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thurs-DIY: west elm inspired tree skirt (part 2)

okay before i start this post ... confession: i'm not always the brightest bulb on the christmas tree. tuesday night at bible study, i referred to the 3 kings as "the 3 kings of orientar". *enter roaring laughter* apparently the lyric is actually "we 3 kings of orient are ... bearing gifts we traverse afar" (no need to mention here that i thought it was "we traveled so far"). 

so occasionally i make slight airhead moves. the point - i did it again. thankfully my husband put me in my place educated me:
{l} mistletoe (note: white berries)
{r} - holly (note: red berries)

okay so by changing my leaf shape - my tree skirt is no longer botanically correct. (yes that's a word!) i decided to stick w/ white berries anyways. and i'm glad i did. 

so here we go: west elm inspired tree skirt (part 2)

1 finished tree skirt (part 1)
2 0.3oz packages of natural wool roving 
dish or hand soap
1 bowl of hot water
1 bowl of cold water
thread to match your tree skirt and a needle

first things first ... a little lesson in making felt balls! there are lots of approaches just a google away. the 2 most common:

 {l} felt balls made w/ the panty hose washing machine method
{r} felt balls made by rolling
i prefer the felt balls on the right. a much more dense ball and the perfect berry. so here's a quick little lesson on rolling:

1 // tear off 2 equal sized pieces of your wool roving leaving ragged ends. (i used clover brand roving that i picked up @ joann fabric. i split the original strand into 6 thinner strands. and then tore them into 4" long pieces.) your wool ball will shrink a bit during the felting process.

2 // tease the roving to spread each piece. then crisscross your pieces before gathering them into a ball. gently roll in your hands.

3 // place the small ball in the palm of your hand and add a drop of soap to your hand and to the ball. continue to gently shape the wool into a ball.

4 // gently roll the ball between your palms. at this point, do not add too much pressure - this will throw your ball off center. as you continue to roll, alternate between dipping the ball in cold and hot water. felting is caused by heat and agitation. the changing temperature "felts" the fibers. also apply more pressure as the ball becomes denser and firmer to touch.

ta da ... felt ball! approximately 20-30 more to go! (i told wade that if we had a window peeper, he/she would have thought i had the worst case of ocd hand washing EVER.) let your felt balls dry completely. then we're ready to finish the tree skirt!

the finishing touches:

1 // decide how consistent you would like your berries to be. the west elm tree skirt was filled w/ berries. i decided to use quite a few less. not only bc my fingers were pruned and i was out of wool roving, but also bc i preferred the more scarce look.

2 // sew your berries on as though sewing a button.  a little cheat sheet from park & bond below to make an X stitch. after making 4 stitches, pull the string tight and knot securely on the wrong side of the skirt.

{source: park & bond}


{PINspiration}                                                     {PINspired}
{source: west elm + me}

not gonna lie ... i love it.


house of earnest said...

This looks fantastic! I like you version WAY better than the west elm version!

blair @ a case of the mundays said...

hey erin! thanks. love your blog. so excited to read on ... :)

Colleen / Inspired to Share said...

This is amazing!!!! I've been wanting to learn how to make felt balls so thanks for this perfect tutorial!! xo

Calamity J said...

Yours is sooo much cuter than West Elm!!! I love this :) great job, Blair!

Yvonne said...

Yours is so much better than West Elm's. Love it. :)

Blair Munday said...

thanks ladies. i am pretty happy w/ how it turned out. always interesting to attempt to put what's in my head into action!

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