11.03.2011

Make Your Own Pretty Snow Cloud

Awhile ago I posted pictures of pretty felt ornaments I stitched up over a lovely fall weekend in New Hampshire, and now I'm back with the DIY directions. Now you can make your own, or (even better) if you feel like being super awesome you could buy one from me at my etsy shop! Yup, that's right... my shop is open. Okay, I'll admit, there's only one thing in it so far, and it is this ornament. I'm working on getting some high quality reproductions of my artwork printed to sell in my shop, so those will be up soon, too.

Here's my second lovely snow cloud ornament, which I made today while taking lots of process pictures:

yeah, I added this picture later... but it looks so much nicer on a tree!


pretty snow cloud

I'm calling this project part of the Pinterest Challenge that's going on over at Young House Love, Bower Power Blog, Ana's blog, and house of earnest. That may be cheating just a little bit since I made the first prototype of this cloud a few weeks back (but not really since it was based on a pinterest photo). For those who haven't heard of this wonderful blog challenge, the point is to pin an image on pinterest of a possible DIY project and then actually do it! Simple as that. Make one of the things you're always thinking of making but never really get around to. An excellent idea if I do say so myself.


I didn't have my own pinterest account yet when I made my first snow cloud a few weeks ago, so I couldn't pin my inspiration image, and I only saved it with a link to the original website, so I know I'm failing at making this look like a pinterest challenge project, but I swear I originally found this picture on pinterest!

from here, and I wrote about it here

Such an adorable little robin! I liked the idea of a simple handmade stuffed felt ornament. I love this robin, but I figured I should make something original, so when Chris suggested a snow cloud I was all over the idea.

Sherry and John at Young House Love (one of my favorite blogs, by the way) made a ton of ornaments, so I feel a little weak next to them with my one little guy, but hey, these sewn felt things take a long time to make! I actually happened to have a three hour block of "study hall" proctoring today that was just the right amount of time to do this little project. (For those who haven't read the "About" page, I'm a middle school art teacher, hence the study hall. Well, actually I'm an assistant art teacher, which is why I wasn't in parent-teacher conferences this afternoon and was proctoring the aforementioned study hall.) Ok, it didn't really take all three hours because I had to spend a good amount of time making sure kids weren't disappearing on me, checking them in and out, and generally being a teacher and stuff. Or something like that... All the kids looked at me very strangely when I kept putting my little project on the ground and taking pictures of it. But in the end all the girls told me it was super cute, so yay, validation from middle school girls. That's tough to come by, let me tell you.

Anyway, let's get to the DIY! Here's how it went down:

The materials:


Grey and white felt, polyester fiber stuffing, off-white ribbon, grey thread, and I threw the needle in the picture for good measure. Check out that attractive school carpet!

Drawing the cloud:


I used my handy disappearing ink pen to draw a lovely cloud shape on the grey felt. It took several tries to get something that actually looked cloud-like. Kindof embarrassing for an artist to admit...

Notice that the felt is folded over, so when I cut it out, I get two clouds:


Notice the strange darker grey marks on the lower cloud. That would be from me using water to erase my failed cloud drawing attempts. Thank goodness for disappearing ink. Now that I think about it, I don't know why I went to all the trouble of erasing when I was going to tell you about it anyway. Oh well.

Next up, pin the two pieces together, thread your needle, and start sewing:


I started from the inside so that my knot and the ends of my thread would be safely hidden inside the cloud.



I like using plain old straight stitches. I think it looks super cute and really gives it that handmade charm.


When you get to the top, it's time to add the hanging ribbon. I pinned the ribbon in between my two cloud layers and then stitched right over it, making sure that I got a good few stitches through both ends of the ribbon.

At some point you can take a break from sewing to make your little snowflakes:


Start by cutting squares out of the white felt. I went for a small, medium, and large square. Then fold 'em up and cut out some little triangles, just like making paper snowflakes but with less folding, because you can only fold 1" bits of felt so many times. And by "so many times" I mean once, maybe twice if you're impressive.


I made mine all unique, just like real snowflakes. So cute!

Then keep sewing until you get to your first snowflake attachment point (probably towards the side of the bottom of the cloud):


This part is kindof tricky. You do half a stitch, so your thread/needle are between your felt cloud layers, then you poke through a solid point towards the edge of your first snowflake, and then finish your stitch through the felt cloud. This way the thread that holds the snowflake hangs from inside the cloud so it looks more polished. The annoying part is you can't pull your stitch too tight or it will pull up your snowflake towards the cloud, and you need to maintain a bit of distance between the two to make it look good.

Keep adding snowflakes as you get to appropriate snowflake attachment points:


I recommend putting the biggest snowflake in the middle to keep it balanced.


When there's just a small opening left it's time for stuffing. Add it a little bit at a time so it's easier to push it into each puff of the cloud. I would recommend not starting your sewing on the bottom of the cloud like I did because it made it a lot harder at the end when I was trying to balance adding snowflakes without pulling the thread too tight and getting the stuffing inside and sewing around all that fluff. Bad move.

But it all worked out in the end. Just tie off, making sure to get the ends of the thread on the inside, and BAM!


Snow cloud on a doorknob. I wish it was a prettier doorknob, but hey, that wood is actually pretty nice.


Oooh... prettier picture taken on one of our sheepies. Yes, I call each of our three sheepskins "sheepy." Love me some sheep!

I'm making lots of ornaments this year, so please check them all out here!

Now I have two lovely snow clouds. One for my Christmas tree (whichI'mreallyreallyexcitedabout!) and one to sell (to you?) on Etsy. If all goes well, I'll make more to sell and to use. Maybe some new shapes. Any ideas for creative new wintery shapes? Anyone else getting really excited for the holidays? Starting preparations?

Linked to momnivore's dilemma, hi sugarplum!, and Young House Love

3 comments:

  1. I feel ya on the etsy shoppe thing. I had 5 items and never really promoted the shoppe. LOL...

    This would also be really cute for a young child's weather chart or studying seasons, so maybe that angle could also help your shoppe?

    What kind of felt do you use? I'm new to felting and just bought some cheap and pricey bolts to make hair bows for my niece. Hmm.

    Sharing this on pinterest!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This looks great! it almost has a Scandinavian folk art feel to it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. @ Nicolette - great idea about marketing the snow cloud for kids! I don't even those things since I don't have children yet. Most of the felt I've been using so far has been scraps I had lying around, so I have no idea the actual quality, though it seemed a lot thicker and nicer than the cheap stuff I bought at my local art store recently...

    @Alissa - thanks! I like that Scandinavian folk art concept.

    ALSO- we finally put more stuff on Etsy! check it out here!

    ReplyDelete

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