Blue Wave Beaded Felt Ornament

About: Felt and sequins for the resistance.

A celebration of Democrats winning the House in the 2018 Midterms.

The blue wave icon we've all been using in our messages and tweets for two years can now be hung on your Christmas tree, looped around the neck of a bottle of the good stuff, or otherwise bestowed on someone who worked hard to make it happen. There are two versions - the quick and easy glued version, or the sewn and beaded version.

Materials:

Either version:

  • Royal blue felt
  • Turquoise felt
  • Light blue felt
  • White felt
  • Braid or ribbon for hanging loop
  • Label sheet (Avery 8126) or plain paper for template

Glued version:

  • Glue (I used Tacky Glue)

Sewn and beaded version:

  • Clear silver-lined seed beads
  • 5mm sequins: Royal blue, turquoise, light blue, white, clear iridescent (if you don't have all of these, don't panic, you can make it work!). Mine were bought in a multicolor assortment from Amazon, after I discovered that my new town is a sequin desert. Apparently people here only buy 8mm gold sequins, I don't get it.
  • Thread - white and black are adequate, if you have something that closely matches the royal blue felt, even better, but don't not do it because you only have black and white thread. It will be ok.
  • A needle small enough to pass through your seed beads.

Step 1: Print the Template and Cut the Felt

Printing the template on label paper makes cutting out the shapes much easier. The templates are reversed so that the labels are on the wrong side of the fabric. If there's any fuzziness from removing the labels, it will be hidden.

Alternately, you can print the template on paper and use the patterns by pinning them to the fabric. This way is less precise and more annoying, but worth trying if you don't have labels. You can also print the template on cardstock and trace the shapes onto the felt with a Sharpie or chalk, being careful to cut out inside of the line so you don't have surprising colors on the edges of your ornament.

OK! So you’ve printed your labels and cut apart the pieces and stuck them to your felt and cut the shapes out. Remove the labels as you use each piece. There will not be any labels on the finished ornament.

Cut a piece of braid or ribbon around 7" long for the hanging loop.

Step 2: GLUED Version

Test the stack first to be sure you know where everything goes. Royal blue on the bottom, then turquoise, then white and light blue on top of the turquoise.

Fold your hanging loop in half and glue it to the center of the front of the royal blue piece, where it will be covered by the turquoise piece (see pic). Check the edges and dab more glue if needed. Finished! If you want to put some glitter glue on there to jazz it up a bit, I'm not going to stop you.

Step 3: SEWN & BEADED Version

The felt pieces are the same as the glued version, except that you need an extra royal blue piece to use as a backing. Set it aside for now, you will bead the other four pieces.

I don't stitch the pieces down, I just stack the pieces and start sewing sequins on. This is probably not how it is done in the top couture houses in Paris, but I'm using felt made out of recycled plastic so really that's not a concern for me.

(side note: I did try this in swanky wool felt, but preferred the vibrancy of the synthetic stuff. Wool felt sometimes just looks embarrassed by all the sequins.)

Sequins

The good news is that you can't really screw this up, at least not easily. Your ornament can have lots of sequins or you can be more minimalist and just use a few of them. Sequins don't really reward restraint, though. To sew on a sequin, bring the thread up from the back, slip the needle through the sequin and a seed bead, and then go back through the hole in the sequin and the felt. Repeat x 1000.

You can follow the sequin placement in the photo, or go off on your own and do something amazing. Basically I matched the sequin color to the felt and more-or-less outlined each felt shape. I added some solo beads on pointy areas that were too narrow for a sequin but would be floppy if they weren't tacked down.

I like to use white thread for all of the sequins that are in the turquoise/white/light blue area, and black or dark blue for ones in the royal blue area and for sewing the two royal blue shapes together. tl;dr: dark thread for dark sequins and light thread for light sequins.

Finishing

First, sew the ribbon or braid hanging loop onto the back of the main royal blue piece (the one with the thread barf on the back - try not to go through all of the layers so the stitches will not be visible from the front.

Remember the extra royal blue piece? It's showtime. Match the extra royal blue piece to the back of the beaded wave, covering the thread barf and the bottom of the hanging loop. Whipstitch around the edge of the ornament, using dark thread.

Finished!

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