I’ve been wanting to learn felting for a long time (both needle felting and felting wool), and I’ve finally tried it with this Felted Heart Garland. I wanted to make something for Valentine’s Day, but would still be okay to leave up a little bit longer through the winter (in other words, I still have my Christmas cards hanging up so I’m sure I’ll do the same for my Valentine’s Day decorations).
I found one of Chandler Bing’s wool vests at the thrift store and washed it in hot water to felt it. You could also just start out with felt and skip that whole process, but I wanted to try this out too. Sorry I forgot to take a before pic, but this is after I washed it. Basically, it shrinks to the point where you can’t see the stitches anymore and it won’t ravel when you cut it. Here’s how to felt a wool sweater by Martha Stewart.
Besides the vest, I also used:
- Felting Needle Mat (the big brush-looking thing)
- Felting Needle Tool (you could use a single felting needle for this project instead)
- Wool yarn
- A template to cut out the hearts (I used a cookie cutter)
- Pinking shears (regular scissors are ok too)
- Not shown: pins, tapestry needle, something to hang the garland such as another piece of yarn, twine or strip of fabric.
- If you don’t know how to needle felt, I learned a lot from this video from Mrs Polly Rogers. If you try it, please be careful with the felting needles…they are barbed and very sharp! So keep your hands away as you felt!
First I cut four hearts from the vest with my pinking shears, following roughly along the cookie cutter. You can be a little more precise than I was, if you wish!
Then I placed a heart onto the felting board, took my wool yarn and shaped it into an L using pins. Don’t stab the pins into the bottom of the board or you may damage it…they’re just gently holding the yarn in place. Don’t cut off the rest of the yarn yet.
I carefully started punching the felting needles straight up and down in gentle, quick strokes, in between the pins (don’t felt the pins or you may damage your felting needles).
Eventually start removing the pins one by one as you felt and as the yarn starts to stick to the heart. Keep punching in the yarn after you’ve removed all the pins to make sure the yarn is incorporated into the fabric. You’ll be able to see little fibers from the yarn on the opposite side.
When you’ve felted most of it, overlap the lose ends of the yarn to form the L and trim off the excess.
And felt down the ends.
Repeat with all the letters.
I found a thicker yarn in a similar color in my stash to hang the hearts (which my girls named Disney Tangled Hair). Or, you could use anything else such as twine or a strip of fabric. To attach the hearts, I used a tapestry needle and more of the yarn. First, insert the needle through the fabric from the back, leaving about a 2-inch tail in the back. Tie a knot.
Then stitch around three times or so, around the thick yarn and through the fabric again.
To finish, first weave the thread through the stitches in the back…
…and tie a knot with that end to the original 2-inch tail. Trim off the ends. Do this at the two top bumps of the hearts.
Repeat with the other hearts, spacing them about 1 inch or so apart. You could totally stop here.
But I couldn’t resist making a few more.
Okay, now I’m done.
This could get addicting!
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