Monday 14 October 2013

How To: Make a Mini Felt Cactus

To celebrate the launch of my new book, Super-Cute Felt Animals, I'm sharing a collection of free tutorials that you can mix and match with the projects from the book.

This week I'm sharing three mini "extras" that are designed to coordinate with the pets in the "At Home" chapter: a cactus, a hamster... & a little heart because 'home is where the heart is' :)

Today you can make a little felt cactus. If you're sewing lots of cacti you could put them each in different coloured pots and give them different brightly-coloured flowers.

To make the cactus, you will need...
- the template sheet at the bottom of this post
- spring green felt, approx. 1 ¾ x 3 ¾ in (4 x 8 cm)
- terracotta felt, approx. 2 x 3 ¾ in (5 x 9 cm)
- (optional) a small piece of bright pink felt
- spring green, lime green, white, pale pink and terracotta sewing thread
- stuffing & a pencil or other small stuffing tool
- needle, pins & embroidery scissors (great for cutting out small felt shapes!)

1. Use the templates provided to cut out two cactus shapes from spring green felt and two pots and two pot edges from terracotta felt. If you want to add a flower to your cactus, also cut out one bright pink cactus flower. Turn over one of each of the cactus, pot and pot edge pieces – these will become the back of your cactus.

2. Place the corresponding pot and pot edge pieces together as pictured. Sew each edge piece in position with two lines of whip stitch in matching terracotta sewing thread.

3. Add the corresponding cactus pieces, sewing them in place with a line of whip stitch in matching green thread, so the cactus piece is flush with the curve of the pot edge. Make sure the front and back pieces are the mirror image of each other so you can sew them together neatly later. Turn the back cactus shape over and set it aside for the moment.

4. Backstitch four curved lines onto the front cactus shape as pictured, using lime green sewing thread.


5. Then sew a series of small stitches with white sewing thread to form the cactus’ spikes. Vary the size and angle of the stitches and sew ten rows, one along each side of the stitched lines and one along the left and right edges of the cactus.


6. (Optional) Position the cactus flower on your cactus as pictured. Sew it in place with a starburst of small stitches of pale pink sewing thread. Make sure you don’t stitch right up to the edge of the green felt behind the flower.

7. Place the front and back sides of your cactus together. Using whip stitch and matching terracotta sewing thread sew the edges of the pot together then stuff it. Switch to matching spring green thread and whip stitch the edges of the cactus together, leaving a gap for stuffing. Stuff the cactus then sew up the gap with more whip stitches. Finish your stitching neatly at the back.

Click here to view the template sheet in another window/tab, and print it at 100%.

This tutorial is for non commercial use only: you can use it to make as many felt cacti as you want for yourself or as gifts, but please don't make any for sale. You may borrow a few photos if you want to blog about this project, but remember to credit me and link back to the original source, and do not reproduce my entire tutorial on your site. Thanks!

Super Cute-Felt Animals is published by CICO Books, RRP £12.99. It includes 35 fun felt projects, each with illustrated step-by-step instructions. It's available to buy at Amazon UK and Amazon USA and many other bookshops.

Please note: the Amazon links in this post are affiliate links.

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Raphaele said...

Laura your work is a pure joy to look at. You just captured the details of this cactus and your stitching is so neat! Thanks for sharing!

♥ Nia said...

So cute =) Thanks for sharing this tutorial!

Bugs and Fishes said...

Raphaele - thank you! I was really pleased with how this cactus turned out :)

Nia - thanks! x

Cri said...

I love it! Thank you for sharing! I will try to make one <3

Bugs and Fishes said...

No problem! I hope you'll have fun making your cactus :)

FaZa said...

Hi Laura, Im Faida from Malaysia. I love your idea. Supercute. Unfortunately its hard to find cute felt here.

Bugs and Fishes said...

Thanks Faida! You can find lots of shops selling felt here:

Most of them ship internationally :)

FaZa said...

Really? Ok great! Thanks again for the info.

Bugs and Fishes said...

No problem :) said...

Thanks for the adorable pattern! My sister loves cactii so I´m going to make one for her birthday. :-)

Bugs and Fishes said...

Oh, how nice! I hope she has a great birthday and likes her cactus :)