Category Archives: Fun Projects

Textile and craft projects for families and youngsters.

Making Handmade Felt: aa110900

Felt is made of wool that has been compressed with heat and agitation. Felt is very versatile and and requires only a minimum of equipment.

alpaca felt
Felt is often used in children’s crafts. Felt can also be sewn into hats, clothing, pillows or other useful items. Making felt can be a fun afternoon activity for you and your kids.

You will need a flat surface to work on, one where it doesn’t matter if it gets wet. You will also need hot water, laundry soap, a straw beach mat, a few towels, and, of course, some wool.

In summer months, I make felt outdoors, in a kid’s swimming pool. You will need access to hot water. An electric kettle will work fine or a hose attached to your hot water tap. In winter, I make felt successfully in my bath tub.

When planning a project, remember that felt will shrink in size so you will need to make allowances for this. For example, a 24″ square will shrink about 20% to approx 20″ finished size.
To make a 20″ square piece of felt, you will need approx. 5 – 6 oz. of pure wool roving.

Here’s How

Free instructions for making felt, illustrated with photos.

Felt Boot Liners

Warm up your toes this winter, with woolly boot liners.

Following the directions for making felt, make a 15″ square piece. This will shrink to approx. 12′ square.

Trace the outline of your boots onto a piece of paper, and use this as a pattern for cutting your boot liner.

Felted Christmas Ornaments

Start with a piece of dry, handmade felt.

The felt can be cut into shapes – cookie cutters are useful for this.

Just like with the “store bought” kind, you can safely cut the felt. You can add decorative stitching around the felt pieces and embellish them with sequins, embroider with brightly coloured yarns or sew on some rick rack or other braiding.

Needle Felted Christmas Ornaments

Felted Christmas Stocking

felted Christmas stocking

  • Make a piece of felt approximately 18″ square.
  • Cut 2 stocking shapes.
  • Machine stitch the 2 pieces together.
  • You can either leave the stocking as is, or decorate it with applique, decorative stitching or other embellishments.

Felted Placemats
Your children will have fun making their own personal place mat. Here’s how.

Felt Pillow
Make this heart pillow for Valentine’s Day.

Wool
Places to find fleece and wool roving.

Felt Resources
Links to other interesting sites about the craft of felting.

Trivia Question
What does “Mad as a Hatter” mean?

Christmas Craft Projects

Christmas Stocking Motifs
ABC Knitting Motif
Needle Felted Christmas Ornaments
Christmas Felt making
Christmas Crochet
Christmas Beading
Christmas Knitting

Feltmaking Books

Feltmaking (The Art of Crafts)
Clear step-by-step instructions to make a series of projects, from beginner to masterclass and on the way you will learn about sheep and wool, the historical and anthropological background to feltmaking, and its mythology.
UK: Feltmaking

Felting – The Complete Guide
Combine painting and sculpture, wrap it up in the delightful texture of wool, and you have felting.
UK: Felting

Little Felted Animals: Create 16 Irresistible Creatures with Simple Needle-Felting Techniques
How to make the cutest little miniature animals, using just a few simple tools and some wool roving.
UK: Little Felted Animals

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50 Colors Wool Fibre Roving DIY Needles Felting Starter Kit Handcraft Mat Tools

$15.97
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9 Oz Needle Felting Merino Wool, Roving, bulk assorted colors wool

$24.00
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50 Colors Wool Fibre Roving DIY Needles Felting Starter Kit Handcraft Mat Tools

$13.05
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Dyed Easter Eggs Recipes: aa031901c

These Easter eggs and wool were all dyed using foods and spices that I found in my kitchen.

cabbage dye

Red Cabbage

 

  • Cut the red cabbage into thin slices and place into a pot filled with water
  • Cook the cabbage until tender and there is lots of colour in the water
  • Pour the liquid into a jar
  • Add the cooked egg into the jar and let it sit overnight

Red Cabbage -Dark blue:

  • Add a teaspoon of vinegar into the dyebath and stir, before adding the egg

Purple:

  • After dyeing the Dark Blue egg, I put some fleece into the dye jar (Tin mordant)
  • Since it looked like there was lots of dye left in the jar, I also added another egg into the dye, placing it under the wool to keep the egg covered in the dye

beets dye

Pickled Beets

 

  • Pour the liquid from a jar of pickled beets into the dye jar
  • Heat for 2 – 3 minutes in the microwave
  • Add the hard boiled egg into the beet juice and let it sit overnight
  • Remove the dyed egg from the dye bath and let it dry on a piece of paper.
  • The lighter coloured egg was dyed in the second dyebath with some wool mordanted in Tin

rosehip dye

Rosehip Tea

 

  • Fill a clean dye jar with water.
  • Add 2 Rosehip tea bags to the jar
  • Heat in the microwave 2-3 minutes
  • Place the hardboiled egg into the jar and let it sit overnight.
  • Remove the dyed egg and place on a piece of paper to dry.

currant dye

Blackcurrant Tea

 

  • Fill a clean dye jar with water
  • Add 2 Black Currant tea bags to the jar
  • Heat in the microwave 2-3 minutes
  • Place the hardboiled egg into the jar and let it sit overnight
  • Remove the dyed egg and place on a piece of paper to dry

turmeric dye

Turmeric

 

  • Fill a dye jar with water
  • Add 1/2 tsp. ground Turmeric and stir
  • Heat the jar in the microwave 2 – 3 minutes
  • Add the hard-boiled egg into the dye jar and let it sit overnight
  • Remove the egg from the dye jar and place on a piece of paper to dry

cumin dye

Cumin

 

  • Fill a dye jar with water
  • Add 2 tsp. ground Turmeric and stir
  • Heat the jar in the microwave 2 – 3 minutes
  • Add the hard-boiled egg into the dye jar and let it sit overnight
  • Remove the egg from the dye jar and place on a piece of paper to dry

Spinach

 

  • Cook spinach greens and drain the liquid into a clean dye jar
  • Add the hard-boiled egg into the dye jar and let it sit overnight
  • Remove the egg from the dye jar and place on a piece of paper to dry

Coffee

 

  • Pour some strong coffee into a dye jar
  • Place the hard-boiled egg into the jar
  • Let it sit overnight or for a few days to get a darker colour

Natural Dye Books
Harvesting Color: How to Find Plants and Make Natural Dyes
Harvesting Color: How to Find Plants and Make Natural Dyes
Natural Dyes
Botanical Colour at your Fingertips
A Weaver’s Garden: Growing Plants for Natural Dyes and Fibers
Eco Colour: Botanical Dyes for Beautiful Textiles
Wild Color, Revised and Updated Edition: The Complete Guide to Making and Using Natural Dyes

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Ashford Kiwi-3 Spinning Wheel - Folding Treadle / Natural Finish - FREE Shipping

$479.00
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Charkha book style spinning wheel Vintage, Nice Condition!

$130.00
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Natural Dyes – Dyed Easter Eggs from your Kitchen: aa031901

Natural dyes can be fun to work with and you might be surprised at the colours that can be found in your kitchen. Each of these Easter eggs were dyed using a microwave. As I had some dye left over, I also dyed a bit of wool with each dye batch.

natural easter egg dyes

If you are not a handspinner, you can do this project using already spun wool. Save the dyed fleece or spun wool.

After Easter, you can use the wool for weaving a small tapestry. I will be posting instructions for building a small loom using a cardboard box.

Natural Dyed Easter Eggs

The jars in the photo contain some white Romney wool, mordanted in a Tin bath.

Starting with the dark blue egg and going clockwise the dyes used were:

Red Cabbage & vinegar

Pickled Beet juice

Rosehip tea

Blackberry tea

Turmeric

Paprika

For each Easter egg, I used the following dye method.

  • Hard boil all the eggs first.
  • Use clean glass jars for each dye.
  • Half fill the glass jars with water.
  • Heat in the microwave for 3 minutes on high power or until the water is almost boiling.
  • Add the dyestuff and stir until dissolved. (some of the dyes don’t dissolve, so just stir well.
  • Place the boiled egg into the glass jar, ensuring that there is sufficient water to completely cover the egg.
  • Let the jar stand overnight.
  • Remove the egg and place it onto a clean coffee filter or other paper until dry.

Dyed Wool

Because there was quite a bit of dye left over in each jar, I didn’t want to waste it, so I also dyed some wool. I
pre-mordanted some fleece in a Tin (stannous chloride) mordant. If you don’t have access to Stannous chloride, you can substitute by using a clean tin can. Place it in a pot of water and boil it for a few hours.

You could also use an Alum mordant.
Mordants change the structure of the fibre to allow the dye to penetrate. Mordants also improve the colourfastness of the dye. Different mordants also produce different colours, so experiment with them to see what colours you can create.

If you don’t have fleece or aren’t a handspinner, try dyeing some spun wool, mohair, angora, silk or alpaca yarn, instead.

After removing the egg, reheat each jar in the microwave for a minute.

Then add the mordanted wool to the dyebath and let it stand for about an hour.

When the dyebath cools, reheat the jar in the microwave for another minute.

The heat helps the wool to absorb the dye.

Reheat each jar about 3 -4 times as they cool.

Then let each jar sit overnight to allow the wool to absorb more dye.

Remove the dyed wool from the jar and rinse in cool water with a bit of dish soap.

Squeeze out the water and let the wool dry

Natural Dye Recipes

Easter Egg Dye Recipes
Madder
Sandalwood
Logwood
Alum mordant

Felted Quail Eggs

Natural Dyes

Natural Dye Books
Harvesting Color: How to Find Plants and Make Natural Dyes
Harvesting Color: How to Find Plants and Make Natural Dyes
Natural Dyes
Botanical Colour at your Fingertips
A Weaver’s Garden: Growing Plants for Natural Dyes and Fibers
Eco Colour: Botanical Dyes for Beautiful Textiles
Wild Color, Revised and Updated Edition: The Complete Guide to Making and Using Natural Dyes

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Cardboard Box Loom – Twill Weave: bltwill2

Twill is a very versatile weave structure, and you will find many variations in twill design. By changing the direction of the pickup, the diagonals will change to the right or to the left.

twill weave on cardboard loom

On a 4 shaft loom, the weaving draft for this twill design would look like this:

twill draft

Twills can also be woven by changing the number of threads that are picked up. You can weave 2,1 twills, picking up threads 1 and 2, lowering only 1, and pickup up the next 2.

Try to invent some of your own twill designs by changing the number of threads that you pick up or lower, or by reversing the direction.

How to Weave

How to Weave on a Cardboard Loom
How to Weave on a Saami loom
Spears Children’s Loom

Handweaving Books

Hands on Rigid Heddle Weaving
Wonderful projects and plain-weave variations, this user-friendly guide covers choosing, setting up, and weaving on a rigid heddle loom.
UK: Hands on Rigid Heddle

The Woven Bag: 30+ Projects from Small Looms (Writers Digest Guides)
Each bag is created using small looms, such as potholder looms, frame looms and knotted mesh looms.
UK: The Woven Bag

..More Weaving Books..

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Handmade Adjustable Floor Rag Rug Twining Loom 48" x 27.5"

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Vintage Floor Loom Weaving 4 Harness, 6 Treadle with Warp

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Loom Ashford Rigid Heddle

$450.00
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Cardboard Box Loom: bltwill

Cardboard Box Loom Weaving
Another type of common design in weaving is Twill. To weave twill 2 warp threads are raised and the next 2 warp threads are lowered. On the following row, the next 2 threads are picked up and the following 2 warp threads are lowered. This results in a diagonal design running either to the right or left depending on the direction that you are weaving.

If you number the warp threads: 1,2,3,4 (repeat)

Row 1

Pick up threads 1 and 2, skip over threads 3 and 4, pick up 1 and 2, skip 3, 4 (repeat).

Pass the weft yarn through the open shed.

Row 2
On the 2nd row, move over 1 warp thread from the previous row, and pick up the next 2 threads and lower the following 2.

Skip warp thread 1

Pick up warp threads 2 and 3

Skip threads 4 and 1

Pick up threads 2 and 3

Skip threads 4 and 1

Repeat to the end, and pass the weft thread through the open shed.

Row 3

Skip warp threads 1 and 2

Pick up threads 3 and 4

Repeat to the end of the row and pass the weft thread through the open shed.

Row 4
Pick up warp thread 1

Skip threads 2 and 3

Pick up threads 4 and 1

Skip threads 2 and 3

Pick up threads 4 and 1

Repeat this sequence to the end of the row and pass the weft thread through the open shed.

On a 4 shaft loom, the weaving draft for twill would look like this:

How to Weave

Cardboard Loom
How to Weave on a Saami loom
Spears Children’s Loom

Weaving Books – Rigid Heddle Looms

Weaving Made Easy: 17 Projects Using a Simple Loom
The small, portable rigid heddle loom can be used to easily produce loose, drape-friendly fabric as well as dense, sturdy material.
UK: Weaving Made Easy

The Weaver’s Idea Book: Creative Cloth on a Rigid Heddle Loom
Techniques include leno, Brooks bouquet, soumak, and embroidery on fabric.
UK: Weavers Idea Book

more Weaving pattern books
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Handmade Adjustable Floor Rag Rug Twining Loom 48" x 27.5"

$100.00
End Date: Thursday Jan-2-2020 4:30:45 PST
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Vintage Floor Loom Weaving 4 Harness, 6 Treadle with Warp

$650.00
End Date: Monday Dec-30-2019 20:10:41 PST
Buy It Now for only: $650.00
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Loom Ashford Rigid Heddle

$450.00
End Date: Monday Jan-6-2020 8:40:59 PST
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Cardboard Box Loom : blheader4

On a larger floor or table loom, you will have a reed and beater that will beat the weft into place. With Tapestry looms, the weft is usually beaten with a hand held beater. For this small cardboard box loom you can use a fork.

After each row of weft or pick, use the tines of the fork to beat or gently press the weft into place evenly across the loom.

cardboard box loom

Cardboard Box Loom

Cardboard Loom Project

Spears Loom
How to weave tapestry on a child’s Spears weaving loom.

Double Hole Rigid Heddle
Add beads to your weaving project.

Loom Weaving Books

The Weaver’s Idea Book: Creative Cloth on a Rigid Heddle Loom
Techniques include leno, Brooks bouquet, soumak, and embroidery on fabric.
UK: Weavers Idea Book
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Handmade Adjustable Floor Rag Rug Twining Loom 48" x 27.5"

$100.00
End Date: Thursday Jan-2-2020 4:30:45 PST
Buy It Now for only: $100.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Vintage Floor Loom Weaving 4 Harness, 6 Treadle with Warp

$650.00
End Date: Monday Dec-30-2019 20:10:41 PST
Buy It Now for only: $650.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Loom Ashford Rigid Heddle

$450.00
End Date: Monday Jan-6-2020 8:40:59 PST
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Cardboard Box Loom: blheader3

Arc the Weft

Because the weft thread travels over and under the warp threads, it is necessary to make extra allowance for this when weaving in the weft thread. Otherwise, once the weft is beaten into place, it will cause the warp edges to draw in, and can result in broken warp threads on the edges of the woven piece. One way to avoid this, is to slightly arc the weft when weaving it across.

cardboard box loom

Next Page:

More..

Cardboard Box Weaving Loom

Cardboard Loom Project

Spears Loom
How to weave tapestry on a child’s Spears weaving loom.

Double Hole Rigid Heddle
Add beads to your weaving project.

Loom Weaving Books – Rigid Heddle Looms

Weaving Made Easy: 17 Projects Using a Simple Loom
The small, portable rigid heddle loom can be used to easily produce loose, drape-friendly fabric as well as dense, sturdy material.
UK: Weaving Made Easy

The Weaver’s Idea Book: Creative Cloth on a Rigid Heddle Loom
Techniques include leno, Brooks bouquet, soumak, and embroidery on fabric.
UK: Weavers Idea Book

more Weaving pattern books

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Handmade Adjustable Floor Rag Rug Twining Loom 48" x 27.5"

$100.00
End Date: Thursday Jan-2-2020 4:30:45 PST
Buy It Now for only: $100.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Vintage Floor Loom Weaving 4 Harness, 6 Treadle with Warp

$650.00
End Date: Monday Dec-30-2019 20:10:41 PST
Buy It Now for only: $650.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Loom Ashford Rigid Heddle

$450.00
End Date: Monday Jan-6-2020 8:40:59 PST
Buy It Now for only: $450.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

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Cardboard Box Loom: blheader2

Use a knitting needle or a small stick to pick up the warp threads. In Tabby or Plain weave, every other warp thread is picked up, so the weft travels over and under each thread.

Rest the knitting needle on the edge of the box to hold the raised threads in place, while you draw the weft thread through the open shed.

For the next row, pick up the alternate warp threads with the knitting needle and weave the weft thread across.

cardboard box loom

On cardboard looms, or simple frame looms, the warp threads are hand manipulated. On larger looms with more harnesses, this task is more automated. The warp yarns are threaded through individual heddles in the harnesses. By raising a harness or shaft, this raises all the heddles that are on the shaft.

For example, on a 4-shaft table or floor loom, the warp yarn is threaded through the 4 shafts or harnesses. For this simple Tabby weave, the first warp thread goes through the first heddle of the first harness.
The 2nd warp thread goes through the first heddle of the second shaft.
The 3rd warp thread goes through the first heddle of the 3rd shaft.
The 4th warp thread goes through the first heddle of the 4th shaft. In a Draft Plan, the threading would look like this:

Cardboard Box Weaving Loom

Cardboard Loom Project

Spears Loom
How to weave tapestry on a child’s Spears weaving loom.

Double Hole Rigid Heddle
Add beads to your weaving project.

Rigid Heddle Weaving Books

Weaving Made Easy: 17 Projects Using a Simple Loom
The small, portable rigid heddle loom can be used to easily produce loose, drape-friendly fabric as well as dense, sturdy material.
UK: Weaving Made Easy

The Weaver’s Idea Book: Creative Cloth on a Rigid Heddle Loom
Techniques include leno, Brooks bouquet, soumak, and embroidery on fabric.
UK: Weavers Idea Book

more Weaving pattern books

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Handmade Adjustable Floor Rag Rug Twining Loom 48" x 27.5"

$100.00
End Date: Thursday Jan-2-2020 4:30:45 PST
Buy It Now for only: $100.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Vintage Floor Loom Weaving 4 Harness, 6 Treadle with Warp

$650.00
End Date: Monday Dec-30-2019 20:10:41 PST
Buy It Now for only: $650.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

Loom Ashford Rigid Heddle

$450.00
End Date: Monday Jan-6-2020 8:40:59 PST
Buy It Now for only: $450.00
Buy It Now | Add to watch list

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