This year as we prepared for our open house, I realized that we had no tree skirt so I added it to my shopping list. The base of the tree needs to be cozy too. Suddenly I realized that I could make one before I would have time to go shopping; handmade is better anyway, and I am impatient, so to work I went!
I started with one full sheet of Dark Prefelt, since I was working with a dark top layer. I folded it onto 1/4s and cut the edge rounded so that when opened it became a circle (more or less with me since I am an impatient non-perfectionist.)
I used our big carder to create a few large batts in the midnighty color I was going for. At first it was too purple/witchy so I re-carded.carded with more gray and aqua. I used almost two 4oz batts but in hindsight, it was a bit too much wool. (4-6 oz total would probably be plenty to create two thin layers. Fiber Art Batts, Landscape Batts, Pelts, and any Top Coat or Merino will work well.). I was going for two layers of wool on top of the Prefelt. I find batts easier on these large pieces because you can stretch out and arrange larger amounts at a time than pulling from thinner roving.
|This is the Witchy Before. I tried to arrange the batts somewhat crisscrossed and fanned around the edges.|
I treated the edges with some locks that we had that were somewhat felted together. I laid them over the prefelt a bit and under the edge of the top batts a bit so that they would wet felt into place. Some other edge options would be carefully arranged long locks, cut into the desired shape after felting and trim with stitching or trim, natural felted edge, needle felted fluffed lock "furry" edge, etc.
The hardest part of this project was finding a big enough wet felting set up. I used two pieces of our blue Pool Cover from our Wet Felting Kit with a supporting piece of Gortex underneath. Anything that can get wet and help support the Pool Cover when you roll it up will work. I had some large pieces of netting that my friend saved from a house she was cleaning out to use for the top (Yay to pack rats!). I also used one full length pool noodle; you could find a broom handle, pvc pipe, or any long skinny household item.
First I wet the whole thing down outside and gently made soapy circles with my hands to begin setting the wool. You can feel it become less squishy under your hands after 5 minutes or so.
Then I rolled up the layers around the pool noodle and tied it off. I then decided to work on a table. I rolled 100 times from all four directions for a total of 400.
Next I rinsed hot and cold. Back and forth several times, smooshing and banging it along the way, until all of the soap was out.
After the piece dried I began needle felting. First I used a layer of White Top Coat to establish the basic shapes of my design. Then I used Snow White Batt to cover the white and create the snowflakes (which by the way were a test of my commitment to the whole thing.) I used about 2 oz of white and less than 1 oz of Snow White for this design. I had to needle felt the lock edges in a few places.
At any point after felting and drying you can cut the slit and tree hole. Fold into 1/4s again and cut of the center tip. Start small, you can always cut more if it's not large enough. Then decide where you want to slit to be - perhaps find a less perfect part of the skirt so it will be towards the back.
When all of the needle felting was done, I ironed the entire skirt on high heat with steam to flatten and soften it. Our tree was cozy and pretty outfitted with this Winter Night Tree Skirt.
Anything goes! Any color, texture, design, even shape! Needle felt, quilt, embroider, bead, trim, embellish your project anyway that you can.
I have ideas for a second and also stockings!