Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Felt Campfire Set

We have a family birthday to celebrate very soon and I have been busily working on some homemade goodness to celebrate the birthday boy. Even though I've been a bit under the weather lately, I've had time to do some sewing and now have everything ready for this special 3-year-old.

Using felt, I constructed a toy campfire, complete with logs, flames and marshmallows to roast. I didn't take a lot of photos during the process, but I am working on a pattern and complete tutorial.  In the meantime, I will give you a brief description of how I did the logs and flames.

Log Supplies:
Dark Brown Felt (1 piece per log)
Tan Felt (1 piece is enough for 4-5 logs)
Tan Embroidery Thread
Sewing Thread & Needle
Fiberfill Stuffing

Log Directions:
1. Fold the brown felt in half lengthwise and trim off about 1 to 1-1/2" from the open edge, allowing for a small "branch".
2. Cut out circles for the ends of the logs from the tan felt (2 per log). My circles were about 3 to 3-1/2" in diameter.
3. Using the Tan Embroidery Thread, I used a running stitch to create wood-like motifs on the flat piece of dark brown felt.  I didn't draw these out beforehand, I just made it up as I went, trying to keep the grain somewhat straight and making a couple of swirls for knots in the tree.
4. Make circles of running stitches on the tan felt circles.
5. With the felt folded in half lengthwise, sew that seam on the sewing machine, going around the branch.
6. While the log is still inside out, sew a tan circle to one end of the log. (This is not an exact thing--sometimes my circles fit better than other times, but they all ended up looking just fine.  Just go slowly and turn as you go.
7. Turn right side out and use a knitting needle or other stick to turn the corners of the branch.
8. Stuff with fiberfill. I used the knitting needle to be sure the fiberfill got into the small branch area.
9. Stitch the other end closed with a tan circle.  I put right sides together and stitched halfway around the circle before turning it and hand-stitching it closed.
Now, every campfire needs some fire, right?!?  These flames were super easy!

Flame Supplies:
Red Felt (1 piece per flame part)
Orange felt (1 piece per flame part)
Yellow felt (1 piece per flame part)
Matching Embroidery Thread
Sewing Thread and Needle

Flame Directions:
1. Fold the red felt in half and cut out a flame shape. (You will have 2 pieces now)
2. Layer the orange felt on top and repeat the process,  cutting these pieces about an inch smaller all around. (you will have 2 orange pieces)
3. Lastly, do the same with the yellow pieces. I just free-hand cut these and didn't worry if they didn't fit exactly.
4. Use the embroidery thread to stitch the orange and yellow flames in place over the red piece.  Remember that this is a flame, so it should be irregular.
5. Repeat with the other side (be sure that you are doing it on the correct side of the flame)
6. With right side together, stitch around the outside of the flame, leaving the bottom free for stuffing.
7. Turn right sides out, using a knitting needle or other stick to get into the points.
8. Stuff with fiberfill.
9. Stitch the bottom closed.
Given our birthday boy's fondness for s'mores, I stitched up some felt marshmallows and even a couple of hot dogs that would fit on the ends of "roasting sticks".  The process for these was a bit complicated to describe, so you'll have to wait until I can take more pictures and develop a step-by-step guide. (The hot dogs are a little bit wonky, but I think they will still be fun!)
Using an embroidery design that I purchased from NNKidsEmbroidery, I stitched some crackers, chocolate and melted marshmallows so that the pretend play can be complete. The design was quick and easy and stitched up really nicely.
Using some leftover canvas I had on hand, I made a simple drawstring backpack to carry all the pieces and we are including a pair of real binoculars and  this amazing lantern. Not only does it serve as a real lantern, but it also displays stars on the ceiling.  How fun is that!
Now, let the pretending begin!
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