July 10, 2009
If there ever was a classic instant-gratification craft, it’s the venerable felt flower. I was playing around one day, and stumbled upon this method for making an interesting zinnia-style design. Hope you like!
First, you need some strips of felt. I’m using a variety of widths here: 2 1/4″, 1 3/4″ and 1 1/2″. They should be at least 6″ long.
Fold a strip in half lengthwise. Pin the edges together if you like.
Then, cut a series of slits into the folded edge. Mine are about 1/3″ apart. You can cut them narrow or wide as you prefer. Just try to keep them reasonably equal.
Snip your way along about 6″ of the strip, and leave any excess attached for now. This gives us some flexibility in our flower design.
Now, thread up a sewing needle with about 18″ of doubled thread, and tie a secure knot in the end. Sew a small running stitch along the edges of the folded felt, sewing the two layers together.
(I should add: I’m using contrasting thread here for visibility. You’ll want to use coordinating thread.)
As you sew, pull on the thread to gather the strip. You can gather it as much or as little as you like, until you arrive at a flower shape you like. When you have a pretty shape, go ahead and cut off any excess felt strip.
Take a couple little tack stitches through the end of the gathers to lock them in place. Leave the needle and thread attached to the flower.
Now, fold the flower in half, matching the two ends as shown. Take a couple little whip-stitches through all the raw edges to join the flower into a circle. Knot the thread securely and cut.
Gently flatten the flower and adjust the gathers. Cut a felt circle large enough to cover the gathered area. And, find a fabulous button.
Glue that felt circle to the back of the flower with tacky glue. Let the glue set for about 10 minutes.
..And then, sew the button to the front of the flower, sewing through that felt circle you just glued on. You can use a shank button or a sew-through button for your flower center, incidentally.
If you don’t have any buttons large enough to cover the gathers, you can always cut another circle from contrasting felt and then sew the button over that - take a look at the light pink flower in the top photo for an example.
If you want to, you can make a second, smaller flower and glue it to the first one before you add the felt circle and button.
From here, you can glue a pin back to your flower to make a brooch. You can sew a cluster of them to a tote bag. You can glue one to a greeting card or scrapbook layout. You can use them as embellishments on scarves, hats, softies, pillows - oh, you get the picture!
Thank you so much Diane for sharing this great fun tutorial with us! I think I just won’t be able to help myself and have to make one. She’s made it look so easy and as she said at the beginning of the tutorial, it’s such an instant gratification project! I love those! And so cute. I think it’s just the thing to go on my new crocheted sun hat… and maybe on my jacket too. What about on my new tote bag I’m making from Weaving Unloomed… I think there too!
Sister Diane - aka Diane Gilleland - says that she’s “made things my whole life, and would gladly give up most household chores for an afternoon of serious crafting. When I’m not crafting, I produce podcasts, and make zines, and write and blog about crafts. I live in Portland, Oregon - the coolest city ever. I also run DIY Alert, a website for Portland crafters. If you’re a local, you should check it out.”
Have fun making some button fun projects this weekend!