Friday, December 17, 2010

Flower flakes (snowflake ornaments 11–12)

felt flower flake ornament

Feed Dog Flurry Here’s a dilemma faced by the prolific maker of felt snowflake ornaments: typical felt, whether wool or acrylic, isn’t really stiff enough to maintain an intricate flake shape while dangling from the ceiling. I’ve tried spray-starching the living daylights out of wool-blend felt, but that wasn’t entirely satisfactory, so I’ve ended up making most of the felt ornaments out of acrylic felt, using components cut from sheets of stiffened acrylic felt (“Friendly Felt”?) to give the ornaments some structure. That’s all fine, but the colors of stiffened felt available are limited—white’s really the only useful color for my nefarious purposes, and yes, snow is white, but so are my ceilings and walls, so white flakes don’t really stand out.

For these flakes, I stacked more colorful snowflake shapes on top of a six-petal flower. The flowers were cut with an Ellison die that’s been discontinued. Why bring up a die you can’t even get anymore? Well, if you have a full-size Sizzix machine, keep an eye on the Ellison clearance page—their AllStar dies are the same size as a Sizzix Bigz die and work exactly the same in a BigKick or Big Shot die cutter, and recently discontinued dies usually run about $5 on clearance. The Ellison dies are aimed at the education market instead of papercrafters, so they often have a broader range of simple shapes, which I find more flexible for felt and quilting projects.

The Sizzix Snowflake #2 die fits nicely inside the flower petals, as you can see above. And actually, I lied: I use the stiffened felt in white and white with glitter, not that you can tell the difference when the flakes are hanging above eye level.

felt flower flake ornament

The Sizzix Snowflake #3 die, on the other hand, is bigger than the flower. I took advantage of this by only gluing the snowflakes to the flower in the center so the outer points could curl forward and give a little dimension.

These ornaments, of course, also feature the by-now usual suspects of felt stickers, sequins, rhinestones, and glitter glue—a simple arsenal that’s produced lots of variations.

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