Monday 26 November 2012

How to make an origami Liberty fabric brooch

(Please don't pin all the images in this tutorial, thank you :-)

A while back I had learned to make origami lotus flowers at an event at our local botanic gardens and was inspired to make fabric ones into pincushions - you can see my tutorial here.

How about brooches?!

I'm so pleased with them -  but you probably can't go wrong with Liberty.   I thought they might make good stocking fillers/teacher presents, or how about using them to embellish a bag or purse?

The technique is pretty similar to my pincushions, but here is how I made them.   I am sure that there are many ways that this could be perfected - if you think of anything, please do let me know.

Please forgive the terrible lighting (I can't wait until the sun is shining again - when this will be is anyone's guess), and the not very professional paint all over my hands - I've been painting bookshelves.

You will need:
Two 5" liberty charm squares  (this gives you a brooch at around 2" - a smaller square would be possible, but very fiddly - of course you could make a bigger one, like my pincushions).  I get my Liberty charms from the lovely Ali at Very Berry Fabrics.
A piece of Bondaweb/Wonder Under the same size
A piece of felt approximately 2" square
A brooch fitting
A bead or button of choice

1.  Here are my two Liberty squares, and square of Bondaweb.

2.  The Bondaweb has a rough side - the gluey side - and a paper side.  Place the Bondaweb glue side down on the wrong side of one Liberty square, and fix in place by ironing.

3. Carefully peel away the paper, and discard.  You should now have a residue of glue on your Liberty square. Place the second one on top so that the wrong sides are together.  (Obviously not offset, which I did here for clarity!)

4.  Iron in place, and you should now have a double-sided Liberty square which is more responsive to folding.  You could perhaps use thicker fabric, one square only, and starch it (I haven't tried this as I wanted to use Liberty lawn - if you do, let me know!)

5.  Trim up your square, to make sure it is true.

6.  Fold on the diagonal and press lightly to leave a mark.

7.  Do the same on the other diagonal, so that you have found the centre point.

8.  Now, one by one, fold the corners into the middle, pressing them into place with your iron.

9.  Again, take the corners and press them into the middle. The square is getting smaller, so I'm holding it in place with the point of my scissors, so you can see.

10.  Turn it over.

11.  Now once again, fold the corners into the middle. The result should look like this, with some neat folds.

and the other side will look like this, with four flaps..

12.  Turn back over...

...then reach round and take hold of the point of one of those little flaps and gently pull it upwards until it looks like this.  Hold the fold in place with your thumb like this while you do it.

12.  Repeat with all four flaps...

...until you have this.

13. Carefully holding them in place, turn your piece over.  Four more flaps remain at the back.  Just open them out... that the corners of them show in front like this.

14.  Sew a button or bead of your choice to the centre, which also holds the folds in place:

A fabric-covered button would look fab!

For a different look, omit step 13, which gives you a simpler flower.

15.  Seal any raw edges with clear nail varnish, or Fray Stop.

16.  Now sew your square of felt to the back, attach your brooch fitting, and Bob's your uncle.


I made two versions of this brooch.  One used two squares of Liberty, and the other used a square of Liberty backed with a white cotton sheeting.  You can catch a glimpse of white in between the folds at the back, but they are not visible on the front, and it made for a slightly more substantial brooch,

If you want something waterproof you might try Mod-Podging the result.

Would you like to try making one, and let me know if these instructions are clear?  If you are a follower, just let me know in the comments section if you would like one and I will send the first three people a little kit.  Let me know your favourite two colours, and I'll try and oblige from my Liberty stash, though I can't promise!  They are fun to make, and rather addictive.

Linking up to:
Plum and June


  1. Hello - they are gorgeous! I'd certainly like to give it a try - I like most colours so surprise me!

  2. They are lovely Catherine, I would definitely give it a go! I like surprises too!

  3. Ah they are just lovely! They would make perfect teacher presents. :-)

  4. These are wonderful - I'm going to check out your pin cushion now :)

  5. These are beautiful! The lotus pincushions are really gorgeous too.

  6. So cute and a grand idea with Liberty. We sometimes use this for table napkins for an occasion. If you pull up the corners a bit more they look like water lilies.

  7. They are beautiful Catherine and your tutorial is very clear. Thanks for sharing I'm going to give them a try.

  8. Those are adorable! Thanks for posting a tutorial!

  9. They are so beautiful Catherine. Great tutorial, very clear. I will definitely give it a try. You are right, you can't go wrong with Liberty.

  10. Great idea, and I'll definitely give it a go.

  11. so pretty - great tutorial, Catherine. Very easy to follow

  12. Really pretty - the way these are made remind me of the folded paper fortune tellers we used to make when we were children - does anyone else remember these ?? Ruth

  13. This looks lovely.
    I might have a go at making one.

  14. Very pretty. The tutorial looks straight forward enough. I will have to give it a go!

  15. They're pretty and I am a fan of Liberty so I'd say perfect fabric choice, Catherine! Great tutorial, by the way and will definitely give this a tey. Thanks for sharing!

  16. these are lovely! thanks so much for sharing

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