Felt flowers are fun, fresh, and best of all super simple to make. Even very young children can make the most delightful blossoms. These are an ideal craft for young children because they don’t have to be fully felted to be beautiful and wearable as pins, so when the child is finished felting the flower can be considered finished also! Although generally children do love to play with the soapy bubbles and wool and this project can take as little as 15 minutes to felt! Every flower will be as unique as the child who makes them!
Small amounts of wool roving or batting- ideally a quick to felt variety like merino
piece of bubble wrap and/or bamboo sushi roller
small amount of warm/hot water and a drop of dish soap
You can work on either a piece of bubble wrap, a bamboo sushi roller or a combination of the two, as we have. Any of these will work beautifully.
Lay out the wool fibres from the center, spreading out at the edges. There will be more wool at the center, and the outer “petals” will be more light and airy. Encourage children to work with thin wisps of wool, as though they are fairies painting the flowers.
Add some details to your petals by laying on wisps of wool in other colors. You can add a bright flower center too.
Make a felting solution of about half a cup of water with 2-3 drops of dish soap-not too much or this will slow down your felting!)
Wet out the felt flower by flicking water over the surface. It takes only a very small amount of water for such a small project. Use less at first, and then add more as necessary to wet out.
Cover with another square of bubble wrap, or fold over the piece you are using, and press down on the wool to wet out. Don’t rub, just compress with your whole hand. This flattens the wool and moves the felting solution evenly through the fibres. Check to see if you have any fluffy spots, add more water if necessary, then finish compressing.
Roll up the flower, and roll under your hands for 5-10 minutes, opening it up every now and then and changing the direction that you roll in. It is fine just to roll just with the bubble wrap if that is what you are using. It may be helpful to roll a pencil in the middle, to give the bubble wrap roll a little more structure.
Your flower should be quite felted at this point. Remove it from the roll, squish it up in a ball, dip into some fresh warm water and squeeze at and roll it in your hands for a few minutes to finish the felting. Rinse well and wring out any excess water.
To shape the flower as a pin, we need to create a flat backing. Place a coin in the flower center and gather the edges over the center and secure with an elastic band. Allow the felt to dry. The felt will hold the random ripples created by shaping this way.
Sew a pin onto the back and voila! A quick and totally individual gift every Mum and Grandmother will love to wear! You could also glue a magnet onto the back to brighten your fridge door!
You can also shape the flower to create a pendant, or to attach it to a felt stem. We used this method once to make a felt flower fairy garland for a forest tree house. Place the flower center over the eraser end of a pencil, or a piece of dowel. Gather and secure with an elastic band and leave to dry.
To make the Flower Stems:
To make the felt stem (or any felt cord), use a small amount of wool, roving laid out on your work surface. The wool should be about 1 inch in diameter for the stem, or the thickness of a carrot.
Wet out as above and then roll up in your bubble wrap. Try the keep the wool as round as possible as you gently roll.
Now place your wool right into the fold of the bubble wrap or sushi roller, place your hand on top of the fold and press down, pulling it towards you. The felt stem will roll along, under your hand, staying in the fold. This keeps the stem round, and will firmly felt it. Each time after pulling the roll towards you, you’ll need to open it up, reposition the stem at the top of the roll and then repeat.
Remove the felt stem from the roll and squish it up in your hand, dipping it in fresh warm water. This will finish the felting. Rinse well, and squeeze out any excess water.
Pull the stem straight and leave to dry, and create a curly stem by wrapping around the end of the pencil. The stem will hold it’s twists once dry. Sew stem to the flower back. These can be enjoyed as a table centerpiece, made into a pin or hat decoration. You could also use the directions above to make a long cord, working on one section at a time, then sewing on a group of flowers as a garland, or use each stem individually and join like a daisy chain.
A lovely May Craft for everyone!
Leave a comment here by Sunday, May 6th midnight and enter in a drawing to win enough wool to make two of these beautiful flowers.
Fiona Duthie is a regular contributor to Living Crafts.
In her studio on Salt Spring Island, BC, she creates in a bountiful beauty of color, wool, and texture, inspired by the natural world. Fiona designs fine feltwork, felting and knitting patterns, gives workshops in natural craft, and runs her hand dyed, artisan fibre company, Kattikloo. You can read more about her fibers, projects and creative living at www.kattikloo.com and on Facebook.