Christmas crafting is in full swing of many of us now, which means that I can’t actually share most of the things I’m working on with you at the moment! However, I was recently invited to take part in a competition to design a Christmas wreath as part of the Direct Blinds ‘Deck Your Doors’ campaign, and this I can share with you! I had been wondering about making a felt Christmas wreath anyway, so this was a great opportunity to get around to doing it.
To get me started, I was kindly sent some vouchers for Hobbycraft so that I could get some supplies for my wreath. I decided that I wanted to make an indoor wreath so that it can be used again each year and become part of our Christmas traditions, and so felt seemed like a good choice! I already had some lovely wool felt in my stash, and so I used my vouchers to buy everything I would need to try out needle felting. As many of you know, I’m always keen to learn something new, and this seemed like the perfect time to have a go! You can find the links to the supplies I bought in the list below.
You will need:
A polystyrene wreath (mine was 350mm)
About a metre of wool felt in dark green
Some 1cm red pom poms (I cut them off some pom pom trim!)
Mod Podge (or other glue that will work with felt) and a paintbrush
Paper, pencil, marker pen and paper scissors
Sharp fabric scissors
Wool roving (I used this Christmas pack)
Needle felting mat (optional – you might find it easier without one)
Some craft wire
Draw out a few holly leaf shapes and choose the one that you think is the best shape. Draw around it with a marker pen and then cut it out with your paper scissors.
Pin the template on the felt and carefully cut around it. You will need a lot of leaves to cover this size wreath – I cut out 120!
When all of your leaves are cut out, add a little texture to them by machine stitching along the leaf. This is really effective, but you could leave it out if you don’t want to. Theres no need to tie the thread at each end – just cut it close to each leaf.
A little while later (when you have cut out and stitched all your leaves!) you can start to stick everything on to the wreath. Cut out 2 long strips of felt, about an inch thick, and stick them around the bottom edges of the outside and inside of the wreath – this will make sure that you can’t see white bits around the edges.
Brush a little Mod Podge or glue on the back of each leaf and then stick it on to the wreath. I found it easier to work from the outsides up to the top, so stick leaves along the edges first before layering up like this:
Once the edges are covered, your layered leaves will begin to look more wreath-like!
When the whole thing is completely covered with leaves, add the pom pom berries. Place them first and then add a little glue on the back and press down firmly.
Now to make the robin! As I said, I had never done this before so it was trial and error really. I have a lovely book called Wool Buddies by Jackie Huang which I used for a technique guide, but I made up the design as I went along! I started by taking a ball of white roving, and prodded it a bit to make it into an oval shape. Then I covered this with brown roving, leaving the front white.
Next I attached the red wool, and at this stage the robin needs quite a bit of prodding to make sure it is attached. I’m not sure if that’s the technical term, but hopefully you know what I mean!
The eyes and beak are made next using tiny pieces of black roving. Position them first before carefully attaching with the needle felting tool.
As I said, my design kept changing as I went along and at this point I decided that his head and wings could be shaped out of his body. I did some serious prodding to do this – please mind your fingers here!
The final thing to do is to attach the robin to the wreath, and I wound some craft wire round and round to do this. Poke it into the bottom of the robin (sorry, robin!) and then poke the other end into the wreath. You may wish to glue the wire in to the robin too – I did this just to make sure it is really secure.
Then attach a wire loop at the back of the wreath so that you can hang it up, and you’re finished!
I hope you have enjoyed my tutorial – if you have a go at the wreath or the felted robin, then I would love to see them! Feel free to leave a link in the comments box below. If you are looking for more inspiration, you can visit the Direct Blinds inspiration blog for more ideas! What are you crafting for Christmas?