I have mixed feelings about Christmas. It's not so much about the holiday itself. I love the festive atmosphere, the childlike excitement in the air, the baking and the cheerful carols playing everywhere...
It's more the time of year.
I really don't like Winter.
It's so grey and sunless.
I can't get outside enough.
I wanna hibernate until Spring.
So I rely projects to keep me uplifted.
You could say projects are my Prozac.
These peppermint-esque ornaments have been a bright spot in my Winter doldrums... So I'll share, just in case you need some minty joy too!
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You will need: Styrofoam balls (whatever size makes you happy), A few knee-high nylons, and red and white wool roving.
This white wool was so gorgeous I almost couldn't tear it up!
But I needed my crafting fix so I persevered. You have to divide the roving into smaller sections. It pulls apart pretty easy and you just have to approximate the divisions. You want enough to wrap around an individual Styrofoam ball and you need two sections per ornament you want to make - read ahead for more clarity on this.
My one bundle of white roving was enough for 6 ornaments. I divided it into 12 sections.
Wrap one section of roving around your Styrofoam form like this. It should be enough to go all the way around and over lap at the ends.
Now wrap the other way to cover up the bald spots. The entire form should be covered at this point. Don't worry about wrapping super tightly, it will tighten up once it's felted.
Pull out 3 small strands of red roving to make the letters for 'joy'. I made half of my ornaments this way and half as peppermints.
Lay one red strand on the roving covered piece in the shape of the letter "J". If you kinda push it into the white as you go it will hold it's shape.
Add the "O" and the "Y" in the same manner.
Here is my extra helpful helper. Not sure what I would do without him!
For peppermint ornaments just wrap strands of red roving around the wool covered ornament in a peppermint pattern.
This is the only tricky part. Grab a knee-high and put your hand inside, talk like a puppet to your two-year old, carefully pick up your ornament in the nylon covered hand and pull the nylon off your hand and around the ornament. The more carefully you do this the less "messed-up" you design will get in the process. If your peppermint design or your "joy" get disturbed, just poke and prod it back into place. This craft is not about perfection.
Tie a knot in the knee-high.
For the felting process you will need some very hot water - as hot as you can stand to put you hands in - and some ordinary dish soap.
Put the water in a large bowl and take a hand-full of soap.
Dunk your ornament in the water and get it all soapy.
Then work it. Rub it. Massage it in the hot water. This is easy. My two year old helped me.
As you work it, the fibers will grab each other and tighten and shrink. This is how you get felt from wool roving. Think about the time you accidentally put your wool sweater in the drier and it came out looking like a Barbie sweater, you get the idea!
You have worked it long enough when little fibers start sticking out of the nylon and the ball feels tight and you can't 'smoosh' the wool around anymore. At that point you can take the nylon off. If it seems like the wool isn't tight enough you can make sure your water is really hot and work it some more. You don't need to put it back in the nylon, you are just 'tweaking' now.
And there you have it!
Some Wintry joy!
As for what to do with these darlings...
You can use them as traditional ornaments by pinning a safety-pin to the top and tying lots of fancy fibers to the safety pin, including a long one to hang it by.
These look great hanging from some greenery or strung across a window at different heights.
Or you can bring some peppermint joy to your table with a sugary centerpiece. Note: The 'Sugar' container is from a vintage set of canisters, the bottom of the jar is filled with ice-melt and if you are feeling especially creative (or down in the dumps, as in my case) you can play around with your leftover wool roving and felt a mini pair of mittens.
Felt Like Felting in NE