Tutorials

Boho Macrame Wall Hanging

Posted by Renae Bradley on 17 May, 2019 1 comment

boho macrame wreath


Easily create a whimsical, floral wall hanging that incorporates a beginner macrame knot called Lark's Head Knot and accented with a felt flower cluster.

macrame wall hanging


We used supples from www.benziedesign.com:

10" Gold Metal Ring
Macrame cord in Indigo, 5mm: Cut eighteen 28" lengths .
Flower Bouquet Felt-fetti, we used the colors Linen (2), Mulberry and Peony
Small poms in White and Midnight
Scissors
Glue Gun
Greenery sprigs

 
Dreamcatcher wreath knot

Step 1: Take one piece of 28" rope and fold it in half. Put the folded end behind the gold ring.

Step 2: Pull the other two ends of the rope up toward the folded side of the rope.

Step 3: Insert the two ends of the rope over the ring and into the loop created by the fold.

Step 4: Pull both lengths of rope tight to form the Larks Head knot.

boho macrame tutorial


Repeat the Larks Head Knot using all 18 pieces of rope. When finished flip the whole ring over so that the loop part of the knot is in the front. This is the side that you will adhere the felt flowers and greenery to. 

Watch our video tutorial for the macrame portion of this project!

macrame and flowers


This design uses three different flowers from the Big Felt-Fetti Flower Bouquet.  Our felt-fetti bag included the colors linen (2), mulberry, and peony. To get full details on how to make the flowers shown here visit our diy!

dreamcatcher diy

For the large flower we used 3 small and 3 large petals and gently patted the petal with colored ink. Once the ink has dried use a glue gun to form the petals (see our blog post how to form the flower). Once you have created your flowers arrange the flowers on the hoop and hot glue into place.  Insert sprigs of greenery -or even felt accents - to finish it off. Enjoy your beautiful creation! 

Boho design crafted by Benzie Team Member Stephanie Barta. 

Easiest Felt Flowers: Roses + Daisies

Posted by Renae Bradley on 07 May, 2019 0 comments

Easiest Felt Roses and Daisies

The secret to creating felt flowers quickly? Die cut your felt! If you have a Sizzix die cut machine -grab our favorite felt flower die here (we have lots of others too!). But no worries if you don't -we offer precut shapes too! The Flower Bouquet Felt-fetti is one of Benzie's favorites -so many flower shapes come in just one bag!

You may also want to grab a few felt poms in size small and make sure you have a glue gun too! 

Easy felt roses and daisies

We will focus on creating the rose and the daisy -but use the techniques you learn to mix and match to make a variety of blooms! All the shapes and flowers shown here can be purchased in the Flower Bouquet Felt-fetti. We used a variety of colors from Benzie's French Fleur Felt Palette

Felt Flower tutorial

Every flower in this bouquet has a center. The center can just be a felt ball (we like using small sized poms!) -or use the felt rectangle as shown above. When you fold the rectangle in half the precut notches make pretty pistols or head of the flower. Change the look by snipping the pistols in half or wrap it around a pom (that's what we did to make our rose!). Another fun perk of the flower shapes is that they are designed with a place to hold on to the felt -it's the little circle you see next to the shape! Holding onto this piece will help you to get your rolling technique just right! 

easy felt daisy

For the daisy you will need one flower center and two daisy petal die cuts. Once the flower center is rolled -wrap the daisy around the center securing with glue. Wrap the second daisy shape around the base and you're done! We also like to wrap the daisy die cut around itself to make foliage too! 

Easy Felt Rose

The rose uses a center wrapped around a small size pom -see how we snipped the ends first! You can also leave them folded for a completely different look! Grab the 4 different petal shapes as shown in the photo. We first use the two circle shaped petals and wrapped them around the flower center -then glued the petals opposite of each other to fill it out! 

Easy Felt Flowers

Read more about die cutting here or grab the flower felt-fetti to create a quick bouquet! Mix and match the petals or add inking to make a variety of blooms! 

Read more on how we used these flowers to adorn a boho macrame piece! 

Easy Macrame Wreath

Posted by Renae Bradley on 06 May, 2019 0 comments

How to make a macrame wreath

Create a beautiful Macrame Wreath with just one simple knot! This wreath uses a Macrame Half Knot repeatedly tied around a metal ring. In traditional Macrame you would use three ropes for this knot. However, in this project the metal ring takes the place of one of the ropes and you will tie knots with two ropes around the metal ring. As you tie the Half Knot around the metal ring and repeat tying the same knot over and over again, the knots will begin to spiral and it will create an interesting and unique design! Make sure you always tie the Half Knot in the same direction to create the spiral (in this photo tutorial each Half Knot begins with the rope on the left side of the ring). Give Macrame a try -it is so much fun! 

Easy Macrame Wreath Supplies

Supplies needed for the macrame wreath:

10" Gold Metal Ring
27' 100% Cotton Rope -5mm in Graphite
Scissors
Glue Gun
Tape (optional)

To make the flowers we used Benzie felt colors in Oats, Rosewood, Raspberry and Sage along with extra small and small poms in Orchid, Graphite and Blush. They are super easy to make, grab the tutorial

step by step macrame

how to half knot a wreath

Photo 1: Tape two ends of rope (you'll want two equal lengths) to the ring. Another starting technique (not pictured here) is to take the full length of rope (not cut to two equal lengths), find the middle and wrap it behind one point on the ring so it is halved and two equal lengths of rope are on either side of the ring, then tie a simple knot around the ring.

Photo 2: Make a backward D shape with the rope on the left and take the rope over the top of the ring and under the rope on the right.

Photo 3: Take the rope from the right side of the ring and pass it under the ring, through the backward D shape hole and over the top of the rope on the left.

Photo 4: Pull both lengths of rope tight to form the Half Knot.

Repeat this same Half Knot (photo steps 2-4) over and over again around the metal ring. The knots will spiral around the ring to create a beautiful design. When the entire ring is full of knots, cut your rope ends leaving just enough length to securely glue the ends into the knots on the back of the wreath. We recommend using a hot glue gun for this.

Watch our video tutorial for the macrame portion of this project!

Flower and Macrame Wreath

Arrange and hot glue your finished flowers. Check out our flower tutorial here

flower macrame wall hanging 
Wreath designed and crafted by Benzie Team member Crystal Knerien. 

Simple Felt Flowers, Free Pattern!

Posted by Renae Bradley on 18 April, 2019 5 comments

simple felt flowers

These simple shaped flowers need no elaborate cutting, forming or fussy attaching -they are pretty (and pretty simple to make)! Grab your supplies below. 

how to make easy felt flowers

We use the Benzie felt colors Violet, Sky, Periwinkle and Blue Spruce. Either download the free pattern or buy a pack of felt-fetti

Free pattern:
PDF pattern for cutting (try our freezer paper method & favorite scissors!)
SVG file for Cricut Maker (read up on how to use!)

If you want to keep things super simple -leave the cutting to us and grab a bag or two of our precut Classic Blossoms felt-fetti! You can select any colors you would like too! 

You will also need a few small sized poms (we used Swan) and a hot glue gun

Instructions on Felt Flowers

Step 1. Once you have all your felt blossoms cut use your hot glue gun to add a spot of glue at the base of each petal. We like to use the small size blossom first.
Step 2. Fold up the blossoms to attach to the felt pom. 
Step 3. Continue to add layers by following the glue pattern used in step one! We like to add the larger blossoms next. This flower includes 3 layers total. 

Felt flowers made easy

To make the little greenery sprig fold a blossom in half -and then in half again. Glue to secure. I love positioning these on the undersides of the blossoms -they look so finished and happy that way! 

felt flower blossoms, free pattern

And repeat the process again and again to make a full bouquet of flowers. Add to hair clips, wreaths, pouches or wall hangings! Learn how to add it to the macrame wreath here

Felt flower wreath!

What Felt Cutting System Should I Buy? Sizzix Big Shot verses Cricut Maker

Posted by Renae Bradley on 26 March, 2019 2 comments

Pros and cons of cutting machines

What die cutting machine is better for felt? Should you buy an electric machine like the Cricut Maker or a manual one like the Sizzix Big Shot? Both are a big investment and both offer a lot of benefits! We'll outline each one and share what we love to use them for and pass on our favorite tips!

sizzix big shot and felt

There are many different types of manual die cutting machines. These machines need additional dies to work and come in loads of fun shapes. You sandwich the dies in cutting pads and manually roll them through the machine to cut out the shapes. You can read more about how they work here. Most brands dies are completely interchangeable -but our favorite is the Sizzix Big Shot.  We have a couple different sizes at Benzie and they are work horses -lasting for hundreds and hundreds of rolls though! Check out our selection of favorite felt dies! 

There are also a few different electric cutting machines. All of these utilize a digital design that translates to a cut file (think svg). Working with the machines design program, via a computer or an ipad, you can select your file and cut out any shape you wish! For cutting felt we recommend the Cricut Maker. The rotary blade makes it a perfect match for felt. Read more about the Cricut Maker here.  

which cutting machine is best for felt

Pros + Cons of the Sizzix Big Shot

Pros of Sizzix Big Shot
-The biggest pro to owning a manual die cutter is the ease of use -there is no tricky technology to learn and even your kindergartener can help! 
-Steel rule dies are heavy duty can cut several layers of felt at a time which really increases productivity! There is nothing quicker then a manual die cut machine and a steel rule die!
-Utilizes both steel rule dies and wafer thin dies. 
-Great price point for the beginner! 
-All cuts are clean and crisp, every time. 

Cons of Sizzix Big Shot
-The shapes you can cut are limited by dies available. Die companies do offer custom service and range from $100-$200 per steel rule die. 
-Adding new dies every time you want a new shape can get expensive.
-Even though cutting pads last a long time, they will eventually crack and need to be replaced. 

 how to choose which cutting machine to buy

Pros + Cons of the Cricut Maker

Let's Start with the Cons:
-Unfortunately upfront costs are pricy on the Cricut Maker. Long term costs include the replacement of cutting pads which tend to be more often then I would like.
-As well as being a benefit -technology can come with glitches and challenges. Basic computer or app knowledge is needed -as well as owning the proper device the software needs.
-Even though the Cricut Maker can cut out most things, shapes and curves smaller then 1/2" can get little jagged on felt -but I suggest trying out your design as it could be just what you need! 
-Because this is a electronic cutting machine, it does require some time to allow the blade to do it's cutting. No rushing things here, you set up the files now sit back and watch it work! 

Pros of Cricut Maker
-Don't let that long list of cons sway you because the Cricut Maker offers the ultimate dream in crafting machines: The ability to cut any shape your heart desires! You can purchase design files, get them for free (Benzie offers several on our blog! Check out our ivy plant here)... or even design your own. There are no limits = maker magic! 

using the cricut to cut felt 
Ask yourself what sort of crafter you are -are you one that wants to just make a ton of one thing? Or are you more of a dabbler and want to try out a lot of things? The Sizzix Big Shot is better for those who are cutting out a large volume of similar shapes. Just make daisy crowns? Or have your narrowed in on coffee cozies? Even though it will give your arm a workout -you'll get it done quick and neatly with the Sizzix.

If your tastes are varied and bulk makes you bored you will have more fun with the Cricut Maker -and can try every new design that comes your way! Don't forget that both machines work super well with felt... but also other materials as well. Don't limit yourself to just one machine; start with the one that appeals to you the most -and work up to the one you don't have. Let me know in the comments which one is your favorite and why! 

Read more about manual die cutters like the Sizzix Big Shot here
Read more about electronic cutters like the Cricut Maker here

Easy Llama and Cactus Garland

Posted by Renae Bradley on 19 March, 2019 1 comment

Llama and Cactus Craft

Using stitch dies in partnership with Neat and Tangled you can easily create llama and cactus crafts! If you are new to die cutting -read up on how to do it and if you are new to stitching read up on how to stitch up these dies! 

Felt llama

Here are all the supplies you need to make a festive garland: 

-Stitch Dies -grab the llama and the cactus dies made in collaboration with Neat and Tangled. 
-Benzie Felt -we love the bright colors of the Tropical Palette with the addition of Linen for the the llama. 
-For extra sparkle -add in sequins and glitter felt! We used black seed beads for the llamas eyes!
-Assorted felt poms in extra small and small. We used the colors Tangerine, Magenta, Aqua and Leaf. 
-Bright colored embroidery floss -don't forget the linen colored floss to stitch up the llama! 
-Polyfil & a stuffing stick

felt cactus craft

1.) First cut out your shapes using the cactus and llama die. You will need two shapes per side. Reference this blog post to find out more about die cutting! 
2.) Grab coordinating or contrasting floss -we used 3 strands and the running stitch to stitch our friends up. If you are new to stitching or stitch dies -read up on your options! Don't forget to leave a space to add in polyfil! You'll find the stuffing tool useful in getting into small spaces! 
3.) embellish with pom, sequins and tassels! It's a fiesta! Quick tip -use this special glue to attach the sequins! 

llama crafts

Make a garland by sewing the cactus and llama with embroidery floss and small size wool poms. 

cinco de mayo garland

Or make a diorama and put the cactus in a pot

llama and cactus felt

Create our other stitch dies crafts:

Unicorn Mobile
Snowflake Ornaments
Ugly Sweater Gift Topper

Felt + Cutting Machines

Posted by Renae Bradley on 11 February, 2019 3 comments

Cutting Felt with Cricut Maker

Looking for the best die cutting tool to cut felt? There are a lot of great options available (we talk about our favorite manual die cut machine here) but today we are going to talk about electronic cutting machines. Many machines available will cut felt but only with some sort of trick such as applying stabilizer to the felt or only using stiff felt. The only fool proof model we have had great success with is the Cricut Maker -the key change to this model is the inclusion of the rotary blade -it rolls over the felt to cut the shapes -cutting the felt seamlessly! We will talk about the pros and cons of each model but the most exciting benefit of the Cricut Maker is that you can cut absolutely ANY shape you wish! A creative couldn't wish for anything more! We'll give you a brief overview on how to get started cutting out our ivy pattern to make a your own potted plant -for more detailed instructions we suggest visiting the Cricut website.

diy felt plant

Supplies:
Cricut Maker + cutting mat
SVG pattern for Ivy
Wool blend felt in Geranium (3 9x12" sheets) + Emerald (2 9x12" sheets) 
Ink in Deep Green
Wire Stems, 20 gauge
Hot Glue Gun -you'll want the detail tip in this glue gun! 
Pot or vase to display your felt plant in
 cutting machines and felt

The Cricut Maker utilizes the cloud based program "Cricut Design Space" to set up your files. This program can be used on your phone, tablet or computer and will print wirelessly to your Cricut Maker. Benzie offers many svg files right on our blog for free! Save our ivy pattern here then upload it to the Cricut Design Place. The final step will ask you what material you are using (felt!) and allow you to select the rotary blade option -this is the key to success! When it is done printing -you can just peel off the felt shapes, toss on another piece of felt and cut again! For this potted plant we used 4 9x12" sheets of Geranium and 2 9x12" sheet of Emerald

cricut machine and felt

There are several different cutting mats you can use with the Cricut Maker -from a Light to a Standard Grip. I'm using the Fabric Grip but I usually just grab what I have available and have found they all work great! They also come in two different sizes, a 12x12" and a 12x18" size. The larger size is a perfect fit for Benzie's 12x18" sheets of felt! After a while the mats will get super fuzzy from the felt and they need to be cleaned off -I either use packaging tape to remove the fuzzies or wash the mat with soap and water. 

diy felt ivy plant

After the Cricut Maker has done all the hard work, you can get to crafting!
1.) Stack up your leaves and ink the edges. I love how the dark ink makes the leaves come alive! 2.) Then start by folding the leaves in half around the wire stem -attaching with just a bit of glue along the base. To give more body to the plant we pinched and glued the base of some of the leaves. Leaves are spaced anywhere from 1 to 3 inches apart.

We made 3 different styled stems: 3.) This is the longest ivy tail -it just hangs of the edge of the pot. 4.) This 'w' shaped stem is the base of the plant, we made 4 total. 5.) And we finished it off with a few of these hanging guys. Bend the wires to fill in an form a realistic plant! 
 felt plants

 I used all the 'w' shaped wires to first fill in the pot. 

felt plants

And then added the rest to make it look like a natural flowing ivy plant! Add in a macrame hanger for the full diy experience!

Looking for other svg files? Browse our blog for more free patterns! 
Read more about manual die cutting machines here.

Needle Felted Gnome

Posted by Renae Bradley on 12 December, 2018 1 comment

make a felt gnome

Keep this gnome friend around to bestow holiday magic (and maybe just wrap a gift or two!). Never needle felt before? Read up on the basics -you can do it! 

needle felting supplies

Grab the supplies:
Roving in Peacock, Crimson + Latte (or your choice of skin color). 
Bits of roving in Black and White
White curls roving
Needle felting needle -the 'refill' pack is all you need!
Needle felting foam (always needle felt on foam + keep an eye out on your fingers!)

You can make our gnome friend -even if you have never felted before! You'll find it helpful to read up on the basics of felting first (you want to keep those fingers safe!) 

needle felt shapes

1. You can make your gnome any size you would like -ours are about 6-7" tall. First take a 10" strip of your base color (we used Peacock), wind tightly around a thin dowel or pencil. Gently pull off of pencil and needle felt in place. You can see from the photo the start and how you would like your finished body to look. Pro tip: Don't forget to felt in the top and bottom of your gnome body or you will end up will a super tall and skinny gnome! 

make a gnome hat

2. Then take a 10" strip of your hat color (we used Crimson) and thin out the top (you will do this by pulling out roving) to form an angle (as shown). This will help form the cone of your hat. 

felted gnome hat

3. Wind the crimson roving around the thin dowel into a cone shape and felt into place. Add in details of the hat folds. You can see the beginning felting stages on the left and the finished hat on the right. Feel free to add in more roving to obtain the desired shape. 

easy needle felt body

4. Needle felt a sphere shaped head, needle felt to gnome base. Tip, to be speedy we used a Medium Latte felt pom

roving hair

5. Needle felt just a bit of white roving into the back of the head -it's the gnomes hair!  

needle felted gnome hat

6. After the hat is attached to the head take extra Crimson roving and wrap around base of hat and head, needle felt till firm. 

needle felted gnome

7. Roll a small ball of skin colored roving (we used Latte) into a ball, needle felt until firm and attach to face, lining up right under the base of the hat.

curly roving for beards

8. Add the curls! Gently place the curls just where you would like your gnomes face to be. If needed, arrange and fold curls where you would like felting into place. 

how to needle felt a gnome

9. Take the tiniest wisp of black roving (much smaller then the photo shows!), roll between fingers to form into a small ball and felt eyes into place. 

needle felt gnome

gnome ornament

You can give so much personality to your gnomes just by adjusting the side and folds of the hat -or even how big you make his gnomes! A gnome friend will always leave good cheer! 

Merry Berry Christmas Garland DIY

Posted by Renae Bradley on 13 November, 2018 1 comment

felt ball christmas garland diy

Felt ball garlands are so easy to make -and a great way to add cheer to any holiday! In this specific garland we mix in some berry sprigs and wood beads (20mm) to make a festive christmas garland. 

Felt Berry Sprig

Let's get started on the cranberry sprigs -first grab your supplies:
-Wool felt in Evergreen, Meadow and Pistachio (also available in Benzie's Cranberry Felt Palette). 
-Felt ball berries in Cranberry, Foxglove, and Peony. We used a mix of extra small and medium size. Also available in our Cranberry Pom Palette
-20 gauge wire and wire cutters
-florist tape
-hot glue
-brown roving and felting needle (optional)
-leaf pattern, pdf or svg

how to make a felt berry hairclip

Step 1. Cut out leaves out of your favorite green felt from Benzie, it's super easy to freehand cut the leaves (use my favorite scissors!) or use our pdf or svg files as a guide.
Step 2. Cut wire to about 4" long.
Step 3. Using a glue gun to attach greenery on each end of the wire. To make the leaves more realistic I placed a small bit of glue on the top center of the leaf, pinch until cooled and trimmed the point with a scissors. 
Step 4. Fold wire in half and twist into place. 
Step 5. Cover wire with florist tape. 
Step 6. Make the berries! To make them more realistic we needle felted a little bit of brown roving into the tops. Read this if you are new to needle felting. 
Step 7. Hot glue berries in place. 

how to string a felt ball garland

Once you have the berry sprigs made you can start stringing your garland. Basic items to make a felt ball garland are poms, floss + needle kit. Our favorite needle is a basic darning needle -it's perfect in every way for garland making! Once you string your needle -just slide it right through the poms. Some poms are little more felted and you may need to use a bit more force but most just glide through the needle! I've left some tips below on how we like to start and finish our garlands. 

how to make a felt ball garland

How to start and finish your garland:
1. Take a strand of floss the length of what you would like your finished garland to be. Fold last two inches or so of floss over and tie in knot like shown in the photo. String with felt poms. 
2. Using an awl, pierce the pom where the string comes out, making a dimple in the felt pom.
3. Pull knot down into the dimple. 
4. Trim tail. 

 felt ball garlands

Here is an example of the Cranberry Felt Pom palette used two different ways -one using just our medium sized poms and the second mixed with wood beads (20mm) and berry sprigs. 

berry sprig garland

 Happy Holidays from Team Benzie! 

Ugly Sweater Ornament DIY

Posted by Renae Bradley on 09 November, 2018 0 comments

ugly sweater ornament diy

We collaborated with Neat & Tangled and designed the perfect die for holiday crafting -the ugly sweater! Embellish and decorate with all our favorite holiday things! 

winter mint felt palette

Grab all your supplies! We used a variety of wool felt + floss colors from Benzie's Winter Mint palette, bits of glitter and metallic felt, Beads and sequins, Embroidery Floss and tacky glue. Most importantly -you'll need our Sweater Die

ugly sweater die cut

If you are new to die cutting or stitching skip down the the bottom of the page -we have included some helpful links to get you started! The first step is to cut out all your shapes -it's fun selecting your favorite 'ugly' accents! To make the wreath sweater we cut out one sweater with stitch marks and one without, a wreath shape, two cuffs, one bow, one sweater hem and one sweater collar. 

ugly sweater ornament how to

Place the embellishments on the sweater and stitch them in place using 4 strands of embroidery floss. You can be creative in how you stitch the pieces on, here we stitched zigzags and crosses. I would love to see a sweater just using straight stitches to emulate cuffs of a shirt too! The pieces are little so if you are having problems just use a touch of tacky glue to hold in place. Add glitter felt, beads and sequins to make it even more ugly! To finish it off, lightly tacky glue the back of the sweater on -this will hide all your stitches!

stuffed sweater ornament

We stuffed this ornament by using two strands of floss and polyfil. Follow this tutorial to use a paperclip to make a hanger! You'll find this tool handy! 

ugly sweater ornaments

ugly sweater craft

Here is a few of our favorite blog posts for the beginner crafter and stitcher! Let us know if you have any questions at all! 
Introduction to die cutting.
Beginner embroidery for stitch dies.
Stitching with beads + sequins. 

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