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If you were already a fan of Salley’s previous book Felt Wee Folk: Enchanting Projects, you will recognize some of the previous characters. Many more doll patterns have been added in this book as well as additional step-by-step guidance.
This is a fabulous book! The detailed photos are helpful and clear. Her clothing and doll patterns have a charmingly hand-drawn quality. I highly suggest using wool felt, just as Salley does - it makes a world of difference when it comes to cutting fine shapes and tiny decorative edges. Sharp scissors are also a must.
More about the book - there are SO MANY patterns and ideas in this book - at 159 pages, there are 18 chapters of dolls and photos. Each chapter has a different doll theme - Blossom Fairies, a Dollhouse Family, Harvest Folk, Driftwood Clan, Woodland Folk, Royal Family, Nativity Scene, Winter Play, Hansel and Gretel, Sherwood Forest, Mary Had a Little Lamb, Nursery Rhymes, and Wedding Cake Toppers.
The wedding cake toppers are genius and sweet - how adorable would it be to create felt versions of a couple for their wedding cake or engagement party?
There are many sizes of dolls to make: 1 1/2 in., 2 in., 2 1/2 in., 3 in., 3 1/2 in., 4 in., 4 1/2 in. and "sturdy" versions of doll bodies that will take more bending and posing. There are also simpler projects for children, like a simple flower fairy and simple Wee Folk boy and girl doll - and these could be a great way to get started. Lastly, there's an adorable lamb pattern bedecked with oodles of French knots for the nursery rhyme scenes.
My personal favorites, and the patterns I chose to craft from were the Blossom Fairies, Harvest Folk, Woodland Folk, and Sherwood Forest:
Now, on to my crafting! I'd like to add the disclaimer that I am not excellent at any of the skills it takes to create the dolls - your real judgement of the book should come from the beautiful photos from the book above, and Salley's blog! :)
The most time-consuming part, and the one I initially enjoyed least, was bending and winding thread around the pipe cleaner bodies. But once I was on my third or fourth Wee Folk body, it made a bit more sense to me.
These projects involve a lot of different skills, but I think you can approach them from any level. Painting heads and faces, cutting felt, embroidering outfits, sewing, bending pipe cleaners, gluing on hair, etc.
I worked on the larger 4 in. size dolls - but even they were TINY. Such tiny projects require lots of patience and attention to detail. You will likely be frustrated in your first attempts, so I’d suggest planning to make a few Wee Folk rather than just one. Don't be surprised if the dolls take hours to make - my first doll took a good 6 hours to put together, and I worked together with my sister!
In terms of embroidery stitches, I used a variety of stitches and threads, but I most enjoyed the look of couched threads, crewel wool, a dash of metallic floss, and golden seed beads.
I tried the projects for kids - like the little acorn fairy below, with my 10 year old niece and had a lot of fun with it. The dolls were much smaller, but not having to wind thread around the bodies made it go faster, and not embroidering the outfits also made for more speed.
If you don’t have access to unfinished wooden beads for heads, but do have access to a tree with acorns, you could try what I did - use the entire acorn as a Wee Folk head! I can't take credit for this idea - it was my mom's stroke of genius while she was collecting acorn caps. :)
I washed and dried the acorns (freeze to kill critters - oops I left out that step) then hollowed out the bottoms with sharp scissors to make a hole for the pipe cleaner.
Then I painted the acorns with acrylic paints and decorated. The paint did not adhere quite as well to the acorns, and flaked off in tiny bits, so I'd suggest a second coat on yours.
I actually like the acorn heads a bit better - they look more organic and true to life as very few humans have perfectly round heads. You get a larger variety of face and head shapes, and best yet, for absolutely free! :)
I really had a lot of fun creating these tiny dolls, and as you can see, I could continue making them forever...
If you enjoy tiny, detailed projects that allow for lots of creativity and personal handiwork, I cannot recommend this book enough!
Giveaway time: The publisher has generously offered us 1 free copy of Felt Wee Folk: New Adventures to give away today! This giveaway is open to all of our readers, with 1 stipulation - U.S. winners will receive a print copy of the book, international readers will receive a PDF copy, as we did for this review.
To win, please leave a comment on this post by 5 PM US CST, Feb. 20, 2015. Tell us what your favorite part of making these dolls would be - embroidering the outfits, painting the faces, creating funky hairstyles, etc. I'll choose 1 random comment and announce the winner soon after!
I love it , my favorite part would be the embroidery on the outfits or mabye painting the faces to look like my children 😊ReplyDelete
I think my favorite part would be the emboridery outfits and putting it all together. You did a great job, with wonderful pictures!
My favourite part would be embroidering all those lovely wee details. The details are what makes them so special.ReplyDelete
A great review. My favorite aspect of Salley's work is the scale and embroidery. I like working on small pieces and her style incorporates quilt techniques that I love.ReplyDelete
I am a huge fan of Salley's work! My favorite part would be making the little outfits and adding embroidery details. Amazing work!ReplyDelete
Those are just adorable! My grand daughter would love playing with and making these little dolls. I think I would enjoy the entire process. But I know for sure if my grand daughter came and created with me, that would be my favorite part :)ReplyDelete
My favorite part would be making the clothes. Her work is fabulous.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the review and the opportunity. I would love to do the detail work on the clothing.ReplyDelete
I have read her first book and would love to create these new characters, I love how all the tiny details come together to create a unique little person.ReplyDelete
I would love both the creating/embroidering of the outfits, and the painting of the faces!
My daughter is getting married in June and I would love to make a bride and groom as a keepsake for her. Making their clothing would be interesting and challenging, I know she would love the idea as much as I do. I haven't seen anything like it in the UK since I was about seven. I can remember a shop which sold tiny dollies which were very similar and I used to love going to look in the window with my grandad!ReplyDelete
These are so adorable! I'd love putting their little outfits together :)ReplyDelete
I have always wanted to make some of these super cute dolls.....Maybe this time I will...I enjoy all the craft involved in making these....it is the challenge of it...of course.... colors....hand embroidery are favorites////ReplyDelete
Thanks for letting me know the new book is out. I have taken the older book out of the library a couple of times and thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved making the little outfits from silk flowers and felt for the fairies.ReplyDelete
I would love to win a book. Thanks
They are adorable! My favorite part would be embroidering the outfits.ReplyDelete
I LOVE your wee folk! They are great! I would enjoy the embroidered clothes the most. Thanks for the chance to win.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the wonderful review and hosting this give-away. These wee folk are so sweet and I would most enjoy giving them their own personality creating their clothing and facial expressions!ReplyDelete
Crafting and embroidering the outfits would be what I'd enjoy most.ReplyDelete
I love Sally's artwork and have traveled to see it in person. What I like most is her outfits. I love hoe folksy and perfect they are.ReplyDelete
Making the hairstyles is what I would enjoy the mostReplyDelete
Love the acorn heads and painted faces! Really love the whole post!ReplyDelete
I have her first book and made many of these dolls with my nieces and nephews. They had so much fun. My kids have enjoyed making them over the years. I think the costumes are the most fun to make. You can get so creative with the different outfits.ReplyDelete
This looks like an amazing resource! Thanks for reviewing. I think I would love embroidering and making the clothes.ReplyDelete
OMGosh, this book is on my wishlist. Creating crazy characters is my goal and I think I'll enjoy the entire process. PICK ME!!ReplyDelete
How cute! I think my favorite part of making these would be working on them with my granddaughters. Dressing and posing them :)ReplyDelete
I love Salley's work. I have an old well-used copy of her first book and I can't wait until the next one comes out. My favorite part of making wee folk is actually the winding of the bodies. It's sort of meditative.ReplyDelete
I would enjoy the picking of the materials for the Wee Folk clothing and then the embroidery. And also the painting of the faces - just wonderful. Thanks for opportunity.ReplyDelete
I own the original book and have made some of these folk - it is a lot of fun! I think the most fun part is making the clothes - there is so much room for creativity! Thanks for the chance to win.ReplyDelete
I would enjoy making the outfits and I know my daughters would love to help me with this part and inventing hairdos! Is pink hair OK?ReplyDelete
I would enjoy embroidering the outfits.ReplyDelete
I have been looking forward to this book! My favorite part of making wee felt folk is the dressing of the dolls. I still find the faces difficult.ReplyDelete
Making clothes for the dolls would be the best. I also would like to paint the faces to bring out their personality of each doll. Thank you for the chance to win the book.ReplyDelete
I would love making and embroidering clothes and painting the faces of these wonderful creatures!) thank you for the chance to win the book!)ReplyDelete
I love embroidering tiny details, so I think the clothes would be my favorite part.ReplyDelete
I love embroidering so I think embellishing the outfits will be my favorite part. I will be trying them with my 8 year old so each step will be fun and painting the faces will be his favorite step!ReplyDelete
I have 2 oak trees in my yard, so I'm off to a good start! The darling clothes are so intriguing--would love to try this! Thanks for this opportunity!ReplyDelete
I love making their little faces and sewing all the details in their clothing. Sally Mavor does such marvelous work, I cannot wait to see her new book!ReplyDelete
Making the clothing would be my favorite part.ReplyDelete
Oh, embroidering the clothes! I could use a whole variety of stitches and threads ... no, wait, the faces, yep, that would be so fun! And the hair .... I could make my whole family (is there one with dreadlocks to imitate my teenage son??). Haha. You know what ? The whole process just looks so intriguing, I imagine it would be fantastic from start right through to finish. I'm off to Sally's blog now .... Thank you for introducing me to her world :-)ReplyDelete
My favourite part of creating the dolls would be to make their clothes - the embroidery especially. They are gorgeous.ReplyDelete
perry94022 at hotmail dot com
I would just love making beautiful little garments for them! What a great way to practice decorative stitches. I have to admit that I'd love making houses and habitats for them too, neat little hidey-holes full of tiny sized accessories and knickknacks. :)ReplyDelete
My favorite part of making these dolls would be that I would be making it two wonderful little girls, one of whom is constantly making doll furniture out of popsicle sticks. Her barbie's are too big and heavy for the popsicle stick furniture so the furniture keeps breaking apart, These "wee folk" dolls would be perfect for her popsicle doll furniture. I am also really looking forward to creating the clothes and doing the embroidery. I haven't embroidered in ages and this project has me so excited to start practicing and relearning my embroidery stitches.ReplyDelete
I love the variety = folk lore to wedding!ReplyDelete
I have the first Wee Felt book. I'm excited to see the new book! I enjoy making the clothes.ReplyDelete
oh, the clothes!ReplyDelete
Definitely embroidering the wee adorable outfits!ReplyDelete