Felting it up!

31 Oct

I seem to find it a little too easy to forget all the things I’ve created for my home, they do tend to blend into the background of your surroundings after a little while. So I thought it’d be good to post a few items I’ve made, how, why & where the inspiration came from.

In my house I have a small window at the top of my stairs, it had a blind when I moved in & although curtains were not that necessary, I decided it would make my landing look a lot more homely.  I wasn’t sure on colour or style, so I let the idea brew for a while. Inspiration struck when watching the first series of Kirsty’s Homemade home – as well as meeting makers to do various projects in each program she met different creative folk. When Kirsty met Cath Kidston, they were talking about her style & vintage looks, while the camera was panning round her home, she had some plain, mid coloured curtains in the background, which had tie backs made of felt beads! So that went into the creative thoughts bank!

Considering the only other significant item in my hall/landing area at the time (other than a book case of paper backs) was my 1950’s Atomic coat rack (which I love – particularly since I picked it up at a flea market for a few quid about 12 years ago – bargain), I thought a dark/mid blue pair of curtains with multi-coloured large felt beads for the tie backs were the way forward.

Retro Atomic Coat Rack

My Retro Atomic Coat Rack

Having looked around for some suitable fabric to make my curtains, I ended up in John Lewis rummaging through their home furnishings remnants bin, fortunately for me, they had just changed over a lot of their display items and I managed to get myself an over sized single, ex-display curtain for about £10. The fact there wasn’t a pair didn’t matter, as one curtain cut in half & shortened was just right for my little window.  Once I had made & hung my new curtains I set about making my tie backs.

I’d done a little felting before at a workshop with Clare Alderson, but not on this scale, but I relished the challenge. I bought a bag of mixes coloured roving (all lovely bright shades) from a stall at the Knitting & Stitching show at Ally Pally a few years ago, the bag was approximately 100g for £5, which I thought was ideal!

It took me one whole evening to make all of the large beads, I decided to add a bit of interest by adding spots to some of some of the beads. I used the wet felting method, I wrote a blog for work (The Bead Shop (Nottingham) Ltd) about needle felting beads, you can read how to make them here. To add the spots I used a felting needle and just before the balls were completely felted I added them to the surface. I threaded my large beads onto 1mm cord, knotting the cord in between each bead, so there would be some movement in the tie backs.

Large Felt Beaded tie back

Handmade Felt Beaded tie back


I was really pleased with how they turned out, had I seen something available to buy in a shop I’m not convinced that I’d have immediately liked them, but having seen them in situ first (even if it was on a TV program) it sparked the inspiration.


One Response to “Felting it up!”

  1. Amelia October 31, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

    They look awesome! Good job! Amelia.


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