My friend, Margaret, and I went to the free craft night or “Craft Gym” on Tuesday at Once Around in Mill Valley and made this simple but sweet Felt Shamrock Garland. We were having a night out together to celebrate my birthday and went out for dinner first then crafting.
Not only did we enjoy dinner at Harmony in Strawberry Village, (try the delicious Fragrant Fried Calamari in a light batter, finished with cilantro, lemongrass, mild jalapeno, garlic and fresh lime), but we spent a relaxed evening with a nice group of women. To top it off, Margaret let me have all the shamrocks she cut out. Nice, huh?
This post at A Subtle Revelry has this super simple felt shamrock garland. Even if you’re not interested in decorating for St. Patrick’s day, you should check out A Subtle Revelry and “the art of merrymaking everyday.”
Craft Gym has become a favorite night out for me and it isn’t only, as you might expect, because of the crafting. The real pleasure is sitting in a circle with your hands busy and enjoying easy conversations around the table. It is, I imagine, similar to a quilting circle. I find it both relaxing and invigorating at the same time, and feel great after a craft workout.
Lauren Dyer is the creative and patient instructor for Craft Gym and she researches and presents the projects. I’d seen this easy garland on Pinterest (of course) but hadn’t been motivated to make one. But I’ve found the whole experience of Craft Gym is worth it whatever the project.
Lauren makes it easy, the crafts are simple ones that can be completed in a few hours which is very satisfying, and the shop is always a pleasure to visit and browse. Although the store is closed during the evening, if you come to Craft Gym you can purchase what you need and if you find other things you want to buy, well, you can do that too!
I encourage you to spend some time crafting with a friend or two or five if you can. I spend hours and hours crafting alone and there is much that I love about it. But there is great enjoyment in the combination of making something with your hands with someone else who is doing the same thing.
It’s not too late to cut out some felt shamrocks and connect them together for St. Patrick’s Day. Next fall I plan to make a similar garland using autumn leaf shapes and rich orange reds and golden yellows. A spring garland of flowers would also be nice.
My garland has 18 shamrocks and they are about 3.75 inches wide by 4.25 inches long but folks were cutting out all different sizes. If you are lucky enough to have a die cutting gadget and a shamrock template, you can make a bunch of them in no time. But cutting them by hand isn’t difficult, especially with good, sharp scissors.
Simply trace a shamrock shape onto felt and cut it out. You can sketch a shamrock or look online for a template to trace. I found one here at Spoonful.com, but there are plenty to choose from. TIP: Angle the end of the stem and make it a bit wide, as in the photos. This will help when you are attaching the shamrocks to each other.
Fold a shamrock in half and snip a small slit in the center leaf, just large enough that you can push the end of the stem through. Go ahead and cut slits in all the shamrocks.
Now attach them together by putting the stem of one shamrock behind another shamrock where the slit is and pushing the end of the stem through the slit.
Some of my stems were a little narrow or the slashes on the shamrocks were a bit wide so a few stems slipped out. I reinforced the whole garland with a little adhesive. I used a tape runner which was a little tricky sometimes to get the adhesive to stick to the felt, but I got it to work. You don’t really need this if you cut carefully. Someone in the workshop said she was going to put a few stitches in hers where the stem threatened to slip out. The texture of the felt seems to help keep shamrocks attached to each other.
To display my little swag on the door, I used two push pins up near the top of the door plus some fishing line.
I also cut out one four-leaf clover for luck to include in my garland. We can all use some good luck and this week I would certainly welcome a bushel of it.
Do you know what the leaves on a four-leaf clover are supposed to represent? It isn’t the same as in the song. But according to Wikipedia, the leaves represent faith, hope, love and luck. I learned that five-leaf clovers are considered even luckier than four-leaf clovers (being more rare) but the record for leaves on a clover is 56.
Wishing you a happy and lucky St. Patrick’s Day. Thanks for the visit.