Sunday, April 29, 2012

Fabric Flowers, Feather Wreath

Happy Sunday, all!  I'm enjoy day #2 of a 3-day weekend, by some blessing of the scheduling gods.  Yesterday was a busy day, running errands and working on integrating the new kitty into the household.  So far, things are going well.  We've definitely decided on the name Lancelot (Lance for short).

This morning I got up and decided I wanted to work on something crafty, and I didn't want to drag out my paints with a new, all-white cat around.  That just seemed like it'd end with a cat of many colors!  I remembered that I had bought a few things at Michael's recently to adorn some wreaths, so I set to work.

A few weeks ago, Michael's had a sale on items by Jolee's Boutique (found in their scrapbooking section, at least near me).  I saw these adorable burlap flowers, and I just couldn't resist.  I wasn't sure what I'd do with them, but I knew I'd find something.

I had, even earlier in the year, bought a couple of their feather wreaths, and this morning, inspiration hit me.  I used pins and stuck them into the styrofoam of the wreath, and voila!  

I took a good look at the flowers, and I realized they wouldn't be so hard to make. 

Here's how I did it:

Step 1: Raid your fabric stash. I used a turquoise satin I had lying around, initially planning to make flowers of just one color, but then I realized I had another fabric that would work too.  Embarrassingly enough, the printed fabric is from an old, lightweight cotton nightshirt.

Step 2: Cut small squares from your fabrics, pictured on the far left of the image above.

Step 3: Fold your square in half, and then in quarters, and then into eighths.

Step 4:  Cut a scalloped edge, and then unfold.  You'll be left with the flower-like shapes pictured in the very first image.  You'll want either three or four of these per flower.

Step 5:  Select a pin.  You can either using a color that matches your fabric, or one that contrasts.  Below, you'll see that I used a matching pin, but the flowers on my wreath have contrasting pins.  I think that makes them look more flowery.

Once you've chosen your pin, take one piece of fabric and begin gathering it around the center.  Stick your pin through it.  You may have to experiment a few times to find arrangement you like best.  

Step 6: Repeat with two more bits, and stick them behind your first layer on the pin.  If you find you need more ruffle in one section, you can turn your layers until you like what you see, or make one of the flowers into more of a closed ruffle and tuck it behind your first layer, ie, leave it folded into sort-of quarters.

Step 7:  Keep arranging the layers until you're happy with the way they look.  In the flower above, I decided the satin was too plain, so I disassembled it and made a smaller flower from the printed fabric and used it as my top layer.

Step 8:  Make as many of these as you'd like, and tuck them onto a feather wreath.  If you can't find an inexpensive feather wreath, use a styrofoam wreath form, and wrap a feather boa around it.  The wreaths I used were something like $15 with a coupon at Michael's.

For the large flower in the center, I added a multicolored tulle (blue and white with silver sparkles) to add some depth to the flower, and used the printed fabric on top of it.  You'll see a medium-sized flower below the big one, and two small flowers of just the satin above it.  I also made two tiny flowers of just the printed fabric.

Step 9: Stand back and admire your wreath!  It's hard to see in the shot above, but some of the feathers have a greenish-blue iridescence that plays nicely with the turquoise.

The fun thing about this project is that you can customize your flowers to whatever combination you like.

Maybe you'd like a festive wreath for Christmas.

Or maybe something patriotic for Memorial Day.

 Lancelot decided it'd be fun to help me take pictures.

Also, check out the difference that just using a colored different pin in the center makes.

I decided to make one more wreath, though, to go with the cat-related project I undertook this afternoon - making our three-season porch into more of a "catio."  My husband and I watch Jackson Galaxy, a cat behaviorist who hosts "My Cat from Hell" on Animal Planet.  One of the things he says is that cats need vertical space, and they need multiple routes around the room.  Given that we now have five cats, we thought this was very solid advice.

I found a use for one of the fabrics I bought recently (that I talked about here).  I converted an old bookshelf from Crate and Barrel into a cat-friendly stand by covering the bottom two shelves in felt, and the top two shelves in a funky print.  The very top shelf has three layers of felt underneath the funky print upholstery fabric, for a little extra cushion.

Since my funky print is a combination of reds, oranges and yellows, I made some flowers to match, and the wreath looks like this:

And the finished addition to our catio?

Don't worry.  The wreath isn't staying there.  That's just asking for it! 

Sharing at
Five Days... 5 Ways' Feature Friday Free-for-All 
DIY by Design's Swing into Spring Party


  1. Wow Mrs. Handyverger - Impressive! What cute (and simple!) Ideas! I absolutely love the feathers and plaid flower wreath!! :)

    1. So glad you like it! I have some blue and tan plaid that I may try next. It was so easy. :)

  2. Oh I love this idea! Thanks for sharing how-to!