Since last year, I’ve started reviewing artsy books, and somehow, I got sucked into stitching.
What Is ‘Felt Menagerie’?
Felt Menagerie by Abby Glassenberg is a DIY for stitching stuffed faux taxidermy animal heads.
It’s designed for kids who know how to do some basic stitching, (such as blanket stitch, whipstitch and satin stitch), and are ready to take one step further towards making their own stuffed creations.
Felting is fairly easy to learn, and these creations really can be completed over a weekend. The kit includes a book for ten different felting projects, ranging from a cute deer, bear, moose, to more geeky and unexpected types of heads such as the unicorn and the triceratops.
I didn’t really care for the faux taxidermy part, and have only mounted the triceratops (who now stares at us proudly from my son’s bedroom door), but I LOVED the heads, as they can be used as props for marionettes, or as interesting details for stuffed airplane pillows or whimsical arks.
Felt Menagerie comes with everything you might need for creating two different projects, that includes:
A sewing needle
2 pairs of plastic eyes with washers
2 boards to mount the finished animals
How to Use ‘Felt Menagerie’
First, we punched out the stencils and traced them on the felt. Afterwards, we followed the basic instructions step by step with the embroidery floss.
My husband applied the eyes, because he is better at dimensional positioning. Finally we stuffed our creations.
As for now, my eight-year-old is interested mainly in choosing which felt animal we are going to do next and the very basic blanket stitching. However, he is proud of looking at me doing all the different animals. The kit is an enough novelty to him that he keeps showing it to whoever visits our house.
I find doing these craft creations extremely rewarding, I’ve been dealing with anxiety and can’t keep my hands still, so this really helps me get by the evening and is compatible with watching TV or talking to friends.
No one gets offended by such a hobby, and I find myself stitching away at the pool side, or at reunions once we’ve finished eating. On vacation I took all my activities outside with my nieces and had a blast stitching mermaids. Even 5 year-olds can do the basic stuff once you’ve helped them with the cutting out of the stencils. It’s a calming activity.
On one memorable occasion, we were having tea after the funeral of a relative, and the bereaved sisters decided they preferred to stitch with me instead of having a cup of coffee. It’s something that truly amazes me.
Abby Glassenberg has a web page: While she naps, where you can find more about her blogging, her courses, podcasts and can purchase her designs, including this book.