Introduction: Modular Felt Jewelry
When it comes to designing, I love creating fashion items that give the wearer options. These felt bracelets and rings do just that. With binder screws and felt sheep's wool, you can make these simple and colorful accessories either for yourself or they would make a great gift!
Step 1: Modular Felt Jewelry
Step 2: Materials
Choose Your Felt
This is my favorite part, choosing the colors to make the bracelets from. Choose 3 - 5 different colors for a colorful look or cut a lot of one or two colors to stack up and make simple color block patterns with. Either way, they will turn out cute.
Choosing Your Binder Screws
Choose the length of your binder screws based on how many layers you want to stack the bracelets. The felt is 3mm, which is about 1/8" thick. Two bracelets = 1/4", three = 3/8" and so on.
You can find these at the hardware store, I found them made from steel (heaviest), aluminum (lightest) and bronze that have a nice gold look.
List of Materials
- 1/8 - 1/4 yard of 3mm 100% wool felt of various colors
- Binder screws and posts in various sizes
- Measuring tape
- Access to a laser cutter**
- Mild detergent
- Small brush (nail brush, spare tooth brush)
**OR an x-acto knife with a bunch of fresh x-acto blades. This 'ible will be going over how to laser cut them, but they can be hand cut too.
Step 3: Prep Felt and Test Laser Settings
Wool steams beautifully, so you can steam out any creases in your felt. It's important that the felt is flat before cutting, so the laser focus is accurate. Cut some smaller pieces to fit in the laser cutter and to make it more manageable to work with.
Place a small piece of felt in the laser for a test cut.
On a Epilogue 120 Watt laser the settings I found work are:
Power 3%, Speed 3%, Frequency 15
Depending on your laser, you may need to tweak the numbers. The idea is to get a low amount of burning and charring around the edges.
Once you know that your settings are good, you are ready to move on to the final pieces!
Step 4: Open and Edit Files
Download the attached file and use it as a guideline or final design.
To get a sense of what the diameter should be, measure around the widest part of your hand while holding all the tips of your fingers together. Mine was 8.25".
Circumference(8.25") x π (3.14) = Diameter (2.62)
The bracelet in attached file has a diameter of 2.625 (2 5/8"). The smaller holes are .25" to fit the binder screws.
You can delete some of the binder holes for a simpler look or get rid of them all together! As well as widen the bracelet and scale it to any size you like.
Do the same for a finger. Wool is soft, so it will conform nicely to a given diameter if you are off a couple millimeters.
Step 5: Cut!
Lay down a piece of felt on the laser bed. You can cut and paste many cut files in a row to cut at one time.
Once you take the felt out, you will get that wonderful burning hair smell. It's not toxic, it just smells foul.
Use a sharp blade to complete any cuts that failed to get through some fibers. Felt is not perfectly even, each sheet will differ from one another, so sometimes clean-up cuts are necessary.
Step 6: Wash and Dry!
Take your freshly cut, and thoroughly stinky felt over to a sink.
If you have a small plastic bin, fill it with some cold water, drop some detergent and the felt cuts in and swish around. The water will turn brown from the initial charred bits falling off. Drain the bin, refill and do a quick rinse.
Grab a small brush, I used a nail brush, wet it and use it to scrub the edges. A few quick brushes should take off any burnt material. Take the pieces out of the bin and give them a quick rinse once more, making sure all the soap has come out.
Put the pieces on a towel, fold the towel over and press hard to squeeze excess water out.
Leave to air dry, preferably on a rack. If you don't have a rack, turn them over after an hour or two, so the bottoms get to air out.
Step 7: Assemble!
This is the fun part and entirely up to you as far as what colors go with what and how thick you want you want the bracelet and ring to be.
Take the chosen colors of the ring and bracelet cuts with some binder screws and start assembling them. The binder screws should push right through the 1/4" holes that you cut at the corners of the bracelets and at the top of rings.
These designs also look great without adding the binding screws. That's the beauty of it, there are many ways ot enjoy them.
Mix and match colors to your liking!