How to Make Fake Poppy Flowers

Written by meg campbell
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How to Make Fake Poppy Flowers
With a few strips of red fabric and a needle and thread, you can make fabric poppies. (poppy image by Alison Bowden from

Real poppies are quite delicate and last only a few days in a vase. Luckily, fake poppy flowers are easy to make out of fabric and will last indefinitely. Use them to embellish a winter coat, a hat or scarf, a purse handle, the top of a wrapped gift, or a child’s hair band. Or, make a dozen red poppies and either secure them to a door wreath or attach them to floral wire for a dramatic, long-lasting table bouquet.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 6 strips red cotton fabric, 3 by 6 inches
  • 1 circle black cotton fabric, 1-inch diameter
  • 1 piece foundation fabric, 4-inch square
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Needle
  • Thread

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  1. 1

    Warm the iron for five minutes on high. Fold each strip of red fabric in half lengthwise, backside together. Iron them to crease the fold. Make a 45-degree-angle cut on the short side of each strip, starting at the folded edge and cutting down to the open edge.

  2. 2

    Place two strips on the table to create the shape of the letter V. The folded edges of each strip should be to the inside of the V, and the 45-degree-angle cut of one of the strips should overlap and match up along the edge of one of the 45-degree-angle cuts on the second strip.

  3. 3

    Stitch all the way around the entire V shape, starting with a folded edge. Gather the fabric as you stitch, by using a gathering stitch, which is just a longer-than-normal stitch which allows you to pull the fabric into gathers as you go.

  4. 4

    Repeat steps 2 and 3 with the remaining strips of fabric, creating two more sections of gathered petals.

  5. 5

    Shape each of the three petals with your fingers. Place them on the foundation fabric, creating your basic pansy shape by overlapping them. Sew each petal into the foundation at the centre. Stitching needn’t be neat--just secure--since the area will be covered by the centre fabric.

  6. 6

    Sew the black circle of fabric into the centre, stitching all the way around its edge. Trim off any excess foundation fabric.

Tips and warnings

  • Poppies are traditionally thought of as red, but in fact, they come in a multitude of colours, such as orange, pink, white and yellow. You can make any colour poppy simply by using different fabric; the petal configuration and centre of the flower are its telltale characteristics.

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