How To: Felt Leaf Bowls

Last week, I shared a  few simple tablescapes, one of which included a set of felt leaf bowls.  I promised to share more about the bowls, so here I am.  Martha told me about this great DIY project.  When I say told, I mean her website suggested I look at these felt and tweed oak leaf bowls.  I printed the template on cardstock and bought a variety of felt and tweed. 

I thought I had purchased the right fusible interface, but I didn’t.  I took a trip to Hobby Lobby and asked for a little help to make sure I had the right interface.  What the woman suggested was “Wonder Under.”  Basically, it’s a sheet of iron on hem tape. One side is rough and the other side is covered in smooth paper.  Perfect for the job. 

I followed Ms. Martha’s instructions, but here are a few photos to help you along.  First, place the interface rough side down on the wrong side (the back) of the tweed square.  Press for 5 to 10 seconds, move the iron to overlap slightly and press again.  Do this until your entire square is fused.  Then, trace the oak leaf pattern on the paper side of the interface.  You don’t have to be precise with the tracing.  You could even make your own leaf pattern, just add the darts. 

Once you’ve traced the oak leaf, cut the design out.  Remove paper backing and place on the felt square.  Cover with a damp cloth and press for 10 to 15 seconds, or until fused with the felt. 

Cut around the tweed leaf design, getting as close as possible. 

One more step, sewing the darted areas.  I overlapped the backs of my pattern to make a deeper bowl, but Martha suggest sewing with a zig zag stitch without overlapping the fabric. 

I may make another set of shallower bowls, but I like how these look, so I may not.

What do you think?  Anyone going to give these a try?

Pillow Talk

Yesterday, I shared a felt circle pillow that tickled my fancy.  After looking at the picture for a few minutes, lusting after it, I realized it would be pretty simple to recreate the look.  I remembered that I had a few yards of a similar yellow colored felt that I bought on clearance last year, so I used that. 

First, I determined the size of my pillow.  I knew I wanted a rectangle, so I cut my piece of felt to a 12 1/2 inch by 18 1/2 inch rectangle.  Using a spool of ribbon, I traced a circle on to the felt and cut it out.  This circle was my template for every single circle to follow.  Why, you ask?  Because, dear reader, both sides of the circle are visible and I didn’t want pen lines all over.  That, and I don’t have a disappearing ink pen.  If you do, you could use that.  Because I didn’t, I pinned my template to the felt and cut one circle at a time, like this.

After cutting roughly 120 to 150 circles, I started sewing.  First, fold the felt in half to get a rough cross-section.  Pin the circle in place and sew straight across the center, in whatever direction you’d like.  Place the next circle close to the first and sew it in the center, going a different direction.  Continue placing and sewing the circles one at a time until you’ve covered the front.  There will be a few gaps between the circles, but it’s not a big deal.  Try to get most of the circles close together. 

Here’s a tip: Start from the center of the pillow and work your way toward the edges.  Once you’ve added many circles, there’s a lot of fabric and it becomes difficult to reach the center.  I learned this the hard way. 

Here’s another tip:  Keep 1/2 inch perimeter without circles, for your seam allowance.  Then, pin any loose ends toward the center of the pillow before you sew the back on.  This will prevent edges from getting sewn where you don’t want. 

For the back, I cut two  12 1/2 inch high by 12 inch wide pieces of scrap white cotton to make the back.  The process is very similar to this envelope closure pillow.  The only difference is it’s not all one piece.  Start by folding and pinning the short edge.  Fold over and pin again, then sew the along the edge for a nice, clean seam.  Once both edges are sewn, place the pillow front face up.  Add one of the back pieces to meet the edges of the front, face down.  Pin in place.  Add the second piece, keeping a few inches of overlap and pin, face down.  Sew all four edges and cut the corners.  Turn right side out, stuff with a pillow form and enjoy your work. 

 Wondering where the cable knit pillow came from?  I made that from an old sweater.  Follow the instructions above, substituting the felt circle front for a chunky knit sweater and voila!  Instant fall and winter warmth without a hefty price tag.  While we’re on the topic of pillows, check out this one for our theater room.

We’ve decided to add pops of yellow to our windowless theater room to brighten up and bring life to the space.  It also doubles as a great fall color, but can be used year round, bonus! 

Have you started any fall decorating?  What do you think is the best or quickest or easiest or all the above way to inject seasonal accents to seamlessly blend with the rest of the decor?