Shapes made from wool-felt sheets, cut and sewn with a blanket stitch, and padded with wool fleece, make beautiful small toys or decorations.
This is a quick and simple craft activity perfect for craft novices (like myself) or children. My 8 year old does a lot of this craft in her class. She is rather neat and quick. I was pleased to realize that she could be a very useful worker-bee in my aim to make some felt stars for the school Christmas Stall.
I had very little experience of handcraft before becoming a Steiner School parent, and much less experience working with natural wool fibre. It was during playgroup sessions I first got an introduction to felt crafting and I was instantly drawn in by the tactile feel of wool.
While synthetic materials are generally much cheaper they often give me that ‘teeth on edge’ sensation. Choosing natural materials is more sustainable for the planet and, as a simple act of reverence for nature, makes this activity a special joy to share with children.
For a Christmas tree decoration just add a hanging thread. You and your children can have great fun choosing shapes and colours. Coming from England, traditional Christmas reds and greens have a strong winter connotation for me. So I really enjoy playing with the notion of summer Christmas colour. I like yellows, golds and blues to reflect our precious family outings to the beach.
Boots and holly are winter shapes for me. I love stars. They are one of the simplest archetypical shapes, and represent stirrings of the spirit for any culture, any season or part of the world.
Instructions for a Felt Star:
For your template cut a star shape from paper. We used a cookie cutter for a bit of help.
You also will need –
- a square of felt (1 square can make 4 x7cm stars)
- a handful of toy stuffing (unspun wool)
- some embroidery (stranded thread) – about 40 cm.
- a needle
With blanket stitch a contrasting colour for the thread looks great. Invisible stitching is not the aim.
To ensure the thread passes smoothly through the material you will need to split the 6 strands in two. Thread 3 strands onto your needle.
Pin your template to a doubled up section of the felt and pin in place.
Scissor around the template, cutting through two sheets at a time. Slow and steady gets a good shape.
Blanket stitch around the star. Leave 3-4 cms gap for the filling.
Blanket stitching for beginners? Scroll down to ‘Child’s Play Instructions’ Section 2.
Take a handful of toy stuffing.
Pick out any small objects, grass seeds etc.
Tease out pieces of the wool to make them whispy and fluffy.
If your child is too young to help with the sewing they may love lending a hand for this deliciously tactile activity.
Stuff the star. Again children like to help with this. Then Blanket stitch the remaining section.
We decided to put a shiny tail on ours to make a shooting star.
This wool felt star was made from craft products purchased at Majestic Merino Denmark, WA
One decoration costs about 50 cents to make.
For instructions on how to blanket stitch please click the link below:
Work in progress!