This book (Kids’ Crafternoon: Felting)
was bought on the basis of a project by one of the contributors; Ellen Luckett Baker from The Long Thread. As soon as I saw the project I knew it would make a perfect teacher gift for Girl Lacer’s teacher (criteria for deciding ‘the perfect teacher gift for Girl Lacer’s teacher’: (a) said teacher is male and therefore (sorry blokes) difficult to craft for (b) Girl Lacer is in juniors now – she can make her own Christmas presents).
The project went reasonably well, with Girl Lacer doing most of it except for the sewing on of the eyes and the embroidered mouth, which I think she could have done, although it would have been fiddly, she just didn’t want to. But talking about how fiddly it was, I think looking at Girl Lacer’s pencil topper and looking at the pencil toppers in the book, I think the dimensions in the book are wrong, as it said to use a 4 x 16 cm piece of felt, ahhhh *hits head* they are wrong, they have to be because I’ve just looked at the book again and just after it says to use a 4 x 16 cm piece of felt, it then says to cut 5 cm deep slits along the long side of the felt, impossible if the piece of felt is only 4 cm (duh, teaches me to assume the materials list is correct and then to just go by the diagrams and not the written instructions). So there you go, anyone making this I think you need the felt to be at least 8 x 16 cm.
Anyway, error aside, this looks a reasonable kids craft book, it’s nice and colourful and has a ring binder spine so it can lay flat. There are comprehensive (obviously not always accurate) lists of what you need at the start of each project and a list of instructions on how to get ready before you start, as well as nice diagrams. I particularly liked the stitched jewels (tiny scraps of felt and buttons), the plush pin (cloud and rain drops), the book blanket (notebook cover), iPod animals, zombie critter charms, the designer wallet (which really does look nice), zakka stash box, pet rock stars (softie rocks), who loves ewe (a series of animal themed canvases), mixed up comforter (a project that wouldn’t look out of place in an adult sewing book), simple felt cards, emoticon bookmarks, beardy disguise (moustaches), felt dartboard, friendly finger puppets (the picture on the front cover), robot softie and a dachshund money box. The projects use a mixture of felt, felted jumpers and needle felting, the latter two would be difficult for Girl Lacer to do much, if any of because we do not have a ready supply of old jumpers to be felted and as for needle felting, it’s not a craft I do, so it’s not likely we’d have the supplies in the house.
The projects range in difficulty from absolute beginner (like the felt cards) to something quite a bit more complex (like the money box) and some of the projects involve the use of hot glue guns and sewing machines. Really Girl Lacer, at 8, is at the lower end of the age range for this book, I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone younger but conversely not all children’s craft books should be aimed at little kids anyway and this book would be great right into the teen years.
(You can also get Kids’ Crafternoon books on paper craft, sewing and beading).