and green)
*Two paper covered floral wires
*Sewing scissors
*Embroidery scissors
*Sewing needle and pins
*A black permanent marker pen
*A glue gun and glue
*A heat-proof mat for the glue gun
*Newspaper to protect your workspace from any glue drips
*A small amount of toy stuffing
*An orange stick or other narrow tool for adding the stuffing

To make the wreath

1. Use the template provided to cut the felt strips for wrapping the wreath: cut eight strips from each felt colour.

2. Lay the strips on top of the wreath in colour order (bright pink, light pink, green), 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.

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

A Year of Wreaths: May – Felt Foxgloves Wreath By Laura Howard

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:

A Year of Wreaths: May – Felt Foxgloves Wreath By Laura Howard

4. Use the templates provided to cut out the foxglove pieces. Cut six buds, nine large flowers and three small flowers from bright pink felt. Cut six buds and nine small flowers from light pink felt. Then cut 27 caps from green felt.

Tip: embroidery scissors are perfect for cutting out small felt shapes!

5. Add a random pattern of dots to all the flower pieces (the large and small pink pieces, but not the pink buds) using a black permanent marker pen. Test out the pen on a piece of scrap felt before you start decorating the flowers. The ink may soak through the felt, so place a piece of paper under the flowers as you work to protect your table.

A Year of Wreaths: May – Felt Foxgloves Wreath By Laura Howard

6. Now it’s time to start sewing the flowers. Each small and large flower is sewn the same way, using matching sewing threads. Begin by folding the flower so that the dots are on the outside, as shown. Sew along the straight edge with whip stitch in matching pink sewing thread. Start at the top and work down, leaving large gaps between the stitches.

A Year of Wreaths: May – Felt Foxgloves Wreath By Laura Howard

Then sew back up again, sewing between the gaps and finishing your stitching at the top. Take care not to sew your stitches too tightly!

A Year of Wreaths: May – Felt Foxgloves Wreath By Laura Howard

Then carefully turn the flower the right side out, flattening the seam to make a trumpet-like flower shape.

A Year of Wreaths: May – Felt Foxgloves Wreath By Laura Howard

7. Thread your needle with green sewing thread, and pass it up through the centre of one of the green cap pieces. Place the cap over the hole at the top end of the flower (so the knot is underneath the cap).

A Year of Wreaths: May – Felt Foxgloves Wreath By Laura Howard

Sew down through the centre of the cap, then up through the flower and cap as shown below.

A Year of Wreaths: May – Felt Foxgloves Wreath By Laura Howard

Make a small stitch holding the “leaf” of the cap in place, then pass the needle back up through the centre of the cap.

A Year of Wreaths: May – Felt Foxgloves Wreath By Laura Howard

Repeat this process for the other three “leaves” of the cap, sewing it in place around the end of the flower. You will need to pinch the end of the flower slightly (especially with the small flowers) to get the cap to fit neatly around it. Finish your stitching neatly at the top of the cap.

A Year of Wreaths: May – Felt Foxgloves Wreath By Laura Howard

A Year of Wreaths: May – Felt Foxgloves Wreath By Laura Howard

8. To sew the buds, use whip stitch and matching sewing thread to join two bud pieces together. Begin sewing from the top, stuffing the shape with small pieces of toy stuffing as you sew up the second side.

Tip: Adding the toy stuffing can be a bit fiddly as the buds are quite small. Use something narrow like an orange stick (the ones used for manicures) to poke the stuffing into the bud.

Once you’ve sewn and stuffed each bud, add a cap piece to the top following the same method as in step 7.

A Year of Wreaths: May – Felt Foxgloves Wreath By Laura Howard

9. When all the flowers and buds are finished, use the stalk templates to cut two stalk pieces from green felt: one long and one short.

Fold the long stalk piece in half and join the edges with whip stitch and matching green sewing thread, leaving one end unstitched as shown. Bend one of the floral wires, folding it in half. Insert the wire into the stalk and sew up the bottom edge with more whip stitches.

Repeat this process to make the short stalk, this time folding the wire in thirds.

A Year of Wreaths: May – Felt Foxgloves Wreath By Laura Howard

10. Time to attach the flowers and buds to the stalks! This can be a bit fiddly, so take your time and do your best to keep the front of the foxgloves free from glue. Before you glue each piece, position it and look at the points of contact – i.e. where the piece you’re adding will touch what you’re gluing it to. Then remove the piece and add glue to those points, either on the piece you’re adding or where you’re attaching it (whichever is easiest at the time!).

Start by arranging the central flowers along the stalk, as pictured. For the large foxglove add three large flowers then a small flower on top. For the small foxglove, add three small flowers. Glue the flowers in position one by one, working upwards.

A Year of Wreaths: May – Felt Foxgloves Wreath By Laura Howard

Then add the other two flowers in each row.

A Year of Wreaths: May – Felt Foxgloves Wreath By Laura Howard

A Year of Wreaths: May – Felt Foxgloves Wreath By Laura Howard

Finally, add the three buds to the top of the foxglove.

A Year of Wreaths: May – Felt Foxgloves Wreath By Laura Howard

The finished foxgloves should look something like this:

A Year of Wreaths: May – Felt Foxgloves Wreath By Laura Howard

A Year of Wreaths: May – Felt Foxgloves Wreath By Laura Howard

11. Once the foxgloves have fully dried, position them on the wreath. When you’re happy with their placement, use the glue gun to attach them – adding a dab of glue at the top and bottom of the stalk where it will touch the wreath.

A Year of Wreaths: May – Felt Foxgloves Wreath By Laura Howard

 

Thanks for another great tutorial Laura!

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A Year of Wreaths: February Valentine’s Heart Wreath by Laura Howard

It’s time for the February wreath in our Year of Wreaths series with Laura Howard! Read on for her Valentine’s Heart Wreath tutorial and pick up a kit here. Take it away, Laura!

Valentine's Heart Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard

My monthly wreath project continues with a heart-themed wreath to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and to spread a little love and happiness!

This month’s wreath features embroidered felt hearts, pretty ricrac and some gorgeous purple yarn. All the supplies you’ll need are available from the Village Haberdashery shop – follow the links below for individual items or click here for the February wreath kit.

You will need:
*The template sheet provided (click here to download and print the PDF)
*A 30cm polystyrene ring wreath base
*Wool blend felt in Red, Wisteria, Cotton Candy and Fuchsia
*2 balls of Rico Essentials Soft Merino Aran in Berry
*80cm purple ric rac
*1 skein of white embroidery thread
*Red sewing thread
*Sewing scissors
*Embroidery scissors
*Pinking shears
*Sewing needles and pins
*A large, sharp needle
*A glue gun and glue
*A heat-proof mat for the glue gun
*Newspaper to protect your workspace from any glue drips
*Optional: an air-erasable fabric marker

To make the wreath:

1. Decorate the wreath base with Rico Essentials Soft Merino Aran in Berry.

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 a second ball as 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.

Valentine's Heart Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard
2. Use the templates provided to cut out the following felt pieces: 2 x Heart A in red, 1 x Heart A in wisteria, 1 x Heart B in red, and 2 x Heart B in wisteria.

Tip: embroidery scissors are perfect for cutting out small felt shapes!

3. Place one of the smaller hearts in the centre of a contrasting larger heart. Cut a length of white embroidery thread and separate half the strands (so, just use 3 of the 6 strands). Hold the heart in position or secure it with a few tacking stitches of sewing thread.

Use the embroidery thread to backstitch around the inside of the smaller heart, sewing through both layers of felt. Then use more half strands of thread to sew a pattern of single stitches around the edge of the heart, varying the size of your stitches to fill the available space.

Tip: smaller backstitches will help you sew a smoother curve. If you’re having difficulty sewing neatly freehand, use an air-erasable fabric marker to draw your stitching line(s).

Valentine's Heart Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard
Remove any tacking threads (if you’ve used them) then repeat this step to decorate the other two pairs of hearts.

Valentine's Heart Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard
4. Use the templates provided to cut out one each of the following pieces: Heart A in red, Heart B in wisteria, Heart C in fuchsia, Heart D in cotton candy and Heart E in red. Arrange the heart shapes as shown.

Valentine's Heart Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard
5. Hold all the layers together, or secure them with a few small tacking stitches of sewing thread in the centre. Use half strands of white embroidery thread to backstitch around the inside of the central heart, sewing through all the layers of felt. Remove the tacking stitches if you’ve used them.

Valentine's Heart Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard
6. Decorate the rest of the layers with more white embroidery thread – alternating between backstitch and single radiating stitches, as shown.

Valentine's Heart Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard

Valentine's Heart Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard
7. Use the Heart E template to cut a backing piece of red felt for the embroidered heart. Cut a 50cm length of the yarn you used to wrap the wreath. Thread a large, sharp needle with one end of yarn and tie a large knot in the other end. Then sew up the centre of the felt heart, as shown.

Valentine's Heart Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard
8. Place the decorated large heart and the plain backing heart together, so the knot of the yarn is hidden between the layers. Hold or pin them together and join the edges with red sewing thread. I used blanket stitch for this because it creates a lovely neat edge, but you could use whip stitch if you prefer. Make sure the yarn end sticks straight up from the top of the heart as you sew around it, and finish your stitching neatly at the back.

Valentine's Heart Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard

Valentine's Heart Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard
9. Use the Felt Strip template to cut out 4 pieces of cotton candy felt. Also use the template as a guide to cut 4 pieces of purple ricrac and 4 wider pieces of fuchsia felt. Layer the pieces, as shown.

Valentine's Heart Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard
10. Use half strands of white embroidery thread to backstitch a straight line down the centre, sewing through all the layers. Repeat for all the ricrac and felt pieces, creating four decorated strips.

Valentine's Heart Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard
11. Trim the fuchsia felt with pinking shears to create a decorative zigzag edging. If you don’t have any pinking shears, just trim the felt with ordinary sewing scissors to create a narrow border.

Valentine's Heart Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard
12. Hang the large embroidered heart from the top of the wreath. Adjust the height of the heart until you’re happy with it and wait for the yarn to stop spinning so you can make sure the heart will hang straight. Once you’re happy with the position of the heart, knot the yarn securely and trim the excess yarn.

Valentine's Heart Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard
13. Position the felt pieces around the top of the wreath, as shown, pinning each shape in place. This is also a good time to add a length of yarn for hanging the wreath, if needed (i.e. if you’re not planning to hang the wreath directly on a hook or nail).

Valentine's Heart Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard

14. Turn the wreath over and use a glue gun to secure the ends of the decorated strips to the back of the wreath. Work on one strip of felt at a time, removing one pin and folding the end of the strip back slightly. Carefully add a dab or two of hot glue to the wreath base then very carefully press the felt down into position. Then remove the pin from the other end of the strip and glue that in place. Repeat until you’ve removed all the pins and all four strips have been glued in 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.

Valentine's Heart Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard

Valentine's Heart Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard
15. Once the glue has dried, turn the wreath over and begin gluing the four hearts in place. One by one, remove a pin and turn the heart over. Add two or three dabs of glue to the back of the heart then carefully press it back in position on the wreath.

Valentine's Heart Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard

Valentine's Heart Wreath Tutorial by Laura Howard

To see all of the tutorials in our A Year of Wreaths series, click here.

Valentine's Heart Wreath tutorial by Laura Howard

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A Year of Wreaths: January Rainbow Wreath by Laura Howard

We’re practically giddy about our new blog series with Laura Howard: A Year of Wreaths! I dreamed up the idea while sadly putting away our Christmas wreath and wishing I had something new to put up – but it’s not super common to put up a wreath in January. And why not? Wreaths are the best! And Laura’s ideas are so much fun. This happy wreath now hangs proudly on our shop door.

Read on for her January tutorial and if you’d like to take a class with Laura at our West Hampstead shop, you can sign up for her Felt Weather Mobile class on 28 January! Take it away, Laura!

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes

Every month this year I’ll be sharing a tutorial for making a seasonal wreath. First up: a bright and cheerful rainbow wreath to banish the January blues!

These happy colours are perfect for brightening up dull winter days and I’ve added a bit of sparkle too. All the supplies you’ll need are available from The Village Haberdashery – follow the links below for individual items or click here for the January wreath kit.

You will need:
The template sheet provided (click here to download and print the PDF)
*A 30cm polystyrene ring wreath base
*Wool blend felt in seven rainbow colours: Red, Hallows Eve, Banana Cream, Chartreuse, Blue Bayou, Wisteria and Cotton Candy
*Black and White wool blend felt
*Gutermann Metallic Effect Thread #41
*Sewing scissors
*Embroidery scissors
*Sewing needles and pins
*Glue gun and glue
*A heat-proof mat for the glue gun
*Newspaper to protect your workspace from any glue drips
*Optional: a piece of string or co-ordinating ribbon for hanging the wreath

To make the wreath:
1. Use the templates provided to cut out 7 small felt circles (one of each rainbow colour), 7 large black felt circles and 7 white felt letters spelling out the word “welcome”.

Tip: embroidery scissors are perfect for cutting out small felt shapes!

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes

2. One by one, sew each small circle to a backing large circle. Use Gutermann Metallic Effect thread and whip stitch, keeping your stitches as even as possible.

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.

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
3. Add one letter to each circle in colour order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink. Use more of the metallic thread to sew each letter in place, sewing around the inside of the letters with backstitch as shown.

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes

4. Use the templates provided to cut the felt strips for wrapping the wreath. Cut 4 standard strips and 1 wide strip from red felt. Then cut 5 standard strips from each of the other 6 rainbow colours.

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
5. Beginning with the wide red strip, position the felt pieces on top of the wreath base as shown. Add the pieces in colour order (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink), overlapping them slightly so that none of the polystyrene ring base will show through at the edges of the wreath.

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
6. When you’ve added all the pieces and are happy with the arrangement, insert pins to hold the felt in position.

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
7. Turn the wreath over. One by one, wrap the felt pieces around the wreath and pin the ends in place.

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
The back of your wreath will now look something like this:

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
8. 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.

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
9. 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:

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
10. Arrange the felt circles on the wreath as shown, spelling out the word “welcome”. The edges of the circles should touch but not overlap each other. When you’re happy with the layout, pin the circles in place.

Tip: position the circles so they help hide the join where you started and finished wrapping the wreath.

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
11. Use the glue gun to attach the circles to the wreath. One by one, remove a pin and set aside a circle. Add two or three dabs of glue on the wreath then carefully press the circle back in place. Make sure to keep the letters neatly aligned as you glue them in place!

Rainbow Felt Wreath Tutorial by Laura "Lupin" Howard of Bugs & Fishes
12. If needed, cut a length of string or co-ordinating ribbon and knot it securely around the top of the wreath. Use this to hang the wreath in your chosen spot.

january-felt-rainbow-wreath-tutorial-18

 

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Tutorial! Felt Christmas Baubles by Laura Howard

We’re thrilled that Laura Howard is back with a tutorial for her lovely vintage-style felt Christmas baubles! Read on for the tutorial and if you’d like to take one of Laura’s classes you can find them here.

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

Sew a set of felt ornaments for your Christmas tree or to give as gifts this season! These decorations were inspired by pretty vintage glass baubles and are so much fun to sew.

Make them in classic red and greens, retro pink, turquoise and lilac, or any colour combo that takes your fancy. Mix and match the colours across the set, and decorate them with co-ordinating embroidery thread, ribbons and trims, plus sequins and beads to add some festive sparkle. You could also use things like mini buttons and mini pompoms, or even strips of festive fabric cut with pinking shears.

You will need:

The template sheet provided (click here to download and print the PDF)

*Three co-ordinating shades of wool felt for the baubles
*Light grey felt for the bauble caps
*Sewing thread to match all the felt colours
*Embroidery thread in co-ordinating colours
*Narrow ribbon for hanging the baubles (approx. 7 inches per bauble)
*Assorted co-ordinating ribbons, ric-rac, sequins and seed beads for decorating the baubles
*Sewing scissors
*Embroidery scissors (these are great for cutting out small shapes!)
*Sewing needles and pins
*Optional: air erasable fabric marker, a ruler, toy stuffing, and pinking shears

To make each bauble:

  1. Use the templates provided to cut two matching bauble pieces from your chosen shade of felt, and two cap pieces from light grey felt. Pin or hold the paper templates onto the felt as you cut around them.

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

  1. Use pinking shears to cut a contrasting strip of felt to sit in the middle of the bauble. You can cut this by eye, or use a ruler and an air erasable fabric marker to draw guide lines to cut along. You can make this felt strip as wide or narrow as you like, but it must be long enough to overhang each side of the bauble as shown.

Don’t have a pair of pinking shears? Just cut a straight edge with your sewing scissors instead.

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

  1. Pin the felt strip to one of the bauble pieces and trim it to size. Using running stitch and matching sewing thread sew along the top and bottom edge, then remove the pin.

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

Now comes the fun part: decorating the bauble! You can use the photos in this post as inspiration, or get creative and come up with your own bauble designs. The basic design principle to follow is to add the embellishments in rows, keeping things as symmetrical as possible.

  1. Start by adding ribbon and/or ric-rac. To add each piece, cut a length slightly wider than the bauble (so it overhangs the edges by 1-2 cm at each side). Pin or hold the ribbon/ric-rac in place and sew along it with matching sewing thread. You can use running stitch, or sew tiny whip stitches along the edges. Fold the ends of the ribbon / ric-rac over and secure it at the back of the bauble shape with a few whip stitches, sewing into the felt but not through it.

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

You could add one piece of ribbon or add several pieces (as shown above). Create contrast and detail by sewing a narrow ribbon on top of a wider one, or by sewing a piece of ric-rac onto a second strip of contrasting felt (add this felt strip using the same method as in steps 2 and 3, but without the pinked edges).

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

  1. Next, add some embroidery. Use co-ordinating embroidery thread, separate half the strands (so for six-stranded embroidery thread, just use three strands at a time) and switch to a larger sewing needle if necessary.

If you’re an embroidery whizz you can add any stitches you fancy. I decorated my baubles with lines of running stitch and simple patterns of Xs and Vs, each sewn from pairs of stitches.

To help keep your designs symmetrical, sew outwards from the centre of each row then fill in the second half with the same number of stitches.

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard
Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

Tip: If you have trouble keeping your stitched lines straight, use an air-erasable marker and a ruler to mark guide lines to sew along.

  1. To finish the decoration, add a selection of sequins and small beads. Use matching sewing thread to sew each embellishment in place – I used thread to match the felt / ribbon I was sewing onto, but you could match your thread to the embellishments themselves if you prefer.

Sew each seed bead with a double thickness of thread, using one stitch per bead. Secure each sequin with two or three stitches, depending on the size and shape of your chosen sequins. I used two stitches for the round sequins, and three for the stars.

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

  1. Turn over the undecorated bauble piece. Position the two cap pieces on the top of the bauble pieces (which will become the front and back of the bauble) and sew them in place with two stitches each: one between each scallop.

You’ll see that the cap pieces are larger than the cap shape on the top of the bauble – this is so that when you sew the grey felt caps together the bright felt of the bauble tops will be completely hidden inside the grey caps.

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

  1. Turn the back bauble piece over again, and add a ribbon loop to the top. Cut a length of narrow ribbon about 7 inches long, fold it in half to form a loop and sew the ends in place with whip stitch and matching sewing thread. Take care to sew into the felt, not through it.

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

  1. Place the two layers of the bauble together and begin joining the edges. Start with the cap, sewing around it with whip stitch and matching grey sewing thread.

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

If you want to stuff the baubles, add a very small piece of toy stuffing to the cap.

Then start sewing around the edge of the bauble, using whip stitch and matching sewing thread. If you’re leaving the bauble unstuffed, sew all the way round the bauble and finish your stitching neatly at the back.

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

If you’re adding stuffing, sew most of the way round then stuff the bauble evenly with small pieces of toy stuffing and sew up the gap.

Tip: When sewing the long bauble, I’d recommend stuffing it gradually as you sew up the second side.

 

Vintage-style felt Christmas Baubles tutorial by Laura Howard

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Laura’s Autumn Felt Wreath Tutorial

The super talented Laura Howard designed this beautiful autumn wreath for a class for our West Hampstead shop and now she is sharing a tutorial for all of you to make at home! If you’d like to take one of Laura’s classes you can find them here.

We love this wreath so much, but if you don’t fancy making the whole wreath the templates can be used to make a toadstool brooch or you can add ribbon loops to turn the toadstools into Christmas ornaments!

Laura Howard's Autumn Felt Wreath

You will need:

*The template sheet (opens as a pdf in a new page to print)
*A 30cm polystyrene ring wreath base
*Chunky yarn in an autumnal shade
*Red, white and dark brown wool or wool-blend felt
*Matching red, white and dark brown sewing thread
*Assorted autumnal shades of felt for the leaves. Laura used Pumpkin Spice, Butternut Squash, Old Gold, Barn Red and Copper Kettle
*Red, orange and light brown embroidery thread
*Toy stuffing
*Sewing scissors
*Embroidery scissors (these are great for cutting out felt shapes!)
*Sewing needles and pins
*Glue gun and glue
*Heat-proof mat for the glue gun
*Newspaper to protect your workspace from any glue drips
*Optional: air-erasable fabric marker pen, a pencil

To make the toadstools:

1. Use the templates provided to cut out the toadstool pieces (as marked on the template sheet). Pin each paper template onto the correct felt colour, cut around it carefully with embroidery scissors then remove the pin. Don’t throw away any scraps of white felt as you’ll need them to decorate the toadstools. Both sizes of toadstool (large and small) are constructed in the same way.

2. Place the two white toadstool pieces together. Starting near the top of the cap, begin sewing the edges together with whip stitch and white sewing thread. Sew down the stalk then up the other side, stuffing it gradually with small pieces of toy stuffing. Continue sewing up around the cap, leaving a small gap at the top. Stuff the cap with more toy stuffing then sew up the gap with more whip stitches.

Tip: use the closed blades of your embroidery scissors or the point of a pencil to gently poke the stuffing into all the corners of the toadstool so it’s evenly stuffed.

Laura Howard's Autumn Felt Wreath Tutorial
3. Use embroidery scissors to cut out an assortment of small circles from the white felt scraps. You could cut these freehand (they don’t need to be perfect circles!) or use an air-erasable marker pen to draw circles on the felt and cut them out. Arrange the circles on one of the red cap pieces. For a natural-looking toadstool, make sure your arrangement isn’t symmetrical. One by one, sew each circle in place with white sewing thread and an X of two stitches.
Tip: don’t position the circles too close to the edge of the cap – remember you’ll need to sew around the edge of the cap in the next step.
Laura Howard's Autumn Felt Wreath Tutorial
4. Sandwich the stuffed toadstool shape between the two matching red cap pieces. Start stitching where the cap and stalk meet, sewing up and around the cap until you reach the top of the stalk again. Use whip stitch and matching red sewing thread, joining the edges of the red felt so the white felt cap is completely hidden inside.

Laura Howard's Autumn Felt Wreath Tutorial
5. Continue whip stitching across the bottom of the red cap, sewing through all the layers of felt and stuffing and pulling each stitch tight. Turn the toadstool back and forth as you sew, so you can make sure your red stitches aren’t overlapping onto the white of the stalk. Finish your stitching neatly at the back.

Laura Howard's Autumn Felt Wreath Tutorial
Variations: for a slightly different look, you could use whip stitch to attach each felt circle instead of an X of two stitches. You could also use white seed beads, white sequins or even small white buttons to decorate the toadstool caps instead of using felt circles.

To make the mushroom:

1. Use the templates provided to cut out the mushroom pieces (as marked on the template sheet). Pin each paper template onto the correct felt colour, cut around it carefully with embroidery scissors then remove the pin.

2. Sew and stuff the two white mushroom pieces, using the method described in step 2 of the toadstool instructions (above).

Laura Howard's Autumn Felt Wreath Tutorial
3. Position the brown mushroom cap piece (A) on the white mushroom cap piece (B) and pin it in place. Use dark brown sewing thread and whip stitch to sew along the bottom edge of the brown felt shape. Remove the pin. Turn the cap pieces over and carefully trim the excess white felt above the line of stitching, as shown below right.

Laura Howard's Autumn Felt Wreath Tutorial
4. Place the white stalk piece on the cap pieces as pictured below, so the top of the stalk slightly overlaps the bottom of the mushroom cap. Hold or pin the layers of felt together and whip stitch along the top of the stalk with white sewing thread.

Laura Howard's Autumn Felt Wreath Tutorial
5. Cut a piece of light brown embroidery thread and separate half the strands (so, for six-stranded thread use three strands). Switch to a larger needle if necessary and backstitch around the top of the stalk, sewing flush with the edge of the felt. Then use an air-erasable fabric marker pen to draw several lines radiating from the top of the stalk. Sew along each line with backstitch and more half strands of light brown embroidery thread. Don’t sew all the way to the edge of the white felt – leave a small gap at each end of the lines, as shown below.

If you don’t have an air-erasable pen just sew the lines freehand using the photo as a guide.

Laura Howard's Autumn Felt Wreath Tutorial
6. Place the embroidered mushroom on the stuffed mushroom shape, lining up the stalks. Starting at the top of the stalk, sew down the stalk and around it using white sewing thread and whip stitch to join the pieces together. Then add the brown mushroom cap piece (B) at the back and begin stitching up around the cap. Start with white thread, switch to brown as you sew around the brown felt, and then switch back to white again on the other side of the cap.
Finally, sew along the bottom edge of the cap at the back of the mushroom (don’t stitch through all the layers as in step 5 of the toadstool instructions) then finish your stitching neatly.

Laura Howard's Autumn Felt Wreath Tutorial
Variation: instead of making a mushroom and three toadstools to decorate the wreath, you could use the “mushroom” and “mushroom cap B” templates to make a third red and white toadstool.

To make the leaves:

1. Use the leaf templates provided to cut out 24 felt leaves in assorted autumnal colours (12 large and 12 small). Pin each paper template onto your chosen felt colour, cut around it with sewing scissors then remove the pin. I used six felt colours, cutting two large and two small leaves of each colour.

2. Add detail to your leaves with half strands of contrasting embroidery thread (i.e. for six-stranded embroidery thread just use three strands). Sew a line of running stitches down the centre of each leaf then finish your stitching at the back and trim any excess threads.

Laura Howard's Autumn Felt Wreath Tutorial
Variation: keep the leaves unstitched for a simpler look, or mix and match stitched and unstitched leaves.

To wrap the wreath base:

Chunky yarn is perfect for wrapping the wreath! I chose brown yarn, which goes well with the autumnal colours of the wreath but allows the leaves and toadstools to stand out. Grey or black would also look great, as would an autumnal shade like burnt orange or mustard yellow to match your leaf colours.

Tip: if you’re using thinner yarn, use two balls of matching yarn and wrap with two strands at once (one from each ball) to save time.

1. 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 skein/ball of yarn through the hole in the centre of the wreath as you wrap the yarn around the outside.

2. 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 with your chosen yarn. This can take a while, so I highly recommend wrapping your wreath while watching a film or an episode of your favourite TV show.

3. 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.

To assemble the wreath:

1. Arrange the leaves on the yarn-wrapped wreath base, using the photo below as a guide. When you’re happy with the arrangement pin each leaf in place, inserting the pin at the bottom of each leaf.

Laura Howard's Autumn Felt Wreath Tutorial
Laura Howard's Autumn Felt Wreath Tutorial
2. Heat up your glue gun then use it to attach the leaves to the wreath. Work inwards, holding the leaf back and applying a small dab of glue to the wreath then lightly pressing the outer/top half of the leaf down so it sticks in place. Then remove the pin from the bottom of the leaf and glue the lower half.

When you reach the central cluster of leaves, glue all the outer/top halves of the leaves then remove the central pins and glue the inner/bottom halves of the leaves one by one.

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 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.

3. Arrange the mushroom and two toadstools on the leaves. When you’re happy with their position, glue them in place one by one. Apply several dabs of glue to the back of each mushroom/toadstool where it will lie against the leaves, then place it in position and press firmly.

Laura Howard's Autumn Felt Wreath Tutorial
4. Finally, cut a length of yarn or co-ordinating ribbon and knot it securely around the top of the wreath. Use this to hang the wreath in your chosen spot.

Laura Howard's Autumn Felt Wreath

Laura Howard's Autumn Felt Wreath

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