Hello, it's Tina here from Prim Heirloom Designs again and I want to share with you why the crafting community loves Mmmcrafts.
If you're not into felt ornaments, or at least a newbie, Larissa Holland, the designer behind MmmCrafts really took the crafting community by storm when she released her Twelve Days Ornament Series. By the time I got back into crafting in 2018 (life sometimes gets in the way), I believe she was finalizing Lord a-Leaping but everything else had been released. I started with ordering patterns 1-6 and loved them so much as soon as it was available as a bundle, I purchased patterns 7-12. I had myself set up at our dining room table, and after work I'd come home and plug away at my ornaments to de-stress, it was awesome :)
Exactly What is Everyone Talking About? What Makes these Patterns so Great?
There are several factors that have contributed to the success of this pattern series (among her other ones!). Larissa is meticulous in her patterns and instructions. This is so helpful for newbies just getting into the craft, and also for experienced crafters! A lot of the steps repeat in future patterns so you really do get quicker and better at the techniques.
The ornaments in this series progress in difficulty. I think this came about organically as she was designing the patterns and let her imagination run loose! It makes it fun as a crafter because you do feel like your skill level is developing as you go.
Another big factor I think has been that she has a very liberal policy when it comes to independent shops supplying materials for her projects. Let's face it - when you're presented with a daunting materials list for a project it can be pretty frustrating when all you want is to get GOING on it!!
That's where I step in. As an independent small business (it's just me over here at Prim Heirloom Designs!), Larissa has allowed myself (as well as others) to assemble and sell materials, craft kits, completed heads, etc. that complement her patterns. I have an entire section on my website dedicated to the items I specifically make or curate for her patterns! You can head there here
I focus on making heads for her patterns. I've found many people purchase sets of heads from me if they have shaky hands and don't feel confident in making a nice finished product, or some people are just too scared to give it a try! I'm planning to release some youtube videos to show you exactly how I make the heads, maybe that will inspire some of you to try it out!
I have made hundreds of ornaments from MmmCrafts patterns, so what advice can I give you? Read on..
1. Before you even purchase the pattern, have a look at Larissa's extensive resources available at MmmCrafts. She has a ridiculous amount of knowledge to share with you on anything and everything to do with her patterns! Not to mention a witty personality that comes through in her writing!
2. After purchasing the pattern, really take her advice to read it through (at least a skim!). There are certain things you don't want to miss such as remembering to pre-soak your felt (hands up if you've tried to skip this step and lived to regret it, and please always soak the sheets from light to dark you will thank me!) and how to work with Sulky Printable Fabri-Solvy - I had no idea what this stuff was until my first ornaments but it's a game changer!
3. So do you find yourself with the pattern, the basic supplies, and then kind of stuck because you don't know what colours to do? Been there for sure! Be sure to check out #mmmcrafts on instagram to see what colours other people are doing! There's a huge variety and lots of inspiration in that instagram feed.
4. Are some of the supplies hard to find or do they come in way too large a quantity? Consider a craft kit! With the MmmCrafts patterns you always need to buy the pattern directly from Larissa (as of the time of writing this post that's the only way to legitimately purchase one of her patterns), but there are many kits available out there that include everything from just the felt, to everything included the full painted heads!
5. And lets talk more about those heads, daunting right? Well there are a few of us out there that actually LOVE making the little heads so don't let that discourage or stop you from trying out this series and others! I do plan on doing some pretty detailed tutorials on how I approach making the heads as by now I have my own techniques I use that may be helpful to others.
6. Get your hands on a stuffing tool. My preference is That Purple Thang, but there are other ones out there - you end up with a lot of little crevices and corners to stuff and a proper tool makes all the difference.
7. Sheep Wool Stuffing - it is amazing to work with especially with small-scale items. I actually hate working with polyfil stuffing, it has no substance so the stuffing tool often just pokes right through it, it never wants to stay in place, it has no weight to it so the final product can feel cheapie, and lets not forget it's a terrible choice for the environment! If it's your only route, at least consider working with recycled or an environmental version!
8. Be ready for it - as soon as you show off your first ornament, you undoubtedly will have friends and family request you to make them one or an entire set! I end up with so many repeat shoppers buying more supplies for these ornaments because of this. But man, they are so gift-able!!
9. I do confess I use my glue gun for a lot of the glue work - you do have to be careful if you go this route, if you get some glue on a visible area, it is NOT going to come off so be very careful! But it holds so well and speeds things up if you're impatient :)
10. Enjoy the journey - looking for craft kits and other supplies? Click here!
Want to explore more MmmCrafts patterns? Click here!
If you are having trouble finding a Canadian Online Felt Retailer or Craft Shop, here I am! Check out everything I have to offer at Prim Heirloom Designs, a boutique, online craft shop servicing North America and beyond.