Friday, October 11, 2013

Stenciled Hand Sewn Planters Tutorial (& Competition, too!)

Hey friends! We created a project for a competition over at one of our favorite blogs, Handmade Charlotte, and would love your vote to get us through the top 5 into the winning spot :) Our hand-sewn planters are a perfect family craft, because they can be completed in under and hour and require almost no skill -- hooray!

Please go to Handmade Charlotte, check out the details of the competition, and vote for No. 1!

This set of hand-sewn planters is perfect as the winter months approach for bringing a little green indoors. They're made from wool felt, a naturally anti-microbial fiber that works great for keeping plants indoors without the worry of "extra" critters growing in your planters. Hand-sewing is a great way to involve the whole family, so no skill set is left out! I'm currently in Portland, Oregon, so the rainy days definitely beg for some indoor plants. I'm not typically great at keeping up with plants, so I chose succulents to fill my planters, a great worry-free plant for a busy family!

Want to make your own? Here's how:


I chose a color palette from a selection of 100% wool felt, and headed to Michaels and selected acrylic paints from Plaid's FolkArt line for some options. I ended up using the following for two planters:

Handmade Charlotte Patterns Stencil Pack
(3) sheets of 100% Wool Felt, 8in by 12in 
Plaid Folk Art Acrylic Paint in Medium Gray and Wicker White
DMC Embroidery Floss #648
Hand-sewing needle with a large eye
Foam pouncers


I cut a simple circle from a roll of masking tape I had around the house, measuring 3.5 inches in diameter. Using the template, I cut 2 bottoms from grey felt for the planters. I then cut out four rectangles of felt for the "walls" of my planters, measuring 6 inches by 8 inches for one set, and 6 inches by 7 inches for the second set (for a shallower plant). The walls used one sheet of wool felt per planter.

Since felt has a nap to it, the paper stencils gripped to the material just fine without tape. I selected my patterns & used a foam pouncer to apply the acrylic paint to the felt. The lighter color took about 3 coats against the darker felt, but the darker grey paint took just one coat to apply the letters. Once they were dry, they were all set to be stitched by hand.

Using a simple running stitch, we stitched the walls to the circular base, and finished them by stitching up the sides to join the two walls. We stitched over the top edge to make a secure opening. The walls were cut slightly larger than what you need, to allow for any mistakes. Once you have stitched straight up the walls, following the edge of the bottom, trim off any excess felt. 

Since you're working with a fiber, I poured a layer of rocks into the bottom of each planter, to avoid moisture from gathering at the bottom. Topped with desert plant soil (special mix for cacti & succulents), I popped in the little plants and nested them perfectly on the window sill. Just the right touch to bring the outdoors in!

Don't forget to head over to the amazing Handmade Charlotte to vote for No. 1 in the competition! Handmade Charlotte is a handmade lifestyle blog for families featuring craft projects and design inspiration for a beautiful, creative life. We definitely highly recommend you add it to your daily reads!

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