Objects old, vintage, hand made or upcyled, and old techniques with a modern twist

Posts tagged ‘felt’

Small Storage DIY

Small, plain wooden trays are often used as packaging for small items such as tealight candles or craft items, and are useful for organising small items. The trays are very plain, and sometimes only roughly finished, but it is quick and easy to turn them into decorative and useful drawer or desk-top organisers.


First use some sandpaper to smooth off any rough edges. I simply decorated these trays by cutting felt inserts to sit in the bottom of each compartment- this is a useful project for using up fabric odds and ends.


The compartments were measured, and squares of different coloured felt cut out and fixed into the bottom of each compartment using a small amount of glue.

The trays could alternatively be lined using leather or decorative papers, or be decorated using paint. I have these trays in the bottom of a shallow drawer in my jewellery bench, and they are perfect for holding jewellery making materials and semi-finished items.


Leather Flowers DIY


I have been inspired by all of the lovely summer flowers blooming at the moment; these little flowers can be made from leather, suede or felt, and are a great way of using up small leather scraps. The flowers can be uniform in colour, or you can go wild and create a multi-coloured bloom!

Soft, relatively thin leather and/or suede works best, as it allows the petals to fold open rather than appearing stiff and upright. The flowers can be made to any size, and can be attached to brooches, hair clips/bands, bags, hats etc.



  • Optional: brooch back, hair clip etc as desired.
  • Leather scraps (not too thick)
  • Sharp scissors
  • Glue

First of all cut out the flower petals, plus some narrow strips to form the flower stamens. The petals don’t have to be perfectly shaped, as long as the edges are cut neatly and they have a straight bottom edge: different sized-petals work best.  For the red and purple flower I used 18 petals and nine stamens (six short blue ones, and three longer green ones).


First of all glue the stamens together in a bunch to form the centre of the flower:


Next, start gluing petals in place: start with the smaller petals, and attach them a little way up from the base of the stamens.


Keep adding petals, using larger and larger ones, with the final few being attached level with the bottom of the stamens.


Et voila, one finished flower!


suede-flower pink-leather-flower

Winter/Christmas Bunting

Christmas Bunting 1

A couple of years ago I got together with some friends before Christmas and we all made our own strings of Christmas bunting (or seasonal winter-themed bunting). It is a relatively quick and easy project, and I have just finished making the string shown here as a Christmas present for a friend this year.

Christmas Bunting 3

The project is great for using left over scraps of fabric or felt, and the flags can be as big or small as you want (and any shape!). I used felt here as it doesn’t fray (so time didn’t need to be spent on hemming all of the edges), and felt is also thick enough to glue- rather than sew- the pieces together without the glue showing.

I am a great fan of sewing things (and very fussy about the finish being as near to perfect as possible), but in this project using glue still resulted in a very nice finish, and saved time. Gluing most fabrics results in a less tidy finish than stitching, with the dried glue being visible on the finished piece, but felt is thick enough to prevent the glue soaking through if you don’t use too much.

Christmas Bunting 2

Very few materials are needed, and this is a great stash-busting project as all sorts of items can be used for decoration, including pompoms, buttons, ric rac or sequins.

Christmas Bunting 4

Using glue made it much easier to attach the pompoms, and taking care to use a small amount meant that it wasn’t visible. The Bostik glue that I used here is fantastic, and I have yet to find a material that it won’t work on! It also dries a lot quicker than textile glue, making it easier to work with.

The project was so quick and easy that a couple of work colleagues may also be receiving some bunting for Christmas this year…!

Christmas Bunting 5

Apple Pincushion Paperweight DIY

Apple Pincushion or paperwight (a)

This week I needed to make a present for a friend who is relatively new to sewing, but very enthusiastic (yay, another convert!). I decided on a pincushion, and after spending time digging out all of my scraps of green coloured fabrics and trying to choose two, I thought red would look better. The leaves and stalk are made from felt.

Although the apple looks a little fiddly, it is actually quite a simple project, and a great one for upcycling small pieces of vintage fabric (I can’t be the only one with miscellaneous small pieces of treasured fabrics saved… at least, I hope it’s not just me!).


  • Two different patterned cotton fabrics
  • Green and brown felt
  • Sewing thread- I used white for sewing together the apple, and brown for the stalk.
  • Contrasting embroidery thread for the veins on the leaf- I used an old gold/ochre colour.
  • Paper pattern pieces: a rectangle for the stalk, a leaf shape, and an ellipse for the apple (this piece is shown in the picture above).
  • Toy stuffing and dry, uncooked rice.

Because the apple is relatively small, I used rice to give it weight, so that the finished pincushion would stay put when being used, and so that it can also be used as a paperweight (always useful when pattern cutting!).

Apple pincushion materials

First cut out all of the pieces: one brown felt rectangle for the stalk, two green felt leaves (I used two different shades of felt), and six apple pieces (three in each of the two different fabrics). The template for the six apple pieces was calculated by deciding the finished height of the apple, and the finished circumference/girth of the apple : each piece is then the total finished height x one sixth of the total finished circumference/girth.

First I sewed together all of the apple pieces, leaving a gap for stuffing. I stuffed the apple with rice, putting a little toy stuffing at the top and bottom to soften the shape.

After stuffing I sewed the gap closed, and sewed a thread through the ‘core’ from the top of the apple to the bottom, to give it a more apple-like shape.

The stem was formed by rolling up a rectangle of brown felt, and then winding brown thread around it in a spiral to maintain the shape. The thread was then sewn through the bottom of the stalk, and was used to attach the stalk to the apple.

The leaf was formed by joining two leaf-shaped pieces of felt together using a small amount of glue (this keeps both pieces neatly in place for the next step), and then using a contrasting thread to embroider veins on the leaf. The final step was to sew the leaf to the apple.

Ta Da… one Apple Pincushion Paperweight!

Apple Pincushion or paperwight (b)

Monday Mood Board

When I posted the ‘Monday Mood Board’ photo earlier today, I forgot to say:

… the colourful china plate, floral silk handkerchief and glass baubles were all found at flea markets (at bargain prices!); the blue ‘Imagination’ postcard is from Paperchase; and the spheres brooch in the centre I made myself, by needle-felting the main structure (using blue wool), and then sewing on iridescent pink/orange glass beads. The brooch is a little unusual, but I like it!


A quick and easy project

A quick and easy project

All that’s needed to make this eye-catching necklace are:
*Felt rectangles (for large rosettes 6″x2″, small rosettes 4.5″x1.5″)
* A flat piece of plastic big enough to form the base (e.g. cut from an ice cream tub lid).
* 2x pieces of felt to cover the plastic.
* Bias binding to go around the base (sandwiching together the edges of the plastic, and the felt covering the plastic).
* A needle and some thread- to gather the felt rectangles into rosettes.
* Glue
* Scissors
* Small pom poms.

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