A Year of Wreaths: April Felt Flower Wreath by Laura Howard
This month’s wreath is all about bright and zingy spring colours! The layered felt flowers and embroidered green leaves really pop against a wreath base wrapped in neutral linen-blend fabric. You could easily adapt this design by adding more flowers and leaves, or by using different shades of wool blend felt to change the mood of the wreath. The individual felt flowers would also make great brooches or hair clips.
You will need:
*The template sheet (click here to download and print the PDF)
*A 30cm polystyrene ring wreath base
*Half a metre of Robert Kaufman Essex Yarn Dyed fabric in Flax
*Wool blend felt in the following colours: Chartreuse, Hallows Eve, Cotton Candy and Wisteria
*Co-ordinating embroidery thread in orange, pink and purple
*Sewing needle and pins
*A glue gun and glue
*A heat-proof mat for the glue gun
*Newspaper to protect your workspace from any glue drips
*Optional: a piece of twine or co-ordinating ribbon for hanging the wreath
To make the wreath:
1. Use the templates provided to cut out the flower and leaf pieces from wool blend felt in Hallows Eve (orange), Candy Floss (pink), Wisteria (purple) and Chartreuse (green).
Cut the flower pieces in the following colours and quantities:
Flower A: 1 x orange, 2 x purple.
Flower B: 1 x pink, 1 x orange.
Flower C: 1 x orange, 2 x pink, 2 x purple.
Flower D: 1 x orange, 1 x pink.
Circle E: 1 x orange, 1 x pink, 1 x purple.
Circle F: 2 x purple.
Circle G: 3 x purple, 1 x orange, 1 x pink.
Circle H: 1 x orange, 1 x pink.
Layer the pieces to assemble seven flowers, using the photos as a guide. Then cut out 24 green leaves: 12 large and 12 small.
Tip: Embroidery scissors are perfect for cutting out fiddly felt shapes!
2. Embroider the leaves with half strands of embroidery thread (i.e. for six-stranded embroidery thread, just use three strands). Use three shades of embroidery thread to match the felt flowers (orange, pink and purple), and decorate a third of the leaves with each colour (so, four large and four small leaves for each shade). Sew a line of stitching down the centre of each leaf, finishing your stitching neatly at the back and trimming any excess threads. Use backstitch or sew a line of running stitches then sew back in the opposite direction to fill the gaps and create a continuous line of stitches.
3. Sew the flowers together with contrasting embroidery thread, as shown. Use half strands of thread, sewing radiating stitches from the centre of each flower. I stitched nine stitches for each of the the larger flowers, and six for the smaller flowers.
Tip: Use the position of the flower petals as a guide when spacing your stitches.
4. Use the template provided to cut out 25 pieces from the Essex Yarn Dyed fabric for wrapping the wreath base. You may need to cut a few more strips later to finish wrapping the wreath, but it’s better to cut fewer strips to start with than end up wasting fabric!
5. Add the fabric strips to the wreath base one by one, using a glue gun to secure the ends at the back of the wreath. Overlap the fabric strips so there are no gaps where the polystyrene base can show through. For each fabric strip, add a dab or two of hot glue to the back of the wreath then carefully press the fabric into position. If required use the template to cut more fabric strips, adding them until the whole base is covered in fabric.
IMPORTANT: take care when working with the glue gun as the glue gets very hot! Always place it on a heat-proof mat when not in use, and use newspaper or other scrap paper to protect your workspace. Work slowly, squeezing the gun with care to control the amount of glue you’re using and keeping your fingers out of the way of the hot glue.
The wreath base will now look something like this:
6. Arrange the felt leaves on the wreath as pictured, covering up the section where you started and finished wrapping the wreath. Start with six small leaves in the centre then add three pairs of large leaves either side, and then a trio of small leaves at each end of the arrangement. Alternate the thread colours, so you get a nice mix of the three shades across the leaves. Pin the leaves in position with one pin towards the bottom end of each leaf. Place the flowers on top to check that you’re happy with the final arrangement, make any adjustments needed then set the flowers aside.
7. Use the glue gun to attach the leaves to the wreath. Work inwards, holding a leaf back and applying a small dab of glue to the wreath then lightly pressing the outer / top half of the leaf down so it sticks in place. Then remove the pin from the bottom of the leaf and glue the lower half. When you reach the central cluster of leaves, glue all the outer / top halves of the leaves then remove the central pins and glue the inner / bottom halves of the leaves one by one. With the leaves glued in place, the wreath will now look like this:
8. Position the flowers on top of the leaves so they overlap as shown, then use the glue gun to glue them in place.
9. If needed, cut a length of twine or co-ordinating ribbon and knot it securely around the top of the wreath. Use this to hang the wreath in your chosen spot, or just hang the wreath directly onto a hook or nail.