Needle Felted Succulent DIY

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Just a quick post today to show you how I made this cute little needle felted succulent. This little guy is also available to buy from my Etsy site. Take a look at our Etsy shop here. I plan to try making a few other types of needle felted houseplants, more succulent varieties and some cactus would definitely be fun!

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For this project I used some wool roving I was given by a friend, it is coarser than the corriedale or merino tops that I usually use so it felted really quickly but it was a funny mix of blue-ish greens so all the leaves came out a slightly different colour!

Anyway, here’s how to do it:

Start by rolling some wool roving into a rough ball-like shape. The amount of wool you use will decide the ultimate size of your leaf, you will get the hang of using the right amount of wool for your desired size after some practice.

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Start to stab your wool with your needle felting needle repeatedly, turning the wool over regularly so that it mats together evenly. Once the wool has started to mat together, begin to focus on a top and a bottom side, creating a flatter shape.

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Create a pointed leaf shape by focusing your stabbing on the two top edges. Don’t forget to work the top and bottom evenly, as well as working on all edges from time to time to create a smooth, neat, well constructed leaf shape. When you are happy with your leaf, move onto another one! You will need to make leaves of all different sizes to create your succulent.

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When you have made enough leaves (I made about 20) it is time to build your succulent. Sorry there are no photos of this stage, I got carried away and completely forgot to document this part. I’m also not sure that I built my succulent and attached it to the pot  in the most sensible way, you may well have a better idea than me of how to do it, but here’s what I did:

I turned a small amount of wool into a rough, flat base and beginning with my four biggest leaves, positioned them on top and attached them by stabbing them a few times. I repeated this step with each of my next leaves, working in fours and decreasing in size as I went along, attaching them at first to my wool base, and then also to the other leaves underneath. I added a small ball of wool roving to the middle of the succulent so that I had something to attach the smallest top leaves to.

When my succulent was attached together I put some toy filling in the small plant pot I was using (I used a metal one but a tiny terracotta pot would look cute too) and then covered it with some green craft felt, glueing the edges into the pot with super glue. This looked a little like a green cushion inside my pot. I then positioned my succulent on top of the felt with some super glue in the middle and stabbed the lowest leaves into the craft felt with my needle a few times to secure it into the pot and it was done!

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Phew! That was a tricky one to describe, I hope it made some sense? Like I said, I’m sure you can figure out a much simpler way to attach the felted succulent to the tiny plant pot. My way was complete guesswork and hard to describe but I’m pleased to say my little succulent is firmly attached to his new silver pot home.

It was so much fun to combine two of my favourite things – felting and succulents! What do you think of my little needle felt creation? Would you give it a go? I’d love to see pictures if you do.

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Terrarium Adventures Part 2

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If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you’ll know that earlier this year I posted about my growing obsession with the world of terrariums. You can see part 1 here. At that point I had finished one terrarium and was looking for ideas for how to complete my second fish bowl style terrarium. Well I’ve finally got round to putting it all together, I’ve gone with an under the sea type theme and I thought you guys might like to see it.
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To put this terrarium together I used a layer of small shingle type stones on the bottom, then a layer of sand. After that I added a couple of larger stones, some fake moss that I think kind of looks like coral, some smaller decorative stones, a tiny diver figurine and of course, three of my beloved air plants.
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I’ve always thought air plants look like sea creatures so it was easy to imagine them in an underwater themed scene. The tiny diver figure adds that sense of a shift in perspective again, giving the viewer the feeling that they are looking into a tiny world full of giant plants.

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All that’s left for me to do now is add some small shells and maybe even a couple of little dried starfish, just to add to the underwater theme a touch more.

Of course I couldn’t just stop there this weekend! So I put together another tiny scene in a glass trifle dish we were given by a family member.

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For this trifle dish terrarium I mostly only used plants and materials I already had at home. I started by adding a layer of shingle to the bottom of the dish and then a layer of cactus and succulent soil on top (this soil has sand included to aid drainage as cactus and succulents really hate to sit in water). After the base layers I added three succulent babies that I have propagated myself from the leaves of other plants and a larger cactus that I couldn’t resist buying. I also found some nice looking stones and a larger, crystal encrusted rock that has formed a sort of magical looking cave in my little scene. I topped it off with some moss left over from my original succulent terrarium kit, some smaller decorative stones and some sand to create a sandy path leading to the crystal cave. Last but not least I added a tiny figurine of a photographer.

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I had ordered the photographer figurine online when I ordered the diver for the air plant terrarium, being a photographer myself I couldn’t not buy the tiny little guy, even though I wasn’t sure how I was going to use him. Pairing the little photographer with the crystal has worked out perfectly as there really needed to be a focal point worth photographing in any scene that I added the photographer to.

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I am really pleased with how both of my terrariums have turned out, especially the trifle dish one as it wasn’t planned, I just kept adding bits and pieces until I was happy with it. I can’t wait to watch the succulent babies grow and add even more drama to the tiny world!

I expect you can tell that I am totally hooked on this terrarium business now, I used to think they were totally tacky but my mind has been completely changed. Now I think they are so much fun and really creative, how do you feel about them?

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Searching For That Perfect Piece

Me and Nathan have decided to purchase some large scale art for our bedroom at some point this year. This is quite a new concept for us, being creative, visual people our home is already full of our own art as well as gifts we have been given by friends and family over the years. Being able to hang a piece of graphic design, photography or a painting you have made yourself is a great feeling, but we’d both love to start a collection of others peoples art too.

Of course art can be expensive, our tight budget will limit our options drastically but for now it’s fun to just have a look around at what’s out there. As a bit of a change from my usual posts here on Make It Paisley I thought it might also be fun to share the pieces that have caught my eye so far with you.

At this point I have only looked at Etsy as it provides such a wealth of talented artists and creatives. I love the idea that our savings could be used to purchase a beautiful piece of art, and that money would also be helping to support a fellow creative person to follow their dreams!

These abstract prints from Lola Donoghue have really caught my attention, I love how bold they are.

 

Apak Studio’s work is brilliantly whimsical and would look great in an adult or childs bedroom.

 

Wonderfully surreal and just absolutely gorgeous, I’d love some of Gabriella Barouch’s art in my home.

 

Another bold and beautiful abstract by Maria Sa on Etsy, can you tell I’m very attracted to all things turquoise?

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Psychedelic wonderfulness from Yellena

Beautiful paintings inspired by the natural world, particularly cactus and succulents from artandpeople. She had me at cactus!

Last but not least, although it is not my usual style this print has really caught my eye. You can find it on PrintsOfHeart.

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So far my selections have predominantly been paintings and illustrations but I think a photographic print could look equally great in our room. Maybe a list of my favourite photographic art will have to happen next.

We would absolutely love any suggestions you might have, either of talented artists on Etsy, or if you happen to be local to Bristol, UK then ideas for galleries or affordable art fairs we could take a look at!

I hope you enjoyed my little list of great art from Etsy, I’m certainly enjoying browsing for that perfect piece!