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Monday, December 15, 2008

9 things I never wanted to know about felt

Saturday my Daisy Girl Scout troop marched in the Wake Forest Christmas parade. I didn't want my girls to just march and wave, so I decided on a mini-float for "Cookie" (our troop mascot), a large banner with our troop number and name, big signs for the girls to carry, and bags of candy to distribute to the crowd. I am not a crafty person. I have good ideas but execution of anything artsy is not my forte. And I can't sew. In spite of my limitations I felt good about what we had decided to do.

We were supposed to get these things done as a troop a week beforehand. Instead I found myself at 10:00 Friday night trying to get everything ready -- 12 hours before I needed to be lined up with my troop of merry first graders at the parade.

It was quite an educational experience. In fact I learned a lot about felt fabric. Here are the high low points:

1) You can't iron felt. Trust me on this. If you google this question they will tell you the answer is yes. They'll say, "Go ahead! Just use the polyester setting." Don't believe them. They are evil people. The iron will singe the stupid felt.

2) You can't spray felt with water and hang it with the expectation that the wrinkles will magically be gone when the felt dries. All you get is wet felt. And then you have to wait for it to dry. The same evil elves who thought that ironing would work suggested this as an alternative. Why I tried the second recommendation after the first was such an utter failure is beyond my comprehension.

3) You may consider putting your felt in the dryer to facilitate the drying process since time is of the essence. But what if the dryer causes bad things to happen to the felt like the iron did?!

4) You can't use Downy Wrinkle Releaser to get rid of the wrinkles either. Apparently once you've wrinkled felt you're screwed.

5) You should disregard fabric glue instructions when using felt. Instructions say it'll take 2-3 hours to set. Give yourself 24 hours.

6) You should put something underneath your felt project when using your hardwood floor as a work surface. Otherwise the glue will soak through the felt and your project will either a) be glued to the floor, or b) leave glue blobs that may or may not remove the finish when I go to clean them up.

7) You'll get excited when you discover that hot glue holds really well. And you'll be sad when you notice that the heat from the glue (apparently heat is a huge problem when you are working with felt) alters the texture of the felt.

8) You'll be positively giddy when you realize that you can just staple your stuff directly onto the felt. You might even do a little happy dance.

9) You'll notice the silvery sparkle of the 10,236 staples that you used to "hem" the top and bottom of the banner, but rationalize that it's a Christmas parade. Tinsel is sparkly. The staples are an homage to tinsel and all the other sparkliness that is Christmas. Right?

You can't see my finished products, but don't we look cute? I'll have to do a second post about what happened when we were waiting for the parade to start....


Anonymous said...

Nice work. Low heat hot glue might have worked better.

Gibby said...

You guys do look cute, but I love that first pic of you...there is a slightly crazed look in your eyes, like you might be saying, somebody help me with this darn felt already! See, this is why in our troop, my co-leader does the craft stuff, and I do...wait, what do I do?

ck said...

Felt is evil. It dulls scissors, frays and the color bleeds. And yet I always want to buy some at the craft store...

Anonymous said...

I dunno. I think #9 is rational...