DIY Home: felt ball rug

How to make a round felt ball rug

{the supplies}

+ Fishing line {available from almost every hardware store and many supermarkets}

+ Scissors

+ A reasonably sharp needle with an eye large enough to thread the fishing line through {I used an upholstery needle from Spotlight}

+ 2cm felt balls of your chosen colour {I always order mine through Felt & Yarn, straight from Nepal – to make a rug approx 73cm {28 inches} in diameter I used approx 1000 2cm felt balls}

+ Thimble & rubber patch to help pull the needle through the felt balls {optional} {again from Spotlight}Felt ball rug image 11{the method}

Note: This DIY is a little bit difficult to explain, so bare with me – hopefully the pictures will help.  Some of the photos have been annotated to help explain the method.  White arrows and lines show where a step should be performed and pink arrows are simply pointing to an item to help you identify it and understand the method.

1. Prepare a length of fishing line. Take about 100cm of fishing line and tie multiple knots on top of each other at one end, to create a large enough knot so that the fishing line will not slide through the felt ball.  Cut the surplus fishing line after the knot so you have a neat end to the fishing line.Felt ball rug image 12

2. Create a string of felt balls. Thread the felt balls onto the fishing line, one by one.  The thimble and rubber patch may help here to protect your fingers as it can be reasonably difficult to pull the needle through each of the felt balls.  If you choose to use felt balls in multiple colours you can either simply choose a colour at random or choose to keep a specific order.  I place the felt balls in bags sorted by colour and choose them in a specific order.

2013-10-15 - Felt ball rug BLOG - copyright Catherine Wilson for catherine & grace092013-10-14 - Felt ball rug BLOG - copyright Catherine Wilson for catherine & grace083. Secure the string of felt balls.  Once you have strung 10-15 felt balls together, thread the fishing line back through the last 2 felt balls on the string and then return the fishing line through those same 2 felt balls {the aqua and pale blue balls in the photo below} so that some spare fishing line is sticking out from the end felt ball {this fishing line will be used in step 5}.Felt ball rug annotated image 1The photo below shows the first string of felt balls with spare fishing line sticking out of the end felt ball {the pale blue felt ball in this case}.2013-10-08 - Felt ball rug BLOG - copyright Catherine Wilson for catherine & grace014. Create the centre of the round felt ball rug.  Take the first string of felt balls and wind it around on itself to create a small round shape, which will be the centre of the felt ball rug.  Prepare another piece of fishing line {as per step 1} and thread the fishing line back and forth from one side of the round to the other so that the fishing line goes through each of the felt balls at least once to secure it tightly {see photos below}.2013-10-08 - Felt ball rug BLOG - copyright Catherine Wilson for catherine & grace02Felt ball rug annotated image 2Try to keep the fishing line inconspicuous, however don’t worry too much as the benefit of using clear fishing line is that, not only is it strong, it is not too noticeable once the rug is finished.

Tie a knot at the end of the fishing line and cut off the remainder of the fishing line so you have a neat round of felt balls, held tightly together.2013-10-08 - Felt ball rug BLOG - copyright Catherine Wilson for catherine & grace035. Add to the centre round to create your felt ball rug.  Take the spare fishing line that is sticking out from the end felt ball {the pale blue felt ball in the photo below} and thread the felt balls onto this length of fishing line, creating another string of felt balls.Felt ball rug annotated image 3Unlike the very first string of felt balls created in step 2, this string of felt balls, and all future strings of felt balls, will have their first felt ball already attached to the main round of the rug.  The photo below shows a string of felt balls I have created later in the process.  Each time you create a string of felt balls, add felt balls until the fishing line has about 10 cm remaining.Felt ball rug annotated image 8{6} Secure the string of felt balls.  Thread the fishing line back through the last 2 felt balls on the string {the grey and light blue balls in the photo below} and thread back and forth through a couple of felt balls to secure the string of felt balls.  Cut end of fishing line so that it is neat.Felt ball rug annotated image 52013-10-15 - Felt ball rug BLOG - copyright Catherine Wilson for catherine & grace15{7} Prepare a length of fishing line & attach the string to the round of the rug.  Prepare another length of fishing line in accordance with step 1.  The fishing line should be longer than the length of the string that needs to be attached.

Thread the fishing line through the last felt ball attached to the main round of the rug {the grey felt ball in the picture below}.Felt ball rug annotated image 6Secure the new string of felt balls to the growing round of felt balls by threading the fishing line through the row of felt balls on the outside of the round and then back through the new string of felt balls.Felt ball rug annotated image 7Felt ball rug annotated image 9Provided you cut your fishing line longer than the string of felt balls you had to attach, you will have some fishing line sticking out of the “last” felt ball that was secured to the round.

{8} Repeat until you have a rug of desired size.  Once again thread another 10-15 felt balls on this fishing wire {step 5} and secure it by threading the line back through the last 2 felt balls on the string {step 6}.  Prepare a new length of fishing line {longer than the length of the string you need to attach} and secure the felt balls to the round of the rug {step 7}.  Continue repeating steps 5, 6 & 7 until you have the size of rug you require.  At the very end simply secure the final string of felt balls to the round with the fishing line.

Essentially, once you get going, each length of fishing line you prepare will first be used to secure a string of felt balls to the round of the rug and then be the base on which to thread new felt balls on, to create a new string of felt balls.

Tip: during the construction process it is worthwhile keeping the rug relatively flat.  I simply left a pile of heavy coffee table books on the rug over night.2013-10-14 - Felt ball rug BLOG - copyright Catherine Wilson for catherine & grace079. Congratulate yourself {this is not an easy DIY}, style up your space and admire you creation!Felt ball rug annotated image 102013-10-17 - Felt ball rug BLOG - copyright Catherine Wilson for catherine & grace19I would love to hear from you if you have a go at following this tutorial – especially in terms of how I could make it easier to follow.  Please leave a comment or send me an email.

{the details}

+ Felt balls sourced from Felt & Yarn in Nepal

+ Other materials available from Spotlight

+ Styling & photography by catherine & grace {if you would like further details about any other items photographed, please contact me}

{the alternatives}

You can find more rug ideas on BobVila’s blog {which also features my DIY felt ball rug tutorial}.

Felt & Yarn and Felt Ball Rug can create a felt ball rug especially for you should you decide it may be easier to order one online {probably the sensible decision!}  The rugs produced by both companies are made in Nepal and can be customised in a variety of ways, including colour.


{Photo courtesy of Felt Ball Rug}

xx Catherine JPEG

A sneak peek into life as Little Miss…

I embarked on a change-up of Little Miss’ room this week.  The turquoise is out and its all grey and hot pink {the colour combo I have been obsessed with for as long as I can remember}.  There is a little reading nook where a fireplace used to be over 100 years ago and shelves for the books, low enough for my one year old to reach.  Hope she likes it…I think we still have a few more months until she can tell me herself!

{where she dreams…}

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{where she plays…}

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{where she reads…}


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{dress ups…}

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{other bits & pieces…}

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xx Catherine JPEG

{the details… where she sleeps}

* Cot – Stokke Sleepi Cot, in white, available from Baby Village

* Quilt – a catherine & grace DIY made with On Parade  Sarah Jane Studios fabric from her Children’s at Play range, available from Pink Door Fabrics at Etsy

* Rug – a catherine & grace DIY made from four Avoca floor rugs in diamond, purchased at Papaya

* Laundry hamper – purchased at Papaya

* Change table – Grotime Kimberly change table in white, purchased at Baby Bunting, customised by catherine & grace with crystal knobs from That Vintage Shop

* Long legged doll on lounge – purchased at Queen Street Pharmacy in Woollahra

* Floral cushion –  Royal Albert, in Polka Blue / Rose buds

* Pink bunny – Jellycat Bashful Rose Bunny {small}, available from Seed Heritage

* Doll in cot – Madeline doll, purchased at Jacadi

* Elephant mobile – Flensted mobile, purchased at Top 3 by Design {similar styles currently available}

{the details…where she plays}

* Book – The Elephant and the Bad Baby by Elfrida Vipont & Raymond Briggs, available from The Book Depository

* Shoes – pink Ralph Lauren ballet flats – customised with non slip sole by catherine & grace {see previous post}

* Rug, cot, toys & cushion – as above

* Little Miss’ outfit – a gift from her Nanna & Cotton On Kids grey hair clip

{the details…where she reads}

* Books

– Ruby Red Shoes by Kate Knapp purchased at Lesley McKay’s Bookshop in Woollahra

– Mummy’s Kisses by Paula Clark & Lisa Stewart available from Scholastic Australia

– The Things I Love about You by Trace Moroney available from David Jones

– Little Miss Austen (Baby Lit books) Pride & Prejudice: a counting primer by Jennifer Adams, available from The Book Depository

* White ballet shoes – a gift from a friend for my baby shower

* Dress form – child size mannequin purchased at That Vintage Shop

* Top – blush pink Chloe long sleeve t-shirt, purchased during the Harrods‘ Winter sales

* Skirt – grey Baby Dior skirt, purchased during the Harrods‘ Winter sales

* Cape – Fly Away with Me feather Tutu du Monde cape in mink, purchased at Papier D’Amour

* Charms & necklace – letter & heart charms from Tiffany & Co, gifts to Little Miss on her christening from her parents, godparents and my godparents

* Felt ball rug – a catherine & grace DIY made from felt balls sourced from Felt & Yarn in Nepal {stay tuned for an upcoming tutorial on this blog}

* Wooden stool – sourced at the Burrawang Easter Markets

* Soft fabric cubes – catherine & grace DIYs

* Plush sheep – purchased from Papaya

* Plush owl – a gift from Little Miss’ great Auntie

* Plush bunnies –  Jellycat Bashful bunnies in white and silver {medium}, available from Seed Heritage

* Pink cushion – fuchsia throw cushion, purchased at Spotlight

* Small cube with bird – purchased at Myer

* Grey print cushion – a catherine & grace DIY from fabrics purchased at Tessuti Fabrics

* Wooden book ends – purchased at Toys R Us

* Leopard print shoes – Love, Luck & Wonder leopard print hi-tops, purchased at Macleay on Manning

{the details…dress ups}

* Clip holder – a catherine & grace DIY {see this related post}

* Elephant – Zuny grey elephant bookend, similar styles available from Top 3 by Design

* Mini chest of 9 drawers – purchased at Bed Bath N Table

* Pale pink ballet flats – Armani Junior, customised by catherine & grace with felt balls

* Silver rattle – UK bobby {UK policeman} silver rattle from the London Silver Vaults

* Mini doll – Corolle Minireves mini doll, available from Kidstuff

* Pink & print dress on hanger – made by Little Miss’ Auntie from Liberty fabric

* Tutu on hanger – Upperclass Tutu du Monde tutu in off-white

* Sneakers – various, including from Cotton On Kids, Converse and Ralph Lauren

* Coathangers – 11″ kids white wooden hangers, available from My Coathangers

* Little Miss’ dresses – various, including dresses from Ralph Lauren, Jacadi, Baby Gap & Fred Bare

* Mother of pearl ceiling decoration – from my very first home, a gift from my Auntie

* Bunny – Jellycat Bashful bunnies in beige {medium}, available from Seed Heritage

* Book with bunny – This Little Piggy went to Prada: Nursery Rhymes for the Blahnik Brigade by Amy Allen, available from The Book Depository

* Headpiece – Little Miss’ headpiece from her christening {see styling on this related post} made from my wedding veil {see this post}

* Silver bear – Wedgwood London Bear tooth box, a christening gift

* Box {under silver bear} – Maileg Mouse in a box, available from Down That Little Lane

* Book stand – cook book holder, gift to me from my Aunt & Uncle

* Book on book stand – Christian Lacroix and the tale of Sleeping Beauty (A Fashion Fairytale Memoir)  by Christian Lacroix and Camilla Morton available from The Book Depository

* Paper decoration – paper pom-poms in grey & fuchsia, available from Papier D’Amour

* Clock – turquoise clock, purchased at Spotlight

* Mini elephant – silver elephant, from the London Silver Vaults, a christening gift from Little Miss’ paternal grandparents

* Coathanger – padded coathanger, purchased at The Little White Company

* Cross stitch – “Isabella” cross stitch, a gift on Little Miss’ birth from one of my cousins

* White dress – Purebaby dress, a gift from Little Miss’ godfather

*Animal print – Picasso drawings print, purchased at Ikea

* Lounge – Newport sofa, available from Domayne

* Pillow – fuchsia textured pillow, purchased at Spotlight

* Throw rug – white Ikea throw rug, customised by catherine & grace using pom-pom trim from No Chintz

Please note: “availability” relates to the time of writing, October 2013, however I endeavour to update availability on these posts.  Please do let me know if you find any difficulty sourcing a product referred to in my posts. 

DIY Home: fabulous fabric and the $15 ottoman

One of the most useful things we purchased when we had our Little Miss was a “nappy caddy” which holds nappies, cream, nappy bags and other bits and pieces.  We can carry it around the house and change our little wriggle monster where ever she is.  However, as you can imagine, this item is not super stylish and not the type of thing I like to have on display.  So…I needed a storage solution and preferably one that was quick, easy and cheap.  A $15 storage ottoman from Officeworks seemed to fit the bill.  However, it needed a bit of a style up.  Here is how I did it…

How to cover a faux leather ottoman with fabric

The supplies:

* Plain storage ottoman

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* Fabric – enough to cover the ottoman.  A strong cotton canvas or other upholstery fabric is best.

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* Fabric scissors

* Staple gun & staples.  I used this battery operated Bosch staple gun, however a heavy duty tacker gun (similar to this one from Bunnings) is likely to also do the trick, depending on your strength and the materials the ottoman is made of)

Staple gun

* Cotton tape – at least 2.5cm wide (optional)

Cotton tape pink

* Glue gun (optional)

Glue gun

* Scotchgard, or similar spray fabric protector (optional)


The method:

1. Cut fabric for the lid. Place the ottoman lid on the fabric and cut around with a generous margin that will allow you to wrap the fabric around each edge and attach it to the inside.  Tip: place the fabric so the “good side” is showing so that you can see approximately what print will show on the ottoman’s lid.  Make sure you turn the fabric over before you start to “wrap” the lid so that the good side of the fabric ends up on the outside!

Fabric covered ottoman04

2. Attach fabric on two opposite sides of the lid.  Wrap the fabric around one edge of the lid (see notated photo below for what I am calling “the edge”).  Using the staple gun, attach the fabric to the inside of that edge.   Repeat for the opposite edge.

The edge

Stapled lid1

3. Attach fabric on the remaining opposite edges. Fold the fabric as if you are wrapping a gift and wrap the fabric around the edge.  Attach fabric to the inside of the edge using the staple gun.  Repeat on opposite edge.  Your lid will now be covered.

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4. Cut out a strip of fabric to cover the base of the ottoman.  Your next strip of fabric will need to be wide enough to cover the side of the ottoman and, ideally, it will be long enough to wrap around the ottoman once with a bit of an overlap to make a neat join.  However, if your piece of fabric is not long enough simply follow the instructions in step 6 and use overlapping pieces of fabric.

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5. Wrap and staple.  Wrap the fabric around the ottoman and attach it to the inside of the ottoman using the staple gun. as you wrap.  Tip: For a neater join, start the fabric halfway across the side of the ottoman, rather than at a corner.

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6. Create a neat join.  Continue to wrap and attach the fabric to the inside of the ottoman until your fabric wraps all the way around and overlaps the beginning of the fabric.   To create a neat join, simply fold over the edge of the remaining fabric and attach with the staple.

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Fabric covered ottoman17

Fold over hem

7. Grab a friend. If your ottoman has a softish base, like mine, for this next part I advise asking a friend for help.  However, if the ottoman’s base is sturdy you should be able to continue without help.

8. Attach the fabric to the base of the ottoman. Turn your ottoman upside down.  Once again wrap the fabric over the lip of the side and hold tight while a friend aims the staple gun and attached the fabric (thanks husband and brother-in-law for helping me out so I could take a picture!)  You will now have a covered ottoman.

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8. Optional – cover the staples with some cotton tape.  To keep the join between the stapled fabric and the ottoman neat I decided to glue some simple cotton tape over the join and staples.  Completely optional and, obviously, once the lid is closed you can not even see it!  Glue down the cotton tape along the join using a glue gun.  Tip: Start the cotton tape in the middle of the side of the ottoman for a neater join.

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9. Optional – Create a neat join.  To create a neat join cut the cotton tape in an arrow shape, as shown below.  Fold the arrow shape under itself and glue down.

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10. Optional – protect the fabric. Spray your ottoman with Scotchgard or similar spray fabric protector.  I recommend two coats.  Tip: spray protectors have a horrible odour so its best to spray outdoors.

11. Admire your newly covered ottoman!

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The details – project:

* Ottoman – Storage ottoman, white ($15), Officeworks

* Fabric – we used the gorgeous dot fabric from Edit (look out for their pop up store at Shop 1, 92 Queen Street Woollahra) in cotton canvas, however any cotton canvas or upholstery fabric would work well.

* Staple gun – a variety of staple guns are available from most hardware stores, in Australia your best bet is Bunnings.

* Cotton tape – fuchsia 1.5 inch cotton tape, purchased from No Chintz, also available from Spotlight for around AU$1.50 per metre.

* Glue gun and stick glue – similar available from Spotlight.

* Spray fabric protector – Scotchgard, available from most hardware stores.

The details – photos:

* Nappy caddy – b.Box Essential Nappy Caddy ($69.95), available from Baby Village.

* Chevron mat – bath mat, West Elm (used as a door mat at our back door).

* Armchairs – Oz Design Furniture.

* Throw cushions (from left) – catherineandgrace DIY using Edit giraffe fabric; Edit cushion in Edit dots fabric; Edit cushion in Edit giraffe fabric.

* Throw rug – chunky tassel throw in Blue Fin, West Elm.

* Silver flats – Belle by Sigerson Morrison, purchased at Quincy.

* White tray – rattan square tray from The Design Hunter, customised by catherineandgrace.

* Magazines – Autumn and Winter 2013 issue of fete magazine, Fete Press.

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