Monday 3 February 2014

How To: Felt Patchwork Card

Today I'm sharing a tutorial that's been sitting half-finished in my drafts folder for aaaages. I meant to share it last summer but then got totally distracted by working on the free tutorials to celebrate my book launch and then Christmas madness took over and here we are, in February already! Better late than never, right? :)

So, today's tutorial is for making a card decorated with a mini patchwork of felt squares.


These cards are an easy way to use up colourful felt scraps you can't bear to throw away. They'd be especially nice cards to give to any crafters you know who likes quilting or patchwork, but I made lots of cards like this back in my teens to use for birthdays, etc, and they always got a great reaction from everyone!


You can mix and match colours or stick to different shades of one colour - maybe make them in your friend's favourite colour(s)? In shades of blue or pink they'd also make nice "new baby" cards.

To make a felt patchwork card you will need...

- scraps of felt in assorted colours
- a piece of paper, a ruler and a pencil
- scissors
- a needle and thread
- double sided sticky tape or craft glue
- card

1. First, decide how big you want your squares to be and make a paper template the size you want. For the pink patchwork I used a 1/2 inch square, and for the blue patchwork I used a 3/4 inch square. The smaller the square you choose, the more squares you'll need to create the patchwork and the more fiddly they'll be to cut out and sew together.

2. Use the template to cut out the felt squares you need (see this post for tips on cutting out small shapes). For the pink patchwork, I cut out 25 little squares and for the blue patchwork I cut out 16 little squares. Arrange the squares on a piece of paper until you're happy with how the colours look.

3. Using a coordinating shade of thread, sew the squares together in strips. Hold two squares together and sew along one edge with whip stitch, taking care not to pull your stitches too tight. Then open up the squares, pressing them flat. Then add the next square in the same way.

When you've sewn all the strips together they should look something like this:

4. Now you need to sew the strips together to create your patchwork square. Place two strips together (wrong sides facing out) and use more whip stitches to sew along one side. Then open the strips up and press them flat. Try to get the points of the squares to join up as neatly as possible! Then repeat the process, joining the remaining strips together.

Your patchwork square will now look something like this at the front...


... and like this at the back:

5. Now it's time to attach the patchwork square to your card. If you want you can create a "frame" for your square with a piece of paper in a contrasting colour, but I like the simple look of just mounting the square straight onto a card blank.

I used double sided sticky tape to stick my felt squares in place - sticking strips of tape to the felt, peeling off the backing and then carefully positioning the square on the card and pressing it firmly in place. You could use glue instead but I'd recommend testing this out first on a scrap piece of felt and card to see how much you need to use.

Note: it's a bit fiddly peeling the backing off the tape when it's been stuck to the felt so you may prefer to stick the tape strips on the card and place the felt on top.

And you're done! If you like you could write a message like HAPPY BIRTHDAY under the square in a coordinating colour pen.

Here are some felt patchwork cards I made many years ago - 4 x 4 squares, but smaller than the blue squares shown in this tutorial. I also used to cut out the patchwork pieces freehand instead of using a template so the finished patchwork sometimes ended up a bit lop-sided! 

If you've read through this tutorial thinking "what?? all this stitching just for a single card??" don't worry, you can get a similar look by creating a faux patchwork - just cut out the colourful felt squares and tape or glue them directly onto the card to create a patchwork arrangement.

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Lily said...

Oh,wow, simple, yet ingenious =) Surely a great idea for a "no scrap gets wasted" kind of person (me:)
Thanks, Laura!

Jacqui Wise said...

A great idea and so pretty.

gloria said...

A very good idea, Laura!! Thank you very much , now I can "place" my felt scraps and get something new!.
Have a good day, gloria

Bugs and Fishes said...

Thanks guys! xx

bairozan said...

The felt scraps I've been saving - you won't believe it! Now I know what for :)

Bugs and Fishes said...

Yay! I hope you'll have fun making some of these :)

Kay said...

These look really effective and are a fun way to use up scraps. Thanks for sharing this.

Bugs and Fishes said...

No problem, Kay! I'm glad I finally got this tutorial finished :)

Firenze said...

Oh so clever - and pretty! TFS
Helen -- Firenze Cards

Bugs and Fishes said...

Thanks Helen! x