Handmade Needle Felted Snowman Card
Upcycled Bottle Caps & Wool Roving Create this Unique Snowman
Although my favorite crafts usually involves wool and some type of felting, I have experimented with just about every craft out there. Having worked in the craft publishing industry for most of my professional career, I've come across so many neat techniques that I can't even begin to list them all and remember everything I've created over the last 15+ years.
Recently I've found recycling and upcycling to be a passion of mine when making crafts. I also like to incorporate unconventional materials together like these bottle caps used as the base for needle felted wool. One of the absolute best things about crafts is that it is the sky's the limit on what you can make and there is no right way if you end up with the results you want. Happy crafting and stay warm out there folks!
Choice of card with envelope
3 clean bottle caps
Strong, clear drying permanent glue
Tacky glue or thick white glue
Ultra fine silver glitter
Small sponge brush
Scrap felt or fabric for scarf
For the needle felting:
White, black and orange wool roving
Medium gauge felting needle
Foam pad for felting on
1 inch round cookie or polymer clay cutter
Craft Tips: Not into needle felting? That's okay! Simply adapt the interior of the bottle caps by using paper instead. Use a 1 inch wide circle punch to cut three pieces from white card stock for the snowman body. For the round eyes and buttons use either a 1/8th inch hole punch or standard whole punch and black card stock. Then freehand cut a mouth from black card stock and a triangle shape carrot nose from orange card stock. Glue your cut card stock pieces on the bottle caps to form the snowman. Once the glue dries, I recommend using a domed epoxy sticker to cover it or a clear drying sealer of some kind.
First needle felt the body circles for your snowman. Using a 1 inch round cookie or polymer clay cutter, lay it on a thick foam base and fill it full of white wool roving in crisscrossing layers. Then poke the wool repeatedly with a medium gauge felting needle to shape it into a small disk. Once the wool is felted firmly, remove the disk from the cutter containing it and carefully use your needle to shape the edges and smooth out the surface for a polished look. Repeat this process to make two more disks for three total, one for each body piece. (Technique Tip: Don't have a cookie cutter or polymer clay cutter to use? Simply use a permanent marker to draw a 1 inch round circle directly on your foam. Then felt inside of it for a guide. Or, freehand felt your disks until you get the size you want.)
Once you've felted the body disks, use black and orange wool roving to add the features. For the eyes, use a couple of very small pinches of black wool, roll to ball them up and felt in place. Do the same for the black buttons on the middle and last disks. Then use a small rolled pinch of black wool to add the mouth. For the carrot nose, pinch off a small amount of orange roving, roll between your fingers and felt lightly with the needle to shape into a cone. Then attach it at the cone base centered between the eyes. Use the photo below as a guide of where to put the snowman features or get creative and make him or her have a personality of their very own!
Prep your bottle caps by flattening them. (You can use clean, recycled bottle caps or purchase funky colored ones at the craft store like my lime green ones.) Lay the bottle caps, top up, on a sturdy surface that you don't mind hammering on. Then use your rubber mallet to gently hit the top of each bottle cap in a circular motion until the edges peel up all around. It should only take a few seconds of hammering per bottle cap top. (Technique Tip: A rug covered floor works great as a hammering surface. My 4 year old loved helping me with this part too!)
Glue the felted body pieces onto the flattened bottle caps. Use a strong, clear drying permanent adhesive for this and glue one disk centered on each bottle cap top. (I personally like Quick Hold adhesive by the same makers of E6000 for gluing felt to metal or other substances because it dries fast and holds well. I don't recommend it for use by children though so be sure an adult uses it.)
Now take a little time to add some bling to your card. With a sponge brush and Tacky or thick white glue, paint a small hill shape on the front of your card. Cover with ultra fine silver glitter. Then shake off the excess on a paper plate and put it back in your bottle for later (no waste here!). Set the card aside letting the glue dry for at least a few hours or until set well.While waiting for all that glue to dry, use a scrap piece of felt or other fabric to make your snowman's scarf. Cut about a 1/2 inch wide by 8 inch long strip. Then fold each end in half and cut on a diagonal to make those pretty v-shaped ends. Fold the entire strip in half and tie a knot about 1 inch down from the folded center. Set the scarf aside for now.
When everything is completely dry (which may be several hours later), use the strong, clear drying permanent adhesive like Quick Hold to attach the three snowman body pieces to the front of the card. See photo below for placement. Use a toothpick or paper towel if needed to wipe away excess glue. Also glue on the scarf leaving the ends unattached and only adhering the base above the knot. Now it is a waiting game again letting the card dry completely before packaging it to mail. I recommend letting it sit overnight.
Write a thoughtful note on the inside and package it well if mailing. Be sure to have it weighed at the Post Office too. Those bottle caps can make it heavier than your average card!