Today we’re talking all about how to sew a DIY felt garland with some serious winter fun. If there’s one thing I love around the holidays, it’s a fresh bit of snow. Watching the snow fall while smelling some fresh gingerbread cookies, and I’d call that pretty much a perfect day. Sadly, cookies don’t last long around my house, so I wanted to make a project that would let me enjoy that perfect moment without having to slap people’s hands away from a plate o’ cookies!
So I created this fun DIY felt garland that reads “Let it snow” (singing in my head!). Think of the felt and all the extras we’ll add onto it like those fancy elaborately piped cut out cookies you buy in bakeries for $5 a pop without the mess.
This project is all about creative embellishment. You’ll love how this project comes together with its multiple layers of visual texture.
That this is a relaxing sort of project you can do on the kind of hectic days in the middle of the craziest year ever is even better. We all need more relaxing makes in 2020, am I right?
So let’s pull out the felt and get going!
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Table of Contents
DIY felt garland Supplies
Grab the Let it Snow Snowflake garland pattern
First things first, you’ll need the pattern for the garland. You can get that when you sign up for the newsletter below. When you sign up, the pattern will zoom its way to you. It’s available in PDF as well as SVG format, so you can use it with your Cricut machine if you like. For more specific help on using your Cricut to cut felt, check out How to Cut Felt With a Cricut.
*Get more tips on how to sew felt.
Prep the DIY felt garland pattern
Once you’ve downloaded the pattern, go ahead and print it out the pattern. Cut out the pieces with paper scissors.
Notice something weird? The letters are backwards! That is not a mistake. We’re building this project upside down, so backwards is what we need here.
Next, pin the letters on the brown felt. From here, you’ll need to cut out 1 each of the letters and 2 snowflakes.
Set these aside for now.
Cricut directions for the DIY felt garland pattern
Once you’ve downloaded the files, bring the file inside of Design Space.
Prep your mat with a layer of transfer tape, then lay the felt on top of it. Cut out the pieces. Again, just to double check, you’ll need 2 snowflakes, and 1 of each of the letters.
Glue stickin time: Building the texture on the base
From here, lay one of the words on top of the extra felt. Rough cut a rectangle that’s just slightly bigger than all the letters together.
Cut a scrap of lace into a wavy strip. Think of this as rolling snowy hills.
Use your glue stick to glue down the strip on the bottom of your rectangle. You won’t need a lot of glue for this. The Elmer’s jumbo purple sticks are my favorite as they seem to have more stick-em power than other glue sticks. I love them too because the glue ALWAYS, always washes out. Once you’ve let it dry, it will also never gum up your sewing machine’s needle.
Next cut a length of yarn, and separate it into smaller, wispy strands. Glue on the yarn in a meandering horizontal line on the rectangle.
From here, cut small strips of the white felt. Cut the strips into small squares. These are little bits of “snow”. Glue them on towards the top of your rectangle.
See if your lace has a mesh selvage on it. If so, cut a small strip and add that between the lace and the yarn in a couple places.
Make up 2 more bases like this for the other two words in the pattern. Set aside everything to dry for at least an hour.
Stitching on all the goodies
Now that your bases are all prepared, it’s time to stitch everything out.
Thread up your machine with all-purpose thread in the bobbin and embroidery thread on top.
From here, stitch down all of the glued elements with a meandering sort of straight stitch horizontally across the rectangle.
The snow pieces will likely want to pop up. When you get to an area of the base with snow, lift the presser foot and use the stiletto to lay the pieces back down again. Lower the presser foot and continue stitching.
When you get to the end of the rectangle, raise the presser foot again, leaving the needle down. Turn the work back towards the machine, then keep on stitching. For the yarn, you can choose to zigzag it in place or continue with the wavy meandering kind of stitch.
When you get to the lace, stitch around all of the edges.
Creating the letters for your DIY felt garland
Stitching the letters
Flip your stitched out base to the wrong side. Lay the letters on top. They should be backwards just as you cut them out earlier.
Next, pin the letters in place. From here, change out your top thread to the all-purpose thread.
Stitch around each letter close to the cut edge with a straight stitch. For letters with internal bits like the “e” and “o”, stitch around the centers close to the cut edge as well. Pivot and turn the letter as you need to around the outside while you’re stitching.
Stitch a few stitches past where you started stitching for each letter. Overlapping the stitches like this is better than backstitching because you won’t end up with a nest of threads on the other side!
Repeat this stitching for all of the letters.
Cut out the letters
Finish off sewing the letters by cutting away the excess felt around each letter. Cut close to the cut edge of the original letter. Cut out any internal bits as well.
Embellish the letters
Now that the letters are all stitched out, let’s add some extra texture on the fronts.
First, separate a length of embroidery floss into 3 strands. Thread up an embroidery needle, then knot the end.
From there, stitch a few x’s on the front side of your letters in the open space between all of the stitched elements. Add as many as you like! Stitch on a button as well too before you knot the thread on the backside.
To add snowflake sequins, thread up a beading needle, then knot it. Bring the needle from the back to the front. Pass the needle through first a snowflake sequin and then a bugle bead. Go back down through the felt through the snowflake center only. The bead will help keep the sequin secure without any more stitching. Finish off a sequin at the back with a knot.
Keep adding stitches and sequins to your letters until you like the look of them.
Embroider the snowflakes
Separate another length of embroidery floss into strands of 3 threads. Thread an embroidery needle, knotting the end.
Stitch an x at one end, then add one more stitch to make an asterisk. Next, move the needle in and out, creating a running stitch moving towards another point. End each point with another asterisk. Create one large x in the center of this snowflake.
For a different version, stitch 2 arrow points on an arm. Next, create a backstitch by advancing the needle about 1/4″ ahead of the arrow stitches. Bring the thread back towards the arrow, poking the needle back down through the arrow point. Advance the needle a 1/4″ past the second stitch, then back down to join the end of the second stitch. Keep on backstitching through each end, and finish with an arrow at each point.
For a fun extra bit, make diamond shapes in the center of this snowflake. Finish embroidering both snowflakes by knotting the thread on the backside.
Stitch the snowflakes
To finish off creating the snowflakes for this DIY felt garland, cut a rough rectangle of felt that’s large enough for both of the snowflakes to sit on top of.
Stitch around each snowflake with a straight stitch, close to the cut edge. There’s a lot of twists and turns on these snowflakes, so stitch until you get to an end. From there, lift the presser foot with the needle down and pivot the work. Lower the presser foot and keep stitching until you get to another point.
This is a great little project to get the hang of pivoting! Repeat for the second snowflake.
Cut away the extra felt around each snowflake.
Assemble the DIY felt garland
Now it’s time for the final assembly!
Cut a long length of yarn while you heat up your glue gun.
Glue on a snowflake first so that the yarn is on the backside of the snowflake about 8″ from the end of the yarn.
Leave a couple inches, then start gluing on letters. Watch those fingers! Glue gun burns are no joke!
Keep adding letters, leaving space between the words. Finish off gluing by adding the second snowflake.
Hang up your garland and enjoy your fun new DIY felt garland!
Love this project?
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Elizabeth Farr is the writer behind the Elizabeth Made This blog where she shares helpful sewing tips, step by step sewing tutorials and videos to help you explore your creativity through sewing. She has written sewing Eguides and patterns, been a featured teacher at Rebecca Page’s Sewing Summit and Jennifer Maker’s Holiday Maker Fest and her work has appeared in Seamwork and Altered Couture magazines. She also created a line of refashioned garments for SEWN Denver. When her sewing machine isn’t humming, she’s playing and teaching violin, and hanging around a good strategic board game with her husband and 4 kids.