Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Swirly Felt Wreath

Geesh! It's already December 1st? Do you know the pressure I feel to post something amazing for this Holiday Season? There were so many ideas roaming around my brain (neighbor gifts, teacher gifts, advent calendars, Christmas traditions, etc....) I couldn't really concentrate...remember my craft A.D.D?

Anyway, I thought I'd share a few ideas with you today involving Santa, Halloween candy and felt!!! From the title of the post, you can see that coming up I'll feature the tutorial for this cute decoration that can be for Christmas or just as beautiful's a sneak peek...

But first, let me tell you a little something I do with my Halloween candy.  This year the kids managed to bring home 5- 1 gallon ziploc bags full of candy. I let them have at 3 of them and have saved the other two for our cute advent calendar. Our calendar is a great little house that we bought at Costco a few years ago (at press time, my Christmas decorations are still in the garage and not unpacked...we just moved long can I use that there's no picture of said advent house). This house has 24 little doors and I put a piece of candy for each child in each of the doors along with a family activity. Some top favorites are:

* Make cookies and take them to friends houses.
* Everyone say 3 nice things about _________  (each person gets their own day)
* Do an anonymous act of service and just leave these hearts at the scene of the "crime"
* Sing Christmas Songs together
* Play freeze-dance to Christmas songs
* Each child pick a Christmas book to read or to be read.
* Drive around to look at Christmas lights
* Drink hot chocolate outside

And on and on....the best part is the kids never know that the candy is from Halloween (I don't put Halloween branded things in the advent house).

Idea #2 - Santa Letters
Those of you who are fans of ours on Facebook, might have seen my post yesterday about an idea I had to try to make the kids focus on others rather than themselves. Instead of writing letters to Santa telling him what they want, they had to write letters to Santa telling them what their siblings wanted and why they deserve those presents this year.  So, below is a link to download our standardized letters. I also included a place where they could rate their own behavior. Hopefully it helps them think about their actions as well. 

Santa Letter

Idea #3 - Swirly Felt Wreath

I found the idea for this here and on this tutorial she cut out 286 3-inch circles with a scissors one at a time. She says it took her 12-15 hours for this project. Well, I loved the idea, but I didn't love all the cutting. So I did a little research and spent a little money and cut the time of this project. I made this in 2-3 hours with the help of a handy tool that cuts any size circles out of fabric, vinyl, leather, paper. It cost $24.99 at Michael's but I had my trusty 40% off coupon so it only cost me about $15 (plus the astronomical amount of sales tax here in CA, but that's another topic for another day).

It looks complicated, but it isn't.  So for this swirly felt wreath, you can click on the link above and get her tutorial, or just sit back and relax and stay here as I take you on a journey through my project.

You will need:
*Afore mentioned fabric circle rotary cutter.
* Self healing mat
*Wreath form. I was too cheap to pay $6.99 for styrofoam, so like in Melissa's post here, I bought a straw form for $2.99
*About 1.5 yards of felt if you use your cutter, about 2 yards if you are going to cut them out by hand.
*About 300 straight pins
* Small piece of scrap ribbon for hanger
* Ribbon or fabric to wrap the form (OPTIONAL)

Start out by cutting out 280 3-inch circles. I cut them out with double layers of felt. It would have probably been easier to cut them out one layer at a time, but it cut my labor time in after you've cut out about 80 of them, you get into a rhythm and it's pretty easy. This is where I saved all my time. It took me about 30 minutes to cut out 280 of these circles vs. the 12 hours doing it by hand.

So, with the cutter, you need a self-healing mat and it has a sharp pin that anchors the material to the mat and a sharp rotary cutter that moves around. It was so easy and I love this thing! I'm not getting sponsored to endorse this, but if the OLFA people see this...I'm a fan!!!

So, with the straw form, since straw is messy, I left the plastic on and wrapped the thing with leftover ribbon. You can use fabric, too. It's just nice to have a pretty "back" to the wreath.

I just used the straight pins to secure the ribbon to the form. And then at the end, I just tucked the ribbon in and secured them with pins as well like this:

Then with the circles I folded them in half (sorry about the blurry picture) and folded it in half again and pinned it to the form.

Then start filling in the wreath. Space them pretty far from each other, you can always go back and fill in. I made the mistake of putting them too close together and then it was hard to rearrange. You'll be surprised how "forgiving" these little rosettes can be. You might not even need as many circles if you space it more open. I did the edges first and then filled it can do it whichever way you want.

 At the end, I just took a scrap piece of ribbon and made a hangy thing on the back!

This is how it turned out. I haven't had time to decorate it with ribbon and ornaments for Christmas, but I think I can keep this up all year long and just decorate it for different Holidays.

So there you have it. Three ideas to kick off the Christmas season! Now time to hear your ideas. What do you think I can do with the felt scraps? I was thinking a cool scarf...any other ideas?

Today I linked up to:

Sew Much Ado
The Thrifty Home 
Someday Crafts 
Blue Cricket Design 
The Trendy Treehouse 
Lucky Star Lane 
Hope Studios 
Paisley Passion 
Allie Makes



  1. I love the results for this. Unique, and very modern. The dark color makes this "chic" somehow. I would love it if you shared this holiday craft on my holiday link share:

    Cute blog, I'll be back for more!

  2. Hi Ladies! What a great idea for a blog, I am so happy I stumbled on it tonight! I am a new follower from the blog hop! Hope you will swing by and visit us too at

    Happy Wednesday!

  3. Oh this is FABULOUS!!! Love it! Well done!
    You should come link this up to my weekly Thursday Making It With Allie Link Party! I think it would make a Fabulous addition!

  4. I love this. I love the grey. I love the felt. I love the fancy circle do-dad. I sloppy kiss love it. So happy I was pointed to your blog!