Primitive Farmhouse DIY Sunflowers

Coffee stained drop cloth and homespun fabrics are use to craft some adorable primitive sunflowers to decorate your home! Step by step video tutorial included.

white shelves, wood decoration, fall colors, primitive sunflowers

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Hey friend, it's sunflower season!

Everyone loves these happy flowers, and I wanted to bring the look into my home with this DIY sunflower craft. There's a touch of a primitive look with the coffee stained drop cloth and homespun fabric I used, but I think these crafted sunflowers would really work in any decor. And they are so perfect for autumn!

I shared a video tutorial on my YouTube channel if you're interested in watching the video and then come back here for the supplies list and bonus tips for the best results. By the way, if you're not following me on YouTube, please click the link above and do so right now. Your support is what allows me to continue bringing you free crafts and DIYs! 

DIY SUNFLOWERS VIDEO TUTORIAL


How to make DIY sunflowers with drop cloth and homespun

Let's make some sunflowers! I found a few different tutorials on Pinterest, and then put my own spin on it to make these DIY sunflowers my own. One of the tutorials said to stain your fabric with a mixture of coffee, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. You can read more about this process here. I didn't have any instant coffee, so made an extra strong batch of regular coffee.

Insider tip: when I make these flowers again, I will omit the spices. I just don't think it's necessary, and it did create a lot of cinnamon dust when I was ripping the fabric!

Supplies needed for this project

  • canvas drop cloth, prewashed and dried
  • strong brewed coffee and a pot or bowl to stain fabric
  • measuring tape
  • scissors
  • mason jar lids and rings (1 set per flower)
  • nail and hammer
  • homespun fabric (I used this pack from Amazon)
  • cotton balls or fiberfill
  • hot glue
  • 12" hardwood craft dowel rods (about the size of a bamboo skewer but much sturdier)
  • brown craft paint or dark furniture paste wax
  • jute cord
  • paper towels


Step 1: Prepare fabric

I'm sure you could substitute black tea if you're not a coffee drinker! I made a strong batch of coffee, let it cool, then added it to a soup pot along with the spices (mentioned above) and about 2 cups of water. If using the spices, make sure to mix well while the coffee is hot so they dissolve.


Add the fabric to the pot. Squeeze and turn it to really saturate. If you're after a really strong stain color you can let it soak for awhile. I did not; I was happy with the color my drop cloth turned just after saturating it. I removed the fabric once it was completely soaked, being sure to squeeze out as much excess coffee as possible. Lay the fabric outside in the sun to dry. You will want to turn the fabric over a couple times to dry the backside as well.


You can see that some parts are darker (that was where the spices accumulated), and I forgot that I'd previously used this drop cloth as a - wait for it - drop cloth (I know, shocker!) so I had some paint stains that did not change color. I was using leftover pieces of drop cloth from other projects, and was able to just cut these parts out. You may have a full size drop cloth. It doesn't really matter as long as one edge is at least 9" long. 

Once the fabric has fully dried, rip it into 1" wide strips. I show exactly how to do this in the video. Lay a ruler across one edge and snip fabric edge every inch.

Why rip the fabric? Ripping fabric creates perfect frayed edges along the entire edge, which is very difficult to achieve when you cut it. Plus, it's much faster and lends itself so well to farmhouse, vintage, shabby and primitive crafts!
You'll need to spend a minute removing all the drop cloth strings, and then cut each strip into 9" long pieces (for a large mason jar ring) and 7.5" long if you're using a small mason jar ring and lid.

Step 2: Make Hole in Mason Jar Ring

You can use a drill for this step, but we found it easiest to just use a nail. Before you create your hole, measure the diameter of the dowel you will be using and find a nail that is just slightly smaller. Use a hammer to lightly tap until the nail goes through the metal ring.

Insider tip: start with a smaller nail if you're unsure; you want the dowel to fit snugly or it will just fall out and not work well as a stem

Insert a dowel to make sure it's a snug fit. The mason jar ring should fit tightly and not wobble. Don't skip this step! It's very important that the dowel fit snugly, otherwise the heavy flower will not be supported. This is also why I suggest using hardwood dowels rather than bamboo skewers.


Step 3: Create Flower

It's finally time to start creating the drop cloth sunflowers. Tie strips of fabric to the mason lid ring, making a double knot. I suggest inserting the dowel into the hole while you're tying the fabric strips onto the mason ring or you may find you lose the spot (ask me how I know!) Tie the strips tightly and work your way around the ring, tying right up to the hole.

Insider tip: for an extra full sunflower, make sure to slide the fabric knots closely together to get the fullest possible flower.


Step 4: Add the Center

You might be tempted to skip this step, but I promise this is where the sunflower really comes to life! We're going to use the mason jar lid to create a double sided puffy center!

Note: a reader suggested that inserting pictures to the center would make this a really cute custom gift for grandma, and I agree!


I used the 5" pieces of homespun fabric for the step, and it was the perfect size and so handy not to have to cut the fabric. Just lay a small piece of fiberfill or 3 cotton balls on top of the mason jar lid, top with the fabric, invert and press into the center of the flower. You want to hear a pop as the lid settles into place firmly.


If you're struggling to get the lid firmly into the center (it's because of the bulk of the drop cloth), use a small piece of wood. It's very helpful to help press the metal lid into the center. And you do want to hear a pop! I didn't take a picture of this but shared it in the video. You'll know the lid is in there well and good when you flip it over and the fabric looks tight and nice and poofy!

Step 5: Glue the Backside

Remember I said the center of the flower was reversible? Once you get the lid secured in place with the fabric, flip the flower over. Glue down the excess fabric from the center, add some more fiberfill or cotton balls, and hot glue a contrasting piece of homespun (or other fabric) to the backside.


No matter how you display your DIY sunflowers, they will look great from the front or the back!


Step 6: Stain Dowel

Use a little dark furniture wax to quickly add a dark stained look to the dowel rods and insert them into the flower. I don't have a picture of this step but showed how to in the video. Just use a little dab of the wax on a paper towel, rub it on and then wipe any excess off.

Step 7: Create a Quick Leaf

This bonus step is in the video! Use one of the 5" squares of green homespun fabric and a little jute to create a fast and cute leaf. No glue, no sewing, it's simply tied onto the dowel rod.





I'm working on a mini version of these fall flowers, so be watching for those soon!

If you love this project, please pin and share with a friend using the social links below. And as always, if you make these, please do let me know! I just may share your project!

Pin it to remember 🌻


CAN I USE OTHER FABRIC?

You can use other fabric for the flowers but make sure it has some weight! I like the drop cloth because it is a sturdy fabric and it helps the sunflower 'petals' to hold their shape better; a floppy fabric will not be a good choice for the flower but could be used for the centers.

HOW LONG DO I STAIN THE FABRIC?

That really depends on how deep and dark you want the stain to be. I only soaked mine until the fabric was completely saturated. If you are wanting a darker stain then leave it a little longer.

WHY USE SPICES IN THE STAIN?

Warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg are often used in primitive handcrafts because of the pleasant aroma they leave, as well as the texture and the grungy color. You can omit the spices.

WHAT ARE PRIMITIVE CRAFTS?

The primitive folk art style is characteristic of a historic or early Americana time period. Primitive crafts usually have a rough and simple look to them that suggests a lack of formal artistic training.


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Comments

  1. The sunflowers are so cute! I love how they turned out. I will have to try this, thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am so glad you shared this on FB today! Love the project! I have so much fabric and mason jar rings to get out of my craft room and this is a great project. Pinned. I would also like to invite you to share it this weekend at the Home Matters Linky Party on my site. I may also use your post as the inspiration for my next Pinterest challenge as well. Love it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm smitten! I was drawn in by this gorgeous texture but even the toning you did to age it is phenomenal. These sunflowers are so adorable!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Donna! The secret is coffee stain!

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