Memorial Day Craft: How to Make a Felt Poppy Garland
May 26, 20223 min read
Memorial Day is just around the corner, and what better way to celebrate than with a craft that is both adorable and educational? This Memorial Day craft idea can take a while to complete, so grab the kids and get them involved while you teach them a little of the history that poppies play in this important holiday.
Since the 1920’s, poppies have been a symbol of remembrance for fallen soldiers and war veterans. Poppies, while technically a weed, have been known to grow even in the most unlikely of places–such as a war torn battlefield. They serve as a beautiful reminder of resilience and beauty that can come from even the darkest of places.
During WWI, poppies grew like beacons of hope along the tattered landscapes affected by the war. The juxtaposition of the cheerful poppies growing amongst the devastating battlefields inspired a poem written by John McCrae to commemorate the scene and express his grief.
“In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Inspired by the poem, a woman named Moina Michael began crafting and selling red silk poppies to raise money and support the returning war veterans. She lobbied to make the poppy a national memorial symbol, and soon after, the poppy officially became the U.S. emblem of remembrance and is also recognized in other countries around the world.
How To Make A Felt Poppy Garland
- 5 sheets of red felt
- 2 sheets of green felt
- 1 sheet of dark brown felt
- Green beads
- Thick string, rope, or yarn
- Hot glue
- Hot glue gun
- Mason Jar
Using the mouth of your mason jar as a stencil, trace circles on each sheet of felt. You will need 5 red circles and ½ a brown circle per poppy; the 5 sheets of red felt will get you about 10 poppies. For the green felt, each circle will create 1 leaf. Once your circles are drawn, cut each one out and separate into piles of 5 pieces of red + ½ a piece of brown.
To create each flower, use one red circle as your base. With the 4 remaining red circles, fold them into quarters, using hot glue to secure the folds, then glue them to the base with the points facing towards the center of the circle. To create the center of the flower, roll your ½ piece of brown felt into a cone and glue it to the center of the flower, then use your scissors to cut it into strips and trim as needed. Finish by gluing 1 green bead to the center of the flower.
To create your leaves, simply cut the green circles into football shapes, then hot glue one end together. Feel free to glue some leaves to the back of the poppies to give them more dimension. We mixed up which poppies had 1 or 2 leaves.
To complete your garland, simply glue each poppy and leaf to your string/rope/yarn. Measure out how long you would like the garland to be, and cut the string to that length. Then place each poppy and leaf where you would like it to be and glue into place.
If you don’t wish to make a garland, these poppies also work great as pins to wear throughout the holiday!