Friday, May 16, 2014

partridge & pear update

**This design is now available as a PDF pattern!**

 OK, y'all, I'm back in the saddle now as far as this Partridge & Pear ornament pattern goes. I have worked out the embroidery transfer method that had me so stymied a few weeks ago (let me just say, you are going to love how easy it is) and I'm currently writing the pattern and cranking out samples. Those two you see above were just finished using the final pattern.

Just wanted to throw out this update for those who are very patiently waiting for the pattern! Progress is being made. Thanks again for your great advice, Wendi and Abby!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

make a felt bouquet card for mom

I like to make cards. As well you know. Here's this year's handmade Mother's Day card. It's made of handcut felt flowers and leaves with a paper punch label in the middle.

Would you like to make a similar card? It's a cinch to make if you have some know-how, pretty felt and a little time. I'd say it is intermediate level crafting. Bonus: these flowers won't wilt and they won't cost a fortune. (Are you a beginner? Try this one!)

You will need:
  • A laser print of this template at actual size (no scaling)
  • Letter-sized piece of black card stock
  • Scrap of white card stock
  • Two 1/8 inch thick pop dots
  • Scraps of wool felt in various colors for the flowers (do not use acrylic craft felt!)
  • White pencil or gel pen
  • Black ink pen
  • Tacky Glue®
  • Scraps of freezer paper and a pencil for tracing
  • Small scissors
  • Toothpick
  • Black embroidery thread and a largish embroidery needle

1) Start by cutting the letter-sized black card stock in half so you have two 5.5 x 8.5 inch pieces. Keep one piece and set the other aside for later to make another card.

2) Fold the piece in half so you have a 4.25 x 5.5 inch card.

3) Now's the time to add your haiku on motherhood to the inside of the black card with a white gel pen. Or whatever message you like. Just in case you mess up. Because if you add the message now and mess up, no big deal; you can just use the extra half of the paper to make another card. If you wait and attach the elaborate, gorgeous flowery outside of the card and then mess the inside up you will have a slightly larger problem. Let the ink dry.

4) Write a cursive greeting on the scrap of white card stock with a black ink pen. You can do this. Don't cop out and print it from Microsoft Word. Handwritten is charming! Call up your best penmanship and keep it simple:
"I love you, Mom"
"For my Mom"
"Mummy Dearest"
Something like that. Just write it somewhere on the white card stock with plenty of room around. Practice if you need to.

5) When you are happy with it, use a light table or handy window to center your writing over the rectangle shape on the template and lightly trace the rectangle. Cut out the label and erase any stray pencil marks on the edges. (Or if you have a fancy label punch like mine, center your writing in the window and punch that baby.)

6) Put two pop dots on the back of the white label and place it in the center of your black card.

7) Lay freezer paper (shiny side down) over the template and trace all the flower and leaf shapes separately with a pencil. The shapes are overlapped on the template so be sure to trace the whole shape. Group the traced shapes together according to felt color, leaving a little space in between them for trimming.

8) Cut the freezer paper apart roughly by color grouping. Iron the freezer paper shiny-side-down on the corresponding colors of wool felt scraps. Carefully cut out the felt shapes with small scissors. Leave the freezer paper in place for now, and peel it off as you use each piece. It will help you keep your shapes oriented right side up.

9) Squirt a nickel-sized blob of Tacky Glue on a scrap of paper and use the toothpick to add small dabs of glue to the backs of the flower parts to layer them together. Less is more - it only takes a small dab here and there to adhere the parts. Don't worry about symmetry. It looks better when it's wonky.

10) Use all six strands of embroidery thread to sew a star in the middle of the orange flower as shown. Use one big stitch for each leg. Easy.

11) Test the two largest flowers in place on the card. You may have to trim a bit of the petal from the orange flower if it bumps into your pop dot. Keeping them in place with a finger, lift the edges and add a dab of glue to the middle of the backs with the toothpick. Don't glue the whole shape down. You need the edges loose so you can underlap the other pieces.

12) Now glue on the smaller roses, one underneath and one above the large rose.

13) Add the leaves, putting them in place first and then using small toothpick dabs of glue to secure them. (I use another toothpick that has no glue on it to tuck the ends under where I need to.)

14) You are almost done. Looks pretty nice already, huh? Use a white pencil or gel pen to add two curved lines like this:

15) Now add the last few little leaves to these stems.

16) TADA! A pretty, handmade bouquet of love for your mom and now you are the favorite child and now you have the satisfaction of making something special by hand! If you do make one, I'd love to see it! Share a photo by adding it here.

If you are running low on wool felt you could also make this card with paper flowers instead. Same instructions apply. I have ironed freezer paper on card stock with great success.

Looking for other card crafting ideas that you can use for Mother's Day? Here are some from previous posts:

Just a reminder that all of my paper crafts templates are for personal use only. Thanks so much for respecting that.