Wednesday, February 13, 2013

DIY birthday crown

  I wanted to make Evening something extra special to wear for her birthday celebration that would last her through several birthdays, become a keepsake, and maybe even a heirloom to pass down through a generation or two.   So I did just that.   

   There are two ways to make this crown; the ‘easy’ way from a felted wool sweater; and the ‘not so easy’ way using wet felting techniques with wool fibres.

  You will need:

‘easy’                                                              not so easy’
old wool sweater, felted (instructions)   wool fibres in your choice of colours
felt of co-ordinating colour                       bubble wrap/sushi roll/bamboo place mat
needlefelting or embroidery needle        felt of co-ordinating colour
embroidery floss                                          needlefelting needles
buttons or other décor                               embroidery floss
sewing elastic                                               buttons or other décor
                                                                        sewing elastic

  Making the crown body

‘Easy’ – draw or use a paper crown template to make a pattern for your crown.   Here are some free crown patterns that I found online to get you startedCut this shape out of the felted sweater for the main body of your crown.  (Optional step – use a needlefelting needle to sculpt the shape for a little extra texture).

‘Not So Easy’ – using your selection of fibres, arrange them into a sort of crown shape.  Here is a great tutorial if you aren’t familiar with wet felting.  

  Remember, the fibres are well felted when they don’t tear.  (HINT – you can ‘cheat’ by popping your crown into the dryer once you are done, which gives it a little extra shrinkage and dries it faster).

  Once your crown is dry, you can needlefelt it to get the perfect shape for your vision.  

Finishing the crown – Easy and Not So Easy

  Cut a small oval from your co-ordinating felt, and needlefelt or embroider the letter ‘1’ (or 2 or 3 or…) onto it.  Then sew the numbered oval onto your crown in the center with embroidery floss and a simple running stitch (keeping in mind that you’ll need to remove it to change the age number next year).  

  Take your sewing elastic, folding over the end a few times so you can let it out as the child’s head grows, and stitch to the inside of one end of the crown.  Measure your birthday child’s head to determine the length needed to complete the circle and make a properly fitting crown.  Stitch, keeping the elastic on the inside of the crown.  

  OPTIONAL STEP – some young children will pull off anything placed on their head, and if your child is like this, now is the time to add a chin strap using the same sewing elastic and method as above.

  Now I used some cute flower-shaped buttons to decorate the points on my crown.  HINT – after sewing on my buttons, I needlefelted a little extra wool over the stitches on the back to hide the bright thread I used as the flower center.

 You don’t have to use buttons, any sort of fun décor will do, or even no décor at all!  Some suggestions could be shiny jewels, pine cones, shells, or even painted rocks. 

  And there you have it!  A super cute little birthday crown you can use over and over again!  

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