This guest post was written by Cathy of Catshy Crafts.
I've always loved felt. It's easy to work with, relatively inexpensive and comes in a rainbow of colors. One of my favorite things to make out of felt are dimensional flowers. You can glue them to a hair clip or headband for a quick and easy hair accessory, use as a gift topper or just give them as is. I know my daughters can get pretty excited over a few hand-made blossoms. Today, I'll show you how to make the three kinds of flowers (with 2 additional variations for a total of 5) that adorn my yarn-wrapped wreaths. Once you know the basics, you'll be creating your own bouquets in no time.
1. 9 x 12 sheets of felt in colors you love 2. Scissors 3. Embroidery thread and needle 4. Pinking shears (optional) 5. Faux pearl or vintage button (optional) 6. Pins (optional)
Here's how to make it:
1. Fringed flowers
Step 1: Fold over over a sheet of felt lengthwise about 2.75 inches. With scissors, trim off excess so that you have a strip about 5.5 inches wide. (This will give you a flower about 3.5 inches in diameter. For smaller flowers, make narrower strips.) Note: Usually when I am making felt flowers, I do not whip out the ruler, but I wanted to give you measurements for this tutorial. Once you get the hang of it, you probably won't need a ruler either.
Step 2: With the strip still folded in half lengthwise, cut your felt on the non-folded side in even intervals about 1/2 away to 3/4 down. (You may want to pin the folded strip before cutting, but I just use my hand to keep the felt folded, sliding it down as I cut.) Be careful not to cut all the way through your felt. The farther you cut will determine how "open" your flower will be. For example, if you cut 3/4 down, you'll get a more open, floppier flower. If you cut 1/2 way down, your flower will stay tighter in the bud, so to speak. Another tip: You can also change up how wide or narrow you cut your felt strips for a different look.
Step 3: Starting at one end, snugly roll your fringed strip until you get to the other end. From there you can peel back the layers of fringe to poof up your flower. Feel free to give your flower a haircut, trimming fringe that are uneven or too long for your taste.
Step 4: Now it's time to sew. Thread your embroidery needle with embroidery thread. Starting at the point where you finished rolling your strip in Step 3, push your needle through all the layers of felt. Turn your flower 90 degrees and repeat, again pushing your needle through all the layers. (In other words, the second stitch should be perpendicular to your first stitch.) This should be enough to secure the flower. If not, make a few more stitches. When you're ready, tie a knot, snip the excess thread.
Step 5 (optional): Add faux pearl or vintage button to the center for a little glam.
2. Loopy flowers
To get the loopy flowers, the same steps apply as above. The only difference is that you will cut on the folded side in Step 2. (see photo for side-by-side comparison).
These little guys are one of my favorites to make because they are so easy!
Step 1: Cut out a free-form circle of felt about 4 inches in diameter. No need to be a perfect circle, but if you need a little help you can always use a template (i.e. trace around a jar lid onto paper and cut out). As before, the measurements do not matter all that much, there are just here to give you a starting point.
Step 2: Starting at any point on the circle, begin cutting a spiral. I find that it is easier to rotate your felt as you cut (instead of moving your scissors around the felt). Cut all the way around until you reach the middle of the circle and are left with a little center tab.
Step 3: Pick up the end of the spiral on the outside of the circle and roll snugly until you reach the end of the spiral on the inside of the circle. The tab I mentioned in step two will rest nicely on the bottom, serving as a little base for your rosette. Your rosette will end up being about 1 1/2 inches in diameter (compared to the 4 inch circle you started out with).
Step 4: Time to sew! Turn over your flower. Find that little tab again. That's where you will begin sewing, pushing your needle through the tab and picking up a few layers of felt. Repeat, again using the tab as your starting point. Keep sewing, until all your layers are secure. It usually takes 3 or 4 stitches depending on how big your flower is. If it's a really big flower, I like to make sure it's secure by gently pulling on the layers. If any give way, I just tuck them back in and add another stitch or two.
Now that you know the basics, here are a couple variations.
4. Wavy rosette
For this version, you get a fuller flower, with curved, wavy leaves.
Step 1: To start, cut a wavy circular shape instead of circle.
Step 2: Starting at any point, begin cutting a spiral, following the outline of the wavy circle. Again, I find that it is easier to rotate your felt as you cut (instead of moving your scissors around the felt). Cut all the way around until you reach the middle of the circle and are left with that little center tab.
Steps 3 and 4 are the same as the standard rosette.
5. Pinked edge rosette
For this rosette, simply use pinking shears instead of a standard pair of scissors to cut your circle and spiral. When you're done with that, try a wavy circle with your pinking shears. Or a loopy flower. You get the picture.
So I hope this will get you started on making your own pretty felt flowers!
So which one is your favorite? Fringe, loopy, or rosette?
Share your opinion in the comments below.
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