What better way to spend the day with an arts and crafts idea when you are missing most of the things you need and the skill to do an arts and crafts project. I am always amazed at people who can actually do the whole arts and crafts thing. I have learnt that homemade is not a skill I possess. So my brain late one night went – wait I got an idea that might just work. My naive and ever hopeful self went, let’s do it.
Thus this post was born. In theory, this should work out quite well. Putting it into practice I knew not to get my hopes up high. I had decided that I would make a soot sprite by making a pompom. Simple right? It should be.
For the soot sprite you would need:
- Firm Cardboard
- Googly Eyes – either made with fabric or purchased
- 2 Black Pipe cleaners
- Black Wool – 1 standard bundle should be more than enough
- Pet brush
Of the above, I happened to have cardboard thanks to an Easter egg box. I have plenty of scissors at my disposal. As for googly eyes, I could not find them in my local store nor do I have the white and black fabric needed to make them. Did this stop me? No, I knew I had sufficient wool for the project so I forged ahead as I knew I had pipe cleaners in my room somewhere.
Upon looking for my wool, I could not locate my black wool so I settled for my dark blue. I was still pretty optimistic. I do not know why I ignored all of the signs, but I did and this is how I made my attempted soot sprite and how it should have been done.
1 Cut two circles of the same size from a piece of cardboard.
Make them the size that you want the resulting soot sprite to be. Then cut a second circle out in the middle of your two circles -without breaking your circles. These also need to be the same size. You should be left with two cardboard rings.
I used a Pringles can for my outer circle.
2 Place your two cardboard rings together and start winding and threading your wool around your hoops.
This is where you will need patience. Because I had made mine the size of a pringles can it took me hours. Hours of threading and looping. I got frustrated a lot. My wool often tangled and that took time to deal with as well. The initial instructions I had been following for the construction of the pompom had mentioned that the more wool you use the fluffier your pompom will be. So I threaded the wool quite tightly and frequently needed to add new pieces as I would run out of the section I had cut. I would advise double threading to make this phase go faster.
3 Keep going
Have patience and make sure to evenly wind the wool around your hoops. Keep winding the wool until you are unable to push wool through the centre anymore. If you think you are done, try to push that thread through, if it still fits, keep going until you literally can no longer fit wool through. Once you honestly can no longer fit wool through then tie off the last bit of wool.
4 Feed your two pieces of the pipe cleaner through the middle of your wool doughnut
I mention this step with hindsight. I had not done this. Which proved foolish once I had completed the next steps. Once they are done I was unable to do this so I am going to need to be creative to attach my ‘arms and legs’ to my soot sprite. I am thinking of using fabric glue – which I do not have. I also realised I have striped black and white pipe cleaners and brown ones – why am I so lacking. I should have checked before starting the whole project, but I had originally decided to make it from what I have lying around the house.
5 Take a deep breath and cut the wool
Yes, you are going to have to now cut the wool doughnut you have made. This part stressed me. It was this part that would let me know if I had succeeded or if I had gone horribly wrong during the winding phase. Cut along the edge of the doughnut until you can see the cardboard rings.
DO NOT REMOVE OR CUT THE CARDBOARD RINGS.
6 Take another piece of wool and thread it between the two cardboard rings and tie a knot.
You will need to make sure to pull the wool as tight as you can without breaking it. This piece of string is what will be holding the entirety of your soot sprite’s body together. Without this step, the entire thing will fall apart.
7 Remove the cardboard rings
Once again, make sure that your knot from step 6 is secure and that the string had been made as tight as possible. Tada, now you should have a pompom! Which I was surprised I did. Although it was not exactly round. I may have made mine too big.
8 Gently brush your soot sprite body
For this step I used a specific type of pet brush – see pic above. This type of pet brush does wonders ‘fluffing’ and softening wool and making it appear less ‘woolly’. When brushing you must do it very gently. You do not want to pull complete strands of wool from your soot sprite’s body. Don’t panic at the wool that gathers in the brush, this is completely normal and part of the floofing process.
9 Add eyes
Now as mentioned before, if I had the eyes I would add them using fabric glue. Two things that I do not have but it is at this point that you should complete your soot sprite.
See in theory, going step by step, my soot sprite would have been perfect. However, I lack the skill, attention to detail and patience to successfully pull this off. Yet I tried it anyway. I had fun and laughed quite a bit through the process. Once I get some googly eyes and fabric glue, I shall finish off my soot sprite. I can honestly say it is truly unique.