A few weeks ago while sauntering through West Elm, I saw some cute, felted Christmas package ornaments and a how-to was inspired. They're a little gift, to be sure, but my version would make a big impression on, say, those co-worker friends of yours because, not only are they darling, they will be hand-made by YOU.
What you'll need:
- Styrofoam (chunks of packing material will work swell for this) cut into about 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" x 3/4" pieces.
- red wool yarn
- winter white wool yarn
- needle with large eye (I used a DMC chenille needle, which worked perfectly)
Thread the red wool onto the needle and stick the needle near the corner of the Styrofoam square. Wrap the corner by drawing up the needle into the hole you just made. Repeat this process for the other 3 corners of the square.
Wrap the remainder of the square. First wrap across one side and then the other. When you're done wrapping both sides and you can't see any of the styrofoam underneath, draw the needle through the package to secure the yarn.
This is what your package should look like when it's done. Cut the 'tail' and we're ready to felt!
Fill the kitchen or bathroom sink with as hot of water as you can stand and put a few drops of dish washing liquid into it as well. Plunge the wrapped package and start to 'hand felt' the little bugger. Basically, to hand-felt you're going to rub the item while it's in the water, checking it frequently to see how the process is going. Rinse now and then with cold water and plunge it back into the hot until the level of felting is achieved. In this case, we want the individual strands of wool to 'disappear'. Don't worry if this seems to take a while for it to felt; it does! That's why it's best to make several of these ornaments at a time, as you can felt them all at once. (Sorry I didn't take any pictures of this. I didn't want to get my cameras too close to all the wetness. Just picture a sink full of suds!)
While your packages are drying, use the winter white wool to make some ridiculously small pompoms. When the packages are completely dry, tie a bit of the yarn around them, as you would a package, and attach the pompom on top for a bow.
Oh, yeah, the West Elm version? Six bucks a piece. My version? I dunno, I didn't use up all my skeins of wool, but I'm guessing maybe a couple dozen--if you use the winter white to make the body of the package as well.