Monday, September 10, 2012
Felted Autumn Tree and Book Giveaways
The main thing is to have patience. I would recommend this project for Grade 3 or higher.
I'll give you all the details on this project but first I want to introduce 2 new felting books from my friends at Creative Publishing International.
The Complete Photo Guide to Felting" by Ruth Lane. This book tells you everything about felting with tons of color photos and step by step instructions.
A great reference book for beginners or experienced felters. I have read quite a few books on felting but this was the first time I encountered one that covered absolutely everything!
- suggested retail $27.99 Can, $24.99 USA
- over 800 pictures
I especially liked the info pages on sheep and wool varieties. I am fortunate to have a weaving supplier who carries many types of wool but they all react to felting differently.
This book goes through each variety, shows a picture of each type and what felt it will produce, how long it will take, resulting texture, and shrinkage.
Lots to keep you busy!
"Felted Feathered Friends" by Laurie Sharp. This book focuses on needle felted birds.
Honestly I haven't done much needle felting. I'm mostly a wet felter but I'm a sucker for birds and I can't wait to try some of these out.
Check out this woodpecker, adorable! I just saw a Hairy Woodpecker in my backyard last week.
There are 20 different bird projects.
There is a short (just right) chapter on basic supplies and techniques. You then get a nice large picture of the completed bird, the Materials list, and then step by step photos and instructions.
So if you like my format you are sure to like this book. Wait till you see the flamingo!
- hard cover
- 264 pages
- 500 pictures
- suggested retail $21.99 Can, $19.99 USA
I'm giving away a copy of each book so check out the end of the post for details.
Now back to my felted Autumn Tree Project:
- cleaned and carded wool , plain and dyed in Fall colors. Check out this old post on how to dye wool with good old Koolaid
- a recycled water bottle, I like the squeeze type
- an old towel
- liquid dish soap and a bar of soap
- a piece of netting or tulle
- warm water
- ziploc bag, optional
- either a sushi mat, bubble wrap, or that bumpy non slip shelf liner
Lay out your towel on your workspace.
I like to use that bumpy non slip shelf liner. You can buy a big roll of it (Rubbermaid) and then cut to size for a class set. You'll use these over and over again.
Place your piece on top of your towel. You can also use a sushi mat or a piece of bubble wrap.
We are going to build our base first and then add the colors.
Take the plain wool and taking little sections lay onto your shelf liner all going the same way. I try to separate and flatten it out as much as I can. You don't want big clumps.
Don't worry if your wool goes past the shelf liner we will trim this later.
Repeat this process again so you have 4 layers of wool.
It will seem a bit bulky but don't worry once you start felting it will be flat.
Save to use for another project.
This part is optional. I just happened to have blue and green wool so I added these to my background but the tree will look awesome just on a plain background as well.
I'm just adding one layer here. I left some of the white showing for clouds.
Add your Fall colors in a tree shape. (just the leaves) Don't worry about the trunk or branches at this time.
I had about 2 layers of colored wool for the leaves.
Put a squirt or two of liquid dish soap into your squeeze bottle. Add hot water. Shake a little and start squirting onto your wool.
You want your wool to be fully saturated.
Place a piece of netting or tulle on top of your wet wool.
Take your soap bar and rub over the netting/tulle. Just enough to make it bubbly and foamy.
Now it's time to rub. You can just use your bare hand but I find it keeps messing with my netting. So I put my hand into a ziploc. It keeps the netting from moving.
This is where the patience comes in, it takes anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes of rubbing. It depends on the variety of wool. Keep adding water and soap as needed.
When done pick up the felted piece in the palm of your hand. Move to the drier half of the towel.
Take the netting off and fold the towel over top like a sandwich.
Push down to blot out water.
Put your piece aside to dry.
Now we will make the trunk and branches.
Lay out some brown wool fleece in a tree shape.
There is no layering here just a good clump. We will be rolling our felt.
Set it up just like before. Shelf liner, wool fleece, warm soapy water, netting, and then rub with soap bar.
When done roll in dry part of the towel and blot out the water.
I could needle felt my trunk in place but I want this to be kid friendly so I'm going to glue it in place.
Figure out where you want your branches to go and trim excess.
Put some tacky glue on the back and press into place on your felted background.
Finally I glued the whole felted picture to a burlap backing. I added a stick to the top with a glue gun and then tied on a string.
Now if you are interested in the book giveaways you can enter in one of the following ways:
- leave a comment on this post
- like or comment on this link on my Facebook page
- send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
There will be one winner for each book.
Please only Canadian and USA residents only.
Enter by 11:59pm Thurs, Sept 13th/12 and I will make the draw Friday morning.
Good luck everyone and Happy Felting!