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Archive for 'Ornaments'

Heart Ornament

This is a playful ornament, designed to incorporate your favorite embroidery stitches or beadwork. Add what you love- stars, flowers, hearts….felt cutouts, beads and embroidery! We provide some suggestions, and encourage you to customize! This is the kind of project that is a pleasure to work on in the evening- just some simple relaxing stitches, anyway you want them!


3 inch x 6 inch piece of rose coloured wool felt
small amount of wool felt in yellow for stars
cotton embroidery floss to match felt
+ assorted colors for embroidery stitches
selection of larger seed beads that fit easily through an embroidery needle
small amount of wool for stuffing

Cut out the pattern pieces using our Living Crafts Heart Ornament Pattern. Cut out 2 heart pieces and 3 small stars.

Tip: Add the largest design elements first and then embellish around them.

Sew the stars on to the top heart felt piece, using invisible or ladder stitch.

Add simple straight stitch designs using colored emboidery floss. Vines, flowers, or simple stars all made just with straight stitches.
Add some beads for a little extra twinkle. Large seed beads are nice to use- they show up well on the felt, and you don’t need to use a special needle to sew them on.

Starting at the center top of the heart, sew the front and the back of the heart together, using blanket stitch. Leave about 1 inch open for stuffing. Gently stuff the heart, using a bamboo skewer or knitting needle to move the wool to the edges. Sew the last section closed. Use remaining thread to add a hanger for the heart ornament. Hang and Enjoy!

Posted by Living Crafts on Dec 21, 2011 10:18 PM | 5 Comments

Tiny Treasures- Felt Painting Boards and Giveaway

Felt Painting Boards are the fifth project in a seasonal series of  little, quick-to-make gifts we so often need for the holidays. For planned or last minute occasions, for tooth fairies, pocket ladies, and winter fairs; for classmates, neighbour’s and host’s children; for advent calenders and stockings! Tiny treasures that can be made with a small amount of materials and a small amount of time- 20 minutes or less!

Painting with wool roving is such a warm, tactile and pleasing craft. Washes of color or detailed images- they all look lovely made with wool. And, most importantly, they can be changed at any time to become a whole new “painting”.  These little kits make fantastic creative gifts, not only for children! Make the felt board on a log cut, as we have, or on a piece of  finished wood, include a little pouch of colored wool, and the wool painting can start! We’ve included instructions below on making a simple tree image. It can be helpful to show children how to make an image first, to develop a hand and head understanding of how to use the materials….how to build up a picture, enjoy it, and then take it apart and make another!


a log slice or piece of finished wood, about 5 inches in diameter or a 5 inch square. Log slices can often be obtained from craft supply shops. If you are cutting your own, make sure the wood is dry.

5″ x 5″ piece of wool felt.  A fluffy felt works especially well as a background to hold the paintings in place. A piece of felted blanket or sweater would work well, or National Non-Wovens wool felt in white dyed using this method.  All felt will work for this though!

small amounts in a rainbow of wool roving/batting colors

tiny twigs

wood glue

Cut a piece of wool felt to fit on the wooden base. Cut to a size so there is a nice wooden frame left visible around the wool felt.

Apply glue well over the entire back of the wool felt piece. Glue onto the wooden base. You may want to weight down the wool felt while it dries to get the best adhesion to the wood.

To make the wool tree painting:

First we need to lay down some earth for the tree to put down it’s roots and grow…

This step sets up the basic painting with wool technique- Use only very small wisps of wool. Hold down one side and draw or paint the wool out, pulling it where you want it to be on your board.

Push your twig tree trunk a little way into the earth, and roll a little on the felt base to hold it in place.

Paint the branches on your tree.  Hold the green woolly wisp at the top of the tree trunk and pull the wool out into boughs.  Add a few on each side and down the trunk.

We can make some decorations for our tree by using just a few wool fibers and rolling them into a ball between thumb and forefinger.  Drop them randomly onto the tree.

If it’s going to snow in your picture, pull out small white wool wisps of snow and have them fall in drifts across the ground and on a few boughs. When the snow melts and the holidays are over, the snow and decorations can be taken off the tree.

Or maybe the whole tree will come off and the wool and twig be made into something completely different.  Here are some ideas:

These wool paintings can be hung on a wall, displayed on a table or mantlepiece, or hung on your tree. It can be changed through the day or the year to create new seasonal pictures. Ideal for travelling, during appointments, or family gatherings.

You can read more about painting with wool in Living Crafts- Fall 2008.

Watch for more in our Tiny Treasures series- we’ll be featuring at least one new tutorial each week until Christmas,  including wooden castle blocks, and poppy pod people, plus other small and simple natural gift making inspirations.

Enjoy our earlier tutorials in this series:  Tiny Toadstools, Rainbow Rocks, Frost Gnomes and  Pinecone Gnomes.


National Non-Wovens has generously offered a wool felt assortment pack for the lucky winner! Their gift includes a collection of gorgeous colors in 100% wool felt sheets!

Please leave a comment on this post by Thursday, December 15 for a chance to win this wonderful giveaway.


Fiona Duthie

Fiona Duthie is a regular contributor to Living Crafts.

In her studio on Salt Spring Island, BC, she creates in a bountiful beauty of color, wool, and texture, inspired by the natural world. Fiona designs fine feltwork, felting and knitting patterns, gives workshops in natural craft, and runs her hand dyed, artisan fibre company, Kattikloo. You can read more about her fibers, projects and creative living at and on Facebook.

Posted by Fiona Duthie on Dec 11, 2011 09:47 PM | 397 Comments

Book Review: 55 Christmas Balls to Knit

55 Christmas Balls to Knit

Since 2002, Arne and Carlos have used their unique style sense to parlay traditional Scandinavian knitwear designs into individual patterns perfect for holiday décor. Here they share 55 hand-stitched knits on a supersmall scale—projects that take little time to make and minimal effort to make well.

Arne Nerjordet and Carlos Zachrison, Norwegian and Swedish respectively, established their design company Arne & Carlos in 2002.

 Drawing on their traditional Scandinavian influences and their natural environment, they create original and visually striking knitwear.  Arne and Carlos’ creative base is their eclectic farm located north of Oslo in the Valdres region of Norway. There, they absorb the rich tradition of Scandinavian arts and crafts while exploring their own knitwear inspirations ( 


$50 gift certificate + this BOOK!


Trafalgar Square Books are giving away a copy of 55 Christmas Balls to Knit book to one lucky Living Crafts blog visitor.  Leave a comment here to be entered to win by October 31, 2011.  In addition to the book giveaway, you’ll also receive a $50 coupon towards any books on their website.   Meanwhile, if you already have this book feel free to email photos of the balls you’ve knitted from this book and we’ll post them here!

Posted by Living Crafts on Oct 6, 2011 06:58 AM | 366 Comments

It’s Nutcracker Season


When I asked Laura Lee Burch, author of Sew Magical for Baby (reviewed in Living Crafts Fall 10 issue) and Sew Magical for Kids (reviewed in the current Winter 2011 issue), to design a needle felted doll with moving limbs, she immediately came up with the idea of a Nutcracker, which I loved, of course. Having seen her website, and adoring everything in it, including her logo I knew it was going to be good, and it was! When I met her Nutcracker, I immediately fell in love with how warm and cushy and beautiful he was.   We found our Clara model in New York, and asked April Cornell to send her a petticoat as her nightgown. I absolutely love these petticoats, which come in both White and Ecru. They used to come both in long sleeve, and sleeveless, but now they only carry them in long sleeve. I wish every mother would buy (or sew) them for their girls, and make them wear it until they go to college!

Laura Lee Burch
Laura Lee Burch Logo

Here is a peek at the nutcracker Laura Lee Burch designed exclusively for Living Crafts in the current Winter 2011 issue:

Living Crafts Nutcracker
He has moving limbs and it is easy to make with basic needle felting skills.  You can make him in a mini size as an ornament for your tree, or for your children’s dolls as gifts! 

Nutcracker Doll

But recently I discovered a mini felt nutcracker online designed by Hillary Lang, the author of Wee Wonderfuls, another book reviewed in the Fall 2010 issue of Living Crafts:

Felt Nutcracker

Hillary has designed her own Clara doll, and Nutcracker, and I thought you might enjoy the tutorial. Her nutcracker, like Laura Lee’s can be made into an ornament in a smaller scale. Here’s her tutorial for the Nutcracker. Be sure to download the pattern for all the pieces you need to make the “basic” doll into a nutcracker.  Also check out how she curls her Clara’s hair. It is a great technique for using on other dolls you make.

Clara Doll Hair


Posted by Living Crafts on Dec 21, 2010 12:41 PM | 3 Comments

Teapot Ornament

by Patricia Kessler

Ornament Teapot

One of our most popular articles, has been the Ornament Exchange article in the Winter 2010 issue of Living Crafts. We had so many beautiful projects as a result, that not all of them could fit in the printed magazine. After the printed issue came out we were able to also offer four of them on our Craft Room as free patterns. They are still there and you can click here and scroll down to upload them.

Ornament Box

One of my favorites, is this adorable teapot, which can be used both as an ornament, or for your child’s play:

Symbol: Teapot represents Friendship

In Patricia’s words: “The teapot is a symbol of warmth, friendship, relaxation and tranquility—one cannot prepare and drink tea quickly! The blue embroidery motif on the teapot was inspired by Dutch pottery designs and happily reminds me of the four years I spent living in the Netherlands. The teapot can be completed by someone with intermediate hand-sewing skills. You may sew the lid on completely, or sew only on one side so that you have a hinged lid to allow someone to enjoy finding tiny treasures hidden within!”


1 Piece of cream or white felt, 20 cm x 30 cm
Small amount of wool stuffing
Cream embroidery thread to match felt
Blue embroidery thread
Embroidery needle
1 Blue bead

Teapot Pattern Download

NOTE: Keep the construction stitches very small. The construction stitches should be secondary to the overall shape of the teapot and to the blue embroidery stitching.

Transfer all patterns to felt and cut out all of the teapot parts. Cut six teapot panels, two handles, two spouts, one bottom piece, and one of each of the lid pieces.

Pattern Pieces

Sew the two handle pieces together with a small overcast stitch. Sew the two spout pieces together with a small overcast stitch, leaving a small space for stuffing. Stuff with a tiny piece of wool stuffing. This is done easily by wrapping wool stuffing around a toothpick, then sliding the wool-covered toothpick into the spout and inserting the stuffing.


Form a slight cone shape from the teapot lid top section and sew seam with overcast stitch. Sew a small blue bead to the tip of the teapot top with blue thread, hiding the knots on the underside. Sew bottom piece of lid to top piece, leaving a small space for stuffing. Stuff the teapot lid slightly and sew closed.

Using the embroidery pattern, embroider two panels with blue thread, using French knots, straight stitch, and back stitches.

Position the finished teapot spout between two blank panels and sew the panels together, with the spout sandwiched in at the edge, using a small overcast stitch. When you come to the spout, use tiny straight stitches, then continue with the overcast stitch.

Position the finished teapot handle between two blank panels and sew the panels together, with the handle sandwiched in at the edges, using a small overcast stitch. When you come to each section of the handle, use tiny straight stitches, then continue with the overcast stitch.


Using a small overcast stitch, sew the six panels together one after another to form a cylinder shape. Place the embroidered panels between the two finished spout and handle sections. You will now have a cylinder shape, open at both ends. Be careful to sew them in the proper order.


Stuff this shape with plenty of wool to make a firm teapot body. Carefully sew the bottom of the teapot onto the body. Add more stuffing if needed. You may also wish to add some scented items to your teapot such as a crushed cinnamon stick, lavender, mint, etc.


Stitch the finished teapot lid onto the body with a few stitches on either side of the lid.

Stitch finished teapot

Finished ornaments

Posted by Living Crafts on Dec 20, 2010 07:53 AM | 16 Comments


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