DIY: tiny felt wreaths
The holidays always seem to sneak up on me, and this year was no exception. Since many of my friends are also new mothers, we excused each other from the traditional gift exchange, but I still wanted to try to give them something, even if it was something little. Felt wreath ornaments were a project I’d wanted to try for a while, so I figured I’d give it a shot, time permitting, and would forgive myself if they never made it to fruition.
I got a head start last month and searched a few thrift stores for wool sweaters. Any type of wool will felt (lambswool, angora, etc.) as long as it’s 100% wool. I lucked out and found a few sweaters pretty quickly, but I knew I needed more, so I asked my sister to join in on the search and she scored big time. Thanks Anna!
Felting is really quite easy, but it’s time consuming, so I allowed myself a few days to complete the process. The key to felting is a hot wash, lots of agitation, a cold rinse, and a hot dry cycle. Some people do it by hand, but I really needed to expedite the process, so I used my washer & dryer. When doing this, the most important thing is to protect the machine from all the lint that felting creates. So, I put each sweater in an old pillow case and secured the ends tightly with a rubber band. We have a front loading washer, so I added some old towels to the load to help with the agitation. Using the longest wash cycle and hot water, I let the machine do its job. After a cold rinse, I took the sweaters out of the pillowcases and tossed them in the dryer to dry on high heat. Then I repeated that process a few times. Super easy and it worked like a charm! My sweaters felted perfectly and shrunk to about 1/4 of their original size. After the last dry cycle, I laid them out flat to cool and to prevent any wrinkles from setting.
I grabbed my hearty sewing scissors and cut the sweaters into 1 1/2 inch strips and then cut the strips into 1 1/2 inch squares.
Armed with a pile of wool squares and some thin wire that I grabbed from my jewelry supplies, I started threading the wire with the wool.
Thirty-two pieces of wool will make a wreath about 4 inches in diameter. I thought that was a good size for ornaments, so I twisted the ends of the wire to secure them, snipped off the extra wire, tied some ribbon around the wreath and ta-da!
The perfect little ornaments! I’m really happy with how they turned out…and just in time for Christmas. Whew!
Wishing everyone a very festive holiday season! See you all in the New Year!