I make a lot of items using felt flowers and get several questions on how I make my flowers or where I get my felt…so here are all the answers (and you can also find all of these items and more in my Amazon lists: The Little Rose Shop Amazon Craft Supplies!!
I’ve discovered that not all felt is created equal. For instance the more wool in the felt, the more durable and the longer it lasts without getting pills in it. I used cheap craft felt for this fabric doll’s hair and look at all the pills…nicer felt will not do this.
So far I think the best crafting felt comes from Hobby Lobby or Benzie Design felt which can be purchased on their website OR on amazon. (Pro-tip: Their website is typically cheaper!)
Recently Hobby Lobby and Joanns started selling quality wool felt by the yard but their colors are still very limited. Keep in mind…not all felt is made equal, so if you are getting felt by the yard make sure you find the most expensive felt (I know, I know). The “craft felt” is bad quality (think kid crafts). Next is their “premium felt” which will do, but the best felt is the “wool/rayon” felt blend. Obviously get what meets your needs. If you need stuff for the kids go crazy with the craft felt (plus it’s cheap), but when it comes to my decorative felt crafts, I opt for the nicer felt.
The next tools I will share are used for felt flowers are AMAZING!! However, these tools are for the crafter that sees themself doing A LOT of felt floral crafts. If you are just doing one or two projects you should not get these because they are a little more pricey for a simple DIYer but if you plan to be doing a lot with felt it is totally worth the investment and your cutting hand will thank you!
The first investment is the Sizzix Big Shot. This is a heavy duty die cutter that you can crank multiple sheets of felt through and it will cut them all at once. This is AMAZING if you can find the right dies* to match your needs. There are many flower die cuts out there so floral felt projects just became that much easier!
*Dies are the templates that are needed to crank through the Sizzix machine. They have come in different designs and have sharp edges in them that cut your material when it gets sandwiched into the machine.
When looking for die cuts, be sure to find ones that are labeled for a Sizzix, usually called “Bigz” dies. These are meant for the thicker materials like fabric and felt. Here’s some of my favorite and most used die cuts:
It’s become evident now more than ever how important building the “domestic church” is. This time of quarantine and isolation has tested our family in being the first educators of the Faith for our children in a way that I didn’t realize was so necessary.
Suddenly with the absence of being able to attend Mass we had to make sure we made Sunday’s a holy day set apart from the others way more than we had been.
Suddenly without the aid of religious education classes we had to come up with our own ideas of tying in liturgical seasons and holidays in a more meaningful way.
I’ve never been more thankful for the connections with other Catholic artisans that I’ve made through social media than now. With Easter Masses being canceled and having to truly navigate Holy Week more independantly I relied on so many printables and Catholic items from other makers.
The quarantine has oddly brought me a lot of peace for my shop and I’ve felt so affirmed in my mission of bringing catholic toys and items into your homes. It’s important now more than ever that we rise to the challenge of being leaders of our domestic churches and support one another.
The Catholic community is truly amazing and I love how much we have rallied together during this time to continue strengthening our own little domestic churches in new ways.
Because of my gratitude for all those who have continued to support my shop or provide amazing tools for liturgical living, I wanted to do my part in offering encouragement during this time with a free printable.
After experiencing my own unplanned pregnancy and later working at a crisis pregnancy resource center everything that I ever thought about being pro-life completely changed. I realized that before I got some perspective, I actually wasn’t very pro-life at all. Yes, I believed that abortion was wrong, so in that sense I was pro-life, but now I know better. Being pro-life does not JUST mean you are against abortion, and that you want to save the lives of the innocent unborn. Yes, that is of course a very fundamental part of being pro-life, but there is so much more to it, and if we fail to miss these other key aspects, then we actually fail to be truly pro-life.
Protecting and defending life is an all encompassing call. It is not just about the babies, it is about their mothers, their fathers, and their families. Yes, people need to speak for the unborn when they don’t have a voice, but if that is the primary focus, we are completely missing the mark. Hello….the mother is the one who ultimately decides the fate of her child, so if we aren’t pursuing the healing, and genuine interest of her life, then we are utterly failing.
In fact, if I’m completely honest, when I was in the midst of my unplanned pregnancy, the slogans out there like “abortion makes you the mother of a dead child” “quit killing babies” made me resent the pro-life movement. For the woman in the crisis (THE VERY WOMEN THAT ARE CONSIDERING ABORTION, THE WOMEN WE NEED TO REACH THE MOST) this is a huge mistake.
Why might you ask?
Well, it is simple.
When you only focus on saving the life of the baby, you fail to acknowledge something very important…..and that is, that the mother’s life needs to be saved too. Did we already forget that the very women who find themselves in unplanned pregnancies and who are considering abortion are very broken, afraid, and alone? They need some serious, genuine love and support. But, quite frankly, when there is all this hollering for the babies….the woman in the crisis thinks she is forgotten.
She thinks everyone just cares about the baby, no one cares about her.
She is desperately crying out, “No one cares about how traumatically my life has changed, no one cares about my future, no one cares about my dreams, no one cares about helping me!”
We CANNOT forget about the mothers, fathers, and families of the unborn.
1) Volunteer at or financially support Pregnancy Resource Centers. These are places that offer FREE services like pregnancy tests, and ultrasounds to women as well as options counseling. They typically offer parenting classes and provide real life resources for women who choose life. They are actively working to help the woman and her family before, during, and after the birth of her child. They also don’t just stop at helping women who choose life…they also provide healing and counseling programs for the women who have been hurt by abortion.
2) Offer up your home to single women who are pregnant and may need a safe haven. Some girls that choose life are kicked out of their own homes, or they are so ashamed and embarrassed that they need a safe place to be.
3) Change the language! A big reason women are choosing abortion is simply because they are afraid of what people will think or say if they find out they got pregnant. (This was my biggest fear!) This means, create a culture of life, instead of death and gossip. Instead of saying “Did you hear who got pregnant?” say “Did you hear who chose life?” Wow…what a different way to approach the same topic. One is gossip driven, and one is life affirming and compassionate.
Another simple thing to do is compliment pregnant women…(this goes for ANY pregnant woman). Often times if a woman appears to be young, pregnant, and without a ring on her finger, she gets stares. And those stares are cruel. So, instead of staring, tell her how beautiful she looks. Single, unmarried pregnant women are not affirmed enough on their worth, which is why it is so challenging to choose life.
4) If you are parents….when you have “the talk” with your daughter, explicitly tell her something like this, “I hope you are never in this situation, but you NEED to know that if you ever found yourself pregnant, we will still LOVE YOU and will do everything we can to support you, don’t ever be afraid that we won’t be there for you if that happens.” Explicitly tell her that if she finds herself pregnant you will support her and LOVE her. I “knew” that was the case with my parents, but they never explicitly said that, so the devil planted seeds of doubt and made me question whether or not they would support me…and when you doubt that, it makes it so much easier to rationalize an abortion.
5) Offer to babysit! Single moms need help!!! If we are to be pro-life and not let single moms and their children slip into poverty we need to help them by offering childcare so they can work, or finish school to provide for their family and get on their feet. I know if my family didn’t help me with watching AvaMarie, I would not have been able to graduate college.
If we actually address the real reasons behind abortion (fear of judgment, lack of love and support, lack of resources, culture of sexism) Women would stop getting abortions because they would know they are supported and loved!!! Women in unplanned pregnancies would no longer think of themselves as screw-ups and would instead receive healing and recovery through a REAL culture of life.
I’ve seen and experienced the FEAR of being judged or unloved as the primary factor in abortion, and these tips would hopefully eliminate that fear.
If we are to fight for the unborn, we are to fight for the mothers just as much! Love them both!
Life is beautiful. The unborn life is beautiful AND the mothers life is beautiful.
Check out this shirt design to help spread a more positive culture of life and dignity…available in the Etsy Shop
One of the most meaningful gifts I have ever received was a spiritual bouquet. I had never even heard of it until I received dozens of amazing prayers and offerings written on cards for me during my baby shower from my college friends. At the time I was about to become a single mom and was terrified. The gift from my beautiful friends brought me to tears and it is something I will treasure forever because it overwhelmed me with peace.
This tutorial was inspired by them and their beautiful hearts. I know that their spiritual offerings made a difference in my life on a profound level. This is a simple and easy way to give these gifts and have a printable that can be reused as many times as you want.
First of all, you don’t need to turn these printable cards into a “bouquet”, you can always just give them as is, but I like the visual aspect of turning them into a “bouquet”.
(Tip: I found all my supplies at the Dollar Tree and spent $4!)
Step 1: Prep the pot
Cut the craft foam so it fits in your pot.
Step 2: Prep the Cards
Print the free printables and cut out the cards. (You can color them before if you like!) Choose the cards that apply to your bouquet-you can print doubles of certain cards if needed! Fill out the cards and tape them to a wooden dowel.
Step 3: Put it all together
Stick the dowels into the crafting foam and cover with the crinkle paper. Sometimes a little hot glue is helpful!
I hope this gift can be reused over and over again, because it is a truly amazing gift.
If you are interested in other Spiritual Bouquet Printables, I have some in my Etsy Shopfor purchase. There are many more options and different styles, I hope you enjoy!!
Start by getting a clean and protected area to work on since you will using stain and paint!
Sand your wood and wipe it down for staining! Stain all sides of the centerpiece.
Once the stain has dried, choose one side for the chalkboard paint. You will need to do a couple layers of paint to make sure it works well. I chose to have a rough edge, but if you like clean lines you can use some painters tape to make a perfect rectangle.
While the paint is drying you can print and trace the crown cutouts representing the 3 Kings. This is a free download (see the supplies section for the link!)
Then you will mod podge these to the opposite side of the centerpiece. Be sure to paint a layer of mod podge then lay the crowns down and then paint another layer of mod podge on top of the crowns to seal them.
Once it’s dry, you are done! Now all there is to do is the chalk blessing on the day of the Epiphany!
Here’s a short excerpt from Aleteia (full article with the blessing is here)
Take the blessed chalk and first write the initials of the three Wise Men, connected with Crosses, over the inside of your front door (on the lintel, if possible). Then write the year, breaking up the numbers and the year so that they fall on both sides of the initials. It should look like this, for example
20 C+M+B 20
with the “20 “being the millennium and century, the “C” standing for the first Wise Man, Caspar, the “M” standing for Melchior, the “B” standing for Balthasar, and the “20” standing for the decade and year. It is also popularly believed that the Kings’ initials stand for “Christus mansionem benedicat” (“Christ bless this house”).
For those of you who didn’t see my post on hosting a Catholic Saint Peg Doll Swap, the details on how to do it are Here
But…it was awesome, and I ended up with tons of little keepsake wooden, hand painted Saints for the little girl to play with (and hopefully learn about as I try to create our little Domestic Church at home).Continue reading “Peg Doll Box”