Tutorials

Benzie Iron-On Glitter & Gold

Posted by Renae Bradley on 01 September, 2015 0 comments

Gitter and Gold Felt

Ready to make your felt go glam? Add on a layer of glitter -or go metallic -with Benzie's iron-on sheets. It's crazy easy -and doesn't leave you with paintbrushes to clean or fairy dust to mop! 

diy glitter felt

First, grab your supplies: Benzie's felt, iron-on glitter or iron-on metallic (we used our glitter in Julep here), a light cloth (we like a layer or two of tissue paper), hard surface (we used a cutting board) and an iron. Trim your felt and iron-on material to the size you would like. 

On a hard surface, layer your felt, iron-on material and light cloth. Heat your iron to the highest setting and press firmly for 15-20 seconds, slowly shifting your iron as you go. 

After the felt and glitter (or metallic) sheets have fully bonded remove protective sheet. We have found it's much like removing a sticker -sometimes it peels off quickly and sometime you need to work at it a bit! 

Glitter felt by Benzie

We offer 12 colors of glitter and 4 metallic hues -all ready to be ironed on and crafted with! Manual die cut users can expect to roll it through the machine 1-2 extra times and punch out design due to the extra thickness of the fabric. Craft just as you would regular felt -but now with more glam!  

We've been using our iron-on for a while now and have learned some important tips for success which we have outlined below:
-it is vital to iron on a hard surface such as a wood cutting board
-we have seen best success with a 1600 watt iron
-our glitter irons on easily with just 15 seconds of heat -our metallics take more like 20 seconds
-our metallic iron-ons work best in small batches

Can I wash felt? A tutorial about felt applique.

Posted by Renae Bradley on 24 June, 2015 1 comment

Felt Star Shirt DIY // Benzie

This is a craft question that I get asked quite often -can I wash wool blend felt? And as you can see from the felt star appliqué -yes you can! But before we get to care instructions let's talk first about fiber content.


Our felt contains both wool, ranging from 20-35%, and rayon. Rayon, or known as viscose, is made from wood pulp -a renewable source too! Most of us know what happened to our adult sized wool sweater when we tried to wash it -it shrunk down to a child's size! Wool should be treated with much care or it will shrink. We suggest dry cleaning or spot cleaning to keep our wool blend felt in its original condition. It's easy and already looks great!

But there are times that a toy or a t-shirt just needs be washer friendly. Before cutting into your design or appliqué -the felt must first be washed. Prewash in a sink of hot running water -immersing the felt completely. We use soap and gently squeeze the felt into a ball, rinsing and repeating until the water runs clear. This process does two things to the felt. First the hot water gets any excess dye out. Not all colors bleed -but this bright Carmine did! Second, the combination of hot water, soap and gentle squeezing is further felting the fabric -binding the fibers even closer together and causing the felt to shrink. Lay flat to dry -or use a blow dryer to speed things up. A washing machine on the delicate cycle is a great alternative to prep large batches.

Can I wash wool felt? // Benzie

In the image above you can see the difference between our original felt and felt that has been pre-washed. The washed felt is bubbly or wrinkled -and is thicker then its un-washed partner (this can be flattened by ironing though). Also it has shrunk. The 6x6" square shrunk to about 5 3/4x 5 1/2". Now you're ready to craft!

DIY Felt Applique // Benzie

Grab a t-shirt and your favorite color of Benzie's felt. To make cutting ultra easy we used the Nesting Star die from Lifestyle crafts -but old fashioned pattern and scissors will work just as well. We also found that we really liked Wonder Under's fusible adhesive. It's didn't make the felt appliqué stiff and it made a permanent bond to the fabric.

Felt Applique T-Shirt  // Benzie 


But before you do any of these steps -your felt and your shirt must be prewashed! Follow the washing instructions for felt above.

1) After the felt has dried -iron your fusible adhesive to your felt.
2). Use your favorite die to cut a shape our of the felt -adhesive side up. We explain how to use a die machine and dies here.
3. Peel off the top layer of your fusible adhesive -you can see the transparent paper star in the above photo (throw that away), carefully place your star where you want it and iron down. Iron from both the front and back of the shirt to ensure a permanent bond.

Can I wash felt? // Benzie

It's not necessary -but I think the added machine stitch adds detail and helps the star to stand out among the stripes. To care for your felt appliqué shirt and prevent further felting we suggest washing inside out, cold and delicate with a gentle dry.

4th of July applique shirt // Benzie 

I want to see what you are making too -hashtag #benziefelt and have a Happy Independence Day!

Originally posted June 2014

A New Way to Shop Benzie

Posted by Renae Bradley on 04 May, 2015 1 comment

Welcome to Benzie's new online shop! A new, fresh and inspiring way to shop for Benzie's felt! Let me show you around! 

 
1. The main navigation bar gives basic information about Benzie -you can get familiar with our shipping policies and be inspired by our blog. You'll notice that our blog perfectly integrates with our shop now -making purchasing supplies even easier! Don't forget to sign up in our shop -it will save your important details to insure a seamless checkout!

2. On the way down you'll past the shopping cart icon and the search bar. Search for anything -it's super easy to find just what you need -looking for the color "Julep"? Just type it in! Next you'll notice another navigation bar where Benzie's products are organized by category. It's never been easier to find just the felt, pom or tool that you need. Color enthusiasts will love the 'shop by color' option too!

3. Glance through our large photos to read announcements, find out our sales and learn about creative ways to use our products.

4. Feature images show seasonal collections and new products. Click on the item to view options, sizes and colors.

5. The closing of our site includes all of our social media outlets and a newsletter signup -keep updated on on Benzie news and special offers!

We are excited to offer an easier more intuitive shopping experience on Benzie. Our spacious site and multiple search options make finding the perfect color or item simple -and browsing is sure to spark creativity! Thanks again for visiting, we are so glad to craft with you!

Happy 5 Years!

Posted by Renae Bradley on 22 April, 2015 0 comments

originally posted 2/16/15
Banner made by Benzie customer Little Skunk Co.

It all started with a monster made with felt. A stuffed, red monster made for my son, it had a pocket on it that held a little love note from Mom. But something happened to that most loved critter... It started to pill and fuzz. A lot.
This failed craft started the journey to find a better felt -something that was made to last, crafted well but still affordable -and our shop Benzie Design was opened on Etsy in February of 2010.

We've been offering wool blend felt for 5 years and what a fun adventure it has been! We started out with 59 colors in just the 9x12" and 12x18" size but in just a few months we moved up to 70 colors. At this point I was processing all orders on the small cover of my ironing board! By the end of the year we found a demand for yardage and started offering all 70 colors by the yard -and I got a bigger work table too!


Around our 1 year anniversary we started offering 6x9" sheets -we were the first of felt internet shops to offer this size; we found that these sheets were perfect for sampling colors, small projects -and were a great fit for those using manual die cutters too! Our Etsy peers quickly followed suit and also offer this convenient size as well.


We coined the phrase "felt-fetti" in 2011 -bringing oversized felt confetti to party planners in our handmade shop and felt die cuts to crafters in our felt & supply shop. Our handmade shop also includes our "felt like a party" line of garlands and mobiles!


In 2013 we introduced DMC embroidery floss to coordinate with our felt colors -we find this to be immensely helpful and convenient to our stitchers and color enthusiasts -and as always a crafters favorite. We also started working with Lifestyle Crafts / We R Memory Keepers to bring you tutorials that combine Benzie's felt with fabulous scrapbooking supplies.
Over the past 5 years we developed our photography style -going from a rustic wood background to a crisp linen one. We continued to add more colors (to our current 90) and more color pallets and love discovering pattern designers to collaborate with. We continue to find more efficient ways to ship and organize our inventory -based on sales we have become Etsy's larges wool blend felt supplier. We have appeared on numerous blogs including Babble and Apartment Therapy along with appearances in HGTV magazine and Pregnancy & Newborn magazine. Benzie has grown along with my family -it started out with my husband and two small children and have now included our sweet foster child. Balancing family and business has been tricky -I first hired a mothers-helper and then moved on to hiring two employees to oversee packaging and orders. You may have said 'hi' when they answer your questions.


Just this past year we introduced felt pom poms in 4 different sizes and 34 colors. We also worked closely with a manufacture to introduce two new colors of wool blend felt -exclusive to Benzie. Meanwhile our handmade shop on Etsy grew to 400 sales and our supply shop just landmarked 20,000 sales!


These past 5 years have been a wonderful adventure for Benzie and we have some fun one year goals and some even bigger five year goals. I can't wait to introduce you to one of them this summer! Keep updated with our social media and shop outlets below -we want to get to know you more!

Follow us here:
Handmade shop: www.benzie.etsy.com
Felt & Supply shop: www.benziedesign.etsy.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/benziedesign
Instagram: www.instagram.com/benziedesign
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/benziedesign

We want to celebrate with you and are offering 10% off our Felt & Supply shop and 20% off our handmade shop using code HAPPY5, expires February 21. Also -comment below to win one of three $20 gift cards -let us know what products or services you would like to Benzie to offer and leave your email so we can get in contact with you if you are one of the winners! And thanks again to all you wonderful crafters out there -you have made my heart so very happy! -Giveaway is now closed & winners have been contacted, thank you!!!