Join me for my Mini Potted Felt Houseplant series! First up are my Polka Dot Plants.
POLKA DOT PLANT
TOOLS AND MATERIALS:
- At least two A4 sheets (30 x 21cm) of felt in two different shades of green, or plenty of scraps
- Extra scraps of felt for the polka dots: I used three different shades of green but you could use any colours you like
- Paper/freezer paper for printing the templates
- Template sheet (PDF)
- 15 x 15cm lengths of florist wire: I used 30cm stems of 19 gauge wire, which I cut in half
- Florist tape (optional, this will help to give your stems a natural look)
- Small plant pot/bucket - I used a 7cm high metal pail, which measures 8cm diameter at the top opening
- Dry floral foam
- Glue gun
- Wire cutting pliers
- Hole punch
- Scrap paper
- Tacky glue (optional)
- Craft pliers or tweezers (optional)
Begin by wrapping each of your florist wires with florist tape.
Next, print and cut out the template pieces. The template sheet is full size when printed on A4 paper.
Choose two shades of felt to use for the leaves: one for the upper leaf and the second for the base leaf. Out of each colour, cut:
- 5 small leaves
- 5 medium leaves
- 5 large leaves
Group the leaves together on your work surface, with the upper leaf on top of each contrasting pair. I like to alternate the direction of the leaves so they don’t all ‘point’ in the same direction. Decide this now and lay the leaves out as you would like them.
Now it’s time to make the polka dots! You’ll need some scrap paper and a hole punch for this (and a clear work surface where you can easily find and pick up the dots as you make them). I chose three different shades of green for my polka dots but feel free to get creative with these.
Take a strip of scrap paper and fold it in half along the length. Now tuck a strip of scrap felt in one of your chosen spot colours inside the paper. Use your hole punch to punch through the sandwich of paper and felt. You may want to remove the base of your hole punch so you can pick up the pieces as you go.
You’ll need to separate the felt from the paper punches - tweezers or craft pliers may help with this. It’s up to you how ‘spotty’ you want to make your leaves and therefore how many polka dots you will need to punch out. I used 7 polka dots for the small leaves; 8-9 for the medium leaves and 10 for the large leaves.
To glue the dots to the upper leaves, I used tacky glue rather than hot glue: it gives more time to position the dots and is less messy on such a small surface. You will need to allow a little extra time for drying if you’re using tacky glue as it doesn’t dry as quickly as hot glue. Tweezers or craft pliers are helpful for gripping the dots as you glue them; simply dab a small spot of glue to the dot and attach in place on the leaf. Repeat with all the leaves and allow to dry.
Now take each of the wire stems and place a gentle bend in the end, following the shape of the leaf. Using hot glue, attach each wire to the top of a base leaf i.e. so it will be sandwiched in between the base and upper leaf. Place the wire so it is about two-thirds up the leaf so you can shape and bend the leaves later on. Allow to dry.
Finally, glue the upper leaves on top of the base leaves. You can either use hot glue for this, covering the leaf in a thin layer before pressing together, or tacky glue. For ease and speed I prefer hot glue, but watch out for any glue oozing out of the edges - you only need a thin layer!
Prepare your plant pot: cut a suitably-sized block of dry floral foam to fit securely inside your plant pot, with the foam sitting just below the rim of the pot. Warning: dry floral foam can be quite ‘grainy’ when you cut it and the grains will get everywhere! Be sure to cut it on a surface that you can easily wipe down afterwards (I prefer to cut it outside).
Now cut a circle of green felt (any shade you like) the size of the opening of your plant pot. Place a few dots of glue over the surface and then glue in place on top of the floral foam. Finally, use the sharp point of your scissors to make a small incision at the centre of the felt circle, into the foam.
Take the five small leaves for your plant and trim about 1-2cm from the length of the wires using wire cutting pliers. This will help the leaves to nestle in at the centre of the plant. Take three of the small leaves and gently bend the leaf out slightly at the top of each. Holding the stems together, push them into the hole in your pot.
Now take the two remaining small leaves and add one either side of the centre leaves. If there’s enough room in the central hole, push them in here. Otherwise, begin to make small additional cuts into the base felt/foam and add the leaves here.
Move onto the medium leaves, gently bending them before adding them one by one around the plant, making a small hole for each in the foam with the point of your scissors. If you find that you want to make any stems shorter as you go, simply remove the stem, trim it with wire cutters and replace it into the plant pot.
Repeat the previous step with the large leaves to finish the arrangement. Gently bend any leaves and stems to give shape to your plant.
If you've enjoyed this project, don't forget to share your makes with me on Instagram or Facebook using the hashtag #thehandmadefloristmakes and tag me @thehandmadeflorist.