Leggi questo post in: Italiano
Whenever there is a special event in your life, it’s natural to want to celebrate it with the people who matter the most to you. And this is why we have party favors, to thank the people who celebrated with you and to give them something to remember the day by.
As there are so many events to celebrate, the four other bloggers with whom I worked on the “Fioriscono le Idee” initiative (which you can read more about here, as well as download the free template for this project) and I decided to propose projects to make DIY cactus party favors, each from a different material in order to create a different effect. And I chose to create a handmade felt cactus party favor, felt being one of the most versatile and easy fabrics to work with.
All of the projects are created from one common template for a pot-shaped base which opens up to hold sugar-coated almonds, which are used in Italian party favors. However you can just as well put any other candy, card or trinket inside, too!
And there’s more! Each of our downloadable templates has thank you notes to use as a seat card and as a little tag to attach to the favor. Print them all out for a varied, yet coordinated, look that will add color to your celebration! My downloadable also includes an English version of my smaller tag!
You can read all about the initiative in our joint blog post on the blog Kreattiva, where we talk about the reasons why we made these decisions and why each chosen material is interesting in a different way.
So, do you have an important event to celebrate soon? Everyone loves cacti, and felt makes them soft instead of prickly, so everyone can enjoy them. Keep on reading to find out how to make a handmade felt cactus party favor for all your friends and family at your party!
- Downloadable template from my Free Downloads page
- Heavy printable paper (I used 200 gr.)
- Small amounts of green, brown, red and yellow felt
- Pinking shears* (zig-zag fabric scissors)
- Non-permanent fabric marker (I use this marking pen with water soluble ink*)
- Glue that works well on both fabric and paper (I love UHU gel adhesive*)
- Medium-long hand sewing needle
- Green and yellow thread
- Small amount of stuffing (fiberfill or a natural fiber)
Making the plant pot container
1. Print the template without scaling (100%) on 200 g. printer paper.
2. Cut out the pot template, then remove the parts indicated by the red arrows at the top left of the picture above. It will end up looking like the one you see below that. Then trace around the larger trimmed hexagon on another piece of paper and cut that out, too (shown by the larger red arrow).
3. Glue the template to the felt, wrong sides facing. Then trace around the extra hexagon, leaving at least 1 cm of space between it and the glued template.
4. Cut around the template, leaving a felt border about 1 cm outside the parts show in the picture above. Make cuts into the corners as seen. Then cut out the hexagon and put it aside.
5. Fold the felt borders inwards and glue them to the paper as shown above. Use clothespins to keep them in place while drying, if necessary.
**A bit of advice!** UHU gel adhesive*, as well as some other types of glue, work best if you spread a thin layer on both surfaces and you let them dry a little bit before sticking them together. So I do a bit at a time of the template, spreading the glue, letting it dry and joining the two parts. Then, while I keep those parts in place with clothespins, I move on to another part of felt border to fold over.
6. Fold the template along the dotted lines (left). Spread glue on the tabs on the felt sides, then close the base with the side of the pot (right). Press the parts well from the inside of the pot until dry.
Put the pot-container aside to let it finish drying.
Making the cactus
7. Cut four pieces of the cactus template from green felt, and one red large flower and one yellow small flower. You can obviously choose different flower colors.
8. Pin two cactus pieces together, wrong sides facing, then do the same with the other two pieces. Fold the cactus template in half along the line and use it to trace a line on the felt with tailor’s chalk or any other non-permament marker. (above)
9. Sew along the pinned side about 1 cm from the edge, being careful not to go beyond the chalk line in the middle and to backstitch at the beginning and end. (If you don’t know much about sewing, learns the basics from my free beginner’s sewing course!) Then trim the sewn edge with the pinking shears* to make the thorns. Repeat with the second pair of cactus parts.
10. Open the two joined cactus pairs and match up the non-sewn edges as shown before. Make sure you match up the seams that have been zig-zag trimmed. Pin the sides together.
11. Sew from one end to the other, going right over the previous stitching, and trim those edges, too, with the zig zag scissors.
12. Put the small flower on top of the larger one and sew them to the top of the cactus with a few hand stitches. (left)
13. Fill the inside of the cactus with stuffing.
14. (opzional) Stick the hand needle with green thread under the petals of the flower and make it come out on the opposite side. Keep going back and forth from one side to the other, through the center of the cactus which has optionally been marked with chalk along the cactus template folded in half. Gently pull the thread to pull the two sides slightly closer together.
15. Repeat step # 14 on the other two opposite sides. As you can see, doing this gives the cactus a less cylindrical shape, and more of a realistic look, though it isn’t absolutely necessary to do it..
Joining the cactus to the pot, and packaging
16. Position the cactus base on the top of the pot cover and sew them together with some hand stitching. It doesn’t have to look good on the inside, but try to hide the stitching as much as possible from the outside of it.
17. Glue the felt hexagon on the inside of the box’s top to cover up the stitches.
18. Use the non-permanent fabric marking tool to make two small marks on the pot and make two small holes with a mini-paper punch, a small drill or an awl (I used the last of these).
19. Fill up the container with almonds or whatever other gift you want. Italians also put in little circles of tulle, which you can afterwards reuse to make these pretty and colorful upcycled flowers for the home!)
20. Close the container with a pretty ribbon bow and the small printed thank you tag, and you’re done!
Now that you’ve made your first handmade felt cactus party favor, keep making as many as you need for your celebration! You can make them all the same, change colors or shades, make some with and others without the hand stitches along the center, or simply change the thank you note for different colors, drawings and message!
Make sure you check out all the other cactus-shaped tutorials and download all the other thank you cards at the other blogs participating in this project. All you have to do is click one of the bottoms just below to get there!
Enjoy your “gardening” and your special celebration!
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