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How to Make a Felt Brooch

Claudia has been writing about crafts online for many years. She is an avid crafter who has been creating for most of her life.

Felt Brooch Tutorial

Felt Brooch Tutorial

Brief history of brooches

The first evidence of brooches dates back to the Bronze age.

Brooches dating from the Iron age have been found throughout Eurasia.

During Medieval times, brooches commonly depicted religious and animalistic scenes. In the Renaissance period, brooches fell out of favor and it was not until the Victorian age that they came back into their own, using intricate designs and elaborate jewels.

Today, brooches are found throughout the world, in any design imaginable. They remain one of the most popular accessories.

Source: www.shenoadiamonds.com

One of my favorite accessories is a brooch. They add color and interest to any outfit. They can dress up a plain shirt or add a little whimsy to an old grey sweater. Strategically placed, brooches can cover a stain or add a little extra modesty to a low cut blouse.

Ask any woman and she'll tell you that no one will ever know that you are wearing the same black sweater day after day if you just change your brooch. It was a trick I used many times when I was a single gal just out of college and on a very tight budget.

My mother always wore brooches, that is until her fingers let her down and it got too difficult to pin them on. Luckily she has given me many of her pieces so I can wear them.

A few weeks ago I needed a little something for an old white blouse and the brooches I had just weren't right. Since I had been doing a lot of work with felt I decided to make my own brooch, and I came up with some designs that I really love.

Felt brooches are easy to make and the design possibilities are endless. If you are in the mood for a new brooch, try making your own. It's easy and fun and sure to impress the girls at your next card party!

Supplies you'll need to make this brooch

Supplies for your felt brooch.

Supplies for your felt brooch.

Need felt?

  • Felt
  • Sharp Scissors
  • Pinking shears (optional)
  • Embroidery needles
  • Freezer paper
  • Embroidery floss
  • Safety pin
  • Beads (optional)
  • Pencil
  • Iron/Ironing board

Choose your colors and pattern

Choose the felt colors you want to use.

Choose the felt colors you want to use.

Felt tips

You can get felt in almost any "big box" store, but those rectangle pieces are thin. Go to a bigger fabric store and purchase it by the yard. It's much denser and the color choices are impressive. Be careful not to buy flannel by accident.

Decide what colors you want to use for your brooch. For this paisley piece, I wanted vibrant contrasting colors that showed off the design.

As a general rule, contrasting colors add more pop to a design whereas similar colors are more soothing. "Hot" colors, like reds and oranges, show up more than "cool" colors, like blues and greens.

Sketch your design on freezer paper

Sketch your design on freezer paper.

Sketch your design on freezer paper.

Need freezer paper?

Cut out a piece of freezer paper that is manageable to draw on. Using a pencil, sketch out the shape you want. Draw a shape for every felt piece that will be in your brooch.

Cut out the paper shapes and set them aside until ready to use.

Tip: Draw on the flat side of the paper, not the shiny side. The shiny side will be the side pressed against the fabric.

If you are confident in your cutting skills, you can skip this freezer paper step and just cut out your shapes freehand.

Press the freezer paper onto the felt

Press the freezer paper to the felt.

Press the freezer paper to the felt.

Pressing tip

Don't press too long. The freezer paper loses its adhesive and the felt gets too hot and starts to melt.

Set your iron to the "wool setting" without steam. Place the freezer paper shape, shiny side against the felt, and press for about 5 seconds. That should be long enough, but if the paper is not sticking, press for another 2 - 3 seconds.

Cut out the felt shapes

Cut out the felt shapes.

Cut out the felt shapes.

Cutting tip

Felt can be tricky to cut so use really sharp scissors. For smaller pieces, use embroidery scissors. They will help you get nice sharp points and smooth edges.

Using sharp scissors, cut out the shapes using the freezer paper as a guideline. Then remove the paper.

If you want, use pinking shears to add an interesting edge to some of the pieces. Only use the pinking shears after the paper is removed.

Add the safety pin to the back

Secure the safety pin to the back of the brooch.

Secure the safety pin to the back of the brooch.

It's not a brooch until there is a pin on the back.

  1. Lay the back piece of the brooch onto a flat surface with the side that will be against the shirt facing up. In the photo above this is the black felt.
  2. Cut out a small piece of felt that will fit the safety pin. In the photo above this is the white felt.
  3. Using 3 strands of embroidery thread, sew down the shaft of the safety pin, as closely as possible on both sides. It is almost like you are wrapping the metal.
  4. Using a straight stitch, go around the outside of the square for extra security.

Note: For this project I used contrasting felt and thread, but for your brooch, it will look nicer to secure the safety pin with matching materials.

Start assembling the top of the brooch

Begin stitching the layers together, starting with the top layers.

Begin stitching the layers together, starting with the top layers.

When sewing the layers together for this brooch, always start with the top layers. If you start at the bottom, it will be too thick to sew through.

Decide what color embroidery floss to use. If you are decent at embroidery, use a contrasting color like the white in the photo above. Embroidery adds a nice decorative touch to the piece.

For this brooch I used a simple running stitch around the edge of the pink felt.

Continue adding felt layers

Stitch the top layers to the next layer.

Stitch the top layers to the next layer.

How to do the blanket stitch

Once the top two layers are sewn together, sew that piece to the third felt piece (blue). For this step I used a blanket stitch in a contrasting red floss. I think it adds an interesting design element.

The blanket stitch is one of the more common embroidery stitches. Sometimes it is known as the button-hole stitch.

It's also one of the easier stitches. Check out the video tutorial on the right to learn how to do it.

Complete the brooch

Use beads to sew the top layers to the backing.

Use beads to sew the top layers to the backing.

The finished paisley felt pin on a pink blouse.

The finished paisley felt pin on a pink blouse.

I used beads to attach the top three layers to the black backing. Use embroidery floss that matches the beads so only the beads are seen.

If you don't want to use beads, then use another stitch of your choice. I like the beads because I think that they add a little bling to the piece.

The finished brooch

Felt Brooch

Felt Brooch

With all of the felt colors available today, the design possibilities for these brooches are endless. It's entirely up to you.

To help you get inspired, here are just a few ideas to get you started.

ThemesEmbellishmentsStitches

Holidays

Beads

Running

Seasons

Buttons

Blanket

Animals

Ribbons

Coral

Flowers

Charms

Knotted stem

Geometric Shapes

Fabric pens

Chevrons

Food

 

Cross stitch

Here's another brooch using the same steps

Heart shaped felt brooch.  I used a blanket stitch for all the layers and added the blue beads after I had stitched the pink heart to the white heart.

Heart shaped felt brooch. I used a blanket stitch for all the layers and added the blue beads after I had stitched the pink heart to the white heart.

© 2013 Claudia Mitchell

Comments

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on May 11, 2015:

Glimmer, it's always a pleasure. Maybe you should make him something with those arts and crafts.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on May 11, 2015:

Thanks so much for the vote and lovely comments Kristen. I really do enjoy making these things, but my husband always rolls his eyes when he sees me bringing home more supplies!

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on May 09, 2015:

Glimmer, what another crafty and clever idea from you to make brooches out of felt. I love the way you think and your fun art ideas to do at home. Voted up for awesome!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 02, 2015:

Thanks VioletteRose! I'm glad you enjoyed the article. I love the colors too! Nice hubpages name by the way.

VioletteRose from Atlanta on March 31, 2015:

Great tutorial on making the brooches! They look so colourful and pretty :)

Claudia Mitchell (author) on February 09, 2015:

Hi Nell - Thanks so much for stopping by. This is one of those fun projects one can tailor exactly to ones own tastes and then show off their work. I appreciate the kind comments on my photos as well. Hope you are doing good.

Nell Rose from England on February 07, 2015:

You are so clever! and congrats on the HOTD! yeah! I love the way you explain how to make them, and the photos too, wonderful!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 14, 2015:

Thank you so much Carb Diva - I appreciate it.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on January 12, 2015:

Voted up and pinned. LOVE this idea.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on April 07, 2014:

Hi Alise-Evon - That is a good way to put it. With this project anyone could play with any colors and really have fun with it. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Alise- Evon on April 04, 2014:

Looks like a fun way to play with colors you might not wear too often, but could accent something with.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 14, 2014:

Thanks Sherry! Glad you stopped by to read.

Sherry Hewins from Sierra Foothills, CA on January 12, 2014:

It's pretty, what a fun idea.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on December 12, 2013:

Hi Colleen Swan - That workshop sounds really interesting. I love working with all sorts of textiles. Thanks for stopping by and reading.

Colleen Swan from County Durham on December 12, 2013:

Thank you for such an interesting craft idea. I recently went to a Japanese workshop where lovely cloth brooches were on display. I will now try making my own felt brooch.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 23, 2013:

Thanks cclitgirl! I get some nice compliments when I wear them. I think people like it when they see unique jewelry and these are definitely one of a kind. My daughter recently sketched a couple that she wants me to make. That will keep me busy for a while. Thanks for stopping by and reading.

Cynthia Calhoun from Western NC on November 21, 2013:

This is very cool! Love the colors and the beads add just the perfect finishing touch. Great idea and I bet they look absolutely stunning when you wear them. :)

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 17, 2013:

Thanks Prithima Sharma! I appreciate it.

Prithima Sharma from Delhi, India on November 16, 2013:

wow amazing hub

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 16, 2013:

Thank you so much for your kind comments Millionaire. It was fun picking out the colors for this brooch. As a quilter too, I am guessing you like to play with fabric colors as much as I do.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 16, 2013:

I appreciate it hyp! I had fun making this project.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 16, 2013:

Thanks DzyMsLizzy - A number of people have mentioned using glue instead of sewing and that would work well for people who have trouble sewing or for kids. I think a child would love making something like this as a gift. I'm happy that you enjoyed the hub. Thanks so much for the support.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 16, 2013:

Thanks erorantes - I appreciate it.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 16, 2013:

Happyboomernurse - Glue is a great alternative if someone does not like to sew. Also it's a great alternative for kids who may want to make this. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. Thanks for commenting.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 16, 2013:

lemonkerdz - A couple of people have said they were going to try this. It's too bad you can't all post the pics of your finished brooches. Thanks for the kind comments.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 16, 2013:

Thanks daisydayz! I appreciate it.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 16, 2013:

I appreciate it OldRoses - I like giving homemade gifts to people. I think they appreciate them and it's a little special touch. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 16, 2013:

Thanks notavgcraftymom! I love felt too and have been trying to make different things with it lately.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 16, 2013:

Thanks so much Rebecca! I appreciate it.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 16, 2013:

DreamerMeg - Thanks so much. I definitely think anyone can make a felt brooch and there is so much lovely felt available the possibilities are endless.

Shasta Matova from USA on November 16, 2013:

Congratulations on HOTD. Well deserved - the brooch is so colorful and beautiful, and you have laid out the steps to make it quite nicely. Voted up and pinned.

hyp on November 15, 2013:

Very creative! Congratulations on your HOTD! Thank you for sharing on how to make a beautiful felt brooch. :)

Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on November 15, 2013:

Congrats on HOTD! Well done!

This looks even easy enough for kids, with some modifications. You did a fantastic job with the explanations and photos.

I'm not much of a crafter anymore--I have trouble seeing to thread a needle even with my reading glasses on. :-( But, this was definitely a worthwhile read.

Voted up, interesting and shared.

Ana Maria Orantes from Miami Florida on November 15, 2013:

Miss Glimmer Twin Fan, I like your Article. It is creative and fun . you are good. I love it.

Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on November 15, 2013:

Congratulations on earning Hub of the Day for this beautifully laid and illustrated hub.

My sister made a felt brooch for me years ago and I still wear it sometimes. She glued the pieces together into the shape of a hat with tiny plume feathers.

Am voting this hub up across the board except for funny.

lemonkerdz from LIMA, PERU on November 15, 2013:

Congrats Glimmer Twin Fan on Hub of the day.

Sure this will get out those scraps of felt that have been lying around the house.

Chantele Cross-Jones from Cardiff on November 15, 2013:

That broach is so pretty! Congrats on the hub of the day!

Caren White on November 15, 2013:

What a great idea for a holiday gift! Thanks for the great hub.

Amanda from Texas on November 15, 2013:

Very pretty! I love felt crafts, not a brooch wearer but I enjoyed this very much. Love the colors you used.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on November 15, 2013:

Congratulations, GTF, you did it again!

DreamerMeg from Northern Ireland on November 15, 2013:

What a lovely brooch and so simple, even I could do it! That's a great craft idea and really nicely explained.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 15, 2013:

Thanks so much Heather! I wear a lot of black so I thought these colors would rally pop. One nice thing about this brooch is how lightweight it is so they don't snag fragile sweaters. I appreciate your nice comments. Have a great day!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 15, 2013:

I hope you give it a try Alison. Freezer paper is one of those things I love having on hand. It works on all kinds of fabric and is great for cutting out shapes. I bet some dangling beads would be pretty on a brooch too. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 15, 2013:

Thanks Sunshine! Substitute some light pinks and spring greens and this pin would fit right in in Florida!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 15, 2013:

Many thanks Daisy. I appreciate it.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 15, 2013:

You are so sweet pstraubie. Thank you and thanks for your support on my hubs. I always appreciate it and the angels!

Heather from Arizona on November 15, 2013:

Super pretty! I love the colors you chose and the blanket stitch you used. The finished product looks absolutely perfect and the paisley design is so timeless. I would love to wear it on a lightweight cardigan. Congratulations on HotD! :)

Alison Graham from UK on November 15, 2013:

Congratulations on your hub of the day and thank you for the inspiration. I had never heard of 'freezer paper' before and now I understand what it is, I can't wait to get started, especially as I have some beads that I bought ages ago and have never done anything with! Thanks again for this beautifully detailed and easy to follow hub. Voted up and pinned.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on November 15, 2013:

Congrats Glimmer on your HOTD! Very colorful and creative brooch.

Daisy Mariposa from Orange County (Southern California) on November 15, 2013:

Glimmer,

Congratulations for publishing another HubPages Hub of the Day! The honor is well-deserved.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on November 15, 2013:

Good morning I did not even need to look at the name to see who was hub of the day... I knew...You are so clever with these unique ideas you share...this is too lovely.

thanks to you too for sharing my hub....

Many Angels are on the way ps Pinned

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 15, 2013:

Many thanks Bill and many thanks for always supporting me here.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 15, 2013:

Thanks so much cheeluarv. It was a fun hub to write and a fun craft project.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 15, 2013:

loveofnight - I'm so glad this hub is encouraging you to work with felt again. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 15, 2013:

What lovely comments RTalloni. Thank you. I love that idea of magnets! Thanks also for all of the support. I hope you design your brooch and I'd love to see what it looks like when it's done. I appreciate all of your nice comments.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on November 15, 2013:

I needed to come back and congratulate you on your HOTD award....well-deserved my friend.

cheeluarv from INDIA on November 15, 2013:

This Brooch is lovely,and creative accessory.Congratulations on Hub of the Day.

loveofnight from Baltimore, Maryland on November 15, 2013:

It has been many years since I have worked with felt and you are stirring up my creative juices. Thank you so much for such an informative hub. Be well and happy hubbing.

RTalloni on November 15, 2013:

No surprise that this is the Hub of the Day--so nicely done on every level with delightful examples of your craft just in time for the giving season.

How lovely, lovely that you have your mother's brooches! Your note about her having to give up wearing them because of her hands made me wonder about using magnets on the back of these felt brooches. Some magnets would be too strong, others not strong enough, and the inside magnet would have to be attached to something easy enough for the elderly to manage.

Anyway, big congrats on your award for this makes-me-want-to-stop-everything-and-do-it hub! Enjoy keeping up with the comments that will surely pile up. Pinning, linking, voting… :)

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 15, 2013:

I'm so glad you liked this hub StoneCircle! I learn visually too, especially stuff like this so I'm glad you found the photos useful. Many thanks for the support.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 15, 2013:

Thanks so much sallybea! I appreciate your kind comments. Felt is so much fun to work with.

Susan McLeish from Rindge, NH on November 15, 2013:

Well you just made my stocking stuffers for paisley fans so much easier. I am a visiual learnier, so I am happy to see all the photos that go with the intructions. Well deserved HOD. pinned

Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on November 15, 2013:

Congratulations on your HOTD - the vibrant image really catches the eye and I am sure it makes everyone one want to explore your Hub.

I am really pleased for you.

Sally

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 15, 2013:

Thanks again purl3agony! I don't know about you, but these cold winter months get my creative ideas going. Now it's just a matter of finding the time to do more things. Have a good day and thanks for commenting.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 15, 2013:

That's so nice of you ChitrangadaSharan. I'm glad you like the project. It's a fun one to do. Have a great day!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 15, 2013:

kschimmel - I appreciate your kind comments and looking at it again, it does remind me a bit of molas too. Hmmm something new for me to explore. Thanks for reading.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 15, 2013:

Thanks so much Au fait! I like bright colors, especially in the winter and I may just have to wear this today. I appreciate you stopping by and commenting.

Donna Herron from USA on November 15, 2013:

Congrats, Glimmer Twin Fan, on your HOTD!! As I said before, I love this pin idea and I love all your craft ideas :)

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on November 15, 2013:

Beautiful, very creative and looks gorgeous!

Well illustrated with helpful pictures! It looks quite similar to applique work. Congratulations for a well deserved HOTD!

Voted up and pinned!

Kimberly Schimmel from North Carolina, USA on November 15, 2013:

Very pretty! Reminds me of South American molas (reverse applique designs I've seen.

C E Clark from North Texas on November 15, 2013:

Excellent clear instructions, and bright pretty colors! Congratulations on HOTD!! Voted up!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on November 07, 2013:

Thanks Michelle! It's definitely not expensive, but looks great on blouses and sweaters. I appreciate the support!

Michelle Liew from Singapore on November 07, 2013:

Glim, you are one talented lady! And this is a solution which is inexpensive as well. Thanks for sharing!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on October 26, 2013:

Thanks aviannovice. I never thought about making cat toys...hmmm interesting idea for a hub! I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and it brought back memories.

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on October 26, 2013:

These are wonderful. I made cat toys as a youth in ways similar to this. This was certainly a nice reminder.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on October 23, 2013:

Thank you sparkleyfinger. I definitely think kids would love to do this, older ones especially. Glad you enjoyed the hub and thanks for the support.

Lynsey Hart from Lanarkshire on October 23, 2013:

Such a lovely, simple idea to brighten up any outfit! Voted up and awesum! Great idea for kids craft too! :)

Claudia Mitchell (author) on October 23, 2013:

I appreciate it tillsontitan. I have seen lovely homemade brooches out there. They are so much fun to see, of course so are the fancy ones with gems too. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Mary Craig from New York on October 21, 2013:

So many people do wear brooches and so many are "crafty" you've touched both with this lovely hub.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on October 21, 2013:

Thanks so much SamitaJassi.

Samita Sharma from Chandigarh on October 21, 2013:

Nice tips

Claudia Mitchell (author) on October 20, 2013:

Jackie - You could definitely use a hot glue gun, except for the beading. I think that the glue would show too much. But definitely with a child the glue would be easier. Although, depending on the age of the child, you could use a larger and little duller needle and help them do a simple straight stitch. The safety pin would also be hard to glue on, but go to any craft store and they sell pin backings in their jewelry making section. It has a flat side that is easily glued. Hope you give it a try! Thanks.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on October 20, 2013:

Hi ElleBee - These are easy to make for just about anyone who can sew. The neat thing about these brooches is that you can make really easy designs or make them as fancy as you'd like. Then you have a brooch that no one else has, which is the part I really like. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on October 19, 2013:

Those would be such fun to make and if doing it with a child I bet you wouldn't really have to do those last stitches would you? Maybe hot glue? They are so cute. ^

ElleBee on October 19, 2013:

this is cute, and I believe it may actually be within the grasp of my incredibly limited sewing skills!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on October 19, 2013:

Thanks so much VirginiaLynne - There are definitely a ton of designs you can do. I hope you make one soon. Have a great weekend.

Virginia Kearney from United States on October 19, 2013:

These are very beautiful and I can think of so many different ways to do them! Thanks for the great instructions. This reminds me of reverse applique.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on October 19, 2013:

Thank you so much teaches! That was so kind of you to say. I really enjoy doing these kinds of things, they are one of my relaxation techniques. I appreciate it.

Dianna Mendez on October 19, 2013:

You always present amazing craft items that are practical and beautiful. I know some people who would be thrilled to make these.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on October 19, 2013:

Thanks purl3agony! I like felt too, and like you, especially the colors. Glad you enjoyed the hub and thanks for the support!

Donna Herron from USA on October 19, 2013:

I love your brooch idea! Felt is such a versatile material and great for so many projects. I love the different colors you used and the various types of stitches that you added. I particularly like the heart shaped brooch - so charming! Pinned and voted up!!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on October 19, 2013:

I appreciate your nice comments sallybea! I agree that someone any age can do this one and in any design imaginable. Thanks for stopping by and have a nice weekend!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on October 19, 2013:

I'm glad you liked this project vellur! Thanks for commenting.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on October 19, 2013:

Hi FlourishAnyway - I am working on a poinsettia one now and will add the photo to the hub when it's done. These really don't take much time and like you said, handcrafted items make such nice gifts. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. I appreciate it.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on October 19, 2013:

Thanks so much rebeccamealey! I've seen some fabric beads out there and they are so pretty. I love almost any craft with textiles. Glad you enjoyed the hub!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on October 19, 2013:

Aw - Thanks so much Bill. I always appreciate your support! Have a great weekend.

Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on October 19, 2013:

Very pretty with some great detailed pictures and instructions. Nice project for someone, young or old. Thanks for sharing.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on October 18, 2013:

Great hub, the brooch is beautiful. This brooch can be a cute gift for anyone. Thank you for sharing.

FlourishAnyway from USA on October 18, 2013:

Such a nicely done hub! I can imagine that handcrafted items like these would make perfectly beautiful holiday items, especially in holiday themes. You've really got patience to put so much detail into your beautiful, intricate crafts. So pretty.

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on October 18, 2013:

Very cool! I saw someone making cloth beads the other day, and this reminds me of that. Thanks for sharing!

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