Hello my lovely fellow craft-loving friends! I hope your September has been fun and creatively inspired! Ours sure turned out to be. Oh and it’s been busy, and at times hectic, and at others felt chaotic, but that doesn’t change – whether we craft or not – right?!? So might as well carve out a little time for some art therapy :oD The dishes and vacuuming can wait till tomorrow! I find crafting cathartic and the end result once my craft is finished rewarding – usually, anyway. I do totally bomb on an attempt to make something sometimes, but I chalk those up to a learning experience and then give it another go on the next attempt (I do my best to stay focused on the positive rather than wallow in the “what or how I did wrong” so that I don’t get down on myself or my failed attempts at creativity). And that my friends is how I usually stay inspired to keep on making things! Or at least trying to…
And on that note, here is something newly made which luckily didn’t bomb at all in my opinion. I really love the way this felt sunflower cafe out and am pretty pleased with my second attempt at adding bead work details to fabric (my first one was a ribbon belt piece I made for my Aunt to wear at my parent’s vow renewal ceremony which they did for their 40th wedding anniversary! 40 YEARS!!!!!!). Anyways, I digress (because 40 years of marriage isn’t exactly something to gloss over). My point is that I think this flower turned out to be absolutely stunning. Especially when paired with the beautiful crocheted leaves that Katie made to go with it for our 2nd fall wreath!!! I’ll get into the details of how to make the flower, the leaves, and attach them all to the wreath below. As usual, I have added notes on steps you can skip if you aren’t trying to spend as much time as I did in making this flower.
- 1 piece of felt fabric in yellow (or alternate color of your choice)
- 1 piece of felt fabric in brown (or alternate color of your choice)
- Thread in the same/similar colors as your felt
- A needle for sewing everything together (if you’re going to do the beadwork on the center, you need a needle small enough to fit through the smallest beads used)
Optional – for the more detailed look:
- Assorted brown beads for the center detail (or alternate color of your choice)
- Marker to add petal detail (I used an orange permanent chalk marker)
Also optional – to make the wreath
- A wreath to add everything to once it’s finished (I used a birch twig wreath that I already had which you can find at just about any craft store)
- Crocheted leaves (or you can make some out of felt if you’d prefer!)
Cutting the Felt
I lucked out in a BIG WAY this time around when it came to cutting my petals! Katie and I got together for a crafting night and invited our other sister-friend over to hang out and help (her name is Christine, and she is absolutely WONDERFUL!). So while I worked on beading the center, Christine cut out ALL of my petals!
- Cut 35-40 petals out in the color you want the flower to be
- Cut out a medium-ish circle in the same color (this is for the back and won’t be seen)
- Cut out a small-ish circle in the color you want the center to be
I didn’t add any waves to these petals – sunflower petals are typically pretty crisp so I just left them as-is.
As I scoured the internet for photos of sunflowers, I knew I wanted to find a way to make the center of mine the focal point. I didn’t want to use embroidery, and I knew I didn’t want to just throw a felt center in there. Thankfully the idea came to me while looking at images to attempt a beaded center that had tons of texture and a circular structure!
As usual, some or all of these steps can be skipped if you want to make your flower much quicker.
Adding Detail to the Petals
To add some depth to the petals, I took my orange marker and swept lines from the base of the petal out toward the tip (just like I did in my last post where there are photos of the process – only this time I didn’t do them fanned out, rather just down the length of the petal, stopping just before reaching the very tip).
Next I stuck the two bottom corners of the petals together (the same way I did with the felt peony post from last month, but this time with thread instead of glue). You can skip this step, but it gives the flower more depth and volume once it’s all put together if you choose to do it.
Making the Pistil
This is where the bulk of the work happens with making this particular sunflower. I started by sewing a larger bead to the very center of the small circle and then went around that with my small beads, sewing each one to the felt individually. The best way to really keep the circular shape is to first sew each bead of the circle to the felt, then take your needle and go back through the whole circle of beads with the thread, then sew back down into the felt and pull somewhat tightly.
You keep doing this, one circle at a time, until you’ve got a beaded circle in the right size. I alternated beads whenever I felt like it but kept the same size of bead at least while sewing each individual circle. Here is what it looked like once I was finished:
Making the Leaves
Katie crocheted the leaves that go with this flower and they look AMAZING! She found and bought a super cute leaf pattern here and used leaf 2, generic leaf. She used “I Love this Cotton” yarn from Hobby Lobby (the pattern calls for thread size 10 but we wanted the leaves to be bigger and sturdier). Since we couldn’t find yarn in the exact color of green we were hoping for, we went ahead and used some green fabric dye. Once the dyed leaves were dry, I starched and ironed them to give them some stiffness.
Don’t you just love them?!
Putting the Flower Together
To put this flower together, I took the medium sized circle of felt and started sewing petals to it, starting with the very back layer of petals and working in towards the center. I used yellow thread and added my first round of petals which had 13 total, and then I placed my next round so that each petal was sewn in between the previous and just a tad closer to the center than the last. I did this over and over until I had all of layers of petals attached with the layer at the center being the topmost one. It looked like the picture below once I was all finished.
Next I attached the beaded center using a brown thread. I went around the outermost layer of beads and sewed the middle to the petals, making sure each stitch landed in between two beads and not over the top of any of them. I started my stitch inside the outermost circle, went up and over it (again, at a point where two of the beads met so my thread ended up hidden) and back down into the circle with the petals attached. I did this all the way around the middle, adding a stitch every 1/4″ or so until it felt securely tacked down.
And this is what my flower looked like when it was all finished!!! I LOVE IT!!!
Putting the Wreath Together
I laid the flower out with the petals in order to get an idea of how it would look once I attached it to the wreath. It wasn’t until I did this with the wreath behind everything that I really figured out how it was going to look and what would be just right for the overall look.
At first I wasn’t sure it was going to look good at all – and then I found that adding some movement to the leaves made ALL THE DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD!!! So, when placing the leaves on the wreath, I laid them in such a way that the leaves curved with the wreath but also up away from the wreath, then back down toward it. Sewing the leaves onto this wreath took a lot of patience as I had to navigate through all of the sticks and take care not to break any off (ok, so I broke a few, but not so many that it mattered!). While I could have glued the leaves and flower down, since this is going to be outside and possibly in the heat, I felt it was best to stick with sewing in spite of the frustration doing so caused for a short while.
It took a little playing with it to get the overall finished look but it was well worth it, don’t you think?!?
I hope you enjoyed this post! I sure do love my new front door wreath!
I would love to hear from you – your thoughts on the tutorial, questions, or whether you tried making this yourself!
Update 9/2020: We launched an online store last year! Check out our unique handmade jewelry designs