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No Snow Required – Tea Light Snowman

No Snow Required – Tea Light Snowman

This is a guest post by Frances T who is a member of the forum and wanted to share a quick tutorial on how to make a snowman figure for the upcoming holidays. This tutorial assumes you know how to do basic wet felting including using a resist to make a three-dimensional felt object and basic sewing techniques.

Battery operated tea lights are very popular in the US and I have seen several photos of them made into Snowmen heads. I expanded on the idea and made a body out of felt.

Supplies Needed:
Pattern for body 4.5 inches x 2.5 inches – straight at top curved at bottom
Battery Operated Tea Light (2 for $1 at Dollar Tree) (amber light is best)
Pom Poms (Package of 90 $1 at Dollar Tree)
Cotton Balls (Package of 100 $1 at Dollar Tree)
White Embroidery Floss & needle
Wool roving (White, Red, Green)
Rice
Tacky Glue and Glue Gun
Permanent Marker (Black)
Rubber band

Frances Snowman Supplies

Instructions –

Hat: Make a felt circle and then shape into a hat (I shaped mine over a cork) and let dry.

Scarf: Felt a piece or pieces of roving into a strip and let dry

Body: Using the pattern as a resist felt the body. (The pattern is shown in the photo above to the far left.) When dry cut a small opening in the top (straight edge) and remove the resist. Let the body dry.

Face: Use the black marker to draw the eyes and mouth.

Frances Snowman Unlit

Assembly

Put about ¼ cup of dry uncooked rice in the body (this is for weight so the snow man will stand up) and then add cotton balls to finish filling the body. Divide the body in a little more than half and tie off the body with a piece of white embroidery floss (You can first use a rubber band and then tie on the floss and cut the rubber band away if it is easier for you) This is the bottom of the snowman.

Draw the top portion of the felt up and form the middle section of the body. Use embroidery floss to sew the opening together.

Glue the hat on the tea light with hot glue. There is a small switch on the back of the light – do not cover with the hat. Glue the tea light onto the top of the body with hot glue. Tie the scarf around the neck and glue if necessary. Glue the Pom Poms on the body (I used tacky glue).

Frances Snowman Lighted

PLEASE NOTE THIS SNOWMAN IS A DECORATION AND NOT A TOY. IF MAKING FOR A CHILD OR TO BE SOLD BE SURE THE GLUE USED IS SUFFICIENT TO KEEP A CHILD FROM PULLING THE SNOWMAN APART.

Thanks Frances! I think you could make all sorts of fun snowmen starting with this idea. If you don’t have any tea lights, you could just make the resist longer and make a felt head by doing three divisions instead of two. The details of the face could be added by needle felting. You could also add twig arms by poking a hole in each side of the middle section and threading a twig through. You could use buttons instead of pompoms for a different look. If you wanted to hang your snowmen on the tree, you could add a loop of yarn to the back of the hat or head and use wool or cotton to fill the body instead of rice. Be sure to show us your photos of your snowmen if you make some. We’d love to see them on the forum

Felted Cat Toy Tutorial

Felted Cat Toy Tutorial

I had several people who had questions about the cat toys that I make that are felted. So here’s a little tutorial that shows how I make my cat toys. I apologize for the quality of the photos as I did this fairly quickly and didn’t have the proper lighting or any assistance. But you’ll get the idea 🙂

Supplies NeededSupplies Needed: Practice golf balls, old pantyhose, wool roving, plastic beads (sized to fit through holes in golf balls), felting needle and a washing machine.

practice golf ballsI buy the golf balls in bags of 24. You can usually find them in small amounts in stores that sell golfing supplies.

old pantyhose

I buy the cheapest pantyhose I can find and re-use them until they are falling apart.

beadsThe beads are also the cheapest I can find – they are plastic and most come in strands that I just cut apart.

Amount of Wool Needed Per BallBegin with a piece of wool roving and the plastic golf ball and wrap the wool around the golf ball. In the photo above, I have pictured the amount of wool that I generally use to cover the ball.

Wrap BallWrap the wool around the ball holding it tightly so the wool is snug against the ball.

Ball Inside WoolThe ends will look like this after the first wrap.

Needle Wool LightlyUse a felting needle to needle the ends into the wrapped wool just so it will hold together.

Needle Ends ClosedThen push the wool over the ‘end’ of the ball and needle it down until it holds together without any holes.

Insert BeadPut a bead through one of the holes and then needle that “end” of wool over the ball. Generally I needle for about 1-2 minutes at the most. All you want is for the wool to hold together over the ball at this point.

Ready to Tie UpThis is what the ball looks like after I have finished needling. As you can see it isn’t round but that gets taken care of in the wet felting process.

Put Into PantyhoseThe next step is to put the ball into the end of the pantyhose leg. I couldn’t get a photo of myself doing this as I don’t seem to have enough hands.

Tie Up in HoseThen tie off the ball in the pantyhose with a loose knot. Do not pull the knot really tight or you’ll have difficulty getting the knots out later. Continue the steps above until you have filled the pantyhose legs with wool covered balls or until you have made as many as you need. I usually put 9 balls in each leg so that there are 18 in each pantyhose. This last set I made, I did a total of 6 dozen. Now I’m all ready for Christmas sales and lots of happy cats!

The next step is to throw the ball filled pantyhose into the washing machine. I usually just put them in with another load that I am already doing such as towels or jeans. I run them through the regular cycle with the same amount of soap I would normally use in the washing machine. If you are using wool that you aren’t sure whether the color will run, put them in with one of those sheets that absorbs extra dye or wash them separately.

Not Yet Needled

Once the wash cycle is completed, pull them out and hang them to dry. You can remove them from the pantyhose when they are wet but the knots are easier to take out when everything is dry.

after washing machineWhen they come out of the pantyhose, the cat toy still looks a little fuzzy and may have loose ends that got caught in the knot.

needling to finishUse your felting needle to felt in any loose ends and to get rid of the “fuzzies”. Hold the needle at an almost parallel angle to the surface of the wool when you’re needling. Do not needle straight into the plastic golf ball or you may break a needle. Finished Cat Toys

Here’s the bag of cat toys, about half of what I made. Obviously, you could put more decorations on these but I don’t think the extra effort is worth it. This idea can be used to make Christmas ornaments as well. Several years ago, I bought larger baseball sized whiffle balls and decorated them.

I added the swirls and “blobs” afterwards with a felting needle.

To hang these ornaments, I just threaded a large needle with matching yarn and made a loop of yarn at one end.

Here are the ornaments on the tree. I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and do let me know if you have any questions. I’d love to see your efforts if you try out the tutorial.

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