Wednesday, June 30, 2010

DIY Wednesday: Make a fabric poppy pin from scratch

As one of you correctly guessed, today's DIY is inspired by Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld, specifically the Spring/Summer 2010 collection and more specifically the photo below, which appeared in Elle and made me fold down the corner of the page. Does no one remember this ad?

Anyway, I though the bag would be an easy DIY. Hot glue a silk poppy and some lace to a thrift-store purse and hang it from my slender Claudia Schiffer-like shoulder, and I'm set for the summer. Except a big red poppy was hard to come by, and I liked the idea of trying to make my own. Below is the Chanel poppy, which is hand-made by the venerable French company Lemarie.

And here is mine, hand-made by the upstart low-brow DIYer who runs this blog.

I made my red and black poppies from silk pocket squares, which, if you're local, can be purchased at The Baltic Bazaar thrift shop for a buck. The white ones came from a ripped men's dress shirt.

You'll also need some black felt, some felt that matches your flower color, heavy black thread, spray starch, fabric glue, hot glue (optional), a pin back, scissors, needle and sewing thread (optional). You'll also need some pieces of thin plastic from the recycle bin. I cut mine from the lid of a strawberry container.

To stiffen and add texture to silk or other lightweight fabric, spray the fabric with heavy starch, twist and clip. (If your fabric is heavier, like cotton, you can add the wrinkles later.)

When the fabric is mostly dry, untwist it. If it is too wrinkled to lay flat, spritz with some more starch and stretch it.

Cut out 12 to 14 petals. You can freehand them or use this template for the petals, center and back.

Cut a piece of plastic about 1/2 inch wide and about three inches long. Wind the heavy thread around the strip. Spray with starch and allow to dry.

Stack your petals and either sew or glue them together, fanning out the petals as you go to avoid any "bald spots."

At this point, if you are using a heavier fabric, you can add your wrinkles here. Spray lightly with starch and fold the petals up like a bud. Hold loosely with a rubber band and allow to dry.

Now we'll put together the back of the brooch. Cut a small circle out of matching felt and thin plastic. Glue to the back of the flower and top with a pin back. Allow to dry.

Flip the flower over and glue a smaller black felt circle to the center of the front.

Now for the fun part - making the eyelashes. Slide the thread off the strip of plastic. You can do a little at a time and cut the thread or do it all at once.

Dip one edge of the thread in fabric glue. (I don't recommend hot glue because it hardens too fast.)

And place along the edge of the felt.

Your flower is done.

Alternately, you could buy a silk poppy, which is on sale for $1.68 at Pier 1.

Come back next week when I will drag this project out to a second post and we'll talk about ways to use your pin and also clogs. (Yes, they are back.)


  1. fourwallsandaroof.comJune 30, 2010 at 7:49 PM

    Very cool. Very summer-y!

  2. Very cute! Where are you going to pin yours? It'd look so cute on a summery raffia tote....

  3. You read my mind.

  4. Very pretty! I really like red poppies.

  5. back from holidays to see this gorgeous tutorial - and what you've done with it!
    thanks for sharing, I LOVE it!!


  6. This is gorgeous. I love it! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Soccer Mom StyleJuly 6, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    Hi there,
    Thanks for your comment on my banana earrings... LOL, as I said I've gone bananas with my earrings and banana fritters and banana funnel cake! Btw, I sold my first pair of banana earrings yesterday to someone in Australia! I'm so excited!!
    I am writing to you to ask for your permission to use some photos (just one or two) from your Poppy flower pin DIY. I just finished mine and you were definitely an inspiration, along with Chanel, so I wanted to include a picture or two from your post. Of course, I'm not as talented as you. I had to buy my flowers at Hobby Lobby ;)


  8. Please feel free.