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How to Wet Felt a Poinsettia Flower for Xmas

Sally Gulbrandsen Feltmaker: Her tutorials and techniques are as individual as she is—unique, experimental and always interesting.

Christmas would not be Christmas without a poinsettia.

Christmas would not be Christmas without a poinsettia.

Some Fun Facts About the Christmas Flower

No flower says Christmas quite like the poinsettia, but did you know that the poinsettia's main attraction is not the flower, but its leaves? The yellow parts of the poinsettia are really the flower buds. The red poinsettia is the most popular colour, followed by the pink and white

More potted poinsettia plants are sold at Christmas than any other potted plant. Around 34 million are sold every year. In warm climates such as South Africa and Mexico, they grow into small trees. The poinsettia exudes a milky substance which many believe to be poisonous, but they are not. If eaten, they are likely to cause stomach discomfort and irritation.

Close-up detail on the felt poinsettia

Close-up detail on the felt poinsettia

Things You Will Need for This Tutorial

  • A Poinsettia Template (shown below)
  • Green Merino Wool Roving
  • Yellow Merino Wool Roving for the centre of the poinsettia
  • Red Merino Wool Roving for the petals. Merino Wool Roving is the perfect choice for this poinsettia. It felts easily and holds its shape very well. It comes in a variety of colours and can be purchased in small or large quantities.
  • Contrasting Red Mohair Wool for the veins on the petals
  • Red Silk Fibres which can be used for embellishment
  • Bubble Wrap
  • A Bamboo Blind
  • Thin Wire which can be used for the petal frame and to attach the yellow 'flowers' with
  • Hot Soapy Water
Close-up of a wet-felted poinsettia.

Close-up of a wet-felted poinsettia.

Cut the Wire

  • Cut a length of thin wire and fold it in half and twist the wire together as shown below.
  • The size you cut the wire should be determined by the size you would like the leaves to end up.
Making the 2 green leaves

Making the 2 green leaves

Cover the Wire With the Green Roving

Cover the Wire with thin strips of roving as shown.

Cover the metal leaf frames with thin strips of wool roving

Cover the metal leaf frames with thin strips of wool roving

Maintain a Slight Ragged Look

Maintain a slight ragged edge to make the leaves look a little more natural when they are completed.

Wires covered in wool roving

Wires covered in wool roving

Fill the Frame

  • Add a thin layer of Wool Roving to the Frame.
  • A thick layer will make the leaves look clumsy.
Filling the center of the leaves with green wool roving.

Filling the center of the leaves with green wool roving.

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Both leaves filled with wool roving.

Both leaves filled with wool roving.

Wet the Leaves with Hot Soapy Water

Wet the leaves with hot soapy water

Wet the leaves with hot soapy water

Cover the Leaves With Bubble Wrap, Wet and Rub

Wet the surface of the bubble wrap for easier rubbing.

Wet the surface of the bubble wrap for easier rubbing.

Neaten the Edges of the Leaves

Neaten the edges by folding them over the wire and then put back under the bubblewrap

Neaten the edges by folding them over the wire and then put back under the bubblewrap

The edges have now been neatened.

The edges have now been neatened.

Cover With Bubble Wrap and Wet the Surface

Cover with bubble wrap and wet to make the surface slippery and easy to rub on.

Cover with bubble wrap and wet to make the surface slippery and easy to rub on.

Fiber has been fully felted

Fiber has been fully felted

Leaves completed and awaiting a rinse in hot and then cold water.

Leaves completed and awaiting a rinse in hot and then cold water.

Draw Three Sizes of the Template

  • Draw the Template using three different sheets of paper.
  • Start with the largest Template and grade them downwards in size so that the finished article will have a 3D look.
Draw 3 Templates in graded sizes.

Draw 3 Templates in graded sizes.

Draw 3 matching templates in 3 different sizes.

Draw 3 matching templates in 3 different sizes.

Put the Templates Under a Piece of Bubble Wrap

If you put the paper template under the bubble wrap you will see through it sufficiently to follow the lines below. This will keep the template dry.

The largest template with some contrasting mohair knitting yarn used for making the veins of the leaves.

The largest template with some contrasting mohair knitting yarn used for making the veins of the leaves.

Trace the Flower With Wool

Begin tracing the flower using a continuous length of the wet mohair wool and the image below the bubble wrap as your guide.

Wet a continuous length of mohair yarn.

Wet a continuous length of mohair yarn.

Cover the outline of the flower with the mohair yarn.

Cover the outline of the flower with the mohair yarn.

A completed template traced in Mohair Yarn

A completed template traced in Mohair Yarn

Fill the Petal Using the Red Merino Roving

Lightly fill the petals with a fine even layer of Merino wool roving.

Lightly fill the petals with a fine even layer of Merino wool roving.

Fill the Petals with Merino wool roving.

Fill the Petals with Merino wool roving.

Add Veins Using the Mohair Yarn

Creating veins on the petals with Mohair Yarn

Creating veins on the petals with Mohair Yarn

Wet the Fibres With Hot Soapy Water

Wet the petals with hot soapy water.

Wet the petals with hot soapy water.

Cover the Wet Petals With Bubble Wrap

Cover the Petals with Bubble Wrap

Cover the Petals with Bubble Wrap

Rub the Wet Surface With Your Fingers

Wet the surface of the bubble wrap and rub gently.

Wet the surface of the bubble wrap and rub gently.

Remove the Bubble Wrap

Remove the bubble wrap and neaten the edges.

Remove the bubble wrap and neaten the edges.

Neaten the Edges

Neaten the edges with your fingers.

Neaten the edges with your fingers.

Cover the Flower With Bubble Wrap and Rub

Cover with Bubble Wrap, Wet with soapy water and rub well.

Cover with Bubble Wrap, Wet with soapy water and rub well.

Roll Petals Inside the Bamboo Blind

Roll petals inside a bamboo mat, with or without the bubble wrap.

Roll petals inside a bamboo mat, with or without the bubble wrap.

A completed layer.

A completed layer.

Hint: Keep on rotating the flower as you roll so that the petal shrinks the same amount in all directions.

3 Layers of Petals which were graded in size.

3 Layers of Petals which were graded in size.

Make the Felt Balls

  • Begin by making the felt balls.
  • They should be fairly small to reflect the actual size of those on a real Poinsettia.

Knot a Thin Piece of Yellow Roving

Knot a small piece of yellow roving.

Knot a small piece of yellow roving.

Wet the Knot

Wet the knot and wrap the rest of the roving around the knot to form a tiny ball.

Wet the knot and wrap the rest of the roving around the knot to form a tiny ball.

Roll the Balls

Roll the Balls until they are firmly felted.

Roll the Balls until they are firmly felted.

Rinse the Balls in Hot and Then Cold Water

Rinse all the items in Hot and Cold Water and then 'Full' by throwing the against the kitchen sink.  Iron the Red Petals Flat.

Rinse all the items in Hot and Cold Water and then 'Full' by throwing the against the kitchen sink. Iron the Red Petals Flat.

Rinse, Press and Assemble

  • Rinse the items in hot and cold water.
  • Press the Petals
  • Begin assembling the pieces as shown below.

Thread the Wire

  • Use a sharp needle with a large hole to thread the wire through
  • Push the needle into the ball and then fold the wire in half as shown below.
Thread a needle with the wire and sew through a length of wire, fold in half.

Thread a needle with the wire and sew through a length of wire, fold in half.

The Petals, leaves and Center Pieces of the Poinsettia.

The Petals, leaves and Center Pieces of the Poinsettia.

Push the Wires Through the Top Layer

Push the wires through the Top Layer as shown

Push the wires through the Top Layer as shown

Second Layer of Petals

Second Layer of Petals

All the layers plus the 2 leaves being assembled.

All the layers plus the 2 leaves being assembled.

Twist the Green Wire Around the Center Wires