As Armistice day is getting nearer, I am reminded of last year when I taught a making felt flowers class and a group of ladies learnt how to make poppies. I thought I could show you how to make a quick, easy and simple poppy.
ArtFelt has designed many simple to use kits, including a water lily picture kit which is very much influenced by Monet, where you can make a 3D water lily using merino fleece, pre-felt and silk fibres using wet and needle felting techniques. I have also taught many people about making felt flowers, to mention a few – daffodil, clematis, peace lily and numerous nuno silk flowers.
Making felt flowers is quite tricky. When I teach a class, I have to be very strict about how much fleece is used. This is not out of meanness, it is just that the flowers get bigger and bigger, I have known students to get so carried away that the felt flowers get large enough to cover a canvas shopping bag!
You can try this quick and easy felt flower, you don’t need any experience of felt making to make this poppy. First, I would recommend that you watch my peace lily tutorial on my YouTube channel
You will need:
- 3 grams red merino fine fleece
- Very small amount of black fleece
- Silk fibres – optional (I have used recycled sari silk)
- Black glass seed beads
- Bubble wrap (small bubbles)
- See through plastic bag cut so you have 2 sheets about 20 cm x 20 cm
- Grated soap I use pure olive oil soap
- A bottle with a nozzle
Dilute about 1 teaspoon of soap with very hot water, put in bottle
Divide the red fleece in ½
Place one of the plastic sheets on the bubble wrap (bubbles facing upwards)
Lay 1 of the halves in a horizontal direction on the plastic sheet 14cm x 14cm square
¼ turn and place 2nd ½ of your fleece on top of first layer
- Cover the centre with the black in a star shape 5cm across with short sections tear or cut to the right size
- Add silk fibres
- Saturate with soapy water
- Place plastic sheet on top
- Pat down for one minute
- Grab both sheets with the fleece sandwiched in-between and turn upside down,
- Continue patting on the under side for about 5 minutes (no rubbing at this stage)
- Remove top sheet and cut from one corner to the centre and try to gently pull the raw edge over each other, pat the raw edges for about a minute.
- Gently pull the centre up into a point and nudge the edges towards the centre.
- Take your time over this stage, keep patting and start gently rubbing against the bubble wrap.
- When it starts to feel a bit firmer flip on its side and roll against the bubble wrap, remove plastic sheet.
- Play around with the poppy – you can be quite firm, just like I do in the peace lily video
Felt flowers tip: use the soap to make your hands super soapy this will stop the fibres lifting
- For ragged edges snip little notches out of any straight edges rub to self-seal raw edges.
- Finally keep manipulating the poppy by stretching and rubbing ideally the poppy should feel nice and strong almost like leather.
- Rinse out the soap, shape and put to dry
- Add glass beads to the centre and use a safety pin to attach to your lapel
You can now enjoy making felt flowers. Well done on your finished poppy – wear it with pride
Andrea Coleman of Artfelt