This is a take on a tutorial that I wrote for Green Upgrader back in 2010. I made these sunflowers for a girlfriend’s bachelorette party and was so happy with how they came out, I thought I’d share the tute with you guys!
Not only do conventional flowers have a limited shelf life, they often aren’t very eco-friendly. Unless you’ve found a flower shop that stocks local or organic flowers, chances are those cut flowers were shipped from far away and grown using nasty pesticides and chemicals to keep them looking fresh. You can skip the guesswork with fabric forever flowers!
Burlap is an eco-friendly fabric that I’ve talked about at Crafting a Green World before. You can find burlap new at some fabric stores or ask around at your local coffee shop to see if they get their beans in big, burlap sacks. Often, they just end up tossing those empties, so they’ll be happy to let you take one off of their hands.
This tutorial is for one flower, and you can make as many as you like!
To make your burlap sunflower you’ll need:
- a 4″ square fabric scrap in a cheery print (I went with this bright polkadot vintage fabric).
- a 3″ square of recycled felt in yellow or orange
- a 2.5″ square of burlap
- Pinking shears and regular fabric scissors
- sewing machine and red (or contrasting) thread
- vintage button with 2 holes (not 4 holes)
- embroidery thread and needle
- A stick or nice sized twig from the yard
Here’s how to make your sunflowers:
- Use your pinking shears to cut your 4″ piece of fabric into a 3 3/4″ circle.
- With regular fabric scissors, cut your 3″ piece of felt into a 2 3/4″ circle, and cut the burlap into a 2 1/4″ circle.
- You’re ready to stack your flower! Lay down your 3 3/4″ circle, right side up, stack the felt circle on top of that, then stack the burlap on top of those. Pin.
- Head to the sewing machine, and use your zigzag stitch to sew around the outside of the burlap. This stitch serves two purposes: keeps the burlap from fraying and assembles your sunflower head.
- Now, use your machine’s straight stitch to sew an astersik shape across the burlap (see the photo above).
- To attach your flower to the stick, grab your vintage button and your embroidery thread. Thread your needle, and start from the back of your flower’s head. Push the needle through just off-center, then feed it through one of the holes on your button. Feed it back through the button and push the needle through the face of your sunflower head. What you should have now are two loose threads hanging off of the back of your sunflower head, and a button sewn to the center on the front. Use those loose threads to tie your flower tightly to your stick.
That’s it! I displayed my burlap sunflowers in a vase that we had at the house. They’d also look lovely in a mason jar (maybe full of beans or lentils?). Really, you can show them off however you like!
Hi there! My name is Becky Striepe (pronounced “stree-pee,” like “sleepy”), and I am a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. My life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Check out my new book: 40 Days of Green Smoothies!