I first came across felt star garlands when I was looking for ideas to decorate my daughters nursery. I have rather high ceilings which makes the rooms feel wonderfully large but also leaves a lot of wall space which can make the room feel terribly bare. The felt garlands were a lovely way of filling some of this blank space and adding a very sweet decoration at the same time.
Materials you will need:
0.5m Felt in your chosen colour - I used 30% wool/Acrylic blend in silver and white
Small bag of soft toy filling
Approximately 6m of nylon invisible thread
Sewing thread in the same colour as your felt
Glue gun stick
The amounts specified are to make one star garland in a single colour of approximately 2.5m in length plus extra thread for hanging. Depending on the length and number of garlands you wish to make, amounts should be adjusted accordingly.
Equipment you will need:
Large sewing needle
Hot glue gun
Water soluble fabric marker
Dress making pins
Star template - I used a star shaped cookie cutter that was the right shape and size however templates are easy to find online or you could draw your own. You don't have to use a star, any simple shape would work well. However, I would advise against using very small or complicated templates as they can be hard to sew together and you will lose a lot of detail in complex designs which may make them look less effective. For the sake of the tutorial I will assume you are using a star design.
Step 1: Using a water soluble fabric maker and your template draw 48 of your stars onto the felt and cut them out using sharp fabric scissors. I did try cutting a couple out at a time but due to the thickness of the fabric this only resulted in some odd shaped stars and having to draw more out. I would advise you sit down somewhere comfy and put something good on the telly and do it one at a time.
Step 2: Pair your felt stars up and pin them together making sure the edges are lined up. If you have water soluble marker on your stars either spray with a little water now to remove it and leave to dry or ensure the markings are on the inside of the star and not visible.
Step 3: Using a matching thread sew around the edge of you felt stars about 2mm from the edge. However, you need to leave a gap large enough to poke some of your soft toy filling in. I would advise you leave the gap on an inner corner as shown in the image below. Ensure you secure your stitches by back stitching at the start and finish.
Assuming the edge of your felt is the grey lines, sew along the blue line leaving the gap at the bottom inner corner.
Step 4: Using a blunt pencil/knitting needle or equivalent poke a small amount of the soft toy filling through the gap you left in each star making sure you get some of the filling into each star point. Keep adding filling until your star is as plump as you desire. However, bear in mind you need to be able to close the opening afterwards. Be careful not to push your pencil/knitting needle through the felt and damage your star.
Step 5: Sew closed the gap you left for your filling. I did this using my sewing machine for quickness, ensuring that I overlapped the stitches with the ones I had done previously and I back stitched at the start and finished to secure the stitches.
Step 6: Measure out double the amount of invisible thread as the length you want your garland to be. We will be doubling over the thread to give the garland a bit more strength. My garlands were 2.25m and 2.5m in length plus approximately 0.5m for tying to my hanging hooks, therefore, I would need to measure out 5m and 5.5m respectively.
Step 7: Thread your needle so it is halfway along your thread. Tie the end pieces together and mark where you wish your first star to start (approx. 25cm from the end). You could use a piece of sticky tape to do this.
Step 8: Take your first star and push your needle through the first 'arm' point, through the middle of the star and out the opposite 'arm' point. Move the star all the way down your thread until it is at the starting point you marked earlier.
Step 9: Using your glue gun put a small amount of glue on the tip of each 'arm' point where the thread entered and exited. This should secure your star in place.
Step 10: Repeat this with all your stars until your garland is full. I left a 5cm gap between each of my stars. Ensure you don't move the previous star while trying to attach the next if the glue is still drying.
Step 11: Once your garland is full cut the looped end of your invisible thread to remove your needle.
Step 12: When the glue has dried completely, you're ready to hang your garland. I used small white hooks that can screw directly into plasterboard but your method of attachment depends on where you wish to hang your newest creation.
Congratulations on completing your felt star garland! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If you have any questions or feedback please leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you.