Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Mini-Garland Topper DIY

Mini felt banner // Benzie

Everything in miniature is just cuter right? Little garlands are no exception -and these are super easy using We R Memory Keepers nesting pennant die -there are two slits right in the die that makes it simple to string ribbon right through!

Succulent favor diy // Benzie

The toppers can be used on cakes, cupcakes -or succulents! We planted succulents in little canning jars - and gave them away as gifts -to teachers, hosts or favors. You will also need the We R Memory Keepers Nesting Pennants die, ribbon (we love this 5/16" twill), skewers (cut to size) and felt of course! The Benzie colors we used are Lilac, Foxglove, Guava, Swan, Pistachio and Sky.

Mini Felt Garland DIY // Benzie

The pennant dies come in several different sizes -we ran the smallest one through our die cut machine until we had all the triangles we needed. Then string the triangles together -when making a long garland I found that I liked using a needle because it went a little faster. We tied the ribbon to the skewers and inserted into our glass jars.

Succulent favor diy // Benzie

And here's a happy little trick for you -see the lid around the jar? It's magnetic -we added a button magnet and used it to hold notes to our recipients. It made the gift really personal and the magnet is something that can be used long after the plant is gone. Happy crafting!


Sunday, July 27, 2014

Felt Elephant Mobile // Pattern and Instructions

Elephant Mobile DIY

I love having simple stitching projects around -it's easy to pick up while a child is practicing her reading or while my husband and I have a movie night. These elephants are perfect -you can make just one -or a trio for a garland!

Wool Felt Animal Tutorial

--We used Benzie wool blend felt in Pumpkin, Cantaloupe, Rainstorm, Swan, Zucchini and Fern.
--Benzie's DMC floss in Zucchini, Rainstorm and Pumpkin.
--6mm safety eyes
--needles -we used a embroidery needle to sew the elephants and a long doll needle to make the garland.
--stuffing
--pattern

Felt Elephant Pattern // Benzie


1. Use the pattern to cut and trace your elephant and the ears. We love using freezer paper to trace the pattern. You'll notice that we use three different size circles. The two large ones are for the ears and the small circles accent the garland.

Felt Elephant Pattern // Benzie


2. First sew on the ears (large circle first then the small lighter toned circle) using the applique stitch. Then attach the safety eyes. I love how these little back dots make little animals and dolls come alive! Finally, I used a blanket stitch to connect the sides of the elephant -don't forget to stuff!

Elephant Garland DIY // Benzie

3. We made a wall hanging with these guys -first we lined them up in the color order we liked best.

Elephant Mobile Pattern // Benzie


4. Assemble! We threaded our doll needle with Rainstorm thread and brought the needle through the center of the elephants and dots. We also made a mobile using these 3 elephants, accent circles and an embroidery hoop. But a single little guy would look just as adorable! Happy crafting!

Felt Elephant Ornament Craft // Benzie

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Felt Flower Bouquet DIY

Benzie's very first blog post included some finds of alternate wedding bouquets -some used ribbon and some felt but we inspired you to think differently about the fresh bouquet that traditionally adorns brides. Jen at Something Turquoise did just that -she rocked the felt foliage and pumped out 8 diy's that cumulated in one beautiful bouquet in all its wool felt glory. Have you ever seen anything more beautiful?

Felt Flower Bouquet DIY

In order to make a single bouquet in the colors pictured -all you need is a 9x12" bundle of 15 sheets in these Benzie wool blend felt colors: Pink (2), Cotton Candy (2), Fern (2), Sage (2), Butter, Parchment or Linen (Jen used Parchment but our new color Linen might be a more creamy fit!), Rainstorm, Oats, Graphite, Rose and Mulberry. If two sheets of the same color are selected (like the Pink) -you will receive it in the larger 12x18" sheet.

Felt Flower Instructions

To get all the crafty details and to view the eight flowers and foliage diy's check out Something Turquoise. And let me know if you make the bouquet or just your favorites -tag with #benziefelt -I would love to see what you create!

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!

Supplies:
--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
--Glue

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.

 
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