Needle + Felt DIY Gum Flower Garlands

Posted by Loretta Davis on

- DIY Gumflower Garland -

Hiya!
A while ago I spotted an amazing idea on instagram, posted by @investigating_our_world who found the idea from @little.miss.sabrina and @fun_with_miss_fliss. I loved the idea of these gum leaf garlands with gum flowers and save it for later to have a crack at. I could imagine these hanging up in my toddlers play room too. I asked @investigating_our_world for some tips on their insta to help me plan out what I'd needed and they so kindly pointed me in the right direction for fabrics etc. 
It's taken me a bit of time to get around to this project, initially I ordered the fabric and cut out a total of 5 leaves, and then the world became busy and I wasn't able to give this project the attention it deserved.
Because I work, and study and run N+F my personal projects get less time than I'd desire... haha! But, I persevered, and have recently sat down to finish what I started. I had a few little hiccups along the way and this craft project certainly had it's own learning journey, but I'm excited to share with you my process and my results. I've also made a free downloadable template for those who'd like to use it. 
What you'll need:
- String (for your garland, whatever kind you like)
- Fabric: I used faux suedette from Spotlight in hunter green. It had a brown fluffy side on the reverse which I loved. You can find it online here. I purchased 1 meter as it was the minimum qty I could do online, but if you find it in store you might only need half a meter depending on how many leaves you want to cut use. My 1 meter allowed for 100 big leaves and 40 smaller leaves, with fabric left to spare. 
- Wool: If you're going to do the wool technique for the gumnut tops of the flowers you'll want brown wool. (You can find the tutorial for this technique on @little.miss.sabrina's instagram story highlights). I found the wool tops too hard to make as they kept slipping, so I decided to use my own felt method. I did use the brown wool to tie up the gum flowers though (you'll see this in the photos).
- Yarn: You'll need Jazz Yarn. I used pink, cream and white. Jazz Yarn is only available from Spotlight as it's a Spotlight specific product, but you could check out your local craft store for similar alternatives. You can find Jazz Yarn here
- Scissors (sewing scissors will be needed for the suedette). 
- Hot glue gun and hot glue (optional, but I used mine to help affix items in place so they didn't slide around on the garland). 
- Hole punch
- Brown felt (if you're going to use my technique rather than the wool technique for the gumnut tops).
This project can be a bit messy so be prepared with a dustpan, bin and a clear work space.
How to make it:
Flower
1) To make your flowers, loop the jazz yarn around your hand until you have a good 'bunch' of wool. For reference, I counted 15/20 loops for my flowers. 
2) Thread your brown wool through one end and tie off. Let the brown wool dangle. Don't remove this.
3) Cut the jazz yarn at the OTHER end of your hand, cutting through the loops. 
4) Hold your gumflower up and trim to tidy the ends. (This will make a bit of a mess).
Gumnut
1) Using the brown felt and the Needle + Felt gumnut template triangles, cut out 3 triangles PER flower. 
2) Use hot glue (and please, be careful!) to attach one side at a time, to use all 3 sections to make one gumnut. You should have a small opening at the narrow top of the gumnut, don't glue this closed. You could also stitch these together if you don't want to use glue.
3) Poke the brown wool through the gumnut and lower the gumnut over the flower. 
Leaves
1) Use your Needle + Felt leaf templates and pin to fabric to cut leaves out, or cut them freeform. 
2) Holepunch at the tops of the leaves and thread through some string. 
Assemble
A tip for this process - I measured out longer lengths of string (my garland string) and experimented with arranging the leaves and the flowers. I'd suggest this as it's a good way to see if you need more leaves or to figure out which direction leaves should go and where your flowers should go. I made my garlands 2.5m in length, used 25 large leaves and 10 small leaves and 5 flowers in total per garland (with a few extra here and there).
1) Arrange and attach your flowers to leaves where applicable, or tie bunches of leaves together. The faux suedette is amazing for this purpose as you can have green and brown gumleaves thanks to it's 2-sided fabric.
2) Tie your leaves and gumflower arrangements to your longer garland string. 
3) Optional: hot glue to secure them into place. You might find some of them slip and move about and you might not prefer this. It also might not bother you, so, totally up to you!

Enjoy! xx


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