Introduction: Felted Fuchsia Fairy Hat

About: Artist, Poet, Author, from the seaside town of Cardigan in Wales, UK

This is a project to make a felted flower hat which is upcycled from a wide brimmed felt hat.
This is not a project to learn how to felt so if you lack felting experience it would be wise to practice a little first. The process used is very basic so you don’t need to be a felting wizard.

For this project you will need
A wide brim felt hat. (I got this one from eBay.)
Felting tools
A steam iron
A felting mat
I used a felting machine. It is not necessary but I am planning to make quite a few hats for chilly fairies who are finding their summer hats inadequate for the winter weather.
Paper to make patterns - I used left over wall paper
Marker pens
Various coloured wool tops - I used a purple blend, a pink blend and a green blend.
Felt sheet - I used purple and green 2mm thickness for this project
Fuse-a-web (appliqué iron on adhesive sheet)
Hot glue and gun
Cheap disposable razors

Step 1: Cutting the Brim

To cut the petals from the brim I created a pattern to make certain I was cutting them evenly. To make the pattern I placed my hat onto a piece of wallpaper and drew around the brim. I cut out the circle and folded it into six segments. I measured from the edge of the brim to the bowl and used this measurement to form the center circle, then I cut the petal shapes and placed the pattern over the hat. I drew around the pattern with a pink sharpie and cut out the petals.

Step 2: Felting the Petals.

To colour the petals I cut appropriate lengths of a pink wool tops blend and laid it over each petal. I felted it directly onto the brim using a coarse needle and then continued with my felting machine. (It is not necessary to have a machine, you can just continue with a coarse needle.) once all the petals are felted I either fold the excess wool to the underside and felt it into place or I simply trim off the excess, either way is acceptable. I then steam iron the top side of the petals. This aids the felting process and smooths the surface. I use a cheap razor to shave the fluff from the underside. I usually break off the safety guard from the razor as it is far easier to use that way.

Step 3: Creating the Sepals for the Crown.

To make this pattern I cut another circle of paper but doubled the width of the brim. I folded it into six segments and cut the shape shown in the diagram. You will need one of these shapes for the top side pattern and the lower half of a shape for the underside pattern.
Cut six upper pieces and six underside half-pieces from purple felt sheet. 1-2mm thickness. Felt your purple wool tops blend onto the upper sepals using a medium needle. I added some green at the top of each one to integrate the stem. (See original image.)
Steam iron to assist the felting process and smooth the surface.
Using narrow double sided tape (see photos) attach pipe cleaners to the underside of the felted sepals.
Cut the underside half-pieces, iron them to a sheet of fuse-a-web and cut them out.
Remove the backing paper and steam iron the plain purple undersides to the upper felted sepals, concealing the lower half of the pipe cleaners. Trim to neaten the edges and create a point at the end of the sepals.
(I also use this pattern to make Rose sepals which you will see at the end of this project.)

Step 4: Making the Stem

To make the stem, cut a rectangle of green felt approx four inches by eight inches and create a tube by wrapping it around two fingers. Fill the tube with felt scraps till it feels firm and felt the join together using a medium needle. Cut a circle of felt for the top of the stem and felt on. (This is my favourite bit for some unknown reason!?!) Add blended green wool tops to cover all the joins and to look nice.

Step 5: The Hat Band

I used the hat band that came with the hat. I cut the free ends into three pieces and glued felt balls onto them using hot glue. (Hot glue is great with felt as the felt absorbs it enough to make an excellent bond.) I made my own felt balls using leftover bits of wool tops but you can buy them ready made to save time. I wrapped the band in blended purple wool tops, gluing only at the back of the band. You could also use double sided sticky tape to keep it in place.

Step 6: Putting It All Together.

Draw a dot on the center top of the hat and use it to align your sepals. Carefully hot glue the sepals onto the crown. I arranged then to point between the petals for this flower. Glue on the stem, covering the ends of the glued sepals. Make certain it is glued well as people tend to pick it up by the stem. (Annoying!) I usually felt on a little extra green wool to cover the join but not always. Depends how tidy I can make it. Replace the hat band and push it down to the base of the crown gluing it in place between the sepals. To complete your felted fairy hat, curl the free ends of the sepals to create the fuchsia look.

Step 7: Storage.

Store your felted fairy hats in a sealed plastic bag to avoid the dreaded wool moths and store them flat, not on a stand, to keep the petals perky. There is no end to the variations you can create. I have included a couple of other styles for you to enjoy.

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