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Sunday
Feb062011

Molly's Sketchbook: Felt Ball Trivets

Felt Balls are such fun, versitile objects. You can make them into all kinds of cheerful projects, from garlands, to necklaces. We recently started carrying pre-made felt balls, in a bunch of useful sizes and beautiful colors. Having the felt balls pre-made opens up a whole new world of quick projects.

We brainstormed and came up with these ultra-simple, ultra-cute trivets. They take absolutely no time to make and use only one package of twleve pre-made felt balls. Essentially they are just a ring of felt balls, strung together with lovely contrasting Trio silk and wool yarn. The yarn is tied into neat french knots in-between each ball, like a string of pearls, so that it's contrasting color shows though just a bit. The technique could easily be adapted to make necklaces, bracelets or even garlands.

The ring might seem a little floppy, like a necklace or bracelet rather than a traditional trivet, but it becomes a remarkably stable platform once a circular object, like a teapot, is placed on it. You can make these to fit any circular bottomed dishes you may have and they also work under a larger rectangular dish as well (although they won't show as much.)

Materials

To make one trivet with up to a 4-inch diameter. You can make these to fit any dish with a diameter up to 4-inches wide. Simply fit the trivet under the dish as you go to make sure you have sewn on the correct amount of felt balls :

Stringing the Felt Balls

The felt balls are strung along the yarn with French knots in between them so that the pretty Trio yarn shows through in between them.

Cut a 40-inch length of yarn.

Make a knot by looping the end of the yarn around itself twice as shown above.

Pull this knot tight, leaving a 5-inch tail at the end of the yarn.

Thread non-tail end of the yarn through the felt needle. Pull the needle through the center of the first felt ball by twisting the needle side to side as you push through the ball.

Pull the ball to the end of the yarn, stopping at the knot.

To tie the French knot after the first felt ball twist the working yarn (not the tail) around the needle three times just at the point that the yarn comes out of the felt ball as shown above. Pull these wraps tightly against the needle and the top of the felt ball.

And then pull the needle through the wraps.

To keep the knot laying tightly against the felt ball keep your thumb on top of the wraps as you pull the needle through.

Once you pull the knot tight it should lay neatly at the top of the felt ball. You may want to practice this step a few times before you go on.

Thread the second felt ball onto the yarn in the same manner, and tie a French knot in the same way at its top.

String all the felt balls together in this manner until, when you form the string into a ring, you have your desired diameter. Do not tie a knot after the last felt ball.

Finishing the Trivet

 

To make the string of felt balls into a circle pull the needle through the first felt ball in the same direction that you originally pulled it though.

Pull the circle closed and tie a simple one loop knot with the working yarn around the very first knot.

Then thread the needle through the tail and push it through the last felt ball you strung. Tie a simple one loop knot around your last knot using the tail.

Pull the tail and the working yarn through adjacent felt balls and snip the ends of the yarn to hide them.

You're all done!

You can do this for any size trivet, or even make them into necklaces or bracelets!

Reader Comments (12)

I adore this idea!! Thanks so much for sharing.
February 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda Pendley
What a clever and unique idea ! I plan to give these as a gift. It will fun to see if the recipient can guess what they are before I tell her..!
February 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristine
Excellent idea! I love these trivets - I too was just thinking about people trying to figure out what they are! Funny stuff!!! What a great addition to my handmade gift list this year!!
February 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJessica
This is such a great idea, I have a tiny teapot that would look fantastic on one of these.

One question: in my sewing kit, I have a needle labelled "sack needle" which has a bent and chiseled tip and looks very similar to the "felt" needle you use here. Do you know if these are interchangeable? I have never before found a use for this needle and I wonder if this is what it is for!
February 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGabrielle
Hi Gabrielle-

Thanks for your question. I had never heard of a sack needle but I looked it up and it seems like it might work. It would certainly be worth a try. Please let us know how it goes.

- Molly
February 7, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Great idea! I have two plants that could use plant coasters under them. Soooo ... felt ball plant coasters, it is! :)
February 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJenn P
I just finished making one of these, and it really was easy. I'm not the most patient or talented crafter in the world, but I found it a lovely little evening project while listening to the radio. I will be giving the trivet to a friend for a birthday present on Friday, I'm sure she will love it. Thanks very much for the idea.
March 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPolly
When visiting my sister I noticed she didn't have any trivet, so I wanted to offer her one. Then I remembered this great and easy idea you shared. Just one hour, for this Christmas gift, I love this!
November 13, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlilixlabaleine
These are ADORABLE! On my list for next year's Christmas gifts!
January 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJenny
I love this idea! It is so simple, yet absolutely brilliant!
January 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBeth J. Beal
I've tried and tried to do the french knot...even went to a quilting store for help. Because the person got a knot in my thread, she had me practice with a regular needle and thread. It worked there, although I couldn't get the knot at the base of the fabric scrap.

Now I'm home again and when I pull the needle through the wrap, it just all unwraps because there's nothing to hold it together. I'm wrapping the thread at the base of the ball, holding it with my thumb then pushing the needle on through without doing anything else. Am I missing something? Help!
December 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJ.
Hi J-

Maybe you can check out our French Knot tutorial? If you still have questions please let us know!

Molly
December 16, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

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