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Sew Girl
"Over the years I have made several of these. Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you that these boxes -when used in the pictured position- are not strong enough on their own to hold very many books or magazines for very long. Eventually they will sag and become an eyesore. Preventing the eyesore from happening is simple - turn the boxes on their side once they are completed, and Voila! They are an EXCELLENT way to wrangle in all that clutter and chaos we often find throughout our home and office. There is also another way to make them strong and that is to REINFORCE THEM. Personally, I like to do this when I need to use the boxes for flimsier items like loose papers that have a tendency to curl on their edges if stored on their sides or when not packed tightly. Reinforcing the boxes means you can put a lot more weight into them even while they are laying flat like they are in the picture. I reinforce my boxes with a very thin wood that can be purchased at almost any hardware store - it is called Louon (my spelling is probably off but it is pronounced LEW-ON). It is very cost-effective and extremely easy to work with. Add to this that it is VERY VERSATILE and you have a great solution to making even very flimsy projects much more stable. I hope this helps! BTW USPS boxes are legal to use BUT ONLY if you PURCHASED them OR they are USED. IF you are thinking about using new boxes that were FREE from the USPS Priority Mail Services - then you would be breaking the law. New FREE Boxes MUST be used only for Mail. Boxes that are Purchased or Used should be OK."

Colorful Holiday Felted Ornaments

By: Debra Quartermain for Styrofoam Brand Foam

These Colorful Holiday Felted Ornaments can be used to add a festive touch to your holiday decor.  Hang them on your tree or arrange them in a basket or hurricane jar for a festive and colorful mantel or table decoration.  Mix and match your favorite colors to create an assortment of handmade ornaments that are sure to brighten up your home.

Colorful Holiday Felted Ornaments

Materials:

  • 5 (2 1/2") STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam Balls
  • Bright wool fiber (roving): yellow; pink; red; blue; green
  • Ribbon or cording (optional)
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Rubber bands
  • Scissors
  • Needlefelting tool
  • Low-temp glue gun and glue sticks (optional)

 

Instructions:
Use photo as a guide; instructions begin with green polka-dot ball at upper right and continue clockwise. Note: Felting needles are extremely sharp; use caution and follow manufacturer's instructions to ensure safety.

  1. Wrap first foam ball with small amount of green roving. Attach fiber to surface using needlefelting tool; continue felting fiber to foam until completely covered. Make three 1/2" circles of each roving color, except green, and felt to surface as shown.
     
  2. For second foam ball, make three 1-1/2" circles of each roving color. Needlefelt circles to ball in rough hexagon pattern, overlapping each color 1/8" and alternating colors around ball.
     
  3. Place four rubber bands around third foam ball, dividing it into eight equal vertical segments. Mark lines with pencil and remove rubber bands. Needlefelt small amounts of pink and green roving to alternating sections.
     
  4. Wrap fourth foam ball with small amount of blue roving. Needlefelt fiber to surface until completely covered. Pull nine 3" pieces from yellow roving. Place pieces in swirl patterns on surface of ball; needlefelt in place.
     
  5. Wrap last foam ball with small amount of blue roving. Needlefelt fiber to surface until completely covered. Pull three thin 8" pieces each from red and pink roving. Needlefelt alternating stripes to ball from top to bottom;  stripes should be evenly spaced. Repeat with four 8" yellow pieces, alternating stripes between red and pink. Pull two 8" pieces each from pink and green roving. Wrap around ball in opposite direction; needlefelt to surface. Repeat with three 8" yellow lengths, one stripe around center and one at each end.
     
  6. If hanging balls on tree, cut 5" ribbon or cord length. Use scissors tip to poke small hole into top of ball. Knot ribbon ends and glue knot into hole.
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