Did your year begin with strict resolutions that already have you crumbling under the pressure? We are excited to introduce a project from Maker Team member Jenny of @olivethisfelt that might broaden your perspective of New Year's traditions. We could all use a litte more good luck - and crafting - in the year ahead!
Millions of people worldwide celebrate the new year with a festive holiday known as the Lunar New Year. Marked by the first new moon of the lunar calendar, the Lunar New Year is a time for family and friends to gather for feasting, exchange traditional red envelopes filled with money, and honor deities. The celebration lasts days and often culminates in colorful festivals filled with dancing, lanterns and fireworks. In this holiday’s spirit of prosperity and good fortune, I’ve created a pattern for your very own red envelope and a fortune cookie for additional well wishes!
Skill Level: Intermediate
Time: 1 - 2 hours
1. Cut out Fortune Cookie template from pattern above. Trace template onto Pampas wool blend felt. Cut out and remove any pen marks with an iron or hair dryer.
2. Fold circle in half. Directly in the middle of the fold (2” is the exact middle), draw a perpendicular line measuring 3/4”.
3. Thread a needle with one strand of DMC 676 and knot the end. Bring the needle up a stitch length away from the crease of the fold, along the base of the black line. Wrap thread around to the other side of the fold and then bring the needle up the same hole. Continue along the line with a simple back stitch. At the end of the black line, knot off and snip excess thread.
4. Take hold of the half circle on either side of the stitched line at the base of the fold. Bring your fingers together so that the open edges of the half circle touch. Flatten outer corners to create a fortune cookie shape. The felt should be stacked on top of itself with the signature fortune cookie notch in the middle.
5. At this point, you can see an exposed stitch at the fortune cookie crease. Using one strand of DMC 676, bring needle up from the inside of the fortune cookie and out near the exposed strand. Create a small stitch over the exposed thread, bringing the needle back through into the inside of the fortune cookie and pulling tight to make exposed thread flush against felt and unnoticeable. Knot off inside the fortune cookie and snip excess thread.
6. Start a blanket stitch at one end along the opening of the fortune cookie with one strand of DMC 676. Continue the blanket stitch around the opening. Leave 1 1/4” open at the end. Knot off and snip excess thread.
7. Create a fortune by tracing the pattern onto paper and cutting out. Write a fortune onto the slip of paper. Have fun with this part! You can make the fortune traditional or personal, depending on the recipient.
8. Fold the fortune in half length wise and insert into cookie opening. You are ready to gift it!
1. Cut out all Envelope template pieces from the pattern sheet. This includes the small circle and the inverted Chinese symbols for good luck.
2. Trace the rectangular Envelope templates onto Cherry Red thick felt. Cut out and remove marks with iron or hair dryer.
3. Trace two small Circles and inverted Chinese symbol for good luck onto the back of the Gold metallic felt. Cut out and remove marks with iron or hair dryer. Flip over felt so metallic side is facing upward and arrange the symbol to look like the one in the perforated box.
4. Lay a ruler across the base of the flap of one Envelope piece. Open scissors fully and run the open blade along the ruler to create a scored line. You may need to run over the line twice to score deeply enough, but be careful not to cut all the way through the felt. This should allow the flap to fold over the body of the envelope.
5. Stand the smaller Envelope piece on it's shorter side and position the symbols for good luck. Make sure it is low enough to allow room for the string tie closure. Thread a strand of Light Gold Diamant floss onto a needle. With a running stitch, secure the symbols into place so they look like the example in the perforated box. Knot off and snip any excess thread.
6. Position one of the small gold Circles above the symbol. Fold the flap over to ensure the circle will not be covered. Thread a needle with one strand of Light Gold Diamant floss. Bring the needle up through the red felt and the middle of the gold circle. Create a large French knot. I wound the thread around the needle four times instead of two. Bring the needle back down through the entry point. Knot off on the back of the red felt and snip excess thread.
7. Position the remaining gold circle in the center of the flap of the larger Envelope piece. It needs to be on the back side of the flap so the circle is visible and in line with the other circle when folded over.
Cut 12” of Light Gold Diamant floss. Knot one end with a sizable knot. Knot the other end a couple of times to create a small knot and cut excess tail. This is the floss for the envelope closure. Thread another strand of Light Gold Diamant floss onto the needle. Sandwich the large knot on the 12" strand between (and centered) the gold circle and envelope flap. Bring the threaded needle up through all three pieces - felt, knot and circle. Create a large French knot and take the needle back down through the entry point, passing through all three elements. Tightly knot off on the back of the red felt and snip excess thread.
8. Put the two envelope pieces together with the flap piece behind the symbol piece. With the flap open, the gold circle on the flap should be facing away from you. Thread the needle with two strands of DMC 817. Blanket stitch the two envelope pieces together, starting on one side of the flap base and working around to the other side of the flap base. When you have stitched the three sides together, knot off thread and snip excess.
9. Fill the envelope with money! Traditionally, only new, crisp bills are placed within the envelope. Never place monetary amounts that include the number 4 because they are said to bring bad luck. Numbers including 8 are considered good luck! To close the envelope, wrap the strand from the top gold circle around the bottom gold circle in a figure eight fashion. Repeat until the strand is too short to wrap any more.
Now that you have made a fortune cookie and red envelope, create more for family and friends! Stitch different symbols onto the envelope, if you like, and create clever, meaningful fortunes. Have fun spreading good luck and prosperity this Lunar New Year!