DIY Felted Wool Balls

I made sets of these felted balls a few years ago as presents for friends and family members.  Put them together in sets – half in one color, half in another, with a smaller different colored felted ball and you have an indoor bocce ball set. 

Start with felted wool sweaters.  To felt sweaters, take 100% wool sweaters and wash them on hot and then dry them on hot.  Cut felted sweaters into strips and rectangles. 

Begin fashioning the rectangles and strips into lumpy spheres.  Use the strips to tie knots to hold it all in place.  It’s ok if the spheres look really lumpy and messy – we will fix that soon enough.

Once you have the approximate shape and size for your sphere, wrap the felted core in roving wool or 100% wool yarn.  Wrap until the felted core is completely covered, making sure to wrap in several different directions around the sphere.

Here are my 5 wrapped orbs. A few pockets of felted core showing are ok, however they will most likely show up in the finished product, so if you want to avoid that, wrap completely.

Carefully slip the wrapped orbs into OLD socks, push down to the toe gently.  Twist the sock closed and secure tightly with a twist tie.

Wash in hot water and a small amount of detergent.  You can also boil them in a large stockpot for 10 – 15 minutes for a quicker felt.  However, only boil like colors with like colors as the dyes tend to run and bleed in boiling water. 

Greta immediately loved these felted balls – grabbing for them while I tried to photograph them.

Greta discovered that her felted wool balls fit into her plastic cone set that is supposed to go in the sandbox.  However, it is way too much fun and so has never made it out to the sandbox and just stays in the house.  Now she likes to pair up felted balls with cones – we just have to work on avoiding the pairing of mustard & ketchup.  : )

This is a fun and easy day project that requires minimal planning, prep, time, or skill.  The nice thing about these felted balls is that if they should happen to get funky just throw them in the wash and dry them.  They are already felted, so no need to worry about shrinking any more.  Some people even add scented oil to these and turn them into natural dryer balls/sheets.

Fabric Breakfast Food

I decided it was time for Greta to have some of her own fabric food to play with.  She loves to stir, drink imaginary liquids from play cups, and cook invisible foods.  I could watch her pretend for days on end – it is fascinating to me and I wonder where she gets her ideas from.

This set is made from recycled, or upcycled fabric.  The bacon is from an old felted sweater and the eggs and bread from old tee shirts.  The only new material is the ric-rac ribbon on the bacon.

I used a maroon felted sweater, cut it into strips, and sewed white and pink ric-rac onto the surface to make the bacon strips.  The nice thing about felted wool is that the edges do not fray or unravel and it is a substantial fabric, so it can stand up to some abuse from kids.  
Then, I used the bacon strips to scale the rest of the food items.  I used a beige colored tee shirt to created the slices of bread.  Before cutting out the fabric for the bread, I used the bacon slices to trace around for the proper length.  I folded the fabric in half so I would be able to cut more symmetrical shapes of bread.  
Next, I sewed the pieces of bread along one side and the curved top edge, leaving one side open and not sewing on the fold.  I flipped it inside out, added some a very small amount of batting, and sewed the slice of bread shut. 

I decided to use an orange zig zag stitch for the bread for a little variety.  The batting added just a tad of depth to the bread.

For the eggs, I used an old white tee shirt and cut out two organic blob-like shapes from white fabric.  Then, I cut out a yellow circle, for the yolk, also from a tee shirt.  First, I sewed the yolk down to a single piece of the white fabric.

I then sewed both pieces of white fabric together.  I opted not to fill the yolks on these eggs like I did on previous fabric eggs because I wanted them to fit inside plastic Easter eggs.  
This way, Greta can crack eggs into a pan and then fry them.  She has been walking around all morning mouthing the word egg and opening and shutting these eggs.  
Here is her finished breakfast platter, minus one egg.  I am not sure where the second egg ended up, maybe it went to nap with her.  Check in later for more fabric food – this is only the beginning!  I gladly take suggestions and will do commissions as well.  🙂 
Happy Saturday, y’all!  Get some crafting done today.  

Felted Wool Stuffed Cat

I remember asking for a kitten for Christmas when I was around 5.  We had 1 or 2 aging cats at the time, so it was obviously out of the question with two young children in the house.  To my disappointment, on Christmas morning, there was a stuffed cat and kittens under the tree.  When I grew older I realized that my mom had made these cats, and of course grew to love them.  The creative answer, to a far-fetched request was, I am sure not so easy for her to do.  Hopefully I was not an ungrateful brat for the stuffed cats that Christmas, nor any Christmas after.  As a crafty person, I prefer the gifts made by the giver, as I know they are gifts of time.  
Greta is bound to be crafty – there is no way around it.  Her parents are both frequently heard saying, “I could make that.”  It is with no surprise then, that this year she has a few home made gifts for Christmas.  This cat stuffed doll came about because I was flipping through catalogs and looking on Etsy at all the kitchsy, mismatched, it’s-cool-to-not-look-cool toys.  You know the style.  
I am proud to say that start to finish this project was all my own creation.  I made the pattern for the body, felted the face, and even made the dress. My only regret – the dress is a little crude, so I may be replacing it with a nicer one at some point.  
The pattern is made from a lightweight drawing paper.  The pieces are folded or doubled up for better symmetry.  
The pattern pieces are then traced onto a felted merino wool sweater.  The pieces are cut out, pinned together, and then sewn.
The top leg has not been reversed, but the bottom leg has been turned so the seams are inside and is ready to be stuffed. 
Holes?  No big deal with felted wool – just simply sew on a small patch.  
The arms and legs all stuffed and ready to be attached to the body. 
The body stuffed and in the process of being sewn shut.  
The tail sewn shut and ready to be attached to the body. 
To attach the tail, simply place in desired location and sew together. 
The finished stuffed cat. 
To make a simple dress, use tee shirt scraps.  Cut two pieces, sew pockets on the front section, and then sew together, right sides together.  Leave spaces for the head and arm holes.  
Felt a face using a felting needle and loose colored wool – called carded roving.  I have a large bag of many colors that I have been using.  
Once the felting is complete, use a hot iron to shrink the wool and hold in place.  
The finished face.  So much for symmetry.  Oh well, she will love it anyway.  After all, if something is worth doing, it is worth doing badly!  
This is an easy kit to get you started on felting without breaking the bank.  

DIY Felt Garland

This wool felt garland is ridiculously easy.  So easy I cannot imagine why anyone with scissors and a sewing machine would ever shell out $25 or more for a garland in a store. 

I had a pile of triangular felt scraps left over from another project and so decided to put them to good use.  More about the other project later.  
I needed a few more scraps to complete the garland.  I started with a felted red sweater, and cut it into a rectangle with my rotary cutter.  
Next, I cut sections on the diagonal – like so. 
Then, I cut vertically – like so. 
You will be left with a series of triangles.  
Then, simply sew the triangles together.  Let the machine run for a few stitches between each triangle to allow room for extra thread.  This way, when you hang the garland it will twirl and move a bit.  I opted for gold metallic thread for a little more of a festive look.  
This garland is easily adapted to other shapes, colors, materials, and thread.  The basic concept is: cut, sew, hang.  
Happy sewing!

My Etsy Shop is On!

As of this evening I am officially trying to sell some of my summer projects, like this Day of the Dead tablecloth.  You can find these items listed on my Etsy shop – Mommy’s Medley.  
Tablet sleeve from felted wool. 
Baby bibs and much more to come!
Be kind.  I have this addiction to create things, therefore I need to sell some of my items so that when this peanut is older she is not wading through a craft room of stuff.  

wool works well in the summer too

I always return to felted wool – love the idea of turning an old sweater into something new and useful.  In this case, I used a hot pink felted sweater and sewed it into a case for an iPod.  The orange swirl is a piece of loose wool that I felted onto the surface using a felting needle.  The large green button was given to me by a coworker, who happened to find it somewhere on campus.  There is even enough room inside the case for the headphones. 

With the flap closed like this, it reminds me of a one-eyed monster with an orange tongue.  I wish I had more of these large plastic buttons!