Hello! Jen here doing my first diy tutorial – this one on how to make a felt peony. Hope you enjoy! 🙂
Felt flowers are so cute and a lot of fun to make! They’re also fairly easy to construct once you have all of the pieces you need. What I love about making them is that you can choose to do them as simple or as complicated as you’d like and either way, they look great and can be used for so many different things!
Lately, I have been making them to create wall decor pieces, most recently a piece for my daughter’s nursery. I love the way it turned out so much that I’ve listed it as a made-to-order item on my Etsy shop!
Through a lot of trial and error, I’ve finally landed on a method that I feel has the best results for a more organic-looking flower, which is what I personally prefer. This process can take a lot of time but is really worth it in the end. That being said, I’m outlining below my method with notes on a fast-track version for those who don’t want to spend as much time making this piece.
- 3 colors of felt
- 1 color of choice for petals
- 1 color of choice for middle/pistil
- 1 color of choice for leaves
- Glue gun and glue
Optional – for the more detailed look:
- Permanent chalk markers (you can use any marker, really)
- Iron (regular iron, flat iron, mini iron, curling iron…any of these should work but are likely to cause fingertip burns if I’m being honest, so be prepared)
- Heavy starch
Cutting the Felt:
Cut 7 small sized flower petals out using the stencil provided (we’ll get into how to make them look more detailed later). Then, cut out 11 large sized petals. If you’re going for the detailed look, cut out the outer petal piece from the same fabric. Next, cut a long rectangle out of color you want the middle of the flower to be. Last, cut out a green circle for the part where the stem and flower meet, and a few leaves if you want to add those.
These next steps pertinent to the petals can be skipped completely or partially depending on the level of detail you’re going for.
- To detail out the petals, first draw lines from the bottom/pointed part of the petal out to the end in sweeping motions using a chalk pen. Smudge the ink a bit with your finger to make it blend a little.
- Next, cut into the end of the petal with small, very short snips while holding the scissors perpendicular to the edge of the petal. Don’t be afraid to move the angle from which you’re cutting a little left then right from time to time (it may take a few tries to get the hang of it and the look you want, so if you have some scrap felt to use as a trial piece, try getting the right look on that first).
- Pinch the end of the petal where you just cut between your fingers and pull at it to remove any tiny bits of felt that didn’t fall away when cutting. Then cut a slit down the pointed side as shown.
- For even more of a detailed look, grab a small iron (I use my flat iron) and use it to curl the petals into a slightly rounded shape, focusing on rounding the edge you snipped into mostly. It’s super easy to burn your fingertips when doing this part, so be extra careful!
To add detail to the pistil/middle, first color one of the long ends of the rectangle, on both sides, with a white chalk marker.
Afterwards, cut deep and irregularly shaped V-shapes into the felt along one long side of the rectangle, making sure the ends of every cut end up pointed.
To add features to the green circle that will make the base of the flower, make small but irregular v-shaped cuts into the piece, this time all the way around until it looks something like this:
Then, if you’re using the iron, fold it in half and iron a crease down the middle of the circle. Open it, turn it 45 degrees, fold it again, and iron creases there as well. Continue this process repeatedly until you have creases all the way around (you can add even more if you’d like).
Side note: I’m gonna suggest that if you haven’t yet, you should go ahead and plug your glue gun in at this point if you’re ready to finish the project now.
For the leaves, fold them in half lengthwise and iron a crease in. Pinch the edges of the folded piece between your fingers stretch the felt a little to add some dimension as shown.
Now you should have a good pile of felt pieces to assemble your flower! 🙂
Assembling the Flower
Making the pistil/center
Grab the rectangular piece and roll it from one end to the other, adding glue to the non-cut side as you go so it stays tight. Glue the end down once you’ve rolled it all the way. You should have something that looks like this once you’re finished:
Adding the petals
First, cross the ends of each petal and glue to get a more rounded petal. Then, for more detailing and roundedness, pinch and glue the sides together near the middle to get an even more rounded look like in the photo below.
To add the petals to the pistil, take the small petals first and glue them one by one, going around all the way. Once you’ve made it all the way around once, start the second row by adding a petal behind but in between two from the first row so that the pattern alternates.
Do the same thing with the large petals, alternating with each new layer, until you have a flower! Depending on how you’ve done your gluing, there is a chance you will want to add more (or less) than the amount specified. Just make sure the flower overall is balanced visually.
Lastly, once all of the individual petals have been added, glue the big outer petal piece to the bottom and up around the last layer of petals to give the flower the overall rounded appearance of a peony.
Adding the leaves
Take the green flower base and glue it to the very bottom of the flower in the middle (if you want your flower to have a stem, I recommend you first poke a hole in the middle of the green base and stick the stem through it and then glue it all to the flower. You can use sticks, wooden dowels or wire wrapped in felt, or if creating a mobile, some embroidery thread).
If you want leaves, add them at this point. And now you’ve got a felt peony in your hands! Hooray!
This process takes me quite a while to complete – I typically do a little each night until it’s finished since I don’t have huge chunks of time to dedicate all at once. If you’re like me and will be doing a little at a time, I highly recommend keeping all of the pieces together in an envelope or ziplock bag until you’ve finished. I say this with experience – it’s very easy to lose a critical piece or supply item and have to re-do something that has already been done but was lost or misplaced!
I hope you found this tutorial helpful and easy enough to understand and follow along! If anything is confusing and you need more info just let me know! And if you’re using it to create a flower I’d love to see the result, so please send me a photo. 🙂
Feedback on the instructions or anything else, or just comments in general will always be appreciated!