Happy Valentine’s Day!

“Roses are red, Violets are blue, Here’s a little lovebug, Made just for you!” 
We felted the little bug heads and sewed them onto the cards, they were cute little bobble headed lovebugs!

Just wishing everybody a Happy Valentine’s Day!  This is the first year we did valentines for my youngest at school, in the past they were supposed to be a class activity.  We felted some little bugs for the kids to keep in their pockets or whatever! 

Want to make your own lovebug?  They’re very easy!  All you need is a handful of red wool (or another color if you prefer), a tiny bit of white and dark brown or black, and a felting needle, hot water and soap.  It’s a great introduction to felting if you haven’t done it before!  Make sure you use a piece of foam under your work to protect yourself from the felting needle.

Step 1:  Take your handful of red wool and roll it up into a loose ball.  Stab the felting needle in and out several times, moving it around all over.  The point to to make a loose ball right now, so you don’t need to do a lot of stabbing. 

Step 2:  Once you have a loose ball, it’s time to add the eyes!  Take a pinch of white and wad it up into a small ball.  Then attach it to your red ball by using the felting needle.  Add more white if you need to get an eye that looks pretty big on your ball.  The eyes can disappear during the final felting stage if they are too small, we found that out the hard way!  Once you have one eye done, use the same amount of wool to do the other.

Step 3:  Now it’s time to add the iris to the eye.  I’ve used a dark brown, but you could use blue or green or black!  It’s done the same way as the eyeball, just added right on top.

Step 4:  Once you have the eyes added in, it’s time to wet felt.  (you could continue to needle felt, just keep stabbing until the ball is as firm as you would like.)  This is the part that the kids can easily help with.  Fill a bowl with hot sudsy water (we use a natural, liquid dish soap) .  Get the balls wet and gently roll them in your hands.  You can add a drop of soap to your hands if you’d like.  If the fibers seem to be sticking to your hands, add a touch more soap.  As the wool really begins to felt, you can roll a bit harder.  If your eyes begin to vanish into the ball, try stretching and smoothing that area out, I was able to save a few this way!  Periodically dip the balls into the hot water, squeeze and continue to roll until they are as firm as you would like.  Then rinse well, squeeze, press with a towel and set aside to dry (or use a hair dryer). 

Step 5:  If everything has gone well, you’ll have a ball with two eyeballs peeping at you.  If not, you might have to touch up the eyes a little.  Just do the same as before, needle felting the whites or iris until you are satisfied.  Now it’s time to add a mouth.  I take a few hairs of brown, fold them several times and needle felt these on in a line.  You could do this a the start, but they seemed to turn out better for me when I did them after the wet felting.

Step 6:  Adding the antennae is the final step for a cute lovebug.  I used a cotton floss.  I knotted the end, knotted again about 1/2 inch from the end and strung it through the top of the head.  I put another knot at the exit point, and a knot about 1/2 inch from that.  Cut the ends and you have antennae.

I went on to draw a quick picture of our bugs, scanned it and colored it in Photoshop.  I printed a full sheet of the pictures and on the back put a little poem.  We then sewed the bugs right onto the cards with a single stitch.  It was a lot of work to make these for a whole class, but we had a really fun time with it.  Each one took a total of  maybe 7 or 8 minutes in our “assembly line” and it was really fun to see the different expressions the bugs ended up with!

2 Responses to Happy Valentine’s Day!

  1. Lala's Pequenos February 28, 2010 at 5:36 am #

    These are so sweet!

  2. mrsbeccijo March 4, 2010 at 12:22 am #

    Very sweet, put then again I simple love your work!

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