Monday, June 30, 2014

HOW TO: Make a Potted Felt Fern

I love having potted plants in my home and for the most part, I'm pretty good at keeping them alive.  The sad exception was a poor little aloe plant that I had in my bedroom.  There's not much natural light in there and the plant didn't fare too well.  I love the look of houseplants though and I was determined to have one in the bedroom... preferably without killing anything else.  Then I got to thinking... I make things with felt, why not make a felt plant?

For this project, you need a terra cotta pot, felt, floral foam, needle/thread, scissors, wire cutters, and a glue gun (other kinds of glue could also work).  I had several terra cotta pots hanging around the house, so I used what I had, but this project could easily work with any size pot.  I prefer to use Eco Felt, a product made from recycled plastic bottles available at Joann Crafts, but any type of felt will work.  I used felt in hot pink, heather green, dark brown, and a lighter brown (not shown above), but the colors can be changed to suit your preference.

Step 1:
The first step is to cover the outside of the pot in felt.  I first cut a long strip in the hot pink to go around the top lip of the pot.  Glue this on.  Next, the lower portion of the pot needs to be covered in light brown felt.  This is the tougher part.  I cut two pieces of felt in the shapes seen below.  The bigger one wraps around the pot, leaving a triangle-shaped empty spot in the back, which I filled in with the other piece.  I can think of a few different ways to cover it, so experiment with the shapes you use. It would probably also be a helpful to use a bigger sheet of felt, cut from a bolt.  When you have a configuration that works, glue them down.  Again, I used hot glue, but I think if you have more patience than me, another types of glue could probably give you a smoother finish.  I also glued cut a dark brown circle of felt to the bottom of the pot.

Step 2: 
The next step is to cut a piece of floral foam to fit in the bottom of your pot. You'll want it to be at least half the height of the pot.  Hot glue it down.

Step 3:
Next comes making the fern fronds.  You'll need to cut as many pieces of floral wire as you want fronds.  I made nine.  Cut each piece to varying lengths, ranging from approximately 7- 10 inches.  You may want to make them shorter or longer, depending on the size of your pot.  Next, you'll need to cut the green felt fronds (in the shape shown below).

Now position the wire lengthwise in the center of the frond and sew it down. I've found that it's helpful to make a little loop in the wire to help anchor the wire to the felt.  After you've finished sewing the wire down, cut out little 'v' shapes along the side of each frond (see the example below).

Step 4:
After repeating Step 3 for all of your fronds, it's time to assemble the plant.  Stick the floral wire of each frond into the floral foam.  I've found that sticking the wire in a few inches gives it the most stability.  I'd recommend putting most of the wires in fairly close together in the center of the foam and position the fronds in different directions in an irregular arrangement to give it a lifelike quality.

Step 5:
This is an optional step, but to finish it off, you can glue pieces of the dark brown felt over the foam to look like dirt and cover the foam.

And you're done!  A houseplant that can't be killed!

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