Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's raining frogs

I felt like making frogs.


I used to make these in high school, and I guess the holidays have me feeling nostalgic, so I made a pile of frogs between last night and this morning.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

photo shoot


Today I dusted off a corner of the balcony and took some pictures of a handful of things to list in my etsy shop. It was mostly cloudy all day, which was rather nice for photos, though I think the cats really missed having nice warm sunny spots to flop around in.


Then after fiddling with pictures of fake pancakes for an hour I made real pancakes for dinner. Hmm, maybe I should be making more fake vegetables.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

felt food chatter

Googling "felt food" leads to lots of interesting places. Here I'll list the blogs and forum threads about felt food which I've found helpful and/or inspirational.

Half Pint Pixie is blogging about her adventures making felt food for Littlepixie. In addition to pictures of her own creations, she includes copious links to helpful places around the web.

Lit'l Brown Bird blogs tips and free tutorials. This is where I got the idea for my felt palette! It may seem like an obvious tip to everyone else but had never occurred to me. ;)

All Twisted Up made oodles of food for her kids, mostly "winging it" patternless.

Mommy Knows made breakfast goodies and cautions about buying patterns if you're planning to sell your felt food.

Design Mom's blog has a guest post about the felt food craze.

Homemade by Jill produced an entire grocery sack full of felt food for her niece.

The A-Team also wrote about how to get started making felt food.

Penny Carnival has a felt food resource round-up and some posts about the stuff she's made.

I learned some stuff from forum posts as well, here and there.

And finally, Zakka Life posted a bunch of links to free felt food patterns!

felt food beginnings

Pancake and bacon

I started making felt food about a month ago. The idea was to fill up a couple of little canvas bags for my niece and nephew for Christmas... but now I can't stop. I've had other crafty endeavors over the years (beanbag frogs, cross-stitch, scarves), but for some reason I really really LOVE making felt food.

Maybe it's the feel of the felt. Maybe it's how cartoonishly-cute the finished items are. Maybe it's the thought of a delighted child playing with something I made. Whatever it is, I can't stop, so rather than be buried in a pile of felt bacon, I'm going to start listing things on Etsy.

If you'd rather make your own, here's some things I've learned along the way.

Where I get felt


Most of my felt is acrylic craft felt from Hobby Lobby. It's 5 sheets for a dollar there, they have oodles of colors, and it's often on sale for 30 or 40% off.

Michael's seems to carry the same felt with a slightly different label but the same colors.

I picked some up at Hancock Fabrics a couple of months ago and I think it was basically the same felt Hobby Lobby and Michael's carry.

Walmart carries eco-fi felt, which is made in the USA from recycled plastic bottles! Mine has a smaller selection of colors, but I understand it does come in quite a variety.

Jo-Ann carries ecospun / eco-fi felt in a wider selection of colors than Walmart has.

I haven't bought any felt online yet, but here are a couple of sites if you want to pursue that.


This place has a large selection of ecospun / eco-fi colors, which you can buy by the half yard or in a bundle with one sheet of each of 28 colors.

They have the full color list (45?!?) of Kunin Rainbow Classic Felt, which is 100% eco-fi felt, sold in packs of 12 sheets.

You can read more about eco-fi online, as well as see photos detailing how it is made.

I haven't investigated wool-blend or pure-wool felt. As my stash begins to dwindle, though, I think I'll restock with eco-fi.

Other supplies

I use generic thread in colors that more-or-less match the felt I'm sewing. Some people use embroidery floss, but I prefer a thinner stitch.

I stuff with polyfil. Depending on the item, I might stuff it a lot to get a firm full shape (strawberries) or lightly to avoid stretching beyond the desired shape (flat things like bread, pancakes, and cookies).

I have used my sewing machine a bit, mostly for things like cheese or bread, but most of my items are entirely hand-sewn. I enjoy stitching away while watching old episodes of Columbo or new episodes of The Office ;)

A word about patterns

The first things I made were strawberries, using a free pattern from the amazing and creative Hiromi Hughes of Felt Cuisine.


There are a few people selling patterns online, which can be a great help when you're starting out. Be aware, however, that many state explicitly that you cannot sell items made from their patterns. That's fine for folks who are only sewing for presents or for their own kids, but if you get bit by the felt food bug it's best to work out your own designs or just cut straight from the felt without a pattern.

That being said, patterns are still extremely helpful for learning the basics from which you can then develop your own zany ideas.


Felt food has become a popular craft in the last year or so. There are many beautiful photos online which you can use for inspiration.

I've spent a lot of time browsing through photo pools on flickr, such as Play Food, Handmade Felt Food, Felt Toys, and Foodie Craft.

Blogs and forums

Finally, there are blogs and posts by other regular folks making stuff. These have been incredibly helpful to me. I'll write more about that later today.