Felt wartime jewellery

November 22, 2011

As I made no secret of it; I like to fiddle some creative things.
This time I had a little project going on with the famous felt wartime jewellery.

The most famous wartime jewellery piece was ofcourse the sweetheart brooch.
But soon the scarce materials used for jewellery were legislated against. Only wedding rings, cuff-links, identification bracelets, and studs were allowed for manufacturing, and even then ónly under licence. Jewellers, however, could still sell second-hand jewellery, and you could imagine that the newspapers were full of advertisements  offering good prices for old baubles. Those who had enough money, always had their pre-war jewellery to fall back on.

Now, with the lack of jewellery DIY jewellery became all the rage. Magazines came out with ever so inventive ideas to make your own jewellery. With the rationing of clothing, women usually had only but a few dresses and weren't able to buy new ones. DIY jewellery became a part to make sure that it looked like as if a woman wore a completely new frock.  Even before the war, button holes were a popular way of cheering up a ladies suit or dress, which had been worn to boredom.

Buttonholes were made from a wide variaty of materials, for example colored beech nuts and suede flowers, wool flowers, raffia, oiled silk or felt. The above example are buttonholes made of felt. Another idea for DIY jewellery were acorns, with a little twig attached. Remove the nuts and let the cups dry, then enamel them inside and out with bright colors, and when dry, bunch them together attractively.

I decided to fiddle around with some felt, and started to make some brooches to cheer up some plain old dresses I have hanging in my closet. I loved scooping around in a Crea art shop searching for the right materials. While making my wartime felt jewellery, I wore at the same time a 1940s cardigan I found on Europe's largest fleamarket. I am over the moon with it, and most important of all: it's warm! The buttons are beautifully carved edelweiss'. And yes, the edelweiss is my favorite flower!

Me cutting out leaves.

Cutting out red little felt petals

Place them in position with a clothes pin, and also for the glue to dry properly.

More of them.

Bunched together and attached to a broochpin.

I am planning to make many more of these to spice up my boring black dresses, especially those florals that you can attach to the collar of a dress, as Phyllis Calvert shows in the advertisement above! I can't wait to scoop around at a hobby store again and stock in many felt colors, etcetera! I just love those autumn days when it's too cold to go outside, and to fill your day to fiddle around with materials accompanied by a big pot of autumn storm tea!

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  1. wow...very beutiful flowers... I wish I had time (and patience) to do something like this!!
    Now i'm about to learn how to knit...

  2. Just lovely!!!! You are a great artist!

  3. Those brooches are just lovely! I did some similar ones a few months ago - it´s just so much fun! I just wondered what you used for the stem of the flowers - is it also felt? and what kind of glue did you use?
    Thank you for sharing!

  4. Oh my goodness those are wonderful! So much nicer than any of the rubbish I see in the shops, you are so talented :)

  5. ~ * ♥ * ~

    What darling broaches Lindsay! I am wondering what the name of the book you got them from is? I would love to try my hand at making some, but of course, instructions are preferable to winging it! :D

    bonita of Depict This!
    ~ * ♥ * ~

  6. Thanks lovelies for the big compliments!

    @ Golden Magpie: The stem of the flowers are indeed felt, however, on the inside there's a very thin iron wire attached, to bunch the flowers to your likes. As for the glue; it's just hobby glue! There are some special glue's for felt though! Which I recommend!

    @ Bonita: The book's name is "the 1940s look" written by Mike Brown. I can highly recommend this book. It describes the clothing ( men and women ), accesories, jewellery, Make do and mend, Hairstyles, and what have ya! It's very informative book!

    @ Harlow Darling, thanks ever so much sweetheart! How are you doing lately?

    @ Laurence, thanks so much for your lovely compliment! That really made my day!

    @ Peggy: Great that you start to learn how to knit. I want to try that myself aswell, too, in the future! I wish you lived a little closer, so we could hang out and knit some nice things together! I am a complete novice on the knitting area. I have had class in it at school, but at that time it bored me to death.

  7. I love these, they're adorable!
    From Carys of La Ville Inconnue

  8. This is so neat I really want to try to make some :) It's so perfect! And all your photos are divine.
    I think we're nearly sweater twins. I have almost the exact same one with red flowers!

  9. Thanks so much Carys, Kate and Lauren!

    By the look of it you might think it's difficult to make, but it is actually really easy, certainly once you got the hang of it. Felt is a fine material to work with.

    I am thinking of making a tutorial for this!

  10. So cute! And I love your cardigan, you looked so nice in that. :)

  11. Absolutely beautiful - a tutorial would be great!
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

  12. Beautiful! Fijn om weer een creatieve tip tegen te komen. Mijn handen jeuken gelijk om ermee aan de slag te gaan! ^_^

    Dank Lindsay! :)

  13. Wow, you are so talented. This little flowers are lovely :)

  14. These are so cute! And I like that the pictures are tutorial-like. I think this is something that could fit my budget! :]

  15. Beautiful! I always sew mine but using the glue looks a lot less time consuming!
    And... oh my- your cardigan is an absolute dream!
    Tupps x

  16. WHat a great post! I especially like the cluster of flowers!

  17. Love this post.What a creative thing to do with felt.They are lovely.I will have to try it for Christmas presents.I just adore your little cardigan.So pretty.xx

  18. Oh that cardigan is perfection!!!
    What an amazing find.

  19. I just found your blog! It is wonderful.

    Please make a tutorial for the felt jewelry. I would love to make some!
    Thank you!

  20. Thanks for your lovely compliment!
    I am planning a tutorial soon. Am just thinking how to put together to make it enjoyable to watch.


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