Felt crafts: Make puppets. pillows and other stuff

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felt crafts

There are a number of felt craft projects that can be done that are age appropriate for young children. There are of course lots of felt craft ideas out there that are very copycat like but, you don’t have to do those.

Felt is a great material to have around in any case, because even if we are not doing specific crafts with felt because we can use the felt for collages and other types of activities that need different kinds of materials.

The felt craft that I am going to talk about in detail is felt puppets. The other felt projects don’t have images so just follow along.

When working with felt there are a number of items that you may want to use that will make the working with it easier. You don’t have to use these and you can use whatever you have in your home. These items just make the work easier.

The way we buy our felt is usually in pieces like the CRAFT FELT 9 INC X 12 INCH type. You can also buy them in individual pieces and not in stacks.
The best kind of needles to use for felt work are Chenille Hand Needles-Size 18/22 . In the past I have used whatever I had handy but, again its your decision. The best type of thread to use for felt work is six strand embroidery thread. You can also use yarn and regular thread but, Six-Strand Floss Jumbo Pack or the 6 Strand Embroidery Floss works great for felt. You will of course, need a Shop Shears type of scissors. It is best to use a scissors that has one larger hole than another for the fingers as they give you more leverage.

The items above are pretty necessary to work well with felt. The items below just will make the job easier. You can get  a simple Pin Cushion , you can use a Tailor’s Chalk Pencil to make lines that wipe off easily and then if you are scared of your fingers or the children’s finger getting pricked you can use these interesting Self-Adhesive Thimble-It Finger Pads as thimbles or they even have these really cute Wooden Thimble – Babuszka, that are replicas of the Russian dolls that are so popular.

Ok Now on to how to make the felt craft puppets.

You will have to cut out the pattern of the puppet for the children. I tried my hand at drawing a copy for you in a word document and  It didn’t copy so well. It can however, give you a basic idea.

I have done this activity many times in the past and realized the importance of making the arms stick out out as I did so the children have room to sew around. The bottom (which looks like a skirt) of the puppet can even be a bit wider than I drew it. you need to make sure it’s wide enough so that after they sew it, they can still stick their hands up it.

 

Steps to making felt craft puppets

  1. Have the children pick two pieces of felt they like, either the same color or two different colors
  2. Cut it out for them from your pattern or your general idea
  3. Thread the chenille needle with the 6 strand embroidery thread and start them off at the bottom of the body, at one edge.
  4. Show them how to sew with the stitch that just keeps coming up. Usually they can sew with a different stitch as well which is in one side and then the other side. When you have them only come up then it closes the sides of the puppet better.
  5. Be around for when they need to change threads to tie a knot and start a new thread.
  6. When they get to the bottom of the second hand it may be time to turn the puppet inside out. Some children don’t mind leaving it that way with all the threads showing so you can give the children a choice.
  7. When it’s inside out they can finish sewing down to the end.
  8. Now is the time for the kids to dress their felt puppets. You should have an array of items for them to use. You can have buttons, other cut out small pieces of felt, pieces of material etc. You will have to discuss with the children how they want to decorate their puppets.

IF you want the children to sew items onto their puppets and not glue them, then this has to be decided before sewing the puppet together. Then they can sew onto one piece of the cut felt and sew them together afterwards. It is very difficult to sew onto one side when they are already joined.

The picture at the top is an image of some puppet that the children made.

Other felt craft ideas

Felt pillows

Pillow made out of felt are really easy to do. You can have the children decide on any shape pillow they want. After you cut the pieces for them, they can sew in the same way they sewed the puppets using the same tools. When they are more than 3/4 of the way done, you can then turn the pillow inside out, stuff it with some Premium Pillow Stuffing and then finish sewing it. The same thing applies to the pillows about sewing things on it before you sew it together. Otherwise you can use markers or even Puff Fabric Paint to decorate it.

The pillow below was made out of an embroidery on one side and felt on the other.

embroidered pillow  being sewn

Bean Bags

Bean bags are another item you can make. Bean bags are really just pillows stuffed with Bean Bag Filler .

Pocketbooks

For pocket books you would need a long narrow piece of felt. You need to fold the bottom half up to maybe 3/4 of the way up and have the children sew up to those ends. Then take the rest of the top and fold it over. You can use a piece of Velcro to make sure it stays to the bottom end.

Mobiles

Making mobiles with felt is a big job. What you are doing in essence is making a while bunch of small little pillows or stuffed objects and hanging them on a hoop with ribbons to hang them. You can do a bunch of different geometric shape or have the children draw whatever shapes they want to make. This is a project that will take a while but, it can keep the kids very occupied for a long time. Working with felt is really in essence one of the other sewing crafts for kids but, it is not as simple as say crayon art and the kids have to ready for the fine motor work.

One of the nice things about working with felt is that these projects usually last for the long haul.

What has your experience with felt been?

felt crafts

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