Summer in New York City may be a sweltering hot trial of endurance, but one of its saving graces is the profusion of flowers that find their way into every corner of the city. Outside almost every bodega and corner deli in New York is a fragrant display of lilies, roses, sunflowers and daisies. There are even small blooms poking up out of sidewalk cracks. Recently, the rose bush at my local community garden went insane and grew over the fence, its orange blooms bursting forth onto the street. Elsewhere in the country the flower bounty is even more serious. When I was growing up in California my mom, sister and I would go wildflower picking every summer around our cabin in the Sierras. We'd walk home with untamed armfuls of sweet peas, Queen Anne's lace and lupine.
These little Felt Flower Charms were designed with that wild abundance in mind. I used our brand new Summer Bouquet felt bundle because I love its bright colors reminiscent of late summer blooms like dahlias. Although I give three examples for how specific flowers can be sewn together, the beauty of this project is that there are no real rules. You can mix and match all the shapes to make totally unique, not-found-in-nature flowers. And best of all, no matter how you sew them together, they are as easy as pie!
Once your garden of Flower Charms is complete they can be sewn onto barrettes, pins, or hair elastics if you're being practical. Or if you're feeling whimsical, just toss a handful in a bowl or on a table as a cheerful display that celebrates the best of summer!
To make at least 25 Flower Charms:
- a Summer Bouquet Felt Bundle
- 1/4 yard of Kona Cotton in Salmon
- 1/4 yard of Kona Cotton in Canary
- a small yo yo maker
- 100% cotton thread in color 1040 to sew the yo yos
- 3/8-inch buttons in the following colors: Pastel Yellow, Bubble Gum, Pastel Pink, and Yellow
- Valdani Embroidery Thread in pink (color 43) and yellow (color 8)
- a Felt Flower Charms template printed and cut out, available for free download here.
Preparing the Elements
Using the small yo yo maker and the sewing thread make several small yo-yos. There are great instructions on the yo-yo maker's package or you could follow our step by step directions here.
Using the Felt Flower Charms template, available for free download here, cut out all the shapes from the felt. Cut the leaves from the green felt. Cut at least one flower piece from each felt color. You can always cut more as you need them.
Gather all of your supplies together, the yo-yos, buttons, and felt pieces. Don't they look pretty?
You can play around with the pieces and come up with some very fun and unique flowers. I loved seeing how all the different pieces looked together. For the 3 specific designs I ended up making please see the instructions below. But please feel free to make up your own as well.
You will need: Three different colored Narcissus pieces, one button, and the embroidery thread of your choosing.
Arrange the Narcissus pieces on top of one another so that a little of each color shows through. Place the button on the middle of the three felt pieces.
Sew the button on through all three layers and tie a knot in the back.
You will need: An Inner Camellia piece, an Outer Camellia piece, a yo-yo, and embroidery thread to match the yo-yo.
Place the Inner Camellia piece on top of the Outer piece and then place the yo-yo on top of them both. Tie a knot in your length of thread.
To sew the layers together pull the thread though the center of the yo-yo exiting at the yo-yo's outer edge. This will hide the knot inside the yo-yo. From the outer edge of the yo-yo take a stitch through the two felt layers. When you come back up place the needle back through the outer edge of the yo-yo. Sew all the way around the outer edge of the yo-yo in this manner.
You will need: A yo-yo, a Buttercup piece, a leaf piece, and thread to match the yo-yo.
Sew the yo-yo onto the center of the Buttercup piece in the same manner as for the Camilla by sewing just through the very outer edge of the yo-yo and hiding the beginning knot in the center of the yo-yo.
Sew the leaves on to the back of the flower with a small whip stitch. Only sew them to the edge of the yo-yo seam so the stitching doesn't show through to the front.
You can make your charms into a variety of practical items. To transform them I used small and large hair elastics, small and large snap barrettes, and small safety pins.
To make a hair elastic stitch around the elastic at the point where it meets the charm, making sure that the stitching doesn't go all the way through to the front. Make sure to tie a secure knot.
I found that the small elastics I used also worked as rings!
To make a little broach sew a safety pin to the back of your charm making sure that the stitching doesn't show through to the front. I like to sew through the safety pin's arm loop (at the left in the picture above) to secure the pin in place.
To make a snap barrette sew the barrette to the back of the charm at the left, middle, and right on both the top and bottom of the barrette. Make sure the stitch does not show through to the front.
These are just a few ideas for what to do with them, the possibilities are endless! They would also look great sewn to a shirt or strung together as a garland!