Wool Felted Chandelier

Falling Leaves Chandelier designed by Minaz Jantz

Falling Leaves Chandelier is my latest DIY home design feature using both wet & dry felting methods with raw fleece and roving wool. 

Falling Leaves Chandelier designed by Minaz Jantz

Winter is a perfect season for DIY decorating therapy which can be experimental using resources & supplies I all ready own and stores in plastic containers. I found the pot light in the main entrance too bright and uninviting so have been contemplating for years what to do with it.

Design function considerations:

* Slanted ceilings.
* 3 doors open and close with one to the outside at times windy.
* tall items may come in and out the door.
* hide boring spotlight yet let it shine some light.
* use supplies on hand as much as possible.
* be funky unique... of course!

Boring potlight

 I have to keep in mind my ceilings are slanted, and doors have to move freely opening and closing with some long items coming in and out. This lampshade had to be lightweight yet fire retardant, able to change the bulb and could take off the ceiling easily when needed and why it took me years to decide WHAT to do with the boring pot light.

The carded raw fleece wool turned out to be perfect with its little bits of barnyard debris to give an organic texture.

SUPPLIES to start:

*  pinecone wreath structure but only ended up using the large hoop and snipped the others off.

*  scrap plastic canvas cut into a circle to resist felting.

*  balloon for shaping 3D for the second felting stage.

Wet felting with balloon to shaping stage.

I am a newbie to wool felting and this was my first 3D project. 

Wet felting has a fascinating process of shrinking wool into a fabric that can be flat or shaped 3D;

*  shred raw fluffy wool, 
*  lay roving onto a flat shape called a resist, 
*  wet it with some soapy water, 
*  rough it up and roll it, 
*  take out resist, 
*  add a balloon and blow up the inside, 
*  hand rub to get end shape

 The felted globe turned out surprisingly strong holding its shape without any stiffeners. I did four layers of wet felting wanting it to be strong but also have an ambient transparent glow. 

HOORAY, so far so good! I have no FRICKIN idea of what I am doing or how this is going to end. 

Needle felting design feature for chandelier.

Needle felting is a lot of fun and thinks of it as drawing. I dug around the house looking for metal shapes to use as my pattern guide to stab with the very sharp felting needle and colored roving wool. Using a soft foam I could place it inside the globe to stab the design from the front.

Needle felting design feature for chandelier.

INSIDE: Needle felting design feature for chandelier.

*Attach the metal ring wire to the globe and hide it inside. Took strings of raw wool wrapping the wire tightly to cover it and making it 'sticky' for wrapping the edge of the dry-felted ball stretched tautly over the wire. 

*Use the blanket stitch to secure the felted globe to the wire. 

*Needle felt the brown roving wool over the stitches to finish off the top edge that will sit upon the ceiling. 

Wet felted leaves for chandelier.

BACKSIDE: Wet felted leaves for chandelier.

Got to have some BLING for my chandelier. 

I cut off a circle on the top of the felted ball shape where the supporting wire will be stitched inside the edge.  It turns out the scrap cut will make 3 leaves. PERFECT! I needle felted a blue edge and with brown embroidery floss stitching a leaf design. I took more raw wool and needle felted it on the back of the leaves to hide the stitching ends. I wanted my bling to be longer making blue felted balls.

Found a use for the fishing tackle. PERFECT for falling leaves & balls attaching to the chandelier. 

Supplies to hang felt chandelier.

Final Challenge! How to hang Falling Leaves Chandelier:

Came across 3M Command decor hooks and thought HHHMMM could life be this easy to hang my lightweight felted chandelier with just 3 sticky hooks??  

I bent some fine wire into custom-sized loops and stitched 3 of them hidden along the brown top inside edge thinking of it like a bra closure.  I could easily hook the metal loops onto the decor Command hooks.

OMG, it worked out and will see just how long the hooks will stay sticking to my ceiling. If the wet felted chandelier falls... NO WORRY... so lightweight it will cause no damage or hurt anyone.

Falling Leaves Chandelier, wet & needle felted & designed by Minaz Jantz

Falling Leaves Chandelier, wet & needle felted & designed by Minaz Jantz

Falling Leaves Chandelier, wet & needle felted & designed by Minaz Jantz

Above the closet is my new Bali fabric drapes I hand-stitched. To read more about DIY drapes...

Overall my first 3D wet felting project went better than expected. I got lucky cause sometimes the first of anything can be a devastatingly f-ugly experience. 

My very first EVER felting project that I could not complete in course time as I sucked the big one but had a belly laugh till I got tears in my eyes. A couple of friends shared in the laughter and said I should post this stating I NAILED IT!!!

The moral of the story is every master sucked at it in the beginning but keep some humor in your pocket, humble the ego and don't give up but work on the skills and creativity till you got something right!

Keep Inspired, Minaz

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