Felt sunflower

Make this sunny felt sunflower

This felt sunflower is such a fun project because it looks amazing, is super versatile and will brighten up any room. You can easily make them smaller or bigger and mix them up by making some with just a dark brown center (so they look like younger sunflowers) and others with both the dark and lighter shades of brown (to look like older flowers that have started to drop their seeds).

How to make a felt sunflower

What you’ll need:

  • Four different felt colours (green, yellow and two shades of brown)
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Fabric chalk or pencil
  • Glue gun

Making the middle of the sunflower

Let’s get started! First, we’ll make the middle of the sunflower. This is the same pattern used for the chrysanthemum and can easily be adjusted to make a larger sunflower. Measure and cut a strip of the darker brown felt – 12 inches by 1 inch. You can definitely make this strip longer, up to 20 inches. But, since I use a mixture of felt sheets and felt off the roll, I just happened to have a 12 by 12-inch sheet in the colour I wanted, so that’s what I’ve used.

Fold the strip in half along the long edge, and then use your glue gun to run a line of glue along the edge and press tight. You need to make sure the glue runs along the edge only and is not covering all of the inside of the strip. That’ll make it hard to make our little snips. As this inner circle represents the seeds that haven’t yet opened up, we want them a little smaller and tighter than the lighter brown outer circle. Make little cuts around 1/4 of an inch apart, starting from the folded edge and going in about halfway towards the glued edge. Next roll the cut strip up, gluing a little as you go to make sure it holds tight.

Making the second circle (the sunflower seeds that have started to open and drop)

Next, we’re going to make the second lighter brown circle. It’s essentially the same as the first, but the strip is a little wider (12 inches by 1.5 inches) and you’ll need to make the cuts a little further apart (more like a 1/3 of an inch apart). Then wrap this strip around the darker brown middle (start from where the dark brown ends), gluing as you go to make sure it holds tight.

How to make the petals for our felt sunflower

Petal time! We’re going to do two layers of petals, and they are exactly the same so just follow these instructions twice! 🙂

Who remembers making paper doll chains at school? That’s what we’re going to do today – it saves cutting out 16 individual petals!

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

Sticking with our 12 inches, cut these two strips a little wider at 2 inches each. Next fold each in half and then fold each half again, bringing the sides down on the outside. It is important the folds are in the right place – it should look like an ‘M’. Using either fabric chalk or a fading fabric pen, draw four even petals on one of the sides. I’ve started by marking the halfway point, and then the quarters, and then filling in a petal shape in each section. They take up about two thirds of the height so that I have plenty intact at the bottom to glue to the middle.

Technically, if we were making this with paper, we could have kept folding until we had all 16 sections folded up and could just cut one petal, but as the felt is quite thick this is the next best option.

Carefully cut out the petal shapes and then open up your strip. Once it’s open, tidy up any rough bits.

Creating the petal shape can be a little fiddly!

The next bit is probably the fiddliest part, so just go slow and take your time. You want to put a small blob of hot glue at the bottom of each petal, in the centre, then pinch the edges together until the glue sets (the pictures below are better at explaining this!). Work your way along the strip until all the petals have been pinched together. To attach the petals to the middle of the sunflower, run a line of glue around the brown middle, and then wrap your petals around it and hold firmly for the glue to dry. I recommend wrapping the petals around before you have glued the middle, just to get a feel for where everything is going to sit and how firmly (or not) you need to pull it around so that the ends of the petals come together nicely.

Do the same for your second strip of petals and when you glue it around the first set, try and place the outer petals in the gaps, so they are overlapping nicely. It is fiddly, but just try your best and squeeze it all firmly together once you’ve glued it.

Adding a few leaves

And for the final touches, let’s add a couple of leaves. How you finish off your sunflower depends on what the project is, whether it’s sitting flat or you can see the underneath. I’m just going to add two decorative leaves, but you can see how it would also look great with leaves all the way around.

Take your green felt now and cut two rectangles about 2 inches by 3 inches. Cut these into the shape of a leaf. Fold the leaf in half and pinch hard to leave a crease line. Here, I’ve added a little water first to help hold the line. Glue both leaves to the bottom of your sunflower, overlapping a little.

Final touches to our felt sunflower

The last thing we’ll do to tidy up the project a little, is cut out a circle also from the green felt and glue it to the bottom to cover up that mess! If you are gluing your sunflower straight onto something, you don’t need to do this. But if people might see the underneath, it just tidies it up a bit. The circle I have used here is just over 2 inches, maybe 2 and 1/4 inches. I cut a square first, measuring against my felt sunflower to see how wide it needed to be, and then shaped it into a circle.

And there you have it! A beautiful, bright felt sunflower ready to brighten up any project or space.

2 thoughts on “Make this sunny felt sunflower”

  1. Thanks so much for this tutorial, I made one to go on the front of a memorial book for a student who died at 17. She loved sunflowers.

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