The sweetest little bumble bees buzzing around their beehive. This little matchbox cover will make a beautiful addition to your mealtime candle ritual. Making time to be creative with your hands is also a wonderful way to drop out of all the busyness and just be in the moment. Make a few extra bees and tie them onto a branch for a sweet little rhyme game. You could keep this on hand for a transition time or when your child is needing some extra connection.
What do you suppose,
A bee landed on my nose.
And what do you think?
It gave me a wink.
And said, “I beg your pardon,
I thought you were a garden!”.
Wool felt to cover the matchbox in a soft beige colour
Brown wool felt for the beehive
**Carded wool in brown + gold colours
**A little piece of gold silk for the bee wings – you could use any very thin fabric or tulle
Needles + pins
**Needle Felting Needle + Foam Mat (you will need this to make the bees)
** – you could also stitch some little bees using some embroidery thread rather than needle felting.
- Begin by gathering all your materials.
- Draw a little beehive on some paper and cut it out. You may also like to cut another smaller beehive that will form a padding piece underneath the original beehive.
- Arrange the pattern pieces on the wool felt you have chosen, pin in place and cut the pieces out.
- Next take your matchbox and some plain paper and trace around your matchbox, and cut out to create a pattern. Next, place this paper pattern on the wool felt you have chosen to cover your matchbox and cut out two pieces (one for the front and one for the back).
- Begin with stitching the beehive onto the front matchbox cover felt. Place the padding piece and then cover with the top beehive. Stitch the beehive in place using a simple whip stitch.
- Next, take some dark embroidery thread and using satin stitch (see stitch guide), stitch in place.
Making the bees – Begin by watching the video tutorial below…
[Here are some written instructions to help also…]
- Take a small amount of the golden + brown fleece and rub it between your fingers into a little ball. Then using your felting needle, stab the wool to form the body of the bee. Needle felt the bee just enough for it to stay in a little ball. Continue to make as many bees as you would like. Watch the video below for a little tutorial.
- To add the wings, take a bee and using some gold/ yellow embroidery thread take a little stitch through the centre of the bee. The knot in the thread will end up on one side of the bee. Now take a little rectangle of golden silk (approx. 1.5cm x 1 cm) or whatever fabric you are using for the wings and across the narrowest part of the rectangle, take a few runnings stitches.
- Make another stitch through the body of the bee and pull tight. Take a few stitches through the bee’s body and wings to secure in place (making sure to leave the sides of the wings loose).
- Before cutting off the thread, stitch the little bee in place on the matchbox cover. Stitch off the thread at the back of the matchbox cover.
- Continue to make wings for all the bees – securing each in place before stitching off. Alternatively you can stitch some little bees using some dark embroidery thread (using a few straight stitches to build up the body of the bee) and some yellow wings (using a chain stitch).
Finishing off the matchbox
- Finally take another piece of yellow embroidery thread and using a running stitch make a meandering “buzzing” track from the entrance of the beehive door around to each of the bees.
- Cover the back of the matchbox with some PVA glue and then take the plain backing piece of felt and glue in place. Next take the piece of felt you have stitched your bees on and glue in place. Place under something slightly heavy for half an hour for the felt to stick securely.
- Finally if there is any felt overhanging the edges of the matchbox simply cut the edges to size using scissors.
– For the beehive I used an old woollen scarf. I love using ‘up-cycled’ materials that I collect from second hand/thrift shops or from clothing items we no longer use.
– For the bee wings, try to simply use a light fabric that you have on hand. Something with a little gold in it adds a magical element. You could use some light/white silk from an old garment or purchase some white silk, and simply pop it into a pot and boil with some turmeric powder to get a lovely golden colour (only use a pot that you have set aside for dying wool/silk and no longer cook with).
– You will notice that embroidery thread/floss is made up of 6 strands. I suggest splitting the embroidery thread/floss so that you are only stitching with 2 strands. Any more than this and your stitching will be very bold and chunky.
– “Stitching Off” – To stitch off, simply bring your needle to the back of the item, take a little stitch where your thread is already coming out and thread your needle through the loop, before pulling tight. If possible try not to take the stitch all the way through to the front. Repeat this and then cut off thread.
Here is a little video to help you make the needle felted bees…
Hi I’m Natalie,
I teach Mums mothering arts + homemaking, so that they can create a home life that deeply nourishes their children while re-igniting their JOY in the monotony of motherhood.