Friday, December 10, 2010

Home-made Christmas cards.

First of all the snowball fight continues with lots of fun and goofiness. All of the shenanigans continue to be documented in the Desert Garden Farms group on Ravelry.

Speaking of Ravelry, there is always a swap or knit/crochet-along in any number of groups. One such swap I am involved in is a homemade Christmas card swap. Well nothing says Christmas crafting to me than felt & sequins. I grew up in a time when felt Christmas crafts were so popular; from felt Christmas stockings to tree skirts to holiday themed skirts for people. Unfortunately the felt that is available today at the large chain stores is inferior to the lovely thick fabric of yesterday. However, one could make their own from old sweaters or knit from remnants if time permits. Well time didn't permit in this instance and despite the thin modern day felt, I am really enjoying the process.

So here's what I've done thus far;

Felt Christmas Card
This card is constructed like a regular card in that it will have a front design and then open up to reveal a message on the inside. Therefore, the card itself consists of 4 sheets of felt, as well as plastic canvas and quilt batting inserts.

Inspiration image
Felt in assorted colors
Sharp scissors
Embroidery thread & sharp embroidery needle
Assorted sequins, beads, pompoms & embellishments
Sewing thread & needle for attaching embellishments
Quilt Batting
Plastic canvas sheet in same size as card
Optional Glue stick for pre-sticking components to felt background
card supplies

Card Front:
Step 1: Decide upon an image, including the basic size. Cut 4 sheets in the determined size or use felt sheets as is for an extra large card. Sketch design* out in full scale. (* Check clip art for design inspiration) I chose a palm tree design from clip art because I live in a place where there are lots of these trees.
Card inspiration
Step 2: Cut pieces from sketch or clip art to use as cutting pattern.Pin onto felt & carefully cut out.
Step 3: Arrange cut out pieces onto background sheet of felt to check for fit and composition; adjust as needed.
Step 4: Use a glue stick to glue the pieces into place. Do not try to completely glue the pieces down as this step is intended to aid in holding the design pieces in place while embroidery is worked. Let dry with heavy book on top to press layers together.
Step 5: Using all 6 strands of coordinating or matching floss, embroider around design components using such stitches as a running stitch, outline stitch, blanket stitch or chain.
Felt Card
Step 6: Add embellishments such as sequins and beads & pompoms, using sewing thread and smaller needle to accommodate small holes in beads & sequins.

I am uploading this pattern real-time, as I complete my own card. The 2nd half of the tutorial is forthcoming and will include sandwiching the plastic canvas, batting & card front together. So while we wait, go ahead and make a separate inside "sheet" for your card. For mine, I am going to embroider a message and maybe place a small holiday type icon just for color.

TGIF y'all!!

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