Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Easy Felt Poinsettia Christmas Ornaments

I took my car in yesterday to have the alignment done and the battery replaced. Since I knew I would have some kidless time to sit in the auto shop lobby and wait, I packed myself a felt craft to work on. When I was done, I had three poinsettia ornaments I'm going to use as embellishments on my holiday packages. They are super easy yet adorable so you still have time to make some before Christmas. Poinsettias have been associated with Christmas for centuries and I remember my mom keeping the red leafed plant around our house this time of year when I was growing up. 

The Ingredients: 

- Two cream felt circles, 3 inches in diameter
-One red (or cranberry or dark magenta or similar colors) 3 inch felt circle
- One small yellow circle for flower center
- One 7 inch long piece for the hanger. I used pinking shears and cream felt but you could also use ribbon.
-Cream Embroidery Floss

The Recipe:  

The first thing I did was make a template. I traced a 3 inch circle on paper. I also drew a flower petal, about a inch long. I cut a small hole about centered on the circle. Then I traced and cut my flower petal in six places around the center. It doesn't have to be perfect and the petals don't have to all be uniform. 

Once you have your template ready, the easiest way to cut this out is to tape the template on to one of the cream felt circles. It will keep the paper from getting too weak and hold the pattern steady. I folded the petal area and snipped in then cut around.

 Be careful to pull the template off slowly when you are done so that it doesn't tear the felt. 

Now, layer the red and yellow pieces under the top circle. 

Using cream thread, stitch the colored layers to the top layer. When you are done, trim up the red layer so that it won't be visible when you sew on the back cream layer. 

Loop the hanger piece and decide which way you want the flower to hang. Sandwich the looped hanger between the  front and the back layer, then whip stitch around the circle. 

I left my back piece plain but you could easily embroider the date or a gift recipient's name for an extra special touch. 

Now our ornament is complete!

I repeated these steps with a cranberry  

and dark maroon backing. 

They will be the perfect addition to my Christmas wrapping!

In case you are in need of more felt ornament cuteness, be sure to check out these snow flake ornaments by Oh, Happy Day.

Happy Felting!


Monday, December 12, 2011

When Felt Food Meets Hanukkah

Today, I'm guest posting over at The Natural Parents Network. I wanted to share a little about how to make this fun felt Hanukkah play set, as the holiday is quickly approaching. If you are short on time, materials or both, I have a set available in the Mama's Felt Cafe Etsy shop for easy gift giving. Check out the tutorial HERE.  

In case you've missed some of my latest projects ( Facebook holds my day-to-day doings), here is a little round up: 

The holiday season has brought several requests to my shop for custom orders. It's rewarding for me to stretch my creative talents to create something new and  I loved some of the results so much I added them to Mama's Felt Cafe as permanent items. 

 Mama's Milk went interactive with this pourable carton. The top hides a secret spot for a piece of felt "milk" and the spout folds back up to look like a regular carton.  

This toast and honey set is the bee's knees. It includes two pieces of whole wheat toast and a spread of "honey". The bee detail was my favorite part.

To add a little sweetness to my dessert line up, I created this tea and cookies set. There are three different flavors of tea: mandarin orange, peppermint and chamomile. Perfect for pretend tea parties!

Spaghetti and Meatballs arrive at Mama's Felt Cafe by request for a little girl who loves Lady and the Tramp. The bread stick is two-toned, with cream on the underside. Little chefs can pretend "bake" the bread stick for more imaginative fun.  

Amy ordered a Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich as a Christmas gift for a special pediatric orthopedic doctor who has cared for her daughter (and loves a good cheese steak). I'm thinking of serving it with felt wedge cut sweet potato fries. 

Lastly, my Mama's Milk and Cookies set got Christmas tree approved make-over. Thanks to Jacqueline for the idea! One Mama's Milk was even made into a special "First Christmas" ornament, with Baby's name embroidered on the back. 

As we come closer to the New Year, this Mama is ready to take a little break in January. Kristy has been kind enough to volunteer to man the Mama's Felt Cafe Facebook page and you may see a guest post or two on the blog. I'll be back to celebrate the one year anniversary of my Etsy Shop with a big giveaway, so stay tuned!

Hope everyone has a safe and happy Holiday Season!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday--Baby's First Food

Lauren was kind enough to share these photos of her adorable little guy chowing down on his first food--my felt watermelon! You can read more about Eli and his breechy born twin sister Eleanor here. Thanks, Lauren!

Happy Wednesday!


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mama's Milk, Ina May, Birth Matters, Oh My!

This set of a Mama's Milk carton and bottle cozy will soon be in the presence of midwifery greatness. They are heading out to Health Foundations Birth Center, just in time for a special fundraiser to benefit Mama Latte, a non-profit organization that collects and distributes donor breast milk in Minnesota and throughout the Midwest. 

The special guest at this fundraiser is Ina May Gaskin, a world renown midwife and author. Her books include Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding and her most recent, Birth Matters. I still remember the much loved copy of Spiritual Midwifery sitting on my mother's bookshelf for many years, it's hippy-dippy blue cover unmistakable. The stories in Guide to Childbirth helped me prepare for the birth of my own son. Ina May's work is an inspiration and I'm thrilled that my items will even been in the same room with her, displayed at this milky event.  

For further reading about Ina May Gaskin, please visit:

For tickets to the fundraiser dinner in St Paul, Minnesota November 14, 2011 please see:

and for more information about the fabulous Health Foundations Birth Center, please visit:


Wednesday, October 26, 2011


In case you are wondering why my blog has been so dead lately, I'm finally writing up a post to tell you. Recently, Brittany over at Bella Lane Boutique had asked me to make a felt doctor set for her kiddos. I had found a pattern for a doctor kit in Jeanette Lim's Big Little Felt Universe, but the idea wasn't really unique. Knowing Brittany had her youngest baby in a birth center with midwives in attendance, I started to ruminated on what a felt midwife's kit would look like instead. I asked on the MFC Facebook page what items should be included in the birthy set, and got lots of great responses. I ultimately decided on a kid-sized fetoscope, blood pressure cuff, red raspberry leaf tea, bottle of homeopathic arnica, measuring tape and a carrying bag. Here is a little run-down of everything in the set and how real life midwives would use each item.

Before the days of hand-held dopplers and readily available ultrasounds, midwives used fetoscopes to listen to the baby. Many midwives still use fetoscopes as the safety of ultrasound devices is still rather questionable. The flat end generally rests against the midwife's forehead and the cone end is placed on the mother's belly. You can see my silly husband demonstrating on my 37 week pregnant belly here:

Next is the blood pressure cuff:

This item is used routinely in prenatal care to keep track of the mother's blood pressure. Her pulse is also taken. High blood pressure can be a sign of complications like pre-eclampsia, so it is important to keep an eye on it throughout pregnancy. I sewed a bellowed squeaker toy (ok, it's really a Kong dog toy squeaker) into the bulb part of the cuff so that it would have a realistic pumping feel.

Red Raspberry leaf tea has been used by midwives for ages. Raspberry leaf tea helps tone the uterus, making contractions more effective. It is also known to help stave off hemorrhage, ease morning sickness, reduce labor pains, and aid in milk production. Red raspberry leaf contains a slew of good vitamins such as C, E, A, and B complex, as well as minerals including phosphorous and potassium. 

Arnica Montana is a yellow flower that looks like a daisy. This remedy has also been used for centuries to relieve bruising, sprains, reduce inflammation and promote healing. I took arnica right after Asher's birth and the day after when I was one big ball of sore. This felt bottle has a removable lid and a bell inside so it makes a fun sound when the "medicine" is dispensed. 

Brittany, who sparked the first midwife set I made, requested a bottle of "Juice Plus," the brand of vitamin supplement she takes. The label has a little apple applique on it. 

I originally made the measuring tape 12 inches long. After the first set, I decided to switch the unit of measure. Most midwives (especially those outside the US) use centimeters to record fundal height (how big the uterus is growing), dilation and baby's measurements. Since there are 30 cm in 12 inches, this tape also has more digits for number recognition and counting fun.   

Lastly, there had to be a bag to carry all the midwifery items. The first one I made was cranberry (placenta?) red with a cream colored lining. It's always important for a midwife to keep her bag packed and ready, as you never know when a baby decides to enter the world!

This set is probably the best I've created and closest to my heart. Making each one is a labor of love. If you would like me to make one for you, you can find it on Etsy. Ten percent of the purchase price goes to Citizens for Midwifery, a non-profit organization working to increase local access to midwives and supports the Midwifery Model of Care. 

 Encouraging midwifery play is important. If we wish to normalize birth for our children, we must give them the tools to understand the mechanism of birth and allow them to process the information in a way that makes sense to them. Imaginative play does both.  I have seen parents who are planning home or out-of-hospital births look for ways to help prepare their child for a sibling's arrival and come up rather empty handed. There were no other midwife play sets on Google or Etsy, though doctor toys are common place (and medical idolization starts early in our culture). But as an increasing number of families look to have their baby outside the hospital setting, we can work with the next generation to make peaceful birth a realized, every day occurrence. 


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Felt Veggie Garden, Revisited

A couple weeks ago,  I asked my friend Kristin over to photograph my felt veggie garden. My pictures never did this set any justice and I was hoping she could capture them in a more favorable light. Over pumpkin oatmeal bars, she snapped a few photos I wanted to share. Felt garden building basics are HERE or I would be happy to make one for you.

Thanks, K!

Happy Felt Fooding!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

We're Off To See The Wizard--Felt Witch Hat Tutorial

Wizard of Oz is one of my all-time favorite movies. I watched it over an over as a child and still know most of the words by heart. I carried a lunch box donning Dorothy to my first day of kindergarten (and I still have that lunch box). I even recently commissioned Kasie over at Miss P's Bowtique to make this adorable set of bows for me:

Yes, I will be wearing them in my hair around the house when no one is looking as I have no daughter to make wear them. Sigh. 

When my friend Helen mentioned a family Wizard of Oz theme for Halloween costumes and the need for a child sized witch hat, I jumped to the task of finding one. I came across this Elphoba (the Wicked Witch's real first name) hat tutorial from Momtastic, which I thought was so cute. I ended up making several changes to the original design and thought I would share my alterations. Be sure to check out the pattern on Momtastic for the hat making basics. 

I cut my pieces according to the original tutorial. I don't have a glue gun or sewing machine (I must not really be that crafty) so my version is totally handmade. 

I knew the rest of the costume for the Wicked Witch was going to involve a purple and black tutu and wanted to incorporate those colors into the hat. I cut half the flowers out of purple felt and I made my cuts rather wavy so the petals weren't uniform and stood out a bit more. 

Since I am glue gun-less, I stitched the underside of the flower layers together. I worked from the center outward, making sure to thread through all the layers so the flower won't come apart. 

I decided rather than sewing all of the flowers on to the brim of the hat, I would make them removable with safety pins. I took a little square of coordinating felt and stitched a little tab to hold the safety pin. 

These flowers can now be pinned on other items, too, like scarves, hats, shirts, backpacks, fabric headbands, whatever. Too cute to just say put! Here are all the flowers after they were sewn and tabbed: 

When it came time to make the brim, I wanted it to stick out stiffly rather than be floppy (though floppy is cute, too). To achieve this, I used the brim pattern and traced it on cardboard. 

I trimmed it up a bit so that I still had room to sew the seam on the inside and outside of the brim. 

Because we are not permanently attaching the flowers, our base is a great basic black pointy hat. This could be worn by a wizard or warlock as easily as a witch. We can also change up the flowers so it can be used for other costumes or dress-up at another time. 

Now, to pin the flowers on, start with the pin on the inside of the hat. Poke the pin out to the front, loop through the sewn tab and close the pin. Keep the stationary part of the pin towards the inside of the hat so if it accidentally opens, it will stab the felt flower and not your child's head. 

Now our witch hat is done! I bribed my son with the Wii mote to let me take a photo of the hat on an actual child. He let me take exactly 3 pictures:

I wonder what I'll have to give him to try out those Wizard of Oz hair clips. . .

Happy Sewing!



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