Sunday, May 31, 2015

Upcycle an Old Sock Into a Sheep

Last year, while doing the laundry, I saw a sock that was balled up and thought it could make a great sheep.
So I found an old sock with holes in it and cut off the foot of it.  I then cut the following pieces out of black and pink felt.

The four black pieces on the left (2 in the top row and 2 in the bottom) are for the head.
The next four pieces (2 in the top row and 2 in the bottom) are for the ears.
And the four on the right are the feet.

I first took the two black pieces that are second from left in the top and bottom row above and sewed the tops and bottoms together with a blanket stitch.
I was then left with a cylindrical shape with openings on either end that were not stitched.
I pinched the felt and held the shape on top of the smaller pieces of felt for the head.
I then cut out the shape it made like so:

I cut two of that shape out and realized I didn't need to put on one the end of the head that would be attached to the sock.  
So I just sewed the piece onto the front of the head and stuffed the felt scraps into the head to complete it.

Using white thread doubled, I sewed two little eyes onto either side of the head.
Then it was time for the ears.

I took the black and pink pairs and sewed them together with a blanket stitch.
I then pinched the wider end of it like so to make the final shape of the ear.

Then I took my four black feet and sewed them to the sock, two on each side.

Turning the sock inside out, I sewed the bottom shut with a running stitch.  (This is the unfinished side, without the cuff, seen at the bottom).

I turned it back the right way and stuffed it with the sock's foot that I had initially cut off.
Then I sewed the other end of the sock closed.

I then folded each end of the sock, to resemble a balled up sock, and sewed it in place.  You can see that effect in the picture below.  And then I attached the ears and head to the sock and the little sheep was done.

We normally use torn socks as cleaning rags but this was a much more fun way to re-purpose an old sock and get one more use out of it in its new incarnation.

And when you can't sleep, you can always count him jumping over the fence.

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Cardboard and Felt Garden - A Spring Upcycling Project

It was raining all morning today so I decided to bring us a sunny garden indoors with the help of a little felt, cardboard and this awesome backdrop made by my talented friend, Brynn.

(I made those insects last week and will post about them later this summer).

For the garden, I started by making carrots, beets and flowers out of felt.  I folded an orange piece of felt like this so I could cut duplicates out for my 2 carrots.

Then I folded a green piece of felt like so and drew the leaves on it.

I cut them out and was good to go.

I did the same thing for my 2 beets and 4 flowers.
I then cut out strips of cardboard that were long enough to go through the vegetables and greens, and the stems and flowers.

Next, it was time to sew.
I used a machine but you could hand sew these as well with a blanket stitch.
I started by sewing my bottom pairs together.  So the orange part of the carrots, the red part of the beets, and the stems for the flowers.
I left the top of each open.  (It is the bottom in this picture).  This way I could stuff it with scraps of felt and my strip of cardboard.

I then sewed my pairs of greens and flowers together leaving their bottom open (seen on the left here).

Then it was just a matter of sliding the two pieces together...

...and sewing shut, being careful not to sew over cardboard, which I assume would break the needle.

2 of the flowers just required the extra step of first sewing the circle onto the petals.

I then sewed them together with an opening on the bottom (seen on the left in this picture), and followed the same procedure to attach the stems.  I then sewed my pairs of leaves together and finally, I sewed the leaves onto the stems by hand because I didn't think my sewing machine could go through so many layers of felt.

Next it was time for the soil.  I got an old cardboard box and folded closed the side that we had opened when it came in the mail.  
I flipped the box over to the side that was taped shut and began to cut holes with scissors.  Unfortunately, my scissors were dull so I just had to keep poking at the box to make jagged slots for the vegetables and flowers.

I put all the vegetables and flowers in their slots and put the 3 insects I made last week on them.  (I will post a tutorial on those later this summer).

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Sunday, May 10, 2015

Fun With Felt

The Berenstain Bears

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood

Peg + Cat

Maisy and friends

Are You My Mother


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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Ocean Birthday Party Favors - Whales and No-Sew Playmats

For my son's 3rd birthday party, which was an ocean themed party, I made whales out of felt and a felt play mat.

To make the whales, I simply cut out the shape of the whale in duplicate, and cut out a fin and a heart.

I then machine sewed the fin to one of the pieces of the whale's body and hand-sewed the heart on.

Next, I sewed the two body pieces together in the sewing machine, stuffing it with felt scraps before I closed it completely.

Finally, I used a Sharpie Stained fabric marker to draw an eye and mouth on each whale and the whale was done!

I also made a shark and starfish to use as decor.  You can see them on the right here:

To make the playmats, I bought felt by the yard.  I put a whale on it to figure out how big the mat should be in order for the kids to have room to play with the whale on it.

Once I decided on the size, I cut out as many mats as I needed for the favors.  (I had made some whales for my kids out of an old pair of jeans too.  You can see one in the picture below on the left.

Next, I took the fabric pens and drew a sea turtle, octopus, sea horse, jellyfish, angler fish, starfish and a merman and mermaid.

If you remember my post on my son wearing pink, you know I find the notion of pink only being for girls to be ridiculous so I made sure to give the merman pink hair and the mermaid blue hair.

I then cut the flap off an envelope that had come in the mail and wrote each child's name on it.  I gave one playmat per family and a whale per child.

So when all the playmats were done and the ink dry, I simply wrapped the whales in the playmat and tied it close with ribbon.

And the favors were all set for the party!

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