Friday, May 13, 2016

Tutorial: DIY Marimba Felts

If there's anything more frustrating than moving a marimba, it's moving a marimba and realizing you've lost a felt or two.  Disappeared - like socks in the dryer. 

Though I've been known to use a hair tie in a last-minute situation, I took 20 minutes this morning to make my own felts - 55, to be exact! That's what - less than 30 seconds each?! 

Here's how I did it.

- one piece of black felt ($0.40 at Michael's)
- ruler
- sewing machine (needle and thread works, too, but will take longer)

 The brand of felt I found is called Creatology. Here's the label:

1. Remove a felt from the marimba to take some measurements.  I've found that most are really similar in size, but measure to be sure.  

This one is one inch long on the folded edge, 7/8" wide.
You'll also want to measure from the fold to the first row of stitching, if there is some visible.  This one is 5/8". You'll want to stitch at this measurement so your felts match the original.

2. From your sheet of felt, fold one long edge in the width of your measurement from above (7/8").  You can pin it along the length to help it stay straight. 
I'm sewing 5/8" from the folded edge.  Whether sewing by machine or hand, you'll want to use a little stitch so they don't unravel when you cut the finished strip into pieces.

3.  Once sewn, cut the strip along the rough edge.

4.  Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you run out of felt.  I was able to get 5 folded strips out of this one.

5.  Cut each strip into pieces using the length measurement from above (1").

6.  Slip those DIY felts on and get to practicing!

I face the rough edges toward the center - just an aesthetic choice. :)

55 felts  |  20 minutes  |  $0.40 cost of materials 

A hint if using needle and thread: I suggest sewing one line of stitches, then without cutting the thread flip the felt over and sew the same line again from the other side, being careful to "fill in the gaps" between stitches.  (If you don't fill in the gaps, all the stitches will come out when you cut your strip into pieces.)

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