DIYdiy projects

diy project: felt bag from scandinavian needlecraft

by Grace Bonney

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]

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