First Scraphappy Day Of 2020

A new year, a new scrap friendly project – and a very simple one it is too.

If you’ve been reading my recent posts you’ll know I’m trying out needle felting again.

Before the French postal service did away with their economy international tariff, I used to sell French linen of the sort that is used to make tea towels.  I still have lots of scraps and offcuts and sometimes use them for various crafting purposes.

Most people seem to use a foam pad underneath their work or even a sort of brush thingy – these protect your work surfaces, support your work in progress and, usually, stop you stabbing yourself with the stiletto like barbed needle that is used for needle felting.

When I was doing my research into needle felting and deciding whether to to take the plunge again after my not too successful efforts a few years ago, I spotted several people using hessian bags filled with rice and, as that seems more eco friendly than foam or a plastic brush, I thought I’d put those pieces of linen into use.

The linen is quite a coarse weave so I think it will work well.

I just cut two squares, approx. 12 x 8 inches, overlocked the edges, leaving a gap to fill with about 1.5kg of the cheapest rice I could find, and sewed up the gap.

And, I’m ready to go!

Scraphappy Day is organised by Kate & Gun for anybody who wants to make new things from scraps of any kind – doesn’t have to be fabric or yarn.  Here’s a list of participants – both regular and occasional – if you want to have a look at the sort of things you can do with scraps.

Contact Kate (first name on the list) if you want to join in.

Kate (me!)Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancyAlysKerryClaireJean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawnGwen, Connie, Bekki, PaulineSue L
and Sunny


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  1. #1 by nanacathy2 on January 15, 2020 - 08:20

    Absolutely you need to protect yourself and everything else except the wool from those barbs. Brilliant bag and use of some lovely looking linen. I confess to having been gifted a foam block for my nneedlefelting.

    • #2 by tialys on January 15, 2020 - 08:52

      I have one of those too Cathy – different tools (or a mix of) for different projects.

  2. #3 by thecontentedcrafter on January 15, 2020 - 09:01

    That is a clever and practical use for that lovely looking fabric. Anything that assists more fabulous needle felting is to lauded! Do be careful with the rice though – I have been told it can get verminised quite easily. Unfortunately I don’t fully recall the different ways it can get done in – things that lay worms and so on and there was a way to protect the rice but that’s gone too. I don’t know why I mentioned it at all as I have nothing of any sense to offer……. Happy felting 😀

    • #4 by tialys on January 15, 2020 - 09:23

      ‘Verminised’ – well, that’s a word you don’t hear very often. With 😺😸😼😽😾 of these we don’t see many mice around (not whole ones anyway) but we do occasionally get weevils in flour that hasn’t been stored properly although I think that’s very common. I think my rice bag, with heavyish use, will probably have a limited lifespan before going on the compost heap anyway but I’ll examine the rice before using it to refill another one and see what, if anything, has populated the rice grains.
      After Mrs. Snail’s post this may be the month for ‘scary scraps’.

  3. #6 by katechiconi on January 15, 2020 - 12:03

    I used to use a piece of old net curtain, wrapped several times around a wodge of batting. Your elegant linen pad is much more attractive and probably more durable. BTW, will you add Sunny to the end of your list (see the member list on my latest ScrapHappy post)? This will be her first ScrapHappy venture.

    • #7 by tialys on January 15, 2020 - 12:29

      Whatever works!
      Sunny is added and commented on.

  4. #8 by The Snail of Happiness on January 15, 2020 - 13:25

    What a great idea. My needle felting pad is made of corn starch, like a big version of those packing peanuts. This means it’s not suitable to use with combined wet and dry felting, so I might consider a rice bag like yours.
    I love that linen… what a nice collection of scraps to have.

    • #9 by tialys on January 15, 2020 - 13:37

      It’s gorgeous linen – made here in France too, mostly for traditional tea towels so is quite narrow.

  5. #10 by Dartmoor Yarns on January 15, 2020 - 13:31

    You’re soooo creative. What a fantastic idea!

    • #11 by tialys on January 15, 2020 - 13:34

      I can’t claim credit I’m afraid – the owner of Lincolnshire Fenn Crafts where I bought my kit uses one and also sells hessian versions in her shop so I just used the heavy linen instead.

      • #12 by Dartmoor Yarns on January 15, 2020 - 13:46

        But definitely credit for making from scraps rather than new!

  6. #13 by claire93 on January 15, 2020 - 14:41

    excellent use of some French linen ^^

    • #14 by tialys on January 15, 2020 - 19:06

      Too nice for tea towels I’ve always thought.

  7. #15 by Laurie Graves on January 15, 2020 - 15:52

    And go! Looking forward to seeing more of your creations. I must admit to have a fondness for felted wool creatures.

    • #16 by tialys on January 15, 2020 - 19:05

      I believe you’re in a good place should you ever feel tempted Laurie. There’s a farm that sells Maine grown fibre and runs workshops, several Maine based artists and even the Maine Felting Group.

      • #17 by Laurie Graves on January 16, 2020 - 15:38

        Lots of fiber in Maine, which is wonderful. Alas, I am not a crafty person. My creativity is directed toward writing, toward my books and my blog. But I love to see what others are doing, especially you!

  8. #18 by CurlsnSkirls on January 15, 2020 - 16:02

    Great idea, using rice! (Tho’ the thought of barbed needles really puts me off felting. 😣)

    • #19 by tialys on January 15, 2020 - 18:36

      You just have to be quicker than they are 😉

  9. #20 by tinaor on January 15, 2020 - 19:45

    Good idea with the rice – you’ll have to blog how you get on – and make sure it’s kept away from any moisture otherwise you’ll be felting on rice pudding!!

    • #21 by tialys on January 15, 2020 - 23:22

      I saw the lady who owns the company where I bought the kit using one of these only she makes hers with hessian. I did have some old coffee sacks and was going to cut into one of those but remembered the linen so we’ll see how it lasts. Hopefully I’ll get warning of any holes before 1.5kg of rice escapes all over the floor.

  10. #22 by onesmallstitch on January 15, 2020 - 21:52

    great idea, anything that gets rid of plastic is a positive.

    • #23 by tialys on January 15, 2020 - 23:29

      Very true. I did get a foam mat included in the kit for the hare I made which I have also been using but, when it wears out, I’ve seen that there are eco-friendly versions available so I’ll get one of those.

  11. #24 by magpiesue on January 16, 2020 - 19:11


  12. #26 by teamwilsun on January 17, 2020 - 03:16

    Hi – what a lovely set of scraps to have, and what a clever way to use them!

    • #27 by tialys on January 17, 2020 - 10:32

      Thanks – this set is just the tip of a teetering iceberg which I’m concentrating on reducing to more manageable proportions.

  13. #28 by Born To Organize on January 18, 2020 - 02:18

    What a delightful and practical use of linen scraps.

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