A Year of Wreaths: May Felt Foxgloves Wreath By Laura Howard
When I think of May, I always think of flowers and especially of foxgloves. They are such beautiful, striking flowers and it was a lot of fun making a felt version for this month’s tutorial.
The felt foxgloves will take you a bit of time to make, but they don’t need any advanced sewing skills just some patience. I hope you’ll agree that the end result is worth it!
You will need:
*The template sheet provided (click here to download and print the PDF)
*A 30cm polystyrene ring wreath base
*Wool blend felt in Fuchsia, Cotton Candy and Pea Soup
*Sewing thread to match the felt (bright pink, light pink and green)
*Two paper covered floral wires
*Sewing needle and pins
*A black permanent marker pen
*A glue gun and glue
*A heat-proof mat for the glue gun
*Newspaper to protect your workspace from any glue drips
*A small amount of toy stuffing
*An orange stick or other narrow tool for adding the stuffing
To make the wreath
1. Use the template provided to cut the felt strips for wrapping the wreath: cut eight strips from each felt colour.
2. Lay the strips on top of the wreath in colour order (bright pink, light pink, green), overlapping them slightly so that none of the polystyrene ring base will show through at the edges of the wreath. When you’ve added all the pieces and are happy with the arrangement, insert pins to hold the felt in position then turn the wreath over. One by one, wrap the felt pieces around the wreath inserting pins to hold the felt in place.
The back of your wreath will now look something like this:
3. Use a glue gun to secure the ends of the felt at the back of the wreath. Work on one piece of felt at a time, removing the pin(s) holding it in place and folding the felt back slightly. Carefully add a dab or two of hot glue to the wreath base then very carefully press the felt down into position.
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.
Tip: you may find it helpful to test glue a couple of scrap pieces of felt before you start, so you can see how much glue you need to use to hold each piece in place.
Once the glue has dried, turn the wreath over and remove the pins from the front. The front of your wreath will now look something like this:
4. Use the templates provided to cut out the foxglove pieces. Cut six buds, nine large flowers and three small flowers from bright pink felt. Cut six buds and nine small flowers from light pink felt. Then cut 27 caps from green felt.
Tip: embroidery scissors are perfect for cutting out small felt shapes!
5. Add a random pattern of dots to all the flower pieces (the large and small pink pieces, but not the pink buds) using a black permanent marker pen. Test out the pen on a piece of scrap felt before you start decorating the flowers. The ink may soak through the felt, so place a piece of paper under the flowers as you work to protect your table.
6. Now it’s time to start sewing the flowers. Each small and large flower is sewn the same way, using matching sewing threads. Begin by folding the flower so that the dots are on the outside, as shown. Sew along the straight edge with whip stitch in matching pink sewing thread. Start at the top and work down, leaving large gaps between the stitches.
Then sew back up again, sewing between the gaps and finishing your stitching at the top. Take care not to sew your stitches too tightly!
Then carefully turn the flower the right side out, flattening the seam to make a trumpet-like flower shape.
7. Thread your needle with green sewing thread, and pass it up through the centre of one of the green cap pieces. Place the cap over the hole at the top end of the flower (so the knot is underneath the cap).
Sew down through the centre of the cap, then up through the flower and cap as shown below.
Make a small stitch holding the “leaf” of the cap in place, then pass the needle back up through the centre of the cap.
Repeat this process for the other three “leaves” of the cap, sewing it in place around the end of the flower. You will need to pinch the end of the flower slightly (especially with the small flowers) to get the cap to fit neatly around it. Finish your stitching neatly at the top of the cap.
8. To sew the buds, use whip stitch and matching sewing thread to join two bud pieces together. Begin sewing from the top, stuffing the shape with small pieces of toy stuffing as you sew up the second side.
Tip: Adding the toy stuffing can be a bit fiddly as the buds are quite small. Use something narrow like an orange stick (the ones used for manicures) to poke the stuffing into the bud.
Once you’ve sewn and stuffed each bud, add a cap piece to the top following the same method as in step 7.
9. When all the flowers and buds are finished, use the stalk templates to cut two stalk pieces from green felt: one long and one short.
Fold the long stalk piece in half and join the edges with whip stitch and matching green sewing thread, leaving one end unstitched as shown. Bend one of the floral wires, folding it in half. Insert the wire into the stalk and sew up the bottom edge with more whip stitches.
Repeat this process to make the short stalk, this time folding the wire in thirds.
10. Time to attach the flowers and buds to the stalks! This can be a bit fiddly, so take your time and do your best to keep the front of the foxgloves free from glue. Before you glue each piece, position it and look at the points of contact – i.e. where the piece you’re adding will touch what you’re gluing it to. Then remove the piece and add glue to those points, either on the piece you’re adding or where you’re attaching it (whichever is easiest at the time!).
Start by arranging the central flowers along the stalk, as pictured. For the large foxglove add three large flowers then a small flower on top. For the small foxglove, add three small flowers. Glue the flowers in position one by one, working upwards.
Then add the other two flowers in each row.
Finally, add the three buds to the top of the foxglove.
The finished foxgloves should look something like this:
11. Once the foxgloves have fully dried, position them on the wreath. When you’re happy with their placement, use the glue gun to attach them – adding a dab of glue at the top and bottom of the stalk where it will touch the wreath.
Thanks for another great tutorial Laura!