How to make a handmade felted Christmas candle holder

Posted under Christmas, Felt and Felting

2Nov
I love red.
I love red and white.
Don’t you?
They are just so magnificent together.
This simple candle holder would make a great centrepiece for the Christmas Day table, don’t you think?
It is an easy craft and not at all ‘precious’.
This candle holder was designed by one of my best friends in the whole world, Jen McCormack,of Lavendilly House for her day of hosting our Crafternoons.  She has kindly given me permission to share it with you! Lucky duck.
So, why not come felt with me?
Firstly, you need a dinner plate and your choice of colour of wool fleece.
(Whilst this one is red, you might love green or grey or purple for your Christmas table)
This felting project is all about being rough and tumble and quick. (less than an hour)
Do let go of any fancy felting notions for this one and just have fun.
To make felt, pull out some fibres (as see through as a cobweb) and begin to cover the plate by laying all your fibres in a horizontal layer.  You’ll still be able to see the plate through the fleece at this stage.
Cobwebby…. yep.
The second layer goes on vertical, with fibres running from top to bottom.
The piece in my hand is the length I am working from.
The finished second layer.
Lay the fibres for the third layer in a horizontal position.
You now have a criss cross of fibres, a very rough and messy ‘felt batt’.
Just the way we like it for this project.
(This whole part should take you no longer than 10 minutes and use about a metre of fleece all up)
Now, in the centre, lay a double layer of your contrast colour.
This is what will be seen underneath the candle once the felt is cut.
Cut out a circular template from lino or plastic sheeting, about an inch wider (all the way around) than your candle.
Place this template onto your felt.
Cover this template with your next colour.
This will be the colour of the INSIDE of your star/flower shape, as it opens.
Finally, lay two good (not too thin) layers of red fleece over the entire felt.
Here is your puffy fleece pillow in side view.
Now, we have to wet it.
Pour warm water, about a cup to start, into the centre of your puffy pillow.
Lay a piece of netting over the top.
Take a soap bar and begin to rub the felt, working from the centre and pushing the water out to the edges with the soap bar. Begin rubbing, gentle at first then quite vigorously to help ‘set’ the felt into a fragile piece of material.
Once your felt is wet through, both top and underside, carefully tuck the edges of the felt under to make a tidy circle.  Continue rubbing the felt (using your netting) for about 8-10 minutes.
When the felt can be picked up in one piece, transfer it to a small piece of bubble wrap and continue rubbing without net.
(Buy bubble wrap at the post office and stationery shops)
Lay a second piece of bubble wrap on top.
Then roll it up tight!
Throw the edge of a towel over the top of the bubble wrap for extra hold.
Then roll….
You can use your hands of course, but using your arms like this is much quicker.
Roll, roll, roll….
NB: Wherever you place your hands/arms is where the felt will begin to shrink. Be sure to move your arms/hands across the length of the bubble wrap so you have even shrinkage.
Roll about 50 times, then open up your package.
Swivel the felt around 90 degrees (a quarter turn) and pull it back into circular shape.
Roll again for 50.
Keep doing this until you have rolled 400 times. (8 changes of direction)
When you can begin to see ‘puckering’ of the material, and individual fibres no longer come away, you are done. (40 minutes of rolling approx)
Take a sharp pair of scissors and make a tiny snip in the centre.
From here, extend the snip outwards in six directions to form a star.
Open the flaps and remove the template.
Wet your fingers and continue to work the star flaps by rubbing to toughen up the felt.
If you want to, you can trim some of the excess felt to make a perfect circle.
See, quick and easy.
Of course, you can decorate your felt candle holder too.
You might like to needlefelt a celtic design around the edges or embroider the names of your children.  The candle can be decorated with modelling wax too….
This could be just the start.
Oh, Christmas time.
I love you!

5 Responses to “How to make a handmade felted Christmas candle holder”

  1. The Monko

    these are great instructions. Thanks. I am determined to have a go at wet felting as soon as I can get my hands on some fleece.

  2. Amber Greene

    I’ll have an etsy store up over the weekend and will be selling small bags with a selection of rainbow colours and ones for small projects like this too. Because everyone should be able to felt, don’t you think? It is addictive and super fun.

  3. Cheryl

    I love this idea. They really would dress up a shop bought candle nicely. I’m adding this to my homemade Christmas present list.

  4. Amber

    Great stuff, Cheryl. I love this craft and it does look lovely on the table when the candle is lit.

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