Posts Tagged ‘felt’

My first appearance in ‘Craftseller’ magazine 🙂

I’ve been celebrating having a few more moments of fame over the last few weeks…….. as I’ve had a quick mention in ‘Craftseller’ magazine; Blink and you’ll miss it though!

Anywhoo, back to Earth and another quick make for this week’s post – Fabric Flower Hair Barrettes.

Felt clad flower barrettes by Wulli Bulli (aka The Big Blue Bully Bus).

This is another one of those projects that doesn’t take too long to complete and is great for using up any scraps of fabric and felt that you may have lying around. You will need: a needle and thread, scraps of wool felt, a vintage button, a blank snap fastening hair barrette, 6 small circles of lightweight fabric, sharp scissors and a marker pen.

It’s time to use the Sizzix machine again and blow the dust off that ‘Circles’ die 😉

Start by making your flower; Fold a fabric circle in half and place a running stitch close to the outside edge.

When you pull the thread the fabric will gather in gentle folds to form a petal shape.

Repeat this step another five times in total before gently pulling the thread tight to form each of the flower petals. Secure in a ring with a few stitches.

A few stitches at the end will form the ring centre of your fabric flower.

Now we’re going to make the felt cladding……. start by tracing an outline around the blank barrette – make this larger so that you have space to stitch around the outer edge.

Don’t worry about the pen marks – they’ll be hidden on the inside of your work.

Cut out two identical pieces of wool felt; make a little slit in one piece to feed the snap mechanism through.

Mark where to make the hole for the snap mechanism with two little dots – use sharp scissors to make a little slit and then feed the snap through.

Attach your fabric flower to the other piece of felt using a few concealed stitches. Sew a button in the centre to hide away any raw edges.

Nearly there!

Now all that needs to be done is to sew the two halves together; I use a blanket stitch but, like last week, it’s up to you as to which stitch you ultimately decide to use. Just remember to work all the way around so that the barrette is safely clad in its little felt overcoat. Finish off with a knot hidden under one of the petals.

In just a few hours you can make a garden full of these!

These barrettes are great to use on even the finest hair as the felt cladding offers extra protection from the hard metal edges; And they’re brilliant for babies too!

Happy Crafting Folks! 😉

Biff – Bully of the Bus – All dressed up to celebrate May 4th in his very own ‘Yoda’ costume!

It’s Star Wars Day! It’s also the start of another month and a new theme of ‘Sewing’.

Just a fairly quick blog post this week I’m afraid……… With a quick idea for a keyring/bag charm with a nice floral theme ……..

The Bully Bus Keyring – With the usual over the top beading and extra floral details!

So, armed with a few bits and pieces and my trusty Sizzix machine, here’s how to make that quick keyring/bag charm……

You’ll need something sharp to cut the thread with too – a light sabre might be a suitable weapon of choice today 😉

You will need:

Pieces of wool felt in two contrasting colours to make a couple of diecut flowers and centre circles – I’ve used the standard Sizzix ‘Large Daisies’ and ‘Circles’ dies to make mine;

Embroidery silk – two strands used together seems to work best for me but I’ve used three for clarity in the photographs;

A sewing needle;

Coordinating ribbon;

Keyring finding.

Firstly, start by sewing your centre circle in to place – I prefer to use a blanket stitch for this but you could try experimenting with either running stitches, back stitches, chain or whip stitching. It’s kind of up to you and your personal preference or level of sewing expertise really. Whatever you decide upon, you’ll need to repeat it once more for the second flower too.

Use a simple blanket stitch to attach the flower centres.

Here’s a quick link to an easy tutorial on YouTube if you’re unsure about blanket stitch – a quick search will reveal similar tutorials for the other methods I’ve mentioned too:

Next, take a short length of ribbon – about 15 cms is fine. Thread through the base of you keyring finding, fold in half and secure with a few stitches.

Make a couple of quick stitches to secure the ribbon…… before sandwiching in between the two flower pieces.

Place your ribbon in between the two, back to back, flower pieces and sew together using your desired method of stitching. Top Tip: If you find that your embroidery floss starts to tangle or knot, rub your thumb and forefinger up and down either side of your nose a few times and then slide them down the thread once or twice – it’s an old wives trick that’s guaranteed to work wonders but possibly not advisable if you’re wearing copious amounts of make-up!

Finish by making a little knot and then ‘burying’ the end of your thread in between the layers of felt.

Join the two sandwiched flower pieces together using a blanket stitch.

Voila! A finished item that’s been hand sewn by your very good self; How easy was that?

May the 4th be with you in your crafty sewing adventures this week and be careful with those light sabres!  😉

Wow! It’s already February and this week see’s the move into the second month’s theme of  ‘Jewellery’. And a very busy start to the month at Bully Bus HQ it has been what with early Spring cleaning and all; I was fearful that at one point I might not be able to squeeze this week’s offering in at all, but here it is – my adventures in beaded felt jewellery….

I love playing with embroidery silks and beads!

First of all, I have to say that I LOVE making little felt beads! The resulting treasures look great when incorporated into jewellery designs and are always a really big talking point when people spot me wearing them. They’re incredibly easy to make and there’s also a brilliant little book bursting with all the inspiration and instructions you’ll need to get producing them for yourself.

Beaded Felt Jewellery – Helen Birmingham

If  you haven’t got a copy of this inexpensive little book, and you feel after reading this blog that you’d like to include beaded felt jewellery in your own crafting repetoire, I would highly recommend popping along to your local bookshop, craft store or online at Amazon and make sure that you pick one up – ISBN-13: 978-1844483150.

Make sure you gather everything you need!

So…….. How to make some felt beads of your own. Hopefully you’ve gathered together some scraps of felt (the thin crafting type is easier to work with), some embroidery silks (although normal sewing thread is fine), a selection of seed and bugle beads, a sewing needle, some scissors and a bamboo skewer – make sure that you either cut the sharp end off, or cover it with a blob of  Blutack or piece of cork though; From painful experience I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve impaled myself with the air turning blue as a result 😉

Step 1: Cut yourself some strips of felt roughly 2.5 cms wide by about 8 cms long. Select some thread to match the colour of your felt – it doesn’t matter too much if it’s not exact.

Step 2: Take the bamboo skewer and wrap the felt strip tightly around it. Use a few stitches to secure the edges in place. I’ve used a contrasting colour to demonstrate – And don’t worry about being too precious at this stage as you won’t actually see this join when you’ve finished.

Wrap tightly then stitch to secure.

Step 3: This is where the fun begins! Choose some contrasting thread and using your needle, sew into the felt tube at one end to secure in place. Carefully wrap around the tube with the thread, making sure that both ends are tightly bound – otherwise the ends will flare out over time and the beads may look mis-shapen. Finish off with a little knot and bury this, along with the tail of you thread, inside the bead.

Bind well at each end to stop ‘flaring’.

Step 4: Securing fresh thread in your felt tube bead (back to the same colour you used in Step 1) you can now add your embellishments. I tend to start at one end and work randomly, stitching through from one side to the other each time to secure your seed or bugle beads in place. This will add strength to the structure of your bead and ensures maximum life expectancy when incorporated into jewellery pieces that are sure to be worn again, and again, and again….

To make life easy I’ve used size 8/0 beads; Size 11/0 will require more patience as not all will slip over the eye of the needle!

I like to add the beads in a random pattern – but neat freaks may differ in approach 😉

Step 5: Believe it or not that’s pretty much it! Repeat each step until you’ve got yourself a nice little selection of beads which you can then use in your own jewellery making projects. I tend to keep the beads on the skewer until I’m ready to use them and you’ll find that you can easily fit about six or seven beads to a skewer – just the right number to use for a bracelet!

So easy! And gorgeous when incorporated into your own designs 🙂

Yay! The finished product; Very nice – even if I do say so myself 😉

Next week I’m going to be having a go at more bead making – but this time with Polymer Clay. Wish me luck!