Felt bead necklace and a wooden bowl

Over the weekend we went to a birthday party for a friend of the Boo’s. We wanted a simple, cute gift, that more on the “natural” side of things, and didn’t involve a lot of shopping! So I thought a felt bead necklace would be lovely. Since I’ve been playing with wool lately, the boy and I set about making some felt beads:

I’ve made felt balls before, but not beads. The difference being that balls are a whole lot larger than beads. I have this book called The Art of Feltmaking by Anne Vickrey which has many felt projects I’ve been attempting to do lately. This includes not only balls, and now beads, but I’ve also been trying to make felt little people. To make a long story short, so far none of my felting experiments have gone very well. I definitely feel like I have no idea what I’m doing, and the instructions in the book oddly aren’t helping.

In fact, the instructions to make beads tell you to make a felt rope (Boo loves making ropes by the way, we call them snakes for dramatic effect), cut the rope up, then roll those sections into beads. This did not work well for me at all, and I was starting to get desperate that my only gift idea was going to flop! Finally I talked to my friend Leah, who makes loads of felt things and even has her own Etsy shop, and she suggested doing just little bits at a time. This worked about one thousand times better! And then we had some beads, and a final product!

It’s not exactly what I had envisioned — I thought beads all the way around on some elastic thread would be ideal because a) a child could put it over their heads on their own and b) it would probably snap if it got stuck on anything thereby not choking anyone. However, I didn’t have enough (good) beads for that, so this is what we ended up with. (I know it looks like a lot of beads in the bowl, but all the disastrous ones are beneath the good ones.) I think it’s pretty cute!

Incidently — I totally made that wooden bowl in the first picture. H’s dad is a woodturner and has his own little wood shop. For his birthday, we drove over to a wood supply house and bought him some wood and some gadgets, so I picked up a little piece of wood myself. It’s Sycamore, I believe. Anyway, on our last day there he helped me turn a bowl!

Of course he did the hard bits. It quickly became evident that at the rate I was taking off wood we would not finish this bowl for approximately 100 years, so he took off huge chunks for me and I did the, umm, more subtle finishing 😉

Nevertheless, I’m really pleased with it. I made a bowl! How cool is that? I do have to say that woodturning is a) HARD WORK! and b) I think I like ceramics better. Good thing there are so many arts in the world to experiment with!

One last thing. H snapped a picture of the Boo helping me with some sewing. He’s been doing this for a while, actually. He’s quite fascinated with the sewing machines in general. So far he’s understood the rules (don’t get anywhere near the needle!) and he just helps me push the material through, at a very respectable distance. Here we were fixing some pillowcases I accidently bought a size too big. Mama’s a dork!

In other crafty news, I’m onto the second sock, the lace scarf is more than halfway through, and the hedgehog is drying. Phew!

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One Response to Felt bead necklace and a wooden bowl

  1. Leah Adams says:

    A Swedish friend shared a different technique for making felt balls that prevents the brain-like creases from developing. Take a slightly wet pile of roving and toss it back and forth between your hands positioned three or four inches apart, like you are just learning to juggle with a single ball. This takes a while, but it will turn into a ball. Apparently, Swedes, like many European start learning to make felt in kindergarten and this is one of their first projects. I’ve got to try it myself, but it sounds plausible.

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