diy project: felt bag from scandinavian needlecraft

i’ve had the book scandinavian needlecraft (cico books, 2010 $19.95) sitting on my couch for a few weeks now, just drooling over all the projects i’d like to attempt (and will probably never fully finish). author clare youngs has gathered together some of the most delightful home craft projects ranging from firewood holders + christmas stockings to pillows and curtain tie-backs. but today i’m thrilled to be sharing the full how-to from my favorite project (which is on the cover of the book): a scandinavian-style felt bag with embroidered bird. marny at cico was kind enough to share the templates with us so you can make the project using these instructions online. if this project gets the gears in your head turning, you’ll love the rest of the book- you can pick up a copy right here for $19.95. thanks again to marny and clare for sharing this project with us!

[all images above: copyright cico books, 2010]

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!


1. Template (Download the template here)

2. 40×18 inch cream colored felt (choose a thickness that works for you- but keep in mind you’ll want it fairly thick to give the bag support and shape)

3. small piece of blue cotton fabric to go behind the cut-outs

4. small piece of blue felt for the applique

5. 3.5 x 1.5 inch orange felt for label

5. dressmaker’s carbon paper

6. blue and green stranded embroidery floss (cotton)

7. Sewing machine


1. Print out and enlarge the bag template by 250 percent. Transfer the bag shapes to thick cream felt and the applique shapes to the thin blue felt, and cut out. Using dressmaker’s carbon paper, transfer the stitch guide (on the template) to the front panel of the bag. Cut out the three leaf sections from the front panel.

2. Place the blue cotton fabric behind the cut-out leaf section. Pin it in place, making sure that it is free of wrinkles. Using thread that matches the felt, machine topstitch around each cut out leaf shape, stitching close to the edge.

3. Pin, then slipstitch the four blue felt applique pieces in position. Following the stitch guide on the template, embroider the design in blue and green embroidery floss (cotton).

4. Choose your own motif, or stitch a small star (as pictured) onto the orange felt fabric used as the label. Stitch it to the right hand side of the label, leaving 1/2 inch of felt to tuck into the side seam.

5. Fold the label in half lengthwise and sew up each long side close to the edge.

6. With wrong sides together, pin the front and back panel of the bag together along the side edges, inserting the label in the top seam 3/4 inch down from the top left edge.

7. Pin the base to the bottom of the bag and baste (tack) it in place. using the blue embroidery floss (cotton), work the decorative cross stitch around the sides and base of the bag. Bring the needle out a the top of one side seam on the right side, about 1/8 inch down from the top of the bag and 1/4 inch in from the side. Take the needle over the top of the bag and back through the same hole. Make evenly spaced diagonal stitches all down the side seam and around the base. Fasten off, then work the second seam in the same way.

8. Come back the other way, making diagonal stitches that slant in the opposite direction so that they cross over on the joined edge. You’re done!

From the book Scandinavian Needlecraft (Cico Books, 2010)

[images from the book are below]

  1. Kristin says:

    Adorable, but I really love the cushion.

  2. laura says:

    great post! I LOVE LOVE LOVE Swedish design.

  3. Scatterbox says:

    I’m loving those designs mucho. Not to mention that bag has endless possibilities, even if you’re not into this particular design style. Great looking book!

  4. spicy pepitas says:

    kristin, the tutorial for the pillow is also online!

  5. Lisa says:

    Love the kitty pitcher!
    I have made these felt baskets in the past! They make great gift holders too! This book looks really interesting…might have to go pick it up!

  6. heidi says:

    Oh i love it ,thats an amazing bag. The scandinavians have such a mix of old and funky modern!

  7. Batman says:

    Beautiful photos, but the template will not download.

  8. I have a copy of this book and love it! I have yet to try any of the projects. Thanks for reminding me to get working!

  9. Tina says:

    I love to swedish when I see these things – and I secretly wish I was as good as these creators..! :-)

  10. Laura says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! It looks really easy to make and yet so beautiful. I am really curious about all the other projects in the book.

  11. Tanya says:

    I love that bag

  12. jamie says:

    What an adorable bag. . .must make!

  13. Kristin says:

    Thanks for directing me to that tutorial. It’s gorgeous and I’ve got to make it now.

  14. Emma says:

    I really, really love that little birdie! It would also look great in a frame.

  15. Cindy Owings says:

    What great projects, reverse applique is beautiful. Check the header on my blog.

  16. Kirsten says:

    I am a swedish/norwegian american and love all things scandinavian! I love dala horses. I must get this book. It looks awesome! More scandinavian design please!!! thanks.

  17. Kate says:

    Does anyone else think different sizes of those would be perfect for gift-giving?!

  18. Annette says:

    Beautiful! I love the embroidered decoration on the shelf. You have me wanting to pick up a copy of this book.

  19. cupcake says:

    thank you for the inspiration! I think i have a similar draw anywhere home.

  20. Jen Peterson says:

    I actually just purchased this book the other day. I’m Norwegian and my husband is Icelandic so naturally, our home has a Scandinavian look!

  21. katie says:

    So fresh and yummy. I have a craving for white chocolate for some reason.

  22. Kitty says:

    I have the book, but would like a source for the wool felt. Thanks.

  23. Teresa S says:

    Love this pattern and see that I am very late to get it. Is the pdf still available? (Doesn’t download for me) Thanks!

  24. BOURY says:

    fort joli ce sac, j’aurais aimé avoir les dimensions merci.

  25. Valdja says:

    Lindos trabalhos!!!!!!!!


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