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Fancy Schmancy Felt Garland – free pattern

I’m going to be honest, you guys.

This project is insane!

I mean – it’s lovely. A paper-chain inspired garland of hand-embroidered felt rings with hook & loop closures so you can store them easily. It’s sooooo beautiful and looks so warm and cozy and wintry. I’m absolutely enchanted with how it turned out!

But seriously. Hand-embroidered felt garland rings? Twenty-four of them? This is hours and hours and hours (and hours!) of hand embroidery. Of course, I enjoyed every minute of it. But I’d be the first to admit that I’m a little crazy about hand-embroidery on wool felt. This is a project that will keep your hands busy for a LOT of cozy evenings.

If I haven’t talked you out of it yet, here are the instructions. . .

The pattern includes six different band decorations and they all fit on one piece of Magical Embroidery Stuff (aka Sulky Sticky Fabri-solvy). So I did six bands each of four different felt colors for a total of 24 rings. That made a chain 42 inches long. For the materials below I’ll assume you’ll do the same crazy thing. 🙂

What you need

  • wool-blend felt – 2 sheets of each color you plan to use (I used grape jelly, babbling brook, denim, and ruby red slippers)
  • embroidery thread in matching and contrasting colors (I used DMC #550, 502, 336, 600, 3746, 522, 726 and 3846)
  • 2 feet of hook & loop tape
  • the pattern (download it here)
  • Sulky Sticky Fabri-solvy (optional, but very strongly recommended)

You can find a list of my favorite supplies (with links to where to buy them) here.

Throughout the pattern, the links go to video tutorials teaching that skill. If it’s a new stitch or technique for you, just click through to see how to do it!

Here’s how to make it. . .

1. Print the pattern. You can download it here. Print the pattern at 100% size onto four sheets of Sulky Sticky Fabri-solvy (aka The Magical Embroidery Stuff).

Fancy Schmancy Felt Garland - free pattern from Shiny Happy World

2. Peel the backing off and stick the stabilizer/pattern transfer onto the felt.

Cut the pieces out on the lines.

Embroider the designs right through the stabilizer.

I didn’t embroider the designs the same way every time – preferring instead to just play around. You should play too! You can find tutorials for plenty of stitches here. . .

For the lines I used. . .

For the dots and flowers and leaves I used. . .

By all means – don’t be limited to these stitches! They’re just what I used. You can find lots more stitch tutorials here.

3. Soak off the Sulky Sticky Fabri-solvy. I soak mine in cold water for at least an hour, then rinse off the mushy stabilizer under cold running water. Don’t rub it to remove any stubborn bits – just hit them with a kitchen sprayer if needed.

Lay the pieces flat on a towel to dry. Do not wring, twist or even smoosh them. Just set them sopping wet on a towel and let them be. I promise they’ll dry. 🙂

(If you’ve never used Sulky Sticky Fabri-solvy before, I ramble on endlessly about how awesome it is and why I love it so much and how I use it here.)

4. Finish the bands. Cut second piece of felt for the back of the band. I just laid the front band down and cut around it so the back would match the front exactly.

Sew a small piece of hook & loop tape to the blank end of the top of the band, and to one end of the back of the band.

I used a sewing machine, but you could do it by hand if you prefer. I left enough space on the embroidered side to use the narrowest big-box-store hook & loop tape (like you see on the top band) but if you order one of my kits you’ll get the special less-bulky skinny hook & loop tape I prefer (like you see on the bottom band).

Put the front and back together so that the hook & loop tape is on opposite ends of the band and sew the pieces together around the edge. I used whipstitch, but you could certainly use a sewing machine – especially if you want to finish before the end of the year. 🙂

Fancy Schmancy Felt Garland - free pattern from Shiny Happy World

5. Wrap them into rings and build your chain.

In the photo above you see the six designs in the pattern, stitched up on purple felt.


*happy sigh*

I do so love handsewing felt. 🙂

Happy stitching!

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  1. Robyn Swensen SAYS...

    Wendy, this is so beautiful! I must admit I’m not quite crazy enough 😉 to do it myself, but I do admire your dedication to the project.

      • Mary Teague SAYS...

        Cool! I can see these as larger rings made into bracelets.

  2. Laura SAYS...

    Super cute, but Wow that’s a LOT of work. Although it’s work I love too… Maybe for next year 🙂 nicely done!

    • I’m already thinking about making another in reds and pinks for Valentine’s Day. 🙂

  3. TerriSue Borden SAYS...

    I love this Wendy. I am going to start on one. It might be something that will take me a couple of years to complete as the arthritis in my hands has gotten so bad, but like you I enjoy stitching on felt. I think I will use snaps as closures. You might find that the hook side of the Velcro is going to catch and snag your embroidery stitches. Mine is going to be a labor of love for my grandchildren. I don’t want it ruined by snagging Velcro. Thank you so much for the idea, pattern and designs. You are so creative!

    • I’m going to have to pack mine carefully so that the prickly side of the velcro is always up against the back of the strips. I would have rather used snaps, but the ones I had on hand wouldn’t go through two layers of felt. 🙁

      • Kakarn SAYS...

        I think if you open each ring and use the Velcro to attach them end to end to form a long tape, you could roll them nicely on a spool or card tube for storage. :o)

      • Me SAYS...

        huh? two layers of felt? please explain?

        • Yes – two layers. You do all your major stitching through one layer, then you sew a second (unstitched) layer to the back. That hides the back of your stitching and gives the rings more body so they stay ring-shaped instead of stretching out into long ovals.

  4. GrandmasBeans SAYS...

    Will the kits still be available after Christmas? Sounds like a good project to start in January for Christmas 2015!

    • Yes – I keep holiday items in the shop all year. 🙂

  5. C.J. SAYS...

    Hi Wendy,
    This is by far the cutest thing I’ve seen in a long time! Really, really lovely.
    I don’t know how large the rings are, but aren’t you tempted to wear them as bracelets? I definitely would be… 🙂

    • I’m tempted – but they’re just a tiny bit too short as is. But I’ve been thinking about some designed especially as bracelets. 🙂 They’ll be a little slimmer, with rounded instead of square ends, and use a different closure – either a snap or a button. And I’m thinking a mix of applique and embroidery. . .

      • Anonymous SAYS...

        Oh yes! If we are going to do all that work by all means they should be bracelets! Will be watching for that pattern.

      • Elaine Judd SAYS...

        Yes, bracelets! Please do!

      • C.J. SAYS...

        Can’t wait to see them 🙂

  6. Jeanie Singler SAYS...

    Ditto on the bracelet patterns.

    • I just tested it and it’s working fine. My guess would be an incompatibility between your version of your browser and this version of the PDF. Please try the tips on the FAQ page here under “When I try to download my pattern it doesn’t work.”

  7. sandy SAYS...

    I love this!!! I think you could alternate plain and embroidered loops to make a longer chain and it might even draw attention to the embroidery better with some spaces in between. I may be starting soon for next year.

  8. Suzan SAYS...

    There must be a reason why not, but is there any mileage in tacking the patterns to a full sheet of felt, embroidering them and then addind the backing felt before cutting them out?

    • That should work just fine – but for me I prefer to work with smaller pieces. I often stitch for HOURS at a stretch and trying to work on a full sheet of felt makes my holding hand cramp up pretty quickly. I find it a lot easier to hold and maneuver the smaller strips. Do whatever is most comfortable for you!

  9. Pingback: 13 Christmas sewing projects to start early - Swoodson Says

  10. Anonymous SAYS...

    Absolutely LOVE your sight and all your great patterns! Thank you for sharing so many patterns and all your fabulous knowledge.

  11. Emily SAYS...

    This may be a silly question but what do you mean by: ‘Don’t rub it to remove any stubborn bits – just hit them with a kitchen sprayer if needed.’

    Is it just a spray bottle with water in it?

    • Emily SAYS...

      Sorry I also forgot to ask which thread colour names go with the DMC colour codes? DMC #550, 502, 336, 600, 3746, 522, 726 and 3846.

      Thank you

  12. Mull SAYS...

    Oh! This is so beautiful.
    I’m definitely crazy enough to do this. Apparently I need to make it more complicated still, and am pondering embroidered felt chains that tell a story, either one I know already or a diary of days or or or—anyway, I’m excited, this concept os fantastic, and I’m off to figure out what I’m going to do with these ideas.
    Thank you so much!