Sunday, 9 October 2011

Frosty the Snowman - Christmas Tutorial no 8

I thought we might start making some decorations for the tree this week, which could also double up as brooches, bracelets and even earrings.  Now we haven't done any felting for ages, so I thought we could do a little bit more, but with option of a little bit of cheating if you are time-poor.
You will need the following kit:
White wool tops - or preformed small and medium sized felt balls
Black wool tops
Cocktail sticks
Left over sock wool
Black cotton
White cotton
Selection of embroidery threads
A marble
Needle - sewing and mattress
Bubble wrap
Soap and warm water
Bamboo mat
Glue gun
Firstly, you have to make two felt balls and to remind you how to make them take a look at the felt beads tutorial or you can buy ready prepared felt balls at most good craft stores.  You will need to create one ball which is smaller than the other to create the head and a larger one to become the body
Next we are going to create the felt hat for your snowman.  Lay out strands of your tops as follows - horizontal, vertical, horizontal, vertical -on top of the bubble wrap, which lies on top of your bamboo mat which has an old towel beneath it.  
Using your soap and warm water spray on top of the tops, now fold over the bubble wrap and spray again on top of the bubble wrap and start to agitate on top of the tops.  
After a minute, open it up and rotate it by 90' and agitate again (by this I mean rub it in small circles with your fingertips...) this is how you felt your tops together to make your felt hat.  
Now roll up your felt piece in the bubble wrap, but continue to do this in your bamboo mat... roll the mat for about 40 rolls, then open it up flip it 90' and roll it again.  The area of your felt will shrink by up to a third.
You now need to shock your felt - crude jokes will not work - do this with cold water to rinse out the soap.
Grab your marble,  and fold the felt over it, using a length of yarn, capture the felt around the marble with a length of wool and let it rest until it dries to make the shape of your hat.
Using your cocktail sticks, cast on four stitches and knit in a garter stitch pattern on these four stitches until the scarf measures at least six inches in garter stitch and then cast off.  I used a crochet hook to make fringing on the scarf.
Now, as the felt balls have dried, using your white cotton, start on the smaller ball and stab through to the larger ball with your mattress needle and back up to the smaller head ball and fasten your cotton off. 

Free your black hat from the marble, using a  contrasting shade of embroidery thread, stab through the top of the head and leave a loop of a few inches and come back down through the hat and knot it firmly.  Glue onto the head.
Now for the face, you can embroider the eyes in black french knots to represent the coal, then orange for the carrot nose and a red line for the mouth.  If you are not happy with your embroidery skills, steal your children's felt tips and pencil them on.
On each side of the body, using the black cotton doubled up, sew the arms and hands.  Then the three buttons down the chest... or with your felt tips.
Finally, wrap your scarf around the snowman's neck to keep him warm whilst he is hanging on your tree.

Grateful thanks are due to Lyn for her technical advice, do take a look at her superb felting blog

Right... you know what is coming, it is time to pop over to Wendy's Handmade Monday Blog

And later this week, how I met Nicky Epstein at Ally Pally :)


mcrafts said...

Oh my goodness - how cute is that snowman :)

loody said...

Seriously sweet!! xx

Anonymous said...

fab tutorial as always! and love the snowman!! might just have to give this a go.... :o) x

Rita said...

Fabulous tutorial Ros,
What a little cutie your snowman is too.
Love your work xxx

Susie said...

Wonderful tutorial, I'm going to mark it, and look again later. One day I WILL felt! Thank you. :)

Wendy said...

Oh how cute is he? Fab tutorial again. Like Susie, one day I will have a go at felting!!


What a super snowman! Love his big black hat. A good tutorial - many thanks - easy to follow.

Annie and Lyn said...

Excellent tutorial - he's adorable! The stripey scarf worked out well with that variegated wool and cocktail sticks. and the marble made a lovely hat shape.

Looking forward to your account of your meeting with Nicky Epstein - we went to Ally Pally yesterday and dribbled over the skeins of wool on the Colinette stand and yes, we did buy some!

Pickle Lily said...

Another great tutorial! I can see we will have to wet felt again my daughter sees this!
Jo x

Sam Findlay said...

He is super cute! Love him!

Ali said...

Great tutorial & he is gorgeous!

Ali x

Helen said...

That is rather cute! I am so pants at felting lol but might be tempted to have another go :)

Planet Penny said...

Oh so cute, nice to see the alternative way to make felty things, (I'm a needlefelter)He's got such a happy little face!

Picto said...

He's so sweet and will look great on the Christmas tree. or as you said, he'll make a great seasonal brooch.

Jan x

Beth said...

Adorable! Thanks for the tutorial.

itsamistry said...

What a cute snowman. I'm afraid I don't have the patience to do felting but do appreciate the time and effort that goes into making these lovely items.

Martha said...

cutie, cutie! totally lost in that gorgeous black hat! this little snowman wants me to stop, bend down and take it in my cupped hands and take it home :) i just hope it wouldnt melt then! or maybe i would melt instead :)

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