Two By Two…

…or just the one, or more. Whichever.
Here is one project that is gift, ornament, and year-long fun all in one! Sweet little felt animals have gone from Martha Stewart Living to Real Simple to marthastewart.com and still they don’t lose their appeal!

You Will Need:

Felt (different colors)
Scissors
Paper and Pencil
Inspiration for animals (online or a children’s book)
Needle and thread
Gold or silver thread for hanging
optional
Cotton balls
Roll of flexible magnet strips

You Will Do!

Draw (or trace) an animal silhouette using your favorite inspiration, the sillier the better. Cut two pieces of felt from two different colors (like the red and gold for the rooster) laying the silhouette on top as a stencil. Place one color on top of the other, then use your discretion to cut away pieces of the top layer so the bottom layer shows. Stitch smiles, noses, and eyes with the same color thread used to sew the two layers together. You can go crazy and make them two sided by adding a top layer to both side and sewing them on simultaneously! You could even add a little cotton between two layers to fatten them up. Add gold or silver thread for hanging last. For year-long use as a Refrigerator Zoo, add a strip of magnet  to the back with a dab of hot glue (you can buy a large flexible roll at craft stores).

Warning: No one is saying that this might not take forever. I spent hours watching t.v. and sewing these things together. In my opinion, they are great companions for When Harry Met Sally, While You Were Sleeping, Sleepless in Seattle, Bridget Jones’s Diary, and How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days. And I just lost my male readership.

If after doing this you decide you love felt and want it to be your best friend,
here is a link to Martha’s felt animal silhouette pillow project: Martha’s Animal Pillow
AND
a link to a blog all about felt! Feltorama Blogspot (this link is specifically about more Martha felt)

Mini Spruce

Once you’ve made all your pearl decorations, a mini spruce is in order! This served as my first “college try” at a Christmas tree while in school and then became a gift for my mom. I used in tact pearl strands as the garland and the “star” is a rhinestone brooch pinned to a ribbon. The tree skirt is a scrap of lace from hemming a real skirt!

Christmas Begins with Handmade Ornaments

I love Christmas, and even more I love how many design opportunities Christmas brings! Here are some ornaments I made last year from fabric scraps. They decorated my little tree last year, but I’ll post tomorrow about how they’ll play a different part this year.

You’ll need:
Styrofoam Christmas balls
Fabric scraps
Hot Glue
Ribbon

The best way to cut the fabric strips is like an oval that comes to a point at either end. Covering the balls will take a little trial and error since the fabric pieces may be in uneven sizes. The great thing about this project is that you can use even the smallest fabric scraps and any color combination you like. I tried to stay monochromatic, but I’d love to see what you come up with!