History Lesson and a Felt Pomander

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Two Finished Felt Pomanders

Back in the day, people used to carry balls of perfumed materials called pomanders to ward against infection, or to smell better at the very least. Then weddings took over. Now, pomanders are pretty balls of flowers on a ribbon that flower girls sometimes carry. They also make lovely party decorations and even Christmas ornaments. And now you are ready for you hands-on final exam: making your own felt pomander!

Alright, that lesson was laughably simplified to the point of being inaccurate, but pomanders remain cute balls of fun. Today, I’ll show you a few steps I used in following the Pomander Tutorial from the splendid Betz White.

This was all inspired by a recent Sunday morning realization: I had three shrunken cashmere sweaters, all thrown in a corner in Christmas colors. Before I told myself to “get out,” I ran to the computer to learn about felting knits. It turns out that I was already 75% done, thanks to my mistakenly shrinking the garments already. I just threw them in for one last run in hot water and heat, and I was ready to go.

Making Cashmere Sweaters into Felt
The next step involved a lot of cutting. I whipped out the rotary cutter to make a bunch of 3-inch squares. I then trimmed them into circles, then little swirls (below.)

Making Felt Rosettes

Making rosettes is easy. You just roll the swirls from the outside. By the time you get to the middle, you have a little rosette and the last part just serves as the rose’s base. Glue the rosette to the base and you are ready to move on to the next flower.

Following Betz’s suggestion, I simply balled up some extra fabric and tied it with string to make the base of my pomanders. I used the sleeves of the green sweater for the pomanders to hang on.

What follows is a lot of gluing and pinning the rosettes to the base. I loved Betz’ use of pearl-tipped pins in the center of the flowers, so I added them in at the end.

Depending on the colors you use, these little babies can add some charm to a tree or non-holiday party. I liked making the rosettes so much that I’ve started using some regular felt to make a rosette wreath. (I’ll share a photo when I finish it up!)

 

Finished Felt Pomander

 

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