Not Martha

Mother’s Day Felt Dahlia Corsage, a few notes

(Note added Feb. 2014: The website where this DIY originally appeared so I moved the full instructions to a page here on Not Martha and I also added the notes that appear below to that project page. Go see it: Felt Dahlia Corsage.)

[dahlia corsages in reds, pinks and yellow]

Remember the Mother’s Day Felt Dahlia Corsage I created for Holidash? I made a bunch more to send out as Mother’s Day gifts and wanted to write down a few notes on what I learned.

[glued petals clamped inside clothespins]

note on forming the petals

Making a whole stack of these, I quickly discovered that clothespins work really well to hold petals as the glue sets, shown above. Admittedly I went out and bought these for this purpose ($2 for 50 or so at Target, laundry basket aisle), but I’m finding all sorts of potential uses. Including, uh, actually hanging laundry. If you’re going to make more than three dahlia pins I highly recommend seeking out some clothespins.

[pin backs showing pockets stitched in matched thread colors]

notes on giving them

I used matching thread for the backs. (I apparently have so much thread now I can match almost anything, yay? or too much?) I also included a little one-fold card with a message, and a rounded tab that says “pull me” so that it wouldn’t be overlooked.

[wrapped in tissue, sealed with a For You sticker]

Then I wrapped them up all mysterious like.

[three red felt dahlias]

notes on various weights of felt

Here are three flowers I made from different felts. The one on the bottom is a test flower, made using polyester felt. From this I learned I wanted lots more petals, and a more rounded shape to them. The top-left is made from nice, thick wool felt and is one of the ones I used for the pictures in the tutorial. The top-right is made from slightly thinner wool felt and I cut the petals much rounder. The thinner felt was easier to form and glue, but in the hand the thicker felt feels better, more substantial.

notes on where to find felt

For those living in Seattle here is what I learned about buying felt locally, with huge thanks to @dancingsheepnw and @raintea for the source tips on Twitter. The sturdiest felt with the most saturated colors was found at Clover Toys in Ballard. It comes in sheets and it was $2.50. (But I seem to have bought all the bright and dark reds, sorry about that.) Nancy’s Sewing Basket has wool felt in sheets and yardage. It was a bit thinner but the colors were still pleasing, I think it was $1.75 per sheet. Both Stitches and Pacific Fabrics have polyester felt for around $.75 per sheet. This was much thinner, but in the reds didn’t have the shiny/fake quality that polyester felts in the green range seem to. With the polyester felt the petals didn’t have as much structure, but still make really nice flowers.

Online I have two felt sources to recommend (I have not purchased from either, but they come recommended from multiple sources): Filzfelt and Joggles.

notes on adhesives, needle felting and tacking the petals down

For my dahlia flowers I used Fabri-tac glue, but I had considered a few different options. Needle felting and hot glue guns were passed over due to the potential to stab or burn one’s fingers, and because of the extra supplies needed. Sewing each petal down individually sounded like an awful lot of work, and I was afraid that the petals would shift around too much on the soft base before it was attached to a stiff backing, making it a frustrating process. I initially used fast grab Tacky Glue, but found it wasn’t strong enough to give a good hold on the thicker wool felt (I had a big tragedy moment finding this out) so I switched to Fabri-tac (it’s more expensive and therefore wasn’t the first adhesive I tried) for the final project.

All that said, each of the above options were used by other people, thrilling! Ansley of Bleu Arts made this one in blue using the quick grab Tacky Glue. Kristin at Briney Deep needle felted the whole flower and attached it to a headband, she includes notes for needle felting. Laura from Bugs and Fishes tacked everything down with thread and the petals turned out with a less rigid arrangement, I think utterly charming. And in the comments from my initial mention of these Megan (no relation) reports that hot glue worked just great and didn’t weigh down the flower.

Two more dahlia corsages I’ve found are at Fries In A Cone, a lovely snowy white, and Urban Comfort in a range of pinks.

if you’ve made one I want to see!

Did you make a dahlia corsage? If so I’d love to see it, and I’ll add a link to this entry if you’ve posted it online (Flickr, Twitter, your blog). Let me know!

[dahlia corsages in reds, pinks and yellow]

Note, February 2014: The Holidash website shut down earlier this year so I’ve reposted the tutorial, all the links above go to it’s new location here on Not Martha.

· comments [100] · 05-6-2010 · categories:craft ·

100 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Amy @ OCD:Obsessive Creative Disorder // Jun 22, 2010 at 12:21 am

    I’m linking up to this tutorial on my blog! I made two and LOVE them!

  • 2 Flower power « The Hungry Cook // Jun 25, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    […] dahlia corsage project over on Not Martha, who originally created them for Holidash and offers up some tips on her own blog. They’re a little labor intensive, since you have to make each of the petals […]

  • 3 Ana // Jun 25, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    I loved these! I tried my hand at them…they’re cute but not nearly as perfect as yours. Here’s my post on making them:

  • 4 Alison // Jul 14, 2010 at 6:02 am

    I can’t tell you how much I adore this! Thank you for the fabulous tutorial!! I featured this tutorial today on my blog with a roundup of flower tutorials. Here is the link:

    Thank you so much for inspiring me. Have a wonderful day!


  • 5 amanda@cocolovesvintage // Aug 7, 2010 at 4:19 am

    Perfection x

  • 6 linda // Aug 7, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    Am I missing something? A pattern for petals? How to make the center? Or do we just figure it out from pics? It’s pretty! thanks, Linda

  • 7 megan // Aug 8, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    Linda – The project instructions are over at Holidash, I created it for them. This post is just some notes, mostly put here for myself.

  • 8 Dr. Dolly // Sep 6, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Making this TODAY for fall accessories and birthday gifts for my girlfriends!

  • 9 cata // Sep 28, 2010 at 4:59 am

    Wow! Adorable!
    Thank you indeed for sharing
    regards from Tuscany
    I put your link on my facebook

  • 10 melissa // Oct 4, 2010 at 7:16 am

    this project is amazing. i bought some cheapy felt from wallyworld last night just to see if i could do it before investing in better felt to make for gifts……i used fabric glue and almost threw the entire project out the window when i started placing my petals and they all fell off when i was finished. so i said the heck with it, grabbed my glue gun and went to town. the end result was awesome and a ton less stressful. thanks again!

  • 11 gabrielle // Oct 20, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    wooow i really love it (: i’ll do but not for my clothes.. i’ll do this for my walls (:

  • 12 Karen // Jan 12, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Been following you for sometime now! Love lOvE LOVE every minute of your fabulisity! The dahlia tutorial is awe-inspiring. I’ll be adding this little baby to my list of ‘MUST DO’s’.

  • 13 Aviva // Jan 23, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    These look awesome! I’m actually impressed with how good my first attempt looks despite the fact that I don’t really understand what I’m doing. :-)

    So, I’m having trouble getting the petals to stick on the felt-covered circle. Half of them are falling off or barely hanging on. Any hints on how to keep them in place long enough to bond? I’ve tried several different glues that allegedly are good on fabric. I’m thinking of trying a glue gun, but I’m really incompetent with it and would much prefer a safer method. :-)

  • 14 megan // Jan 24, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Aviva – I admit the glue can be tricky. I used Fabri-tac and found that once it was set it held really well. I made six or so flowers at a time and they had time to let the glue dry in between sets of petals without me having to sit and wait. I too was afraid of the glue gun because of how closely you have to work with the petals.

    If you already use a hot glue gun often I’ll point you towards these Hot Glue Gun Helper products:

    The creator, Cathie Filian, showed us these at CCE in Seattle last year and they look really handy.

  • 15 Aviva // Jan 24, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Thank you, Megan!!

    That’s actually extremely helpful! I have plans to make multiple flowers, but I thought it best to start out with just one. I did wonder if I needed to wait in between rows of petals! I’ll try that before I break out the glue gun (which I’ve only used a couple times, hence my considering it dangerous! :-).

    I’m definitely craft challenged, but I’ve got a very crafty girly girl daughter so she’s my inspiration to try to improve my skills. Thanks SO much for the added tips, and I just have to say that your blog is frighteningly inspirational. (Frighteningly because I’m way better at buying supplies than I am following through with making stuff. But I’m getting better!)

    Thanks for the link to the hot glue gun helpers, too! I’ll definitely go take a look at them; maybe they’ll help me with my limited skills. :-)

    You’re awesome, Megan!! Thanks!

  • 16 megan // Jan 24, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    You are welcome Aviva – best of luck! I did make the flowers while watching TV, it helps me get into a semi distracted space where I don’t mind the prospect of cutting out 100 petals :)

  • 17 Dahlia // Jan 24, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Omg…these are simply beautiful and I may be a bit biased since I am named after the flower :) But, I am so in love with the way these turned out, I absolutely need to find some time to make these! Thank you for sharing this post!

  • 18 Pearl // Feb 8, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    I love this project. I’m making a variation on the project for my wedding. I’m replacing the pins on the back with hair clips so they work as hair pieces for me and my bridesmaids. I have pictures up here:
    Thanks so much for the tutorial!

  • 19 Pearl // Feb 8, 2011 at 3:55 pm

    Oh, and here:

  • 20 workplace | unechambre // Feb 17, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    […] hot glue on cardboard circles.  This project reminds me a bit of some felt dhalias (tutorial at notmartha) I made over Christmas… but HUGE.  I love my job. This entry was posted in Uncategorized. […]

  • 21 Paper Dahilas « Craft and Smile // Feb 20, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    […] made lovely paper roses, I decided to try to create some other flowers from paper! I had seen these gorgeous felt dahilas (one of my favourite flowers) on one of the blogs I follow – Not […]

  • 22 Fio // Feb 20, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    I love these, but I’m not good with fabric, so instead I created a modified paper version — here they are:

  • 23 Michelle @ Sweet Something Design // Mar 21, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Hi Megan, I used your suberb tute to create one out of craft felt, which was my crash test dummy, I am ready to move on to the wool felt now! Thank you for sharing! Check out the blog post scheduled for 3/22/11 (with proper credit and links) or now on my flickr photostream:

  • 24 an // May 4, 2011 at 1:57 am

    love them!!!
    Can ‘t wait to go felt-shopping and start making one, or lots!
    Thanks for the tutorial, I put a link on my blog and hope all teachers in Belgium start making dahlia’s :-)

  • 25 heather // May 5, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    thx for your crafty genius! i can’t wait to make more dahlias, and get better at ’em! also, welcome to our imaginary girl gang!

  • 26 Kim // Aug 17, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Oh my, these are beautiful!! Great Job!

  • 27 Darlene // Aug 25, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Are you selling the tutorial now on You Can Make this? Does it have additional information not included in your free online tutorial?

  • 28 michele // Aug 28, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    LOVE these! got an itch to make one last night so i used what i had on hand (cheap poly felt) but was still pleased with the outcome. i can’t wait to actually get some good wool felt and make some more. also, i used hot glue and it worked great! (i’m far too lazy/impatient to wait for glue to dry :) you can see mine here:

  • 29 megan // Sep 4, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    Darlene – That tutorial isn’t mine, I’ll look into what is going on there.

  • 30 DIY: Dahlia Felt Flowers « // Sep 26, 2011 at 9:31 am

    […] the link on how to DIY! Be sure to click on “Holidash” to get to the first post for […]

  • 31 Kristi // Oct 3, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Try Unique Stitch for glue, it’s sew-throughable, dries clear, a dab’ll do ya, and it sets/dries in only 10 minutes. I use it for practically everything!

  • 32 Cheryl // Dec 22, 2011 at 2:21 am

    Megan, I am thinking about making a smaller version because I have a smaller piece of felt to use, and because I might put it on a barrette for my daughter instead of on a pin. So I am considering doing two rings of petals instead of three, and I have two questions I am mulling over. One, do you think eliminating a row will look okay, or should I instead be thinking about just reducing the overall scale of all three rings? Two, if I do eliminate the outer petal ring, any thoughts on how big I should cut my circles for good spacing? And I hope no one has already asked this; I tried to check, but I’m using a smart phone and there are a lot of comments so I could have missed one.

  • 33 megan // Dec 22, 2011 at 10:24 am

    Cheryl – I would try two rows of petals since at the scale on this pin the smallest petals are already very small and difficult to work with. Best of luck!

  • 34 Alexandra // Dec 28, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    made a bunch. So much fun! Thanks for the detailed tutorial… they are time consuming, but easy to do. I love picking the color combos, so just couldn’t stop.

  • 35 Alanna // Jan 11, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    I have been obsessing over this tutorial for a while and I can’t wait to try it! I was planning on making a giant one for a pillow. How should I adjust the size of the squares to make it pillow sized? Also, I was planning on stitching it, should I stitch the petals, then sew them onto the felt circle? Thanks!

  • 36 Connie // Jan 24, 2012 at 10:58 pm

    I don’t know if I am missing part of your tutorial or not, but I can’t find how you make the center of the flower. Can you help me with that?

  • 37 megan // Jan 24, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    Connie – the whole tutorial is over at Holidash, this post here is just some follow up notes that didn’t fit into the initial tutorial.

  • 38 Andie // Mar 5, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Hello I just wanted to add American Felt and Craft sells wool blend felt in over 100 colors and ships all over.

  • 39 Issy H // May 2, 2012 at 12:47 pm

    I learned how to make this at a ladies get-together & decided to make some modifications of my own & made some with my mom & sisters. We love how they turned out! :)

  • 40 Elise // May 7, 2012 at 8:42 am

    I made one of these as a Christmas gift for my friend. I used a nice thick wool-blend felt. I think I didn’t taper the petals quite enough because when the inside edges were all stuck together there were gaps between the petals at the outer ends. I (and the recipient) think it turned out great anyway, and I’m planning to make another one for myself at some point!

  • 41 Inspiration for a pillow! // Jul 19, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    […] Number 26 comes from Not Martha. […]

  • 42 Christmas Green Gift Guide - 20 DIY Gift Ideas | Little Green Dot // Dec 6, 2012 at 9:26 am

    […] skill! It’s actually much easier than it looks – and so worth the effort!! You can do it!look here for more tips by the creator on how to make it even easier! ***Hope you’re feeling inspired! […]

  • 43 gina // Jan 18, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    I have made many and turned them into headbands. There is one with my daughter modeling it on my pinterest.

  • 44 Toya // Nov 4, 2013 at 11:00 am

    i love these how do you make the middle?

  • 45 Rona // Jan 17, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Hello – I made 2 brooches for friends and one flower for a wreath just last week. One of my friends would like to make her own but when I tried the link to the tutorial today, it went to a different site. Is Holidash gone? If so, do you have the tutorial linked somewhere else? These flowers are so wonderful. I’d love to pass on your directions for how to make them.

  • 46 megan // Jan 17, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Rona – Well look at that, I didn’t know that it the tutorial had disappeared. I’ll look into it, thanks for letting me know!

  • 47 AlisonB // Jan 24, 2014 at 3:07 am

    I just had the same problem finding the tuturial – your links now get taken to Style Me Pretty, and if you go to and choose ‘Mothers Day’ from their menu you also get taken to Style Me Pretty. But then I searched for Dahlia and found your tuturial – hurrah! Here’s the URL:

  • 48 megan // Jan 24, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Thanks so much Alison! I’ll update the link above. I’m at a conference so I really really appreciate you pulling out the right link :)

  • 49 Rona // Feb 20, 2014 at 7:49 am

    I tried the new URL but still am not finding the tutorial. I also searched on Dahlia and Mother’s Day but nothing came up. In better news, I’m having several friends over today to make felt dahlias :) I had hoped to show your tutorial since it’s done so well, but I guess they’re stuck with my imperfect instructions. Looking forward to it just the same.

  • 50 megan // Feb 20, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    OK, I’ve pulled together all the instructions and additional notes and put them in one place here on Not Martha – Dahlia Flower Brooch!

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