Magnolia Holiday Wreath

Posted by Renae Bradley on 16 November, 2016 5 comments

Felt Magnolia Wreath

Get holiday ready. Deck your wall and warm your heart with our DIY Merry Magnolia Wreath (as seen in Better Homes & Garden's Make it Yourself magazine!). At Benzie, we love it in Moss colored felt trimmed with our white handmade poms but Benzie's Meadow felt with accents of Zucchini would give it the true Magnolia wreath feel. A no-glue and no-sew project too! Grab your supplies below.

Supplies for felt wreath

Supplies needed:
12-14" foam wreath base 
Stick pins
1 1/2 yards of wool blend felt or 12 bags of leaf felt-fetti 
1.5cm or 2cm felt balls, 25 in white

how to make a felt wreath
First, grab your stack of felt leaves (skip the scissors and use our precut shapes) or cut your own almond shaped leaves out of yardage. Our large leaves are about 3 1/2 x 2 inches wide and our small leaves are about 2 1/2 x 1 1/4" inches wide. To give the wreath a full appearance we folded the tip of each leaf over each other and use the stick pin to attach to the styrofoam wreath. 

Felt Greenery How ToContinue to place the leaves row by row -pinning each leaf about 1/2" to 1" apart from each other. You will only pin leaves to the front and sides of the wreath. The back side will remain unfinished. 

Craft a wreath from felt.

Continue until the wreath is completed. Use leftover leaves to fill in empty spaces. 


Mistletoe Wreath from FeltLastly, grab the felt poms and stick the pin through the edge of the pom and carefully pin to the wreath hiding the pin in the back side of the pom. A beautiful full wreath to decorate! Go all out and add some magnolia flowers to it -get the diy!

Watch our instruction video!

Felt DIY Greenery Wreath

 Add any felt shapes to make it your own! Using pins allows you to update and switch things up any time you please! Happy Holidays!

vintage light bulb decorations

Felt Cactus DIY

Posted by Renae Bradley on 16 August, 2016 14 comments

Felt Cactus DIY

Our favorite desert darling — the cactus! Craft your own prickly plants with our handy diy below! 

felt cactus supplies and tools

Grab your materials:

Cactus Pattern 
Wool Felt -Our Cactus Palette is perfect! 
Felt Poms in an assortment of sizes -we like the colors Brown and Stone
Fabric Paint
Terra Cotta Pots, we used one with about a 4" rim
Hot Glue Gun
Stick Pins
Sewing Machine (not shown)

cactus pattern

Print out the pattern (or freehand your own design) on basic copy paper and cut out the cactus you want to use first. Grab a 6x9" sheet of felt, fold in half and pin paper pattern in place. 

cactus tutorial craft

(1.) This is where you'll take out your sewing machine and sew right on the paper pinned felt -it's so easy! We love this method for tracing and sewing patterns, just make sure to leave the bottom open for stuffing! (2.) To remove the paper just gently tear the paper away from the felt. (3.) Grab a sharp scissors and trim about 1/4" inch around the stitched line. (4.) Finally -grab some fabric paint and stipple dots over the cactus. We used a sheet of paper to help us make even lines. Let dry over night and repeat on opposite side. And just a shout out to this fabric paint -we tried several different kinds of paint and found we loved the flow and puffiness of this paint the best! 

cactus fabric and paint

Keep a steady hand and you'll have a whole prickly forest soon!

how to make a fabric cactus

Gently fill your cactus with polyfil. 

succulents and cactus felt craft

Heat up that hot glue gun annd stuff the bottom of your pot with a little polyfil. Then do a little bit of mix & matching to find the best prickly pairs (did you get that pun?!) and hot glue the bases together for a bit more stability. Strategically glue poms in place around the cactus and base of the pot. You're almost done!

cactus succulent felt craft

Grab the pattern to cut out the accent flowers. I used about 5-7 flowers per pot placing them on the tip of the cactus or accents in the felt rocks. Our fine tipped glue gun is perfect for detailed work like this! 

Felt Cactus DIY

Enjoy your new desert darling!

Succulent Cactus Felt Tutorial



Felt Wildflower Tutorial

Posted by Renae Bradley on 29 July, 2016 6 comments

Handmade Felt Flowers
Felt Flower Bouquet by Benzie
I definitely have a favorite felt craft -and I bet you can guess! Flowers are always beautiful and I love being able to use all the colors of Benzie's rainbow! These remind me of wildflowers -pretty, bright and whimsical -you'll be crafting up a whole bouquet in no time!

We made these flowers use our favorite oval felt-fetti in both small and large size -there are so many things you can make with this basic shape! Another alternative is cutting ovals out of felt using our favorite scissors and freezer paper. Either method you select will work great! We used the felt colors Fern, Foxglove, Guava and Periwinkle.

Felt Flower DIY

Some additional supplies you will need are:

Benzie PomPoms in Foxglove, Lemonade and Fern, 1.5cm & 2.5cm size
Wire Flower Stems
Hot Glue

Easy Felt Flowers

Once you have a pile a ovals in both large and small sizes and a warmed up hot glue gun you are ready to roll!

To make filler stems and leaves on flowers you will use the large oval die -place a dot of glue on the bottom of the oval and pinch around the floral wire. Space to your liking. 

These little flowers remind me of Cosmos -I love all the colors! We use our small 1cm felt balls and attach to floral wire with a little hot glue (you may want use a needle or an awl to pre-pierce a hole). We use 4 small ovals -place a bit of glue on the bottom and pinch along the base of the felt pom. 

Our large flowers used 12 large ovals total -but this can be varied to adjust the look and style of your bloom. The first layer uses 4 ovals -we pre-pinched each petal before attaching to the base. This helped form the flower.

To finish the flower keep adding ovals around the pom-pom -add a green leaf or two to finish it off!

Felt Flower DIY

Felt Succulent DIY

Posted by Renae Bradley on 12 April, 2016 8 comments

DIY Felt Succulents

We all love succulents, thick petaled plants -smooth, symmetrical and in a beautiful array of greens and blues -natures bouquet. These little beauties also translate well into felt -and these will fare well in all types of weather too!

Succulent Centerpiece 

Succulent Supplies

To make quick work of these we suggest using our precut ovals -or felt-fetti as we like to call them! You'll want to have both the large and small sizes.You can also freehand cut circles or trace them using freezer paper. Regardless -you'll want a big pile of ovals to work with! 

Succulent Felt Supplies

The materials we used:

Felt! Sweet Succulent palette or go for our Felt-fetti.
Felt Pom Poms, we used a variety of our sizes in the color Stone.
Moss accents
Hot Glue Gun
Item to decorate, we used birch tree stumps. 

 How to make a felt succulent

To make the succulent center take one small oval -fold in half twice and use just a bit of glue to secure. Then take 3 ovals -fold in half and form around succulent center. Continue attaching ovals on the underside of the plant to form your succulent. You can make them large or small by selected fewer or more ovals to attach.

Felt Succulent Flower Centerpiece

To make the centerpiece I used 3 various sizes of birch logs -glued on some moss -arranged the succulents and placed felt pom poms to resemble pebbles that succulents often grown in. I also scattered a few around the base of the centerpiece. A great focal point for your table -or how about try a felt terrarium or decorate grapevine wreath? Let me know what you make!

Benzie Iron-On Glitter & Gold

Posted by Renae Bradley on 01 September, 2015 3 comments

Gitter and Gold Felt

Ready to make your felt go glam? Add on a layer of glitter -or go metallic -with Benzie's iron-on sheets. It's crazy easy -and doesn't leave you with paintbrushes to clean or fairy dust to mop! 

diy glitter felt

First, grab your supplies: Benzie's felt, iron-on glitter or iron-on metallic (we used our glitter in Julep here), a light cloth (we like a layer or two of tissue paper), hard surface (we used a cutting board) and an iron. Trim your felt and iron-on material to the size you would like. 

On a hard surface, layer your felt, iron-on material and light cloth. Heat your iron to the highest setting and press firmly for 15-20 seconds, slowly shifting your iron as you go. 

After the felt and glitter (or metallic) sheets have fully bonded remove protective sheet. We have found it's much like removing a sticker -sometimes it peels off quickly and sometime you need to work at it a bit! 

Glitter felt by Benzie

We offer 12 colors of glitter and 4 metallic hues -all ready to be ironed on and crafted with! Manual die cut users can expect to roll it through the machine 1-2 extra times and punch out design due to the extra thickness of the fabric. Craft just as you would regular felt -but now with more glam!  

We've been using our iron-on for a while now and have learned some important tips for success which we have outlined below:
-it is vital to iron on a hard surface such as a wood cutting board
-we have seen best success with a 1600 watt iron
-our glitter irons on easily with just 15 seconds of heat -our metallics take more like 20 seconds
-our metallic iron-ons work best in small batches

Can I wash felt? A tutorial about felt applique.

Posted by Renae Bradley on 24 June, 2015 0 comments

Felt Star Shirt DIY // Benzie

This is a craft question that I get asked quite often -can I wash wool blend felt? And as you can see from the felt star appliqué -yes you can! But before we get to care instructions let's talk first about fiber content.

Our felt contains both wool, ranging from 20-35%, and rayon. Rayon, or known as viscose, is made from wood pulp -a renewable source too! Most of us know what happened to our adult sized wool sweater when we tried to wash it -it shrunk down to a child's size! Wool should be treated with much care or it will shrink. We suggest dry cleaning or spot cleaning to keep our wool blend felt in its original condition. It's easy and already looks great!

But there are times that a toy or a t-shirt just needs be washer friendly. Before cutting into your design or appliqué -the felt must first be washed. Prewash in a sink of hot running water -immersing the felt completely. We use soap and gently squeeze the felt into a ball, rinsing and repeating until the water runs clear. This process does two things to the felt. First the hot water gets any excess dye out. Not all colors bleed -but this bright Carmine did! Second, the combination of hot water, soap and gentle squeezing is further felting the fabric -binding the fibers even closer together and causing the felt to shrink. Lay flat to dry -or use a blow dryer to speed things up. A washing machine on the delicate cycle is a great alternative to prep large batches.

Can I wash wool felt? // Benzie

In the image above you can see the difference between our original felt and felt that has been pre-washed. The washed felt is bubbly or wrinkled -and is thicker then its un-washed partner (this can be flattened by ironing though). Also it has shrunk. The 6x6" square shrunk to about 5 3/4x 5 1/2". Now you're ready to craft!

DIY Felt Applique // Benzie

Grab a t-shirt and your favorite color of Benzie's felt. To make cutting ultra easy we used the Nesting Star die from Lifestyle crafts -but old fashioned pattern and scissors will work just as well. We also found that we really liked Wonder Under's fusible adhesive. It's didn't make the felt appliqué stiff and it made a permanent bond to the fabric.

Felt Applique T-Shirt  // Benzie 

But before you do any of these steps -your felt and your shirt must be prewashed! Follow the washing instructions for felt above.

1) After the felt has dried -iron your fusible adhesive to your felt.
2). Use your favorite die to cut a shape our of the felt -adhesive side up. We explain how to use a die machine and dies here.
3. Peel off the top layer of your fusible adhesive -you can see the transparent paper star in the above photo (throw that away), carefully place your star where you want it and iron down. Iron from both the front and back of the shirt to ensure a permanent bond.

Can I wash felt? // Benzie

It's not necessary -but I think the added machine stitch adds detail and helps the star to stand out among the stripes. To care for your felt appliqué shirt and prevent further felting we suggest washing inside out, cold and delicate with a gentle dry.

4th of July applique shirt // Benzie 

I want to see what you are making too -hashtag #benziefelt and have a Happy Independence Day!

Originally posted June 2014

A New Way to Shop Benzie

Posted by Renae Bradley on 04 May, 2015 0 comments

Welcome to Benzie's new online shop! A new, fresh and inspiring way to shop for Benzie's felt! Let me show you around! 

1. The main navigation bar gives basic information about Benzie -you can get familiar with our shipping policies and be inspired by our blog. You'll notice that our blog perfectly integrates with our shop now -making purchasing supplies even easier! Don't forget to sign up in our shop -it will save your important details to insure a seamless checkout!

2. On the way down you'll past the shopping cart icon and the search bar. Search for anything -it's super easy to find just what you need -looking for the color "Julep"? Just type it in! Next you'll notice another navigation bar where Benzie's products are organized by category. It's never been easier to find just the felt, pom or tool that you need. Color enthusiasts will love the 'shop by color' option too!

3. Glance through our large photos to read announcements, find out our sales and learn about creative ways to use our products.

4. Feature images show seasonal collections and new products. Click on the item to view options, sizes and colors.

5. The closing of our site includes all of our social media outlets and a newsletter signup -keep updated on on Benzie news and special offers!

We are excited to offer an easier more intuitive shopping experience on Benzie. Our spacious site and multiple search options make finding the perfect color or item simple -and browsing is sure to spark creativity! Thanks again for visiting, we are so glad to craft with you!

Happy 5 Years!

Posted by Renae Bradley on 22 April, 2015 1 comment

originally posted 2/16/15
Banner made by Benzie customer Little Skunk Co.

It all started with a monster made with felt. A stuffed, red monster made for my son, it had a pocket on it that held a little love note from Mom. But something happened to that most loved critter... It started to pill and fuzz. A lot.
This failed craft started the journey to find a better felt -something that was made to last, crafted well but still affordable -and our shop Benzie Design was opened on Etsy in February of 2010.

We've been offering wool blend felt for 5 years and what a fun adventure it has been! We started out with 59 colors in just the 9x12" and 12x18" size but in just a few months we moved up to 70 colors. At this point I was processing all orders on the small cover of my ironing board! By the end of the year we found a demand for yardage and started offering all 70 colors by the yard -and I got a bigger work table too!

Around our 1 year anniversary we started offering 6x9" sheets -we were the first of felt internet shops to offer this size; we found that these sheets were perfect for sampling colors, small projects -and were a great fit for those using manual die cutters too! Our Etsy peers quickly followed suit and also offer this convenient size as well.

We coined the phrase "felt-fetti" in 2011 -bringing oversized felt confetti to party planners in our handmade shop and felt die cuts to crafters in our felt & supply shop. Our handmade shop also includes our "felt like a party" line of garlands and mobiles!

In 2013 we introduced DMC embroidery floss to coordinate with our felt colors -we find this to be immensely helpful and convenient to our stitchers and color enthusiasts -and as always a crafters favorite. We also started working with Lifestyle Crafts / We R Memory Keepers to bring you tutorials that combine Benzie's felt with fabulous scrapbooking supplies.
Over the past 5 years we developed our photography style -going from a rustic wood background to a crisp linen one. We continued to add more colors (to our current 90) and more color pallets and love discovering pattern designers to collaborate with. We continue to find more efficient ways to ship and organize our inventory -based on sales we have become Etsy's larges wool blend felt supplier. We have appeared on numerous blogs including Babble and Apartment Therapy along with appearances in HGTV magazine and Pregnancy & Newborn magazine. Benzie has grown along with my family -it started out with my husband and two small children and have now included our sweet foster child. Balancing family and business has been tricky -I first hired a mothers-helper and then moved on to hiring two employees to oversee packaging and orders. You may have said 'hi' when they answer your questions.

Just this past year we introduced felt pom poms in 4 different sizes and 34 colors. We also worked closely with a manufacture to introduce two new colors of wool blend felt -exclusive to Benzie. Meanwhile our handmade shop on Etsy grew to 400 sales and our supply shop just landmarked 20,000 sales!

These past 5 years have been a wonderful adventure for Benzie and we have some fun one year goals and some even bigger five year goals. I can't wait to introduce you to one of them this summer! Keep updated with our social media and shop outlets below -we want to get to know you more!

Follow us here:
Handmade shop: www.benzie.etsy.com
Felt & Supply shop: www.benziedesign.etsy.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/benziedesign
Instagram: www.instagram.com/benziedesign
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/benziedesign

We want to celebrate with you and are offering 10% off our Felt & Supply shop and 20% off our handmade shop using code HAPPY5, expires February 21. Also -comment below to win one of three $20 gift cards -let us know what products or services you would like to Benzie to offer and leave your email so we can get in contact with you if you are one of the winners! And thanks again to all you wonderful crafters out there -you have made my heart so very happy! -Giveaway is now closed & winners have been contacted, thank you!!!
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