How to make a Yo Yo Flower (or Suffolk Puff)

As school break is coming up here is a simple, fast and fun project that is great for children and also uses up and recycles scraps. Any fabric can be used such as cotton, felt, satin, or silk.

No tricky implements or calculations are required.  Simply cut a circle remembering that the  circle when gathered will reduce to half its size. For a template use anything on hand such as different size lids, cups, glasses, or plates .

This is how to make a yo yo flower.

First step is to trace around your template and cut out a circle on your fabric of choice. I used a scrap of felt (and yes, it was originally intended to be a magic mushroom).

The pictures reveal all.

Simply  tack close to the edge of your circle, using a double or strong thread; then pull up the stitches and secure.

If using cotton, or a fabric that frays turn the edges under as you tack.

To complete raid the button or bead stash and secure it to the centre of your flower.

Step 1- yo yo flower
Step 1- yo yo flower
Step2-Tack
Step2-Tack
Step 3
Step 3
Finished!
Finished!

These little puff flowers were a rage in the Victorian era, usually made from silk, velvet, and/ or satin, as were the crazy quilts. They were then called called Suffolk Puffs, so I am assuming that  this name indicates that there is an older connection possibly from a  local tradition. The puffs were tacked together and  used to make decorative quilts used as sofa throws or piano covers.

Yo Yo Flowers are very versatile. They can be used for cards, to decorate clothing, as a brooch, in applique on patchwork squares and cushions, or attached to a bobby pin, hair clip or comb as a pretty hair accessory. You could use them to make a pretty tea cosy or potholder, or on scarves, as my daughter has done. Really there is no limit as  there are so many ways to incorporate them and use them to decorate and enhance.

They are a great project for children as they are easy and fast, and so versatile  as they use what is on hand and use up scraps that might otherwise go to waste. They can also be used to give a “zap” to an object that might be getting tired, such as a cushion, tote bag or pillowcase. You can use old sheets, pillowcases, clothing, off cuts- every little bit counts . Aside from thriftiness and being eco friendly this can also be a project that fuels the imagination and creativity as well as assisting in the development of hand-eye and  motor  coordination .

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4 thoughts on “How to make a Yo Yo Flower (or Suffolk Puff)

  1. What a lovely flower. I’ve been familiar with them for many years, but generally wouldn’t think of doing them up in felt with jewels on top. I love that touch. I always think of them done in a thin cotton material with no adornment, often sewn together for a quilt. I can’t say they ever really got me excited. But I do like this version very much.

    • Thankyou- I love to take things a step further and wondered if felt might work. It surprised me and i wondered if it might be too simple an appraoch so i really appreciate your input.

  2. I too love the idea of using felt. I have made these with cotton but am going to give this a go. Thank you for the tutorial.

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