Laura of @feltlikeaparty has a gift for embellishment. Armed with her needle and arsenal of sequins and beads, she can transform felted shapes. We are happy to welcome Laura to our Maker Team and excited to share her patriotic tutorial that is absolutely bursting with personality!
A half mile out, on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, is a very large barge ready to launch fireworks directly over my Gram’s childhood home for her 90th year. This holiday will mark my 39th year of sitting bayside and laying back to watch a booming firework display that seems as though it’s meant only for us. This family tradition makes the Fourth of July my favorite holiday and those fireworks the inspiration for anyone wanting to add a bit of flare to their felted shapes! This color palette reflects my perspective of vintage Americana bomb-bursting in nautical overtones booming over the Chesapeake Bay.
Skill Level: Intermediate
Time: 4 hours
Two Red Felt Stars
Two Almond Felt Stars
Two Marine Felt Stars
Nine Red Felt Pom-poms, Medium
Nine Almond Felt Pom-poms, Medium
Nine Marine Felt Pom-poms, Medium
Pom-pom Garland Kit
Embroidery Floss - DMC 817, 824 and Ecru
Red Metallic Sequins and Beads
Gold Metallic Sequins and Beads
Marine Metallic Sequins and Beads
White Corriedale Roving
Gold Iridescent Angelina Fiber
Needle Felting Cushion
1. Tear off a piece of White wool roving and gently fluff out. Add a pinch of Gold iridescent fiber and hand card the wool by pulling it apart and putting it back together until the fibers are well-mixed. Add more roving or iridescent fiber until you are satisfied with the look of your blend.
2. Tear a small piece (about 2.5") of the mixed wool and roll between your fingers, shaping it into a thin yarn. To make a starting point, fold back a small (1/4") section and roll it into itself.
3. Begin to needle felt the fiber into the star atop a felting pad. As this is felting onto an already felted piece, I prefer to use one 40 gauge spiral needle, although a 38 gauge star would work well too. Use your imagination for your design! Does your firework shoot up, left or right? Add direction by curling the fiber at the tips of your felted star. Finish felting any extra fiber by folding it back into itself like you did in Step 2 to begin.
Repeat this process, beginning at your starting point, until your get your desired shape. Repeat for each of the stars.
4. Use corresponding embroidery floss, metallic sequins, beads and a beading needle to make your firework star come to life! Start by clustering color-coordinated groups of sequins at your starting point.
To add a sequin, sew through your star and add a sequin and then a bead. As you bring the needle back down, only return through the sequin and the bead will hold it in place.
Work your way along the felted fiber of your firework, adding sequins, a simple bead, or trios of beads wherever you feel a spark is needed! Cluster sequin the ends of your exploding star just like you did at the starting point. I added gold to my red and blue stars, and it creates a new look when you mix your sequin and bead colors!
5. Assemble the garland using your garland kit needle and pearl floss.
Thread the needle and string alternating Red, Almond and Marine felt balls, inserting the needle through the center. To string the star, designate a top point and two bottom points. Insert the needle with your floss going straight through the middle points of the star.
Using the quantities listed, your garland will measure 5.5' long, with your elements spaced 1” apart. Adjust your floss and felt ball quantities according to your space.
6. Slip knot the end of your floss and hang!
Sit back and admire your permanent firework display!
Don’t be afraid to test out other colors of Corriedale roving, shapes and sequins. I enjoy the look of Salt Water felted stars for an extra nautical vibe, and it matches the Benzie limited edition Red, White + Blue pom palette beautifully. Have a festive Fourth of July!