For the past couple of years I have made tree decorations from Fimo clay, felt and other materials. Our Christmas tree is food themed, and our Halloween tree is anything and everything spooky! Making all of these decorations over the past few years has been a learning process and I decided to create something a little more difficult for the top of our Halloween tree. It took me around a week to figure out how to make a Halloween Witch Marge tree topper. There was a lot of trial and error, but I got there in the end! This is far from perfect but I'm happy with the results. All you need to make your own tree topper is felt, different coloured thread, sewing needles, pens, paper and some patience. I never used a sewing machine to create this and measured everything using paper.
Firstly, I watched a few of my favourite Halloween Simpsons episodes to decide which character to choose for the top of our Halloween tree. As Marge is flying on a broom, I thought she would look good in front of a crescent moon.
I drew out an idea of what I wanted whilst looking at some images for reference. Marge has her eyes closed in the scene I copied, so I gave her a different face and drew one of her legs poking out of her dress. I wanted to give her more of a pin up look with a traditional Marge face.
I then cut out the image into sections, and used them as stencils to draw onto the felt. I done this by colour, eg, the head, hands and leg were cut out to be drawn onto green felt. The dress was drawn onto black felt with a white Poska Pen. Where you can, flip the stencil the other way so the pen lines are on the back on the felt.
The face was the trickiest part and this was my second attempt. I didn't quite get the shape of the face right in my first attempt and it really showed. If you are creating any recognisable character you need to ensure you have the foundation/shape right before you start building detail on top of it. I spent hours on a face that just didn't look good, the better one only took me around 40 minutes.
The more simple and accurate the shapes are, the better your creation will look. The blank felt face already looks like a Simpsons character. This is what you want to start with.
I cut the eyeballs out of the original drawing and then drew them onto white felt. I made sure everything matched up before sewing it down. I carefully added detail with black thread making sure to copy the image as accurately as I could. I cut Marge's hair out of the paper and then put it against the felt face to see if the hairline looked correct. Using paper as a guide and stencil will save you a lot of time and you will waste less felt. Once I had Marge's face and hair it was time to start with the body. I used my paper guide once again and used the head as a guide for the overall size.
When I could see the proportions of how Marge would sit I created a crescent moon to go behind her so I could give the design a background. In order for this design to sit on top of a tree it needs to act like a puppet. I held the design against different backgrounds to see what would work. I stuck with a simple blue sky and a black background so it didn't take attention away from Marge. I began sewing Marge together and then drew around the shape she created onto black felt.
I tacked the design onto the black felt and lightly stuffed any areas I thought would look better with a bit of padding. Once Marge was on her black background it was time to create the 'sleeve' for the back so Marge can sit on top of the tree. The shape of her hair worked to my advantage as the very top of this design can fit perfectly on to the top branch.
I sew a blank piece of felt to the back of the bottom of the design to cover up any stitches. Then I sew two pieces of felt together, then attached it to the back of the design.
After the felt was attached I cut around the shape to get rid of the excess pieces. I then went over the stitching one more time to ensure it was secure.
I added my family name and the year I made the design to the back as a memento.