Felted garland and mantle reveal

I finished my felted garland over the weekend! Adam says it looks like an Easter decoration, but it reminds me of a string of Christmas lights. Either way, it's cute and colourful and easy to make. 

I tried the panty hose method (great tutorial here), which basically involves rolling your wool roving into balls by hand, putting them into a pair of panty hose and throwing them in the wash. I ran out of panty hose (you have to cut the balls out when they're done washing, so it's a good way to get rid of tights with runs or holes), so I also tried the hand-rolling method (see here), in which your hands act as the washing machine (think: roll, dip in water, roll, dip, roll, dip, roll, dip, and so on). When the balls were done, I used a large needle to thread them on a piece of twine and I hung them on the mantle using good-'ol-fashioned hot glue.

Rolling the balls by hand is definitely more time-consuming (I actually can't imagine rolling all of these by hand - my arms started to get tired after 5), but I found that you get a much rounder, smoother ball this way. The panty hose method is a lot faster, but the balls tend to come out with creases in them and I found I had to re-work a few of them by hand anyway. So, if you're a perfectionist and you've got time (or you're not making very many balls), I'd recommend the hand-rolling method. If you're making a lot of balls and you don't mind a few imperfections, try the panty hose method.

As you can see, I'm keeping the mantle pretty simple this year, but I put up a few other decorations this weekend (including our tree, which I can't wait to share) that help the room feel more festive. Have you started your Christmas decorating yet?


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