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Friday, September 30, 2011

Sometimes I Make Things: Felted Wool Flowers

I apologize for the MONTHS of not posting.  A lot has happened.
I got a job.
I graduated.
I got a different job.

I have a GIANT cube and it needs some love.  Last weekend I found enough time to sew a lumbar pillow cover for my chair because I'm old and my back hurts if I don't sit up straight.  It's orange and white and p-r-e-t-t-y!  I'll try to snap a picture next week.  Next up on my list: Something pretty for my LARGE expanse of desk area.  I am NOT a packrat at work, and I throw things out/recycle all the time.  Translation: I have a lot of open space, DYING for pretty stuff.  And, althought I technically do have a window, it is a skylight and that's all I can see: sky. 

I need some nature.

Nature's expensive. :(

So I made some unnatural flowers from natural materials.  Huh?  Let me explain.

Felted wool beads!  Aren't they adorable?

I understand that they don't really look like any sort of flower.  But hey, they kind of echo a flowery-type thing, yes?  Ok thanks.

Wanna know how I did it?

Ok, but I'll tell you right now this is NOT a tutorial.


So, I found these adorable little felt beads popping up all over blogland and just HAD to make some of my own.  So of course I went out and bought four ounces of merino wool roving.  I want to guess that I probably used 25% of that on this project.  Which is unfortunate.  Unfortunate because, I have found that I HATE HATE HATE making these annoying little beads.  They take forever and my hands get soggy and wrinkly.  Gross.  From now on, I am going to buy undyed pre-made felt beads on Etsy.  They're barely more expensive than buying the raw stuff, and they look TONS better than these ones I attempted.  If you would like to buy some, I would suggest trying here.  Lemonn's prices seem to be the most reasonable, for a great product.

BUT, if you decide you still would like to attempt making them after I've told you why not to, then go ahead.  You can find a tutorial on how to make felt beads from roving here.

So anyway, to the directions.  I was planning on making 30 felt beads, but gave up at 27 and decided that was probably enough.  I told you.  I hated making them!

So I made 27 balls.  I died them in batches of five, playing with different colors and water/dye ratios with RIT dye. That part was fun :D

I then stuck them on cheap grill skewers.

When I tried arranging them in my vase, I realized that the whole all-the-same-length thing looked awful, so I trimmed some to get some variety.  Also, I'm not a floral-foam person, so I opened my kitchen cabinet and pulled out those year-old dry black beans.  Easy peasy!

That being said, this was fun and easy, but next time I'd do it with premade, undyed beads and just dye them myself.  Who knows?  Maybe I'll be ready for some new colors come Christmas ;)

Price Breakdown:
Vase = Free (found it in my newly-acquired desk) but otherwise, $1 at a thrift store
Skewers = Free - they've been hanging out in our drawers since before we moved into this house (over two years ago...) but otherwise, idk $1?
Wool Roving = $10 for 4 ounces, and I used one, so $2.50.
Black Beans = Free, or $2

Total = $2.50!  (Or $6.50 if you are not a hoarder like I am)

Will look lovely in my cube, don't you think?

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