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Friday, December 09, 2011

A Simple Handmade Gift this Holiday


Sometimes you just need to make something that is fast and easy and that you know will still be appreciated.  Inspired by a craft on Martha Stewart, I made it even better.  So, if you are ready, we'll get right to making this fun craft!  

Several days ago, I was looking for a craft that I could make for a few of my children's teachers.  That is when I discovered a craft on the Martha Stewart site for creating felt coasters.  However, the tools and instructions left much to be desired.  So, I improvised, threw away her instructions, and created my own coasters ...



FELT: If you don't already have felt in various colors at home, you can pick them up at Michaels for .29 cents for a rectangle of felt.  I purchased about 20 of them in various colors, including about 10 rectangles in white.










HOLE PUNCH:  I purchased the Crop-a-Dile Big Bite while I was at Michaels.  A regular hole punch will NOT punch through felt!!  The Martha Stewart craft instructions pictured a regular hole punch - Not.  The Big Bite is great for punching holes in felt, leather, cardboard, cardstock, paper, and more, and it will punch holes up to 6" inside of a project.  I used it for this project and love it!


HeavyStabilizerSTABILIZER:  Heavy craft Stabilizer is what you need.  The same type that is used in making handbags.  If you are unsure, simply ask someone that works at your local fabric and/or craft store.  They should be able to help you find some heavy stabilizer that DOES NOT tear away!!  Make sure you are not purchasing the tear away stabilizer!


WEBBING:  Pellon Wonder-Under transfer webbing is what I use and recommend.  It is used for applique work, and in this case, for binding multiple layers of felt together securely.


SCISSORS: Any small pair of scissors will suffice.



Ready to make your coasters?!!  



Begin by cutting your felt into 4-1/2" squares.  Set the colorful pile separate from the pile of white felt.


Cut your heavy stabilizer into 4" - 4-1/2" squares.  Press the stabilizer to the back of your "colorful" felt pieces. (** See Tip below before pressing stabilizer to the back of your felt!!**)


I have all of my colorful felt pieces stacked with a piece of stabilizer ready for pressing.


**TIP: When you begin to press your stabilizer to the back of your felt pieces, make sure you have a cotton press cloth over the felt and stabilizer.  This prevents sticky stuff from the stabilizer from getting all over the bottom of your iron.  


I use a steam iron all the time.  So steam blast that colorful felt to your hearts content - well, maybe just for about 20 seconds or so.  Then, when you pull away the cotton press sheet, it should be adhered well to the back of the felt.


Take a colorful thin-line marker and draw central lines as shown above.  DO NOT follow the corners of the stabilizer!!  Line up your ruler to the corners of the felt square and draw diagonal lines, and then draw lines that divide the felt square in half as shown above.  This is necessary so that your design is symmetrical and attractive.


After you have decided what you want to create, take your hole punch and punch little 1/8" holes or larger 3/16" holes in your felt and stabilizer.


When you are done, your design will look something like this on the felt side.  Simply take a little pair of scissors and clip these bumps away from your felt project.


I put a piece of white felt behind this first coaster and see how nice it looks?  


The green felt has stabilizer on the back.  The white felt needs to be attached to the back of the colorful felt. Press a piece of webbing to the top of the white felt square.  Use your press cloth to press over the paper that you will pull away revealing the webbing stuck to your white felt.  Using your press cloth again, press the colorful felt (stabilizer down) to the white felt (webbing up against the stabilizer) and press them together.  Repeat this step for 1 more piece of white felt on the bottom so that they are sandwiched together.  

The top will be your colorful and decorative felt with stabilizer backing.  Then the bottom will be 2 pieces of white felt squares stuck together with webbing.


Create some more designs.  Be creative!  You can also take a little pair of scissors and cut out tear-drop holes for a more interesting pattern.


Folding your coaster in half along your lines to punch out the holes will create a symmetrical design.



I made 8 coasters.  Each coaster has a different design pattern.  Then, I wrapped them in a bow and they are ready for gift giving.  



What's really nice about these coasters is that if your drink sweats, it will keep your tabletop completely dry.  Your friends will love these creative coasters and you will be remembered every time they are enjoyed.

Happy Holidays!!








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