Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How to make a Felt Rose

OK peops, here it is. I made one last night and my sister Jo obligingly took photos and VIDEO of the process. Oh yes, we are overcoming all manner of technophobia to bring this tutorial to you :)
You need:
100% wool felt, the best kind being the soft thick type. Ours is Nepalese. In Rose colour and leaf colour. 30cm (12") square of felt makes two roses easily, with felt to spare for another project!
Matching threads and a needle
A brooch back or an alligator clip, depending on whether you want to pin it to your hat or lapel, or wear it in your hair like I do :)
And that's it!
Cut out the three rose pieces and the leaf pattern from the felt. (Email me for a pdf of the pattern - I cannot find a way to link it as yet!)
(the bud shape changed a little during the process and so the pattern is different from the photo)
Curl the rounded side of the bud around the flatter side, like in the photo. Put a couple of stitches through the bottom with a doubled thread (I tie off the thread end and after the first stitch, pass through the knotted end so it doesn't pull through). Wind the thread around the base a couple of times, knot off and cut.
Now you need to start stretching the two big petal pieces, starting with the smaller one, along the "convex" side. Stretch firmly between your fingers a small section...
...at a time. Stretch, move along, stretch again...
...keep going...you'll definitely notice that the edge will start to petal outwards under your fingers...
The sculpted piece. It is curving so much now it looks like a circle! This gives the rose that natural shape.
Now, with a nice long doubled thread, knotted and looped through at the beginning, put a running stitch through the unstretched edge. Stitches should be around a quarter inch, but don't have to be perfect or even at all.. Pull up the stitching as shown in the photo above, to about one third of the original size. Actually with such thick felt, it's hard to pull it up much more anyway, so let the felt guide you.
This is how it looks gathered up. Now we're going to use the same thread to start sewing it to the bud and form the rose.
OK, now I am trying a video for the first time. Eep! I think the process of curling the petal piece around the bud and sewing it down as you go is best seen in motion.
'Scuse all the noise in the background, it's not related to the video. It's the other ladies in my stitching group chatting. :)
Once that petal is all sewn on, knot it off. Rethread, and do the same thing with the larger petal. Start it on the opposite side of the rose to the end point of the smaller one.
Now the leaves. Cut them out,and stretch the sides a little. I also did a running stitch up the centre and then back down on each leaf, and pull it up just a little, to give the leaves a bit of a curl as shown above.
Put the leaves on the bottom side of the rose (which I just realised I didn't photograph!! ARGH! It is flattish if you've done it right!) and stitch into place with a few stitches.
Tie the thread off and snip, and here you are! A twin for my first rose. All you now need to do is to sew a brooch pin or alligator pin onto the back.
The great thing about these roses is that if you don't like how it is sitting, you can quickly pull the stitching out and redo it.
Variations: I am going to make a purple one to go with may many purple clothes, and I am going to try needle felting a little darker purple wool onto the edges of the petals as if it is a variegated rose. You could blanket stitch the top edge, or do the three pieces in slightly different shades of one colour (although the felt colour range isn't all that subtle).
I hope that all helps, do ask questions so I can back fill any gaps in the instructions :)


  1. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! You make it look so easy. I am going out to get wool tomorrow to make one. (I made a trial one from printer paper right now and I think I can do this!)

  2. Dear Mrs. C.,
    Ahhhh, now that makes good sense. The idea of pulling on the felt to reshape it is great; never would have thought to do such a thing.

    Very best,


  3. Ooh very nice :) Must put it on my to-do list...

    I linked to my first file a few days ago. What you can do is go to docs.google.com and upload your file there. They will host it for free. Then you just link to it from your blog post just like any other site you would link. Hope this makes sense? :)