Playful Flowers from Fabric and Felt

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Playful fabric and felt flowers can be made to put in floral arrangements, they can be added to a child’s costume collection as a wedding bouquet, and more.

The way this project started is a little bit crazy, but I do think it has more than just this one application.  My daughter has a fairly new Volkswagen Beetle.  I think she’s had it about a year now and she still hasn’t filled the little vase that is mounted into the dashboard.  We’ve tried different silk flowers and even just putting pencils or treats in it and nothing seems to be quite right.  Well, the other day she and I were in a little shop and she saw a napkin in a fabric that she fell in love with.  As we were talking about what she might do with the fabric, (using it as a napkin was out of the question – the fabric was too pretty to her!) we came up with the idea of trying to create fabric flowers for her car!  We think it worked out great and if you do too, here’s how to make them! 

Materials List:

  • Fabric of your choice (enough for two strips 4” wide by 16” long)
  • Wire for stems
  • Felt for wrapping stems and making leaves
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Floral aqua picks
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Sewing machine
  • Cutting mat
  • Rotary cutters

Tip:
Fabric flowers can be made out of yard goods as well as napkins.  Just find a fabric that suits your décor or vehicle!  If you are using a napkin, first cut off the serged edge, then cut out your strips as indicated in step 1.

Instructions:

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1. Begin by cutting a strip measuring 4” by 32”.  If you need to piece the strips together, cut accordingly.  We needed to piece two together and we decided to make two flowers out of our napkin.  Stitch the pieces together to make one long strip.

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2. Next, fold the strip in half lengthwise and run two lines of basting stitches along the raw edge so the strip can be gathered.

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3. As you gather up the strip, gather tightly at one end and loosely as you move towards the other end.

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4. Begin at the tightly gathered end to roll the strip into a flower.  After every turn, take a stitch through the entire flower at the bottom in the gathered area to keep it rolled together.

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5. At the beginning of your third circle, fold the strip back on itself about an inch…

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…then back again the original direction to create a fold.  (Unfortunately I moved the fold from the bottom to the top when I took the photo….sorry!)  Without these folds, the flower won’t open up.  Create folds like this opposite each other, at the top and bottom and then on each side, then top and bottom until you reach the end of the strip.

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Don’t forget to push the needle through the base of the flower every time you create another fold.  When you are done, knot the thread and dress your flower.  It should look something like this one!

Make the stem and leaves:

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6. Take a long piece of wire and create a knot of sorts in one end using your needle nose pliers.  Push the other end through the center of the flower and out the bottom.  The “knot” should stay in the center of the flower to hold the wire and not be seen.

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7. Next cut the top and the pick section off of the aqua pick.

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8. Slide the aqua pick onto the wire and bend the wire close to the bottom edge of the aqua pick to hold it tight against the base of the flower.

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9. Cut three “sepals” out of felt.  These are the green leaves just under the flower.  Make them large enough to cover the entire aqua pick and rest gently on the flower as well.

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10. Add hot glue to the lower portion of the sepal that will be touching the aqua pick.  Leave the upper portion of the sepal clean so it can be folded back as the flower is opened.

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11. When you are gluing the sepals to the flower, you may need to cut off some excess.  Don’t overlap too much of the sepal at the base or it will get too bulky.

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12. Next, to cover the wire stem, cut a long piece of felt that is wider at the top to go all the way around the aqua pick.  I cut narrower, pointy leaflets at the top and they turned out looking quite nice.

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13. Wrap the felt around the stem and aqua pick and hot glue in place, cutting off any excess along the stem.

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14. Create separate felt leaves that you can add wherever you feel is necessary by cutting out two exactly alike, hot glue a piece of wire down the center of one and then glue the second leaf over the top.  You can then bend and shape it anyway you like.

This was the perfect answer to the VW vase issue; however, I think fabric flowers could be a welcome addition of just about any room in your home.  They are virtually maintenance free and you can create them in any color and pattern that suits your needs!  Now go grab some fabric scraps and get started!!

Shari 

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