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My Marshmallow Man is Really a Nisse! Make One With Felt.
Submitted by Pam on Thu, 12/09/2010 - 16:33
Marshmallow Men! Recreated in Felt!
ADDED 01/2011 I just realized that many readers are not familiar with my original Marshmallow Men - made of Marshmallows! Here is the link to the original post! So sorry.
I know this is totally inappropriate to say about my own crafty venture but... I love these little guys! I really do!
Mine have been made using felt, but felted wool would work beautifully. And for those of you who needle felt - go for it!
The marshmallow men have always reminded me of the adorable little folklore creatures from Scandinavia called Nisse. I have found them claimed by Norway, Denmark and Sweden.
In answer to a question I sent to Hanna (iHanna's Blog), I received this explanation - in her words: "So in Swedish it is "Nisse" or "Tomtenisse" (short i as in niece, long e). Nisse is not the name of santa or saunta claus bur rather a small "house gnome", the little helpers that live in a farm and do some chores if they are treated kindly. In old Swedish that was what you would call a "good farmhand"."
Many people make whole Nisse villages -Nisselandskabet! Margit, (papirklip og aesker) included links to two such villages on one of her early posts - see them here and here! And Margit has created Nissar you can print and cut - find them in her archives here. As you scroll down you will find several.
The Nisse also remind me of the Pakapikk! Never heard of them? Me either until my friend Linda (Lokan ja kleebin) shared this lovely story of Pakapikk. I especially love how the Estonians blend the little elves or farm hands with advent! Be sure to go read her post. If I had young children at home, I would be so adopting this tradition.
And while you are there - be sure to see her wonderous doll house made of totally recycled materials.
Now that you have had a bit of holiday tradition history, let's Make A Marshmallow Man Nisse!
You will need:
thread and needle
tiny black beads (and a little larger "nose" bead is optional)
Sharpie (red or pink)
A bit of white fake "hair" if you wish to add a beard (also optional)
IMPORTANT NOTE: I assembled these little guys by stitching them with thread and needle; however, if you prefer, you could actually assemble the little fellows with a glue gun.
To Make a felt marshmallow man:
1. Cut from the white felt: 2 strips measuring 4 3/4" long and 1 " wide; 4 circles 1 1/2" diameter; 4 strips measuring 1 1/2" long and 3/8" wide; and 8 circles 1/2" diameter.
Cut from the red felt 1 hat shaped as you see in the diagram above. The sides should be at least 3 1/2" long and the base about 5" across from point to point.
2. Stitch and stuff the two "body marshmallows" as shown. I used a whip stitch and regular sewing thread so the stitching would disappear as much as possible into the felt. But I caution you to keep your stitches very loose - do not pull them tight like I did on the right "marshmallow". I found that just pulling the thread enough that is held the pieces in place helped in making the little felt pieces look more like real marshmallows.
I used the same technique on the hat so that there would be almost no seam.
Stitch and stuff two body marshmallows and four tiny marshmallows. Stitch the back seam of the hat. And you are done with the tedious part!
And now the real fun begins!
3. To attach the arms and legs to the body, thread your needle with double thread and knot it at the end. Determine the placement of your legs and arms.
4. Make a tiny stitch in the body where you want the arm or leg and pull up your thread to the knot.
5. Now make a tiny stitch in one end of the little arm or leg...
and then take another tiny stitch in the body at the same place you made the first stitch. Pull the thread bringing the little marshmallow snugly against the larger marshmallow.
Take a couple more stitches to secure and tie off the thread.
6. Use a ladder stitch to attach the head to the body. The ladder stitch is very easy to do and hides the thread beautifully.
7. Set the little hat on the head (do not attach it yet) so that you can determine where you want the eyes. Place a mark at each eye and remove the hat.
8. Attach the eyes. Knot your double thread and place the needle into the top of the head and bring it out at one of the marks for an eye.
Place a little black bead on the needle, let it slide to the surface of the felt and make a stitch back into the felt right under the bead. Come out at the top of the head again.
9. Repeat with the other eye!
If you are using a bead for a nose, this would be a good time to attach it as well.
10. Make a hanging loop. Cut a piece of embroidery thread about 12" long. You want it long enough to be able to extend up through the little hat and create a hanging loop.
11. Fold the floss in half and place the loop end through the eye of the needle as shown.
13. Take your needle and floss up through the bottom of the hat...
and bring it out through the tip of the hat. Pull gently to remove the slack. Slip the thread out of the needle.
14. Make a couple little stitches to tack the hat in place. These stitches are simply needed to hold the hat in place, but are not needed for strength because the weight of the marshmallow man is being supported by the embroidery floss.
15. Use a pink or red Sharpie to make a couple little pink cheeks.
You are done!
To make your marshmallow man into a Nisse, add a glass or wood bead for a nose and stitch or glue a bit of white fake hair right under it for a beard.
If you want to make these with children, I would suggest that you make the marshmallows and hat and then let them participate in the assembly part - which is the most fun part - at least for me it is!