Monday, July 21, 2014

DIY Felt Bows in Minutes

DIY felt hair bow in minutes // Benzie
I recently taught my 7 year old daughter how to die cut felt -and one of our favorites are felt hair bows -just because they are so quick!! We worked as a team -she ran the felt through the die-cutter while I glued and we had a whole set in no time at all!

--Bow die cut, there a a couple of really cute bow dies in this set (it's a must have!)
--Evolution die cut machine (instructions here)
--Benzie Felt, we used Rose, Ochre and Blue Spruce -and check out the image above to see how we laid out the die -we are able to make 3 bows out of just one 6x9" sheet of felt (that's 3 bows for less than $1!)
--Hair Clips

How to make a felt die cut bow // Benzie
After you run your felt through your die cut machine -just fold and glue as shown above. Feel free to use whatever hair clip works for your hair. I made some for me using french clips just last week -I loved how I could make a hair accessory in just minutes!

Hair clip packaging // Benzie
And then we went extra fancy and packaged up the bows -we were giving these in addition to a birthday gift -but wouldn't these make great favors? We used We R Memory Keepers "Captured" set. Can I tell you how much I love all the Albums Made Easy card collections? I always have some laying around -they are great for writing notes, keeping lists or crafting with -and so pretty too! 

Hair bow packaging // Benzie
I grabbed one of the large cards and used my x-acto to cut vertical slits to match up where I wanted to clip the bows. Then I attached a coordinating card and taped it to the back using Sticky Thumb and finished the design with some ribbon and an eyelet. After that was all set up I slipped the hair clips in the precut slot. Perfect little gift right? And easy -the best combo! 

We R Memory Keepers felt hair bow by Benzie

Monday, June 30, 2014

Can I wash wool blend felt?

Felt Star Shirt DIY // Benzie

This is a craft question that I get asked quite often -can I wash wool blend felt? And as you can see from the felt star appliqué -yes you can! But before we get to care instructions let's talk first about fiber content.

Our felt contains both wool, ranging from 20-35%, and rayon. Rayon, or known as viscose, is made from wood pulp -a renewable source too! Most of us know what happened to our adult sized wool sweater when we tried to wash it -it shrunk down to a child's size! Wool should be treated with much care or it will shrink. We suggest dry cleaning or spot cleaning to keep our wool blend felt in its original condition. It's easy and already looks great!

But there are times that a toy or a t-shirt just needs be washer friendly. Before cutting into your design or appliqué -the felt must first be washed. Prewash in a sink of hot running water -immersing the felt completely. We use soap and gently squeeze the felt into a ball, rinsing and repeating until the water runs clear. This process does two things to the felt. First the hot water gets any excess dye out. Not all colors bleed -but this bright Carmine did! Second, the combination of hot water, soap and gentle squeezing is further felting the fabric -binding the fibers even closer together and causing the felt to shrink. Lay flat to dry -or use a blow dryer to speed things up. A washing machine on the delicate cycle is a great alternative to prep large batches.

Can I wash wool felt? // Benzie

In the image above you can see the difference between our original felt and felt that has been pre-washed. The washed felt is bubbly or wrinkled -and is thicker then its un-washed partner (this can be flattened by ironing though). Also it has shrunk. The 6x6" square shrunk to about 5 3/4x 5 1/2". Now you're ready to craft!

DIY Felt Applique // Benzie

Grab a t-shirt and your favorite color of Benzie's felt. To make cutting ultra easy we used the Nesting Star die from Lifestyle crafts -but old fashioned pattern and scissors will work just as well. We also found that we really liked Wonder Under's fusible adhesive. It's didn't make the felt appliqué stiff and it made a permanent bond to the fabric.

Felt Applique T-Shirt  // Benzie

But before you do any of these steps -your felt and your shirt must be prewashed! Follow the washing instructions for felt above.

1) After the felt has dried -iron your fusible adhesive to your felt.
2). Use your favorite die to cut a shape our of the felt -adhesive side up. We love the Evolution and explain how to use it here.
3. Peel off the top layer of your fusible adhesive -you can see the transparent paper star in the above photo (throw that away), carefully place your star where you want it and iron down. Iron from both the front and back of the shirt to ensure a permanent bond.

Can I wash felt? // Benzie

It's not necessary -but I think the added machine stitch adds detail and helps the star to stand out among the stripes. To care for your felt appliqué shirt and prevent further felting we suggest washing inside out, cold and delicate with a gentle dry.

4th of July applique shirt // Benzie

I want to see what you are making too -hashtag #benziefelt and have a Happy Independence Day!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Guest Curator: MmmCrafts

Wool blend felt.

I know some of you may think it's too early to starting thinking about Christmas -but I love nothing more than creating something meaningful that will be used year after year. And these little beauties do not need to appear just at Christmas!

Bird and pear ornaments by MmmCrafts // Benzie

This is MmmCrafts first ornament in her 12 Days of Christmas series: Partridge & Pear. See what I mean about keeping them out all year long? Larissa's shop is full of beautiful patterns. I love her mix of bright and deep colors -it's signature to MmmCrafts.

Wool blend felt // MmmCrafts // Benzie

These are the colors in her Benzie felt collection -the left side shows Swan, Moss, Fern, Mustard and Ochre. And the right side Burgundy, Carmine, Orange, Magenta and Cotton Candy. We also offer matching embroidery floss!

embroidery floss

Get MmmCrafts Partridge & Pear pattern in the MmmCrafts shop and matching felt and floss in Benzie's shop.

MmmCraft's has visited Benzie before check out her first collection and her second (I'm making a set of needle books right now!). And get crafting!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Jellyfish Feature!

Jellyfish Mobile // Benzie

The June issue of Pregnancy & Newborn magazine has a lovely beach themed nursery spread -and guess what it includes? Benzie's Jellyfish mobile! You can buy just one jellyfish -but I think they look even better grouped in a set of three. This is a great mobile for your baby or sea loving child. I first used them to decorate my daughters mermaid themed birthday party!

beach theme nursery // benzie

Do you see the little felt campfire by Patchy at Best on Etsy? There are also fun finds by Land of Nod, Pottery Barn and Blabla Kids (and a ton more!) Really awesome line up -you'll have to check out the June issue.

One of our garlands was also featured last September. Check it out here.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Felt Flower Tutorial

We are blog hopping today with my friends at We R Memory Keepers -scroll down below to find more diy's and to enter in a giveaway!

My favorite felt craft has to be flowers -always beautiful and I love being able to use all the colors of Benzie's rainbow! These remind me of wildflowers -pretty, bright and whimsical -you'll be crafting up a whole bouquet in no time!

Handmade Felt Flowers by Benzie

DIY Felt Wildflowers by Benzie
Felt Flower Supplies and Tutorial

Supplies needed:
Benzie Felt (we love how Fern, Foxglove, Guava and Periwinkle look together)
Benzie PomPoms in Foxglove, Lemonade and Fern, 1cm and 2cm size
Oval Punch Dies from Shop We R
Wire flower stems
Hot glue

Die Cut Felt

First you'll going to want an nice pile of large and small ovals using your die cut machine and the Oval Punch Die. I love this die and find it quite versatile (check out our Succulent DIY -we can't stop using it!) -it makes so many at one time!

Felt fill stems for bouquets
To make filler stems and leaves on flowers you will use the large oval die -place a dot of glue on the bottom of the oval and pinch around the floral wire. Space to your liking. 

Felt Cosmos wildflower diy
These little flowers remind me of Cosmos -I love all the colors! We use our small 1cm felt balls and attach to floral wire with a little hot glue (you may want use a needle or an awl to pre-pierce a hole). We use 4 small ovals -place a bit of glue on the bottom and pinch along the base of the felt pom. 

Felt wildflower tutorial

Our large flowers used 12 large ovals total -but this can be varied to adjust the look and style of your bloom. The first layer uses 4 ovals -we pre-pinched each petal before attaching to the base. This helped form the flower.

Felt wildflower tutorial

To finish the flower keep adding ovals around the pom-pom -add a green leaf or two to finish it off!

DIY Felt flower bouquet

Don't forget to checkout We R Memory Keepers other diy's this week!

Aimee's Armoire
Benzie Design
Cokie Pop Paper
Cutesy Crafts
Ginger Snap Crafts
Gluesticks Blog
Kutz Paper Scissors
Making the World Cuter
Midwestern Girl
Missy Dear
One Scrappin Mama
Popsicle Toes
Pretty Providence
Scrap Time
Sew Craft Create
Snapping Monsters
The Creative Mom
Tried and true
We R Memory Keepers
Worley House

Go to We R Memory's Keepers facebook to enter to win their Crafters Tote too (love the color -looks like Benzie's Peacock!).

Thursday, April 10, 2014

DIY Felt Stickers

make felt stickers
I want to plaster these felt stickers all over everything -to seal love letters and place them on gift tags. My daughter has already claimed the extras and we find little bunnies on notebooks and on our clothes. And the secret to making fabric stickers is in the adhesive sheets by Lifestyle Crafts -super affordable at only $5 a pack!

die cut felt bunny stickers

1. You'll need Benzie's felt (we use Calico here), adhesive sheets and a die. We use the Easter die from Lifestyle Crafts -love the silhouette of the bunny! (Don't forget to use BENZIE to get 20% off your We R Memory Keepers order!) Cut your felt and adhesive to the same size -peel the back off the the adhesive and stick to the felt.

A note about dies: some dies come with white ejection foam in the die (like our bunny did); this ejection foam helps paper to pop out easily after being cut -but because felt is so much thicker than paper -it best if you pull that foam out first. You'll have much better success cutting this way.

2. Roll this through the die cutter with die cut side down on the felt. For best cut I used the Evolution die cut machine with Sizzix cutting pads. You can also use the Genius cutting pads -but I found I had to roll it through a few extra times to get a clean cut because of the thickness of the adhesive paper adds to the felt. And there you have your sticker!

3. Stick it to anything -I love how easy the backing comes off and even sticks well to the cotton bag of rabbit tails!

how to make felt bunny stickers
I used my rabbit stickers to adorn a tea bag holder -perfect for a spring or Easter brunch.

felt favor for easter brunch

I used the Matchbook die from We R Memory Keepers to make the tea bag holder. Sticky Thumb adhesive was the perfect fit to adhere the tea bag to the matchbook -just sticky enough to hold but removable enough to actually use! For a finishing touch I added Benzie's Pom Poms in Natural at the tag for the tea bag.

Happy Easter friends!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

DIY Felt Succulents

diy felt succulents
how to make a felt succulent
We all love succulents, thick petaled plants -smooth, symmetrical and in a beautiful array of greens and blues -natures bouquet. These little beauties also translate well into Benzie's felt -and these will fare well in all types of weather too!

We R Memory keepers felt succulent diy

The materials we used:
Benzie's Felt -we love the colors in the Sweet Succulent collection!
Oval Dies (use BENZIE to get 20% off any purchase at We R Memory Keepers)
Felt Pom Poms -we used a variety of our 1cm, 2cm and 3cm in the color Stone
Birch tree stumps
Glue gun

benzie felt succulent collection

We suggest the felt hues in our Sweet Succulent collection. To use the long oval punch dies we cut a 9x12" sheet in half the hot dog way and ran it through our manual die cutter -you'll want a nice pile of both the small and large ovals. You can read more about how to die cut here.

felt succulent tutorial

To make the succulent center take one small oval -fold in half twice and use just a bit of glue to secure. Then take 3 ovals -fold in half and form around succulent center. Continue attaching ovals on the underside of the plant to form your succulent. You can make them large or small by selected fewer or more ovals to attach.

To make the centerpiece I used 3 various sizes of birch logs -glued on some moss -arranged the succulents and placed felt pom poms just so to resemble pebbles that succulents often grown in. I also scattered a few around the base of the centerpiece. A great focal point for your table -or how about try a felt terrarium or decorate grapevine wreath? Let me know what you make!

succulent centerpiece

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