EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


December 23, 2012

Felt can add texture, warmth and fun to cold, winter days

It’s that time of year when texture, character and warmth define the most successful decor. The perfect time for felt.

This season has seen a variety of creative, decorative felt items for table and tree. You’ll find it sewn, lasercut, appliqued or otherwise manipulated to create eye-catching fashion accessories, charming toys and sculptures, and chic items for the home.

Or you can try your hand at felt-making and crafting yourself. (More on that later.)

In Portland, Ore., designer Alison Comfort offers a woodsy wonderland of little felt pumpkins, acorns, mushrooms, nests and forest animals — small sculptures that might add charm to a holiday table — at her Etsy.com shop, www.etsy.com/shop/houseofmoss.

“There’s something so dear and precious about starting with a natural material in its raw state, using a simple tool and my own hands, and transforming it,” she says.

There are guides online for making felt candy canes, but if you aren’t crafty and still love the look, consider Land of Nod’s delicious-looking versions; here too, round ornaments in felt stripes or gathered layers. All would look cute on a kids’ tree. www.landofnod.com

At Crate & Barrel, laser-cut felt placemats with seasonal motifs, felt ball garlands, and a collection of tree ornaments including gingerbread men, Swedish style birds and owls add homespun charm. A felt pillow with appliquéd partridge in a pear tree might make a welcome hostess gift. www.crateandbarrel.com

The nature of felt — soft, pliable and able to take on a variety of colors — makes it terrific for crafting, not only for designers but for creative amateurs.

“Felt is one of my favorite materials. It’s an extremely easy material to work with because, unlike most fabrics, it’s non-woven, so it won’t unravel and doesn’t require hemming,” says Jodi Levine, designer-at-large for Martha Stewart Living.

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