Thursday, November 11, 2010

new felty goodness

Over at Rubies and Pearls i read a post about melting felt to make stacked circle flowers. Melting felt? I've never heard of such a thing. Obviously I had to try it out. I gathered all of the necessary tools: felt in various colors, sharp scissors, lighter, a big stable candle, flat-nosed pliers to avoid burned fingers, a Poses of Pooh mug full of water in case of out-of-control fire turned to the thoughtful Pooh side (Think. Think. Think.) to remember Safety First and an adult safety partner since there will be open flames (the part of the adult safety partner will be played tonite by the understudy, Hello Kitty commemorative Happy Meal calendar). I had no real plan, just wanted to try the technique, so i started with a tan circle and melted the edges over the candle. (notice that for safety Hello Kitty commemorative Happy Meal calendar stood on a stool so that she could see better and be closer to the flame in case she needed to act quickly) Here is a comparison of not burnt versus burnt. I liked both the shrinkage (sorry about that word, gentlemen) and the slight color change. You might be able to see that i carefully held the whole circle over the flame after doing the edges to get some of the caramel coloring all over the circle. Pleased with that result, i wondered what would happen with a non-circle, say, for instance a four-lobed petal-like shape, which worked out just fine, so i did a small red circle and stacked the three shapes together. Then i turned to Grandma's button box to find a way to hold them together and with a few quick stitches - Voila! A melty felt flower. I didn't really want to make it into a hair bob and since it was just about the size of the back of my wrist i decided to try to make it a bracelet. I cut a length of matching tan felt, melted both sides, and tried it on: I like the idea, but was not crazy about the band so i cut and melted a smaller red band to add a stripe but lordy was that waaaaay too busy so then i tried it on just the smaller red band and we had a winner. Now, how the heck do you fasten a felt bracelet? I considered a snap, but the snap was so heavy duty compared to the melted felt that i knew it would eventually tear. hmmmmmmmm... That vintage button reminded me of something... Don't i own some brads that look like vintage brass upholstery tacks? Why, yes; yes, i do : Perfect! I sized the band to my wrist, cut it to length, melted the new ends and punched a hole in the felt with my smallest hole punch : I added some clear nail polish around the hole to keep it from fraying or tearing and glued in the brad. Once it was secure i figured out where the hole needed to go on the opposite side and holed it up as well. TA-DA! Now i have a bracelet to go with the red sweater that i can never figure out how to accessorize. I could wear it the next day, in fact. Wait... where is that red sweater? Do i still own that red sweater? Did i give that red sweater to charity last year because i could never figure out how to accessorize it? CRAP! I was momentarily deflated. I was so excited by the new technique that i wanted to wear a piece immediately, but now i didn't have an outfit to go with the bracelet. Not to be deterred, i decided to make another one in a color that i definitely own - purple. I cut and melted five circles, stacked them and added an awesome clear button from Grandma's box: It was a little smaller and i was thinking that it would make a great ring. Then, of course i discovered that i had no ring blanks and at midnight i was certainly not going to be able to find one. Digging through the metal bits box i found some brass chain: hmmmmmmmmmm... Certainly that has got to be a way to make that into a ring. I did a triple loop, wired it in place and then wired the flower to the top of the resulting circle: Nice. I loved the way it looked, but didn't really like the profile or height of it on my hand so i took it apart and went to bed. Happy ending: the next day i just wore my new bracelet with my uniform and it looked great; several people asked me about it. I really like this technique and look forward to exploring some more. If you are going to give it a try remember to cut things bigger than you think you need and be aware that different types and weights of felt melt and shrink at different speeds. And don't forget your adult safety partner.


Manta said...

I LOVE felt!

Hannah said...

These turned out really cute! I love that you made a felt bracelet, I think I may have to try that :)