Big Little Felt Universe by Jeanette Lim – Book Review

The book shelf in my lounge is currently buckling under the weight of my growing collection of craft and cookery books. It drives my husband round the bend. My solution would be to have a nice ‘craft’ room of my own that I could hibernate in, surrounding myself with fabric and wall to wall books for every type of craft. A girl can dream.

In the mean time, I can just about squeeze a couple more in and ‘Big Little Felt Universe’ by Jeanette Lim is my new muse. I have recently been looking for some felt food patterns online when I stumbled upon Jeanette’s etsy shop which is packed with fabulous looking patterns for all sorts of felt food and toys. Struggling to decide which one to buy, imagine my excitement when I realised she had also published this book with Lark Crafts.

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And what a craft book it is. There is not one pattern in the collection that I do not want to make. Each project is beautifully photographed with clear instructions, although some projects are trickier than others so maybe not all will be suitable for beginners. Most of the patterns are full size and even the few that aren’t can be enlarged or even measured out yourself as all the measurements are given.

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I started with the felt veg and the results are really pleasing. The patterns are sized really well and everything fits together perfectly. This really is a fun and exciting book of the felt food projects that you will really want – fruit, veg, cakes, tools, burgers and hotdogs and loads more. Great to start off in the wonderful world of felt food and then progress into Jeanette’s other etsy patterns. All will produce amazing toys that children will adore compared with the sad mass produced plastic offerings of most stores.

A must buy for any lover of felt.

Next project for me is this super cute gingerbread house for the holiday season!

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Magazine Christmas Tree

Can’t believe I’m starting my Christmas crafts already, I must be mad. Discovered these fab magazine Christmas Tree decorations on the Martha Stewart website today and had a spare hour or two. The instant results appealed to me too. I’m all about fast craft.

This christmas craft is crazy easy and a bit like making paper aeroplanes. Try handbag sized magazines too for a mini tree. They look super cool naked or fancy up your tree with some spray glitter or paint.

Felt Bear iPod Touch Pouch

Will the iPod touch get scratched on it’s first outing on Christmas morning? Knowing my kiddies the answer is yes. But in an attempt to keep them safe as they get knocked around in pockets and bags I have made them these cute felt bear pouches. Not sure how long they’ll last…….

Chocolate Rudolph the Reindeer Cupcakes

Pure chocolate fun, these cupcake can make use of those leftover sweets you have lying around at this time year. Everyone gets given a box of matchmakers right?!

I used my basic chocolate cupcake mix, piped some chocolate butter cream for the frosting and topped with mint chocolate sticks for antlers, red jelly tots or red smarties for rudolph noses (the smarties worked best – the red jelly tots weren’t really bright enough) and some black sugar paste with white pearls for eyes.

Here’s the cupcake recipe:

150g Self raising flour

175g Castor sugar

30g Cocoa powder

175g Butter

3 large eggs

2 tbsp of milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients with a hand mixer or by hand. Bake at Gas Mark 3 or 170c for approx 20 mins.

Felt Hanging Bird Hanging Decorations

Yep the felt came out again the other day for some cute little hanging bird decorations. These work especially hard as they can multi task as Christmas decorations for your tree, add a touch of dried lavender and hang on your clothes hangers for a fresh wardrobe or even use for a baby’s mobile.

You will need:

1 sheet of beige felt

scraps of material

scraps of ribbon

buttons

embroidery thread

Soft toy filler

Draw your bird shape on a piece of paper and cut out for your template. You will be able to get 3 birds out of a standard 9″ x 12′  sheet of felt if you size it well.  Draw round you template 3 times then flip the paper over and draw round another 3 times.  This will give you a front and back piece for each of the 3 birds and enable you to hide any pencil or pen marks inside. Cut out your birds. Now cut three chest peices out of your material scraps.  I used this red floral print to give a christmassy robin feel but you can use whatever materials you have to hand. Pin the chest onto the front bird piece and stitch it on just around the top edge as pictured below. Sew on a cute button for his eye. Now take a 20 cm piece of ribbon, fold it over and tuck it between the front and back bird pieces. Pin together. Blanket stitch round the bird in a contrasting colour, leaving a 4cm gap to fill him.  Add some stuffing and carry on the the blanket stitch until he if fully sealed. To finish off take your needle back into the bird and out again at the back of the body. Pull tight then snip the thread and your end will disappear inside your bird so you have no visible knots.

Repeat until you have made up all three and hang with pride! If you like these – also check my felt Christmas Robins which are made from all felt and have cute little wings.

Christmas Fayre Successes?

After visiting the Crafts for Christmas exhibition at the Birmingham NEC this year and stocking up with supplies, I was really excited to have a stall all of my own at a few Christmas Fayres on the run up to the festive season.  I’ve done two so far and have some pics below of my stall.

There are quite a few learns I took away with me after doing just these two but am really interested in your Christmas Fayre experiences, tips, pitfalls etc. I found that:

– Anything edible seems to go well – chocolate christmas pudding cupcakes sold out within about 20 mins

– People do not take huge amounts of money to Christmas Fayres (especially school ones) so have lots of cheaper items

– It is a good way to network and get possible future orders

– Make sure you have a good float with lots of change

– Oh and make sure you take sticky tape, blue tack, a pen, some bags for peoples purchases

– You can negotiate on stall prices (sometimes)

Would love to hear from others who have braved the Christmas Fayres this year and how you found it…… get in touch

 

Christmas Craft for Kids – Felt Pencil Toppers

My Children break up on 16th December for the Christmas break (doesn’t that get earlier every year????) so I have a whole week to fill with Christmas related cheap fun activities or things to keep them out of trouble. We will be making these as gifts for their friends and stocking fillers for other kids in the family.

These are so simple even my 6 year old boy can do them.

You will need:

Scraps of felt

buttons

embroidery thread

pencils

cut out a 2 x triangles of felt for the christmas tree or 2 x felt hearts for the heart topper. Stitch a button onto one of pieces. Pin the front and back together and using embroidery thread running stitch round the edge approx 3mm from the edge and leaving a gap at the bottom just big enough for the pencil to fit snuggly inside.

 

Felt Christmas Decorations – Gingerbread Man, Robin, Christmas Pudding

More felt Christmas fun! I needed something to refresh my Christmas decorations this year but had no budget to buy any. Out comes the felt again! I got so addicted to making these I did a loads to put on my Christmas Fayre stalls.

I don’t have an patterns I’m afraid as I used a cookie cutter for the gingerbread man, draw round a mug for the christmas pudding and used the bird pattern from my Cath Kidston Sew! Book. Hope they inspire you to give them a go yourself though – It’s a great way to experiment with new stitches. Try incorporating blanket stitch, running stitch, french knots, cross stitch and get out your bag of material scraps & buttons to add interest like the gingerbread man’s bow tie and the button for the robins eye.

Christmas Felt Needle Book


This is a super quick gift you can give a fellow crafter for Christmas or just make one for yourself! This can be easily made in less than an hour and is something you will use forever. My daughter loved helping me make these too so a perfect beginner project for your little girl.

2 sheets of felt in contrasting colours

buttons and/or ribbon to decorate

embroidery thread

sewing machine

Pinking Shears

Cut out a 12cm x 19cm rectangle from one of your felt sheets – this will be the main part of your felt book.  In the contrasting colour, cut our a piece 8cm x 10cm and a piece 10cm x 16cm – these will be your front cover and inner pages.

On the 8 x 10cm cover, stitch in your ribbon and button embellishments and trim with pinking shears. To make up the book, place the larger rectangle with the smaller rectangle on top and fold in half. Machine stitch down the left hand side approx 0.5cm from the edge. Trim the edges and inner pages with pinking shears. Now stitch on your cover using running stitch.

 

Christmas Star Cookies (or Biscuits for us Brits!)

They’re biscuits really aren’t they?! I do quite like that we have adopted the American ‘cookie’. It’s makes our decorated biscuits sound a tad cuter no?

I knocked these up fondant iced vanilla cookies for a Christmas Fayre I had a stall at a couple of weeks back.  The kids loved them and they are so simple to make.

You will need:

140g icing sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla extrect

1 large egg

250g butter

375g plain flour

250g of red sugar paste & 250g white sugarpaste

white royal icing or writing icing to decorate

Makes about 24

Pre heat the oven to 180c or gas mark 4 and grease  or line 2 large baking sheets

mix together the icing sugar, egg, butter and vanilla extract in a bowl. Add the flour and combine into a firm dough. Place to dough ih the fridge for at least 30 mins.  This will make it easier to handle and you cookie will hold their shape well when baked.

Roll out the dough to approx 1/2 inch thick and cut out your stars.  Try not to re roll the dough more than once or it will become tough.

Bake for approx 12 mins or until golden.

Once the cookies are fully cooled, roll out your sugar paste to approx 1/4 inch thick and cut out your icing stars using the same cutter as the cookies so they fit perfectly. Stick them to your cookies with a smear of royal icing. Now just add some detail to your cookies with the rest of your royal icing or writing icing.