One of the main reasons why felt has stood the test of time (literally, it was first used in footwear about a couple of thousand years ago) is that it is super tactile and soft, but some craft felt projects call for something a bit more rigid, something with additional structure to make an impact.
For this, one option is mouldable felt or MODELLING FELT as it is also known. Projects such as felt daffodils all ready for Easter, for example. So if you’re looking for something that has rigidity and a lovely woolly texture, try modelling felt.
Modelling felt is initially dry and rigid, it actually feels a bit like a textured cardboard sheet but once you’ve wetted it using a spray bottle or even dunking the piece into a bowl of water for about ten seconds it becomes pliable and capable of being shaped around a wide variety of household objects, bowls or bottles for example, or shaped around a wire frame. Left to dry, the felt reverts back to its former rigidity, whilst holding the new shape.
The key thing is not to over wet the felt, otherwise it just takes ages to dry, but you do need to dampen it enough to get the felt to give a little and penetrate through the coating on the felt and be capable of being moulded. Drying is a fairly simple process involving just letting it air dry - sometimes you might need to retain the felt on whatever it is you’re using to shape it but generally once modelled, the felt should remain in shape. The great thing is that if, once the felt is dry you decide you hate the shape you can simply re-wet it and re-model it. The other great thing is that modelling like this leaves very little mess to clear away afterwards!
Our modelling felt is available in Six different colours www.colourfulfelt.co.uk/modelling-felt/
For this project, I’ve used a lot of the ideas for my design from this fantastic YouTube channel called Fumika Saku on creating felt daffodils. This whole series of felt flower videos are You Tube are stunning, giving fantastic results and I highly recommend them. I’ve adapted the flower slightly and you will find that the rigidity of the modelling felt gives the flower additional body.
What you need to make an arrangement of five daffodils:
- Approximately A4 size of yellow modelling felt
- Stub wires (available from florists suppliers)
- Glue gun and glue sticks
- Square of darker yellow felt
- Scissors (and pinking shears if you have them)
- Small square of lighter yellow felt
- Square of Olive green felt
- OPTIONAL: Orange Chalk
- OPTIONAL: Small piece of heather cappuccino felt or similar
- You’ll need something circular to draw around, something of around a 6cm or 7cm diameter
CREATING THE PETALS USING MODELLING FELT
- Start off by cutting out the daffodil petals from the yellow modelling felt.
I used an actual daffodil petal as my template but this picture gives you a sense of the shape of a daffodil. For five daffodils, you’ll need to cut thirty petals.
Initially I tried just cutting the flower as one flower shape (as in the video) but I found that individual leaves was actaully an improvement, it just takes a little longer and can be a bit more fiddly to glue!
Lots of them here
- Once you’ve cut the petals, wet them individually for about ten seconds in a bowl of water.
- Remove from the water and then work the felt, bending it and shaping it into a curved shape.
- Leave to dry overnight on a piece of kitchen towel.
MAKING THE INNER CUP
- Prepare the inner cup by cutting three circles (using a round cup or the lid of a jar, approximately 6cm - 7cm in diameter. Ideally using pinking shears but if not, attempt to cut a raggedly edge to the circle).
- Cut the circles in half.
OPTION: If you have some orange/reddish chalk, use it to just give a slightly darker edge around the outer edge of the half circle.
- Take the vanilla coloured felt and cut five small pieces about 2cm by 6cm, snip a fringe along one of the longer edges to create the pistol and stamens (those are the technical terms for the wavy fronds in the centre of a daffodil!)
- Using a hot glue gun, attach the fringed piece of vanilla felt to the end of the stub wire, by wrapping it around the end of the wire. Take care here not to let the wire show but glue it securely to the fringed piece of vanilla because that will be supporting the flower head - the flute and the petals are stuck around this tiny central piece!
- Taking one of the half circles of yellow felt, dab some glue in the centre at the straight edge of the half circle and place the stub wire/fringed felt on to it. Wrap the half circle around the inner so that the edges meet forming a cup around the pistel/stamen (fringed felt wound around the end of the stub wire).
ATTACHING THE PETALS AROUND THE CUP
- The petals should be glued around this cup in two phases. The first phase is to glue three petals in a triangular pattern around the cup and then to glue the second three petals in the spaces between those first three petals. This mimics the way actual daffodils look.
In this photo I’ve finished off the base of the flower with a small circle of cappuccino heather felt and glued this on but this isn’t necessary so is an optional extra touch!
CREATING THE LEAVES
- To make the leaves iron a crease in the olive felt and cut two leaves per flower, so ten leaves in total. The leaf should be around 12cm in length and approcimately 3cm at its widest point.
- Put a line of glue about 3cm along the crease at one end of the leaf and place it on the stub wire (with the daffodil on it). Position the leaf so that the top of the leaf almost touches the daffodil flower, but not quite. Taking a second leaf, glue in the same way and place this over the first leaf so that the stub wire with the daffodil on appears to emerge out of the two leaves, one on either side of the wire.
The flowers can be displayed in a vase or arranged in a dry oasis and placed in a plant pot or ceramic planter.
STAND BACK AND ADMIRE!