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Silk Poppies

Create these silk poppies for mom on Mother's Day -- or any time of the year -- with our easy-to-follow how-to.




Don't worry about the poppies being perfect -- the raw-edged look mimics the real thing and is part of the flowers' appeal. The finished poppies can be attached to pins or barrettes.

See also: Block-Print Poppies


  • Fabric scissors
  • Silk shantung fabric, one color for petals, another for flower centers (
  • Needle and thread
  • Buttons (shell and fashion buttons,
  • Brooch backing or barrette (gold brooch pins,


  1. Step 1

    Cut a rectangle of silk 8 to 12 inches long and 2 to 5 inches wide. Note that the grain of the fabric should run vertically along the width so the fabric's surface looks similar to that of real petals.

  2. Step 2

    Using a needle and thread, sew a running stitch along 1 long side of the rectangle (1/4 inch from edge), and then pull thread to tighten the fabric into a bunch. Hand-stitch center, and knot it off.

  3. Step 3

    Cut a smaller rectangle of silk 6 to 8 inches long and 1 to 2 inches wide. This time, cut so the grain runs horizontally. Create a fringed edge by removing a few horizontal threads at the top of the rectangle.

  4. Step 4

    Sew a running stitch along 1 long side of the rectangle (1/8 inch from edge). Pull thread to tighten fabric into a bunch. Hand-stitch center, and knot it off. You will have a small rosette.

  5. Step 5

    Snip small curved triangular shapes from poppy to create defined petal shapes. (Alternatively, cut fringed petals.)

  6. Step 6

    Place a button in the center of the rosette, and then place rosette in center of poppy. Sew button and rosette onto poppy, and knot it off.

  7. Step 7

    Hand-stitch flower to brooch backing or barrette.

Martha Stewart Living, May 2011



Reviews (12)

  • ruxicicy 24 Apr, 2015

    I made an Anzac poppy using red and yellow 7-cm-wide muslin, which was used as gift wrapping ribbon, and a black button according to this guide. The result looks better than I thought. Steps showing in the guide might not be perfect, but are enough for me to make one. The tip about grain of the material is quite helpful too. Appreciated!!

  • cocgo 23 Jul, 2012

    It would be great if you would compose a videoclip. Photos are too small and there is not enough detail to easily follow.

  • jnokleby 21 Jul, 2012

    I have wind nylon fabric, does the same thing as silk does as a fraction of the price. Can find it wrinkled already. Just did some costuming with it...Summer heat made using wind nylon fabric much smarter.

  • elih 21 Jul, 2012

    Loved the flower, but I need a bit more detail. I canĀ“t enlarge the picture and it's too small to see. Maybe a couple of pics of the steps would help.

  • teachernanburger 21 Jul, 2012

    I agree with all the comments. Where is a close-up picture? It's a really cute idea, but not enough directions. Where do the little triangle pieces go?

  • scrapyj 21 Jul, 2012

    Very pretty, but agree, need more detail.

  • mehmeh 21 Jul, 2012

    After seeing MizPix's 2nd comment, I looked back, and then I found the 'very pale, very pale' numbers below the photo, then clicked on photo 2.
    O.K. see it now... but those numbers could stand to be a bit darker... just sayin.

  • mehmeh 21 Jul, 2012

    Oh dear... I would have liked to see just how much to gather the fabric, and pics of progress.

  • MizPixel 18 May, 2012

    Oops I goofed. I hadn't seen the second photo. The picture still doesn't match the instructions and the instructions don't match the finished piece (the yellow one). It is a little confusing. But I now see that it is do-able. Sorry Martha!

  • MizPixel 18 May, 2012

    I agree that these poppies are cute, however there really aren't enough details, ie pictures, of the construction. As usual Martha has great projects and not enough info to actually pull it off. Are both the petals and the rosette yellow? what is the black center - it doesn't look like a button. I've seen similar comments about Martha's projects and the instructions really don't improve. Boohoo. I wonder if the MS people read the comments......

  • Deannason 1 Mar, 2012

    I'm planning to make these poppies for the shifts I've sewn. These are adorable!

  • joanuerose 13 May, 2011

    I cannot wait to get some silk and start making these beautiful flowers!