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Crafting: felt accessories for your home

(March 01, 2015)

Crafting: felt accessories for your home

 Felt cushion

The BBC's second series of The Great British Sewing Bee is on air. The first series inspired me to sew, and I came up with some great sewing ideas over recent months. Granted, I am not producing ball-gowns and shirts (like the contestants do on the show), but I am interested in using fabric to create craft items on a smaller scale, whether they be pieces to decorate handmade cards, accessories for the home, or gifts for friends and family.

Here are some examples of some designs I came up with; I hope they will inspire you too.

I made these pieces using felt fabric (available from John Lewis for approximately £8.50 per metre, in a range of colours). The patterns are created by drawing free-style straight onto the fabric itself, then cut around them.

In respect of the cushions: use another similar sized cushion cover as a template. Double over the fabric (so when the shape is cut you get two sides exactly the same, and in half the time), place the cushion cover template on top. Then, simply cut around the cushion cover and stitch the two pieces together.

All pom pom trims and velvet ribbons used have been bought from Ebay, but are also available from haberdashery departments, such as those at John Lewis. Tiger is also a great source of trims and embellishments.

Felt hearts are simple to make and can be used to decorate handmade cards (see second and third image), cakes or simply dotted around the house as a pretty accessory hanging from a door handle, or stuffed with Lavender and hung in your wardrobe as a pretty wardrobe air-freshener.

I draw the heart shape free-style directly onto the fabric, with a fine-line black felt tip pen. Double-over the fabric, then cut around the pattern. Alternatively, you could draw around any item, to create the shape of your choice, to use as a template.

The felt hearts are stitched together with embroidery silks; these are both attractive to look at and give a strong, secure stitch. A large bag of different colours is available from 'The Works' at £3.00 per bag.


Felt hearts Santes Dywnwen card Felt Items

The next example is a felt heart. Stuff with small pieces of cushion filling or craft stuffing, and attach a small loop of velvet ribbon to the two pieces of felt (prior to stitching together). This makes a cute, individual key-ring.

Felt hearts

Felt hearts

The hearts in the next image have been made to decorate a craft-themed birthday cake. After this picture was taken, I added a drop of glue to the blunt end of a cocktail stick, and inserted the blunt end of the cocktail stick into the inside of the felt heart. Press the felt heart together and place a heavy object on top until it dries; overnight, if necessary

Once dry, you will then be able to insert the sharp end of the cocktail stick into your birthday cake, giving a wonderful 3D effect birthday cake decoration.

Smaller versions could also be made to decorate cupcakes.

Felt hearts

In the next few images you'll see my first attempt at making a cushion. If you don't have the skills to sew in zips and other fastenings, make a cushion cover that has the pad is sewn in; no zips needed.

For this piece, use a rectangular cushion pad. Using its previous cushion cover as a template, cut around the cushion cover in the felt fabric colour of your choice (pink in this example). Cut out two identical pieces - one for the front and one for the back – by doubling-over the fabric as it is cut.

To stitch the sides in a deliberate design detail, use embroidery silks in complimentary colours, stitching all the way around until the cushion pad is secured between the two pieces of felt fabric.

Once the stitching is completed, glue on lengths of velvet ribbon, and lengths of pom pom trims in complimentary, contrasting colours. Note: the felt fabric cannot be washed, only surface cleaned.

I have also designed a matching cushion in a square shape, and a door handle accessory in a heart shape, decorated with pink velvet ribbons.

Felt cushion

Felt cushion (detail)

Felt cushion

Have fun!

Claire Meredith, March 2015

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