Crafting needn’t be overly expensive or complicated. In fact, you can craft with just a few raw materials and still create completely unique projects… and the materials you need are probably already in your craft box! Whether we’re crocheting, felting or weaving, we always seem to have leftover wool and yarn, so we’ve come up with thrifty ways to transform spare wool into three amazing projects.
Needle felted clothes patches
We absolutely love customising clothes and adding our own twists and stitches (just like our embroidered denim jacket), but had you ever thought of adding your own needle felted patches to your favourite old jumper or cardigan? You can add instant interest and imagination to your old clothes with a simple pattern and scraps of wool, so why not create your own patch and jazz up that jumper!
To make your own needle felted patch you will need:
- Felting needles
- A piece of card (to create your template)
- Cookie cutter (optional)
- Tea and biscuits (optional)
1) Decide on the shape you want to felt onto your jumper, the simpler the design the better the outcome in this case. We chose a geometric hexagon pattern, and used a hexagon cookie cutter as our template. If you don’t have a cookie cutter in your desired shape, you can create the template simply by cutting a hexagon shape from cardstock and using the negative cut as your stencil.2) Choose where you would like to place your patch, and then place foam underneath the spot where your pattern will be.
3) Place your template onto the fabric, put a thin piece of wool into the template and begin stabbing. Make sure to stab around the outside and work your way in for an even finish.
4) Once the wool begins to take shape of your template, you can remove the template and focus on working in the shape and making sure it is evenly felted.
5) Once you are happy with your finished design, it’s time to iron! Spritz the shapes with a little water, set your iron to the wool setting and carefully press over the wool.
Yarn Pom Poms
There ain’t no party like a Pom Pom party, and we’ve got a super easy method to make your own in no time. The key tool you'll need to make these fluffy embellishments is a utensil you're sure to have in your cutlery drawer!
All you’ll need to get your pom on is:
1) Take a piece of yarn approximately 50cm (this will create a medium sized Pom Pom, so use more or less yarn to alter the size). Wrap the yarn around a fork between 50 and 70 times depending on the length of yarn, and keep the wraps as tight as possible.
2) Hold your yarn in place on the fork, and snip a separate piece of yarn measuring a few cm (long enough to tie around the bunch on your fork).Thread this piece of yarn through the bottom of the fork beneath your bunch (we've used a tapestry needle to help thread our yarn through), and tie a knot around it.
3) Carefully slide the yarn bunch away from the fork, and tie another knot around it to make sure it’s secure.
4) Snip all the way around the middle of the bunch, cutting all of the loops to give your ball that Pom Pom shape. As a final touch, snip any longer bits of yarn so the Pom Pom is roughly the same size all the way round.
Needle felted mobile
Though mobiles are often associated with babies, they are also incredibly versatile and can be distributed throughout the home as a fun and quirky home décor piece. We’ve created this mobile using our left-over wool to create felt balls, and added co-ordinating yarn Pom Poms for extra detail (find our Pom Pom tutorial above). For each ball you will need a piece of wool approximately 3g (or possible even less). Make sure to check out our detailed video guide on creating felted balls.
To create this mobile, you will need:
1) Carefully pull away a piece of wool weighing approximately 3g (don’t worry too much about being specific, you can always add more wool as you begin felting). Set your wool onto a piece on foam and begin rolling the wool into a cylinder, making sure you are gentle but rolling as tightly as possible.
2) Start to stab the cylinder shape from all sides and angles, making sure not to stab so deeply that you hear the needle go completely into the foam. Keep rotating the wool to make sure all sides are equally felted. A good technique to keep your piece ball-shaped is to roll it around in your hands occasionally in-between stabbing to solidify the roundness.
3) Repeat steps 1 and 2 until you have enough balls for the desired size of you finished mobile. We made sixteen balls for our finished project.
4) Once you have created your balls, it’s time to start threading! Choose the piece of yarn or twine you want to hang the balls from, and trim this to around 30cm. Thread a needle through the yarn, and tie a knot at the end. Place the needle through the centre of the balls and start threading, placing 4-5 balls onto each piece of yarn. Once you have threaded all of the balls onto the yarn, put to one side.
5) Using a glue gun, carefully glue two wooden dowels in a cross formation, and hold together for a few seconds to make sure it’s secure. Once glued, wrap yarn around the centre and carefully tie to further secure the dowels.
6) Create loops on the end of each of the yarn attachments you have made, and secure to the corner of the dowel with a glue gun and then a knot. Voilà!
Project and photography by the Hawthorn Handmade team.
You can shop our variety of Wool Bundles here.