Felt Valentine’s Day Sweetheart Candies

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When I asked my roommate if she minded I decorated our house for Valentine’s Day, she laughed. “Just hold back on the pink,” she said.

I love Valentine’s Day! So when I started to brainstorm ideas for spring felt products for the Etsy shop, felt Sweetheart candies – right in time for Valentine’s Day – quickly came to mind.

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Each bag comes with 20 little felt hearts, 4 of each color. (Note: this number later seemed ridiculously high when I was working on completing 16 bags – 300 hearts total.) Each heart is actually 3 layers of felt, hand sewn together.

DSC_0684The felt bag – meant to replicate the Sweetheart box – is completely hand sewn using a blanket stitch. The bag has 5 pieces: the two large rectangles for the front and back, two side piece and one bottom piece. To help with size consistency, I created templates out of card stock (which is a little out of character for me!)

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Using a blanket stitch did make the production time longer, but I think the homemade touch elevates the overall product. And so far, the product has been a major hit.

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So what are you waiting for? This bag of felt candy is the perfect gift for your little Valentines. Plus, you don’t have to worry about cavities!

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Side note: One customer asked me to create a felt bag with a flap (since she thought the felt hearts would quickly be lost otherwise). I was happy to oblige. I went back and forth about using a velcro dot (seems dangerous around felt), but (confession) it was my laziness that made the final decision. I couldn’t find a button to use around my house and I was too lazy to run to the store. Luckily, the customer didn’t mind!

Anthropologie-Inspired Felt Christmas Stocking

IMG_4921I know, I know. I’m writing about my Christmas stocking in the final days of January, but to my defense, this month has flown by. I’m ready to flip my calendar to February with hopeful thoughts that next month won’t be as crazy.

But back to Christmas: this year I decided I wanted to buy a nice Christmas stocking, one that I would treasure year after year. When I stumbled across this stocking at Anthropologie, I was instantly smitten, but the price tag made me think twice. The thought is almost reflexive at this point: I could totally make this!

IMG_4907I’ll keep the picture of the Anthopologie stocking small because when placed side-by-side, my stocking looks pretty “crafty” in comparison. The difference is in the quality. I’m sure Anthopologie used expensive wool. I used acrylic felt from Hobby Lobby. They used these adorable mini pom poms with a trendy color pallet. I was stuck with the primary colored trim selection at JoAnn Fabrics.

Don’t get me wrong, I love how my stocking turned out, especially when you compare the price. I spent about $8. The item is now out of stock, but I remember Anthropologie selling it for almost $50.

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In my excitement of the project (plus, I made it really late at night and the lighting would have been a mess), I didn’t take many step-by-step pictures. But the process doesn’t venture far from a normal Christmas stocking tutorial. After cutting out the main piece of the stocking, I simply attached rows of trim. And instead of using my sewing machine, I used a blanket stitch to hand sew the stocking together. I used light blue thread to provide a little contrast.

My final touch was the accent of purple and magenta yarn pom poms. I hunted for the white yarn in the similar style, but after going to a few stores, I felt lucky to have stumbled across the purple yarn. So I made it work!

I’m sure when Christmas comes around this year, I’ll go through the same thought process of wanting a buy nice stocking. But for now, I’m excited that this Christmas stocking is mine.

Felt Christmas Poinsettia

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When I came home with the wrong size terra cotta pots (The felt cactuses I sell on Etsy use 3-inch pots; I purchased 2-inch pots), I decided to make the most of my mistake. The result were these adorable, mini felt poinsettias.

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Similar to the felt cactuses I sell, each flower is attached to felt “dirt” and come with a real clay pot.  Teach your little ones to love gardening early on as they can “plant” their flowers over and over again. (And bonus, no mess to clean up or dead plants to deal with.)

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To create the flower, I used a similar approach to how I create the cactus flower. I took a small rectangle of yellow felt and cut slits along the width. I did the same with a small white rectangular piece of felt. I then rolled up the yellow felt and continued with the white, creating the center. Next, I hand-cut the red petals (sorry, I don’t have templates) – 5 smaller petals and 5 slightly larger ones – and 4 large green leaves. I then attach them one-by-one until the flower is complete.

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The miniature size is what gets me. My gosh, these flowers are just so darn cute!

Felt Gingerbread Cookies

When you think about iconic Christmas food, what comes to mind? For me, Christmas is all about gingerbread cookies. My loyal readers already know the amount of time I spend and the joy I have making Christmas cookies each year. (For you newcomers, click here and here for reference.) So when it come time to add a few Christmas items to my Etsy shop, I could stop myself.

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I didn’t just want to make felt gingerbread cookies. Because even though the felt cookies turned out so darn cute, the fun is in the baking.

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The set includes everything pictured above: 3 decorated [felt] cookies, a sheet of rolled out [felt] dough and the actual cookie cutter to match. (all for $12 – what a steal!)

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I didn’t try to make the cookies from the cut outs in the dough. This would have too much room for error. So I cut the cookies out (using a 99 cent cookie cutter from Target) from spare felt and use white felt to adorn them.

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For the dough, I traced and cut out the cookie cutter shapes. I placed a layer of batting (leftover from a quilt project) between the two pieces of felt, and blanket-stitched the edges. The batting add some dimension to the dough, which I hope makes it more realistic when a child “rolls” it out.

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I tried to leave as much room for a child’s imagination to go wild. Cookies fit the dough like a puzzle. And since the set includes the actual cookie cutter, they can pretend to “roll,” “cut out” and “bake” cookies all day long.

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I also made a set with Christmas tree cookies. Same idea, different shape (and same unbeatable price)!

 

Felt Dr. Who Christmas Stocking

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The best kinds of custom orders are the ones that give you a topic you could run with. For this project, my friend asked if I could make something out of felt relating to Christmas and Dr. Who. So my first thought – a Tardis Christmas stocking!

The idea was solidified by a picture I saw on Pinterest. (It’s so hard to have an original idea these days.) But in the picture, it looked like everything was glued down, and I decided to sew everything in place instead. Plus, I added the touch of holly and a wreath to add to the Christmas theme.

It’s not a large stocking, but it’ll be perfect to hang at your desk, in a school locker or on a door handle. Send me a message via my contact page if you want to place a custom order for yourself!

Woodlawn Street Market

I find that life gives you opportunities to jump into the deep end of the pool, and when those opportunities come, you just have to plug your nose and go for it. About a month ago, I signed up to participate in the Woodlawn Street Market, and whether I was ready for it or not, it was time to see how well my felt goods could sell outside of Etsy.

The day turned out to be a success. Though the market was pretty small (it had about 25 vendors), I was happy to make a  handful of sales and walk away with a little over $100 in profits.

Somethings are best learned through experience, and when it comes to being a vendor, I think this statement holds true. But for those of you who are looking to try a craft fair or street market for the first time, here are the lessons I learned from my first experience.

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Lesson #1: How much inventory should I bring?

A week before the market, I felt completely unprepared. So I created a long to-do list for myself and spent every spare second (included lunch breaks and normal sleeping hours) cutting out and sewing together my felt creations. I decided to sell 12 different items. For the best sellers (lunch sets, breakfast sets and Pop Tarts), I create 10 to 15 of each. For others, quantities varied from 5 to 10 items each. By the time Saturday rolled around, I had a lot of stuff, but I still felt like it wasn’t enough.

It was only until I started to set up that I realized I had a ton of stuff! I couldn’t even fit everything on the table. I knew the market was going to be small, but I brought enough inventory that if I sold out, I could make $800. It was a little overkill. I would have done fine if I had brought half of what I actually did. But, on the flip side, it was nice to feel prepared, and I have plenty of inventory left for Etsy orders or possible another craft market before Christmas.

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Lesson #2: How should I  best display my items?

Next time, I’m going to use more tables. I was given a lot of space (a 12 x12 booth), and I should have taken advantage of it. (Plus, I should have centered my table cloth. Looking at the picture now, I realize how silly it looks.) A friend gave me the advice that a clustered look attracts customers, but I think I had too much stuff on top of each other.

I did use display pieces, which turned out to be a great sale technique. These items are meant to be touched and played with, so I wanted people to pick them up, examine them (and then fall in love with them, of course). The kids that came by totally got it. Before their parents could make it to the table, they were waving around the bag of chips like it was the coolest things they’ve ever seen. They dove their little hands into the bowls of felt salad and pasta before anyone could stop them. Kids know toys when they see them.

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Lesson #3: How much should each item cost?

This is an question I am still asking. Someone told me a story once. They had a friend who wanted to go into the photography business but didn’t know how much to charge for his services. He researched what other photographers were doing in the area and picked a middle of the road price point. He barely booked any sessions. Then he decided to find the highest price out there and top it, and his business took off from there. He said that because he had the highest price point, people assumed he was the best. He was the best that money could buy.

Though I do not think I could start selling my felt items for hundreds of dollars, the story proved to me that we cannot always guess what the consumer is thinking. I would think that at a middle-road, affordable price, my felt breakfast sets would sell like crazy! But alas, I only sold 3 sets this weekend.

The issue I find with pricing homemade items is how to you quantify the amount of time you send to create it. If I priced the felt lunch set to reflect the amount of time it took me to create it, I would need to sell it for at least $50. But why would you pay $50 for my homemade item when Target has shelves of more inexpensive, yet equally adorable items. So I’ve decided to use prices that do not account my time, but instead build in room for a small profit with the price of the materials.

Maybe over time, if items become more popular, I’ll increase prices. But for now, I like how my prices are affordable. I rather my felt food be in the hands of children that stored in the back my closet!

[Felt] Leaves are in the Air

Do you find it strange that fall is so colorful? I mean, not to get too philosophical, but even in the midst of the dying leaves, natures bursts forth a new color spectrum. God is pretty spectacular.

And those my felt leaves in no way compare to the real thing, they are still fun to make!

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My friend Melissa asked me to make a bunch of felt leaves she could use to create a wreath. She wanted a variety of shapes and colors, so I happily obliged. After cutting out the leaves (I did use stencils for some of them), I used thread to stitch in the veins. But since I knew she wanted to make a wreath, I didn’t care to cover up the back side.

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With the leaves, Melissa wrapped a foam ring with raffia and used a hot glue fun to attach the leaves. The finished product came together wonderfully! I love it so much, I feel like I need to make another one for myself!

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Etsy: A Relaunch

For those who follow me on Instagram, I have been teasing you for awhile with my felt food creations, but now I am excited to announce that my new-and-approved Etsy shop is open for business with felt sandwiches, Popsicles and even  s’mores.

I made the decision to relaunch my Etsy shop after talking to several people who have been on Etsy for awhile. They all found success by being specific – picking a single category or item and running with it. My original shop was a modge-podge of my creations. Naturally, the things I loved (and had a hard time parting with) sold within seconds of posting them, while items I wasn’t crazy about remained untouched.

After the amount of buzz I received for the felt food I made my nephew, I decided that felt could be my niche. The materials are inexpensive to purchase, and I’m able to produce each item in a reasonable amount of time. (Not to mention, felt is what inspired me to create this blog, and I would consider this a successful venture.) I relaunched the sho

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Check the site our for yourself – http://loveoffelt.etsy.com