Sunday, January 20, 2013

Now for the crafty bit... (About $#%* time!)

At long last, I have prevailed over my felt-ball-garland project! For those of you following After-Dinner Design with any regularity, you'll know that I've been threatening to make a knock-off version of Dwell's holiday garland since well before Christmas, but I've been waylaid by all number of obstacles-- in particular the US Postal service (felt balls held at customs for over a week!), inadequate tools (do NOT attempt this project w/ an ordinary needle or a nail & hammer), but mostly, I've been deterred by a major case of not-f-ing-motivated-want-to-take-a-nap syndrome.

Well enough's enough, by gum! Garlands are made (and how!) and not only that, but I'm also going to include a tutorial below. Back on the horse folks!

All-Year-Round Decorative Garland:

7-8 ft. Medium thickness, strong string (I used two types: roman shade string and this cream colored cording I bought from (gasp!) Walmart. (Forgive me.)

15-30  1-2" Colorful felt balls in assorted shades to suit your fancy.
Gigantor upholstery needle (ideally 3"+)
Thimble if you've got the sense to use one.

How To:
From here, the instructions are pretty straight forward.

Start by cutting your string and tying your first knot about 3-4" from one end.
Thread your massive needle onto the other end of the string, and then push the needle through your first felt ball. Personally, I chose to do the coloring a little willy-nilly, so I didn't decide on a particular color pattern for my garlands, but that's totally up to you and how OCD you are.

Once I'd managed to get the needle through the ball (it isn't easy-- using a thimble is highly recommended!) I pulled the ball right the way down the string to that first knot I tied. Then I secured it in place with another knot, and then tied my next knot, about 2" away from knot #2, and started the process over again.

If this description isn't especially clear, refer to the picture/diagram shown...

Now you're off at a run! Repeat steps 1 and 2 back and forth until your garland is as long as you want it. You can vary the width between each ball (I did some strings with 1" spacing and some with 2") or you could even mix-and-match and do some closer and some more spread apart. I'd also love to do this project with felt balls of varied sizes, which I think might be my next felty project (though next time, I'm going to track down a supplier stateside!)

An even more simple "How-To" description:
1.) Knot
2.) Ball
3.) Knot
4.) Knot
5.) Ball
6.) Knot
7.) Knot
8.) Ball

You get the picture...

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