Easy Gifts to Make: Fabric Circle Topiaries

Last week, I wrote about how I was trying to use up supplies like fabric strips, turning them into table runners. I had planned to make six table runners, one each for my husband’s siblings. I like easy gifts to make such as table linens, and I was proud that I was on my way to finishing my Christmas creating.

fabric topiary holiday crafts
Fabric scrap flower topiaries by Cynthia
Dubbers make easy handmade holiday gifts.

Then, my sewing machine broke. To say that I was frustrated is an understatement. I whined about it for a while and then I thought, OK, what other holiday crafts can I make with the supplies I have?

So I looked through my magazines and idea boards for gift ideas to make, and then it hit me: Cynthia Ann Dubbers’ Fabric Forest Topiaries from Cloth Paper Scissors Gifts, 2011/12. I could still use my fabric scraps, plus my abundant stash of buttons, and all I have to do is cut, hand stitch, and pin.

Take that, you cranky sewing machine!

Of course I want to share this handmade arts and crafts project with you. So here are slightly abridged instructions adapted from Cynthia’s article.

Fabric Circle Topiaries

  • A plastic Styrofoam® tree form, 18″ x 5″
  • Dressmaker pins
  • Fabric scraps
  • 1″-wide strips of fabric or ribbon to cover the base
  • Buttons
  • Needle and thread
  • Fabric scissors

Note: To cover a tree form of the size specified here, you will need approximately 45-50 fabric circle stacks.

1. Choose the fabric for the first circle, and cut a circle about the size of a quarter. Pick another fabric, lay the first circle onto the second fabric, and cut a circle 1/4″ larger than the first circle. Continue with this process until you have 5 circles, each 1/4″ larger than the one before. Set this stack of circles aside and start on another set. It takes 45-50 fabric flowers for an 18″ x 5″ tree. (Figure 1)

Tip: Fray circles if desired. You can do this by stacking several circles together and pulling at the cut edges. Work over a table or a drop cloth to make clean-up easier.

2. Stitch a button in the middle of the circle stack.

3. Cut or tear a coordinating fabric into 1″ strips or use ribbon, and starting at the bottom of the cone, wind around the cone, overlapping the fabric slightly. Secure with pins along the way.

fabric circles for easy gifts to make
It takes about 45-50 of these fabric circle stacks to make one of these holiday art projects. (Fig. 1)

4. Starting at the bottom, pin the flowers to the tree, hiding the pins between the fabric circle layers.

5. Cover the bottom of the tree form with flowers and, if desired, mount on a thrift-store compote.

You can work with multiple colors and patterns, solids and prints, or a limited palette, depending on the effect you want.

If you have any leftover circle stacks, Cynthia suggest you sew them onto headbands, barrettes, or even a hat as a cute accents.

For more fiber and mixed-media homemade holiday gift ideas, download your copy of Cloth Paper Scissors Gifts 2011/12 now. And, for a limited time, celebrate Cyber Monday with an extra 10% off on digital products in the Cloth Paper Scissors Shop.*

As for me, for the next couple of weeks you’ll find me cutting fabric scraps while watching TV!

P.S. *Digital Sale and Bargains and Blowouts Sale ends November 27, 2012, at 11:59 p.m. Central Time. Final discounts will be displayed within the cart for qualifying items. Not all items apply.


Blog, Easy Gifts to Make, Fabric Art


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