Plants and greenery add warmth and coziness to a home, bringing a space to life. Little plants are a great way to dress up empty corners of bookshelves or window sills or to design a beautiful centrepiece. Unfortunately, I also have a tendency to kill live plants. Even the ones that are supposed to be very hardy! So instead, I create cute plants and succulents out of wool felt to decorate the little spaces in my home. They are simple to make and require no maintenance, they are quite literally impossible to kill!
The key to making felt florals and succulents is not to worry about perfection. The leaves are never all identical, and that’s part of the charm of this little succulent. Once the leaves are all assembled, the imperfections blend together to create a very pretty and realistic effect.
I always use felt that is either a wool/rayon blend or is 100% wool. Those fibre contents create the sharpest lines and the finished product looks much cleaner and more polished. Acrylic craft felt is too fuzzy and doesn’t yield the best results.
Step 1: Gather Materials
You will need a 9”x12” sheet of green felt, preferably wool blend or 100% wool. You will also need a glue gun, fabric scissors, polyfil (or wool) stuffing, a 125 ml mini mason jar, twine (optional), ruler, air-erasable marker, grey craft paint that will adhere to glass and clear top coat, a paintbrush and sandpaper.
Step 2: Cut Out Rectangles
Use a ruler and air-erasable marker to mark and cut 30 rectangles out of green felt in three sizes. Ten large rectangles 1 ¾”x1 ¼” each, 10 medium rectangles 1 ½”x1” each, and 10 small rectangles 1”x¾” each.
Step 3: Shape the Leaves
Using sharp fabric scissors, shape each rectangle into a leaf. Begin about 1/3 of the way in along the bottom of the rectangle and guide the felt through the scissors, curving to the edge of the rectangle and then up to a point at the top centre. Flip the leaf over and repeat along the other side leaving a flat bottom in the centre 1/3 of each leaf.
Step 4: Make a Spiral
Glue the smallest 10 leaves into a spiral. Add a small dot of hot glue to the bottom right edge of a leaf and overlap the bottom left edge of another leaf on top, angling it slightly downwards. Continue with the remaining eight leaves to create a spiral that coils on itself.
Step 5: Roll the Center Spiral
Add a short line of glue along the base of one end of the spiral and begin to tightly roll the leaves on themselves. Make sure to keep the flat bottom edge lined up as this will force the leaves to splay out slightly. Hold in place until the glue sets. Continue adding small lines of glue and rolling the spiral until you reach
Step 6: Add Medium Sized Leaves
Space five medium leaves evenly around the base of the rolled center. It’s ok if they overlap slightly. Glue them in place using a small amount of glue at the base of each leaf. Layer the next five medium leaves so that they are each in between two leaves from the first layer.
Step 7: Add Large Sized Leaves
Similarly, glue the large leaves in two layers of five, positioning each leaf point to lay in between two leaves from the previous layer.
Step 8: Prepare the Jar
Paint the jar with two layers of grey paint. Allow the paint to dry completely then sand the jar lightly so that some of the glass peeks through. Apply a top coat to seal and add a piece of decorative twine around the top of the jar if you wish.
Step 9: Assemble the Planter
Stuff the jar lightly with polyfil stuffing, leaving about 3/8” of space at the top. Add a generous amount of glue to the bottom of the succulent and position it on top of the stuffing. The succulent should sit down into the jar enough that the stuffing is not visible, and the leaves will hang over the edges of the jar.