Sunday, April 8, 2012

Confession #19: I can sew (mail felt tutorial)

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 Felt Envelope Tutorial

My daughter (18 months) loves checking the mail with me or my husband, so that got me thinking: if only I could make some mail just for her. And since I have TONS of felt in my craft closet, it was only natural to make them out of felt.
felt is such an amazing thing. Hats off to whoever invented it! I made these for my busy bag exchange group on Facebook but I wanted to share it with everyone on here as well. So, relax, kick off your shoes cause you've got mail.

What you will need:

Lots of felt in different colors (at least 4 different colors, an 1/8 of a yard each four be plenty)
A few inches of either gray or white felt for the stamps
Sewing machine
thread to match the felt colors
4 small dot Velcro pieces


Tracing with recycled paper
1. Take a piece of thick paper and cut out a 12inch by 5 inch rectangle. Cut one end of the rectangle so that it resembles the top flap of an envelop. This will be the pattern you will use to trace your envelops.

2. Lay the pattern onto one piece of felt and trace and cut out. Repeat with all four colors. Try to trace with a marker that will not leave a dark line or when you cut it out, cut the ink off so it wont be shown.

Sewing on the stamps
3. Cut out small squares for the stamps and sew each one onto each envelop with a zig zag pattern. This will give your square a more stamp look. I used a dark brown thread for this to make the edges pop.

4. Cut out the little shapes for your stamp. I used stars, hearts, circles, and triangles. But any shape works. Cut the shape small enough that it will fit inside your stamp square.

I wonder who it's for?

5. Once you have the stamp sewn on, I added some wavy lines in the middle to make it look like the letter was addressed to someone.

6. Sew the shape onto each stamp by tracing the shape. I used thread that matched the shape. yellow for the yellow star, pink for the pink heart and so on.

7. You are almost done! See it's super simple. Next you want to fold your envelops so that it is in the shape of a normal envelope (see photo below).

Four beautiful envelops. 
8. Once you fold it, all you have to do next is do a straight stitch down each side of the envelope.

9. Now all you need is is place the Velcro where you
you want it and press it in really well. You can add a stitch or two to each one to hold it better in place. But I skipped this step and they have help perfectly. Your envelops are now done!

10. The last step is to cut out matching shapes. I cut out 1 star, 2 hearts, 3 triangles, and 4 circles. That way my daughter learns matching shapes, colors, and numbers.

32 finished envelops. 

I made these for my busy bag exchange group so I made a total of 8 sets, one for my daughter and one for each member of the group. It look me about an hour to finish one set from start to finish. Well worth it!
Liana was super excited to play with these. She decided that they were a good place to cut her Matchbox cars.

What is a busy bag exchange you ask?
Weighing the mail
Good question. First off, a busy bag is something that your child can use to self entertain so that you can make dinner, do the laundry, or (in my case) make more busy bags. They are all homemade (see my pinterest board for more ideas) and usually pretty creative.
The idea of the exchange is that you get in a group of 5 or so other moms with children the same age as yours. You come up with an idea (like the felt mail) and make 5 (or 6 if you want to keep one) sets. You mail them out to each member of your group and wait until busy bags start coming in the mail! It is super exciting. It feels like Christmas sometimes. I am completely addicted!!
Well, more on busy bags later... I will be posting soon with 10 wonderful busy bag ideas in the weeks to come. Hope you enjoyed my tutorial and have a wonderful Easter.
He has risen!