If you’re looking for the most cheerful hand sewing project you can find, you’ve come to the right place. This delightful DIY felt lemon (free!) pattern will most certainly brighten your day!
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This project was inspired by my endless scrolling through home decor pins and posts. I saw, and loved the idea of having a bowl of sunshiney lemons living on my kitchen counter. But my immediate thought was “don’t they eventually go moldy?”
I don’t use fresh lemons enough in my cooking to justify buying a dozen of them every week. (Does anyone? Have I been mis-led? Are the bowls of lemons in magazine spreads simply for staging and no one does that in real life? These are the questions keeping me up at night. lol)
ANYWAY. My obvious next step was just to make a collection of lemons, limes and fruit slices out of felt and never have to worry about them going bad. Done.
So I bought these cute acrylic apothecary jars, filled the biggest one with my DIY felt lemons, and now I have instant summery decor in my kitchen! I’m really hoping to design a felt apple soon too, so in the fall I can swap out the lemons for apples! Stay tuned for that.
DIY Felt Lemons
There are a surprising number of ways to use these DIY felt lemons once you think about it. Here are a few ideas I came up with:
- Fill a container and put them on your countertop. Check.
- String together a number of lemon slices & wedges to create a summer garland.
- Enlarge the pattern slightly and turn the lemon slices into coasters.
- Let the kiddos use them in their play kitchen.
- Turn the lime or lemon wedge into a keychain. (Goes great with this watermelon zip pouch!)
- Decorate a throw cushion with lemon slices.
- Add them to a summery wreath.
- Shrink the pattern a little and turn them into hair clips.
- Add string loops and turn them into ornaments
- Enlarge the pattern a lot and turn the whole lemon into a throw cushion! (Check out this one for inspiration.)
Who knew a piece of fruit could be so versatile?! 😀
If you’re interested in more felt food patterns, check out this DIY pumpkin or this post of 16 Felt Fruit Patterns!
Gather Up Materials
Here’s what you’ll need to make a DIY felt lemon or lime (it’s the exact same pattern for both.) :
For a whole piece of fruit –
Yellow or Green felt 4.5″ x 8″
Brown felt .5″ x .5″
For a wedge –
Yellow or Green felt 2.75″ x 4.75″
White felt 2.5″ x 2.5″
For a slice –
Yellow or Green felt 2.75″ x 7.5″
White felt 2.5″x 2.5″
Printed pattern (Just click to download)
Polyfil or wool stuffing
Tweezers (for stuffing)
Matching embroidery threads plus cream or white
Straight Pins & Sewing needle
The yellow I used here is called Lemonade and the white is called Linen, both from Benzie Design.
The green is 100% wool and is called Avocado and the brown is Cappucino, both from The Felt Pod.
How to Cut Out Felt Fruit
To cut out the larger pieces, simply pin the paper pattern to the felt and cut around it.
For the small triangle segments, you could try pinning but taping the paper directly to the felt might be easier. Then just cut through the tape and felt all at once. Gently peel the paper off afterwards.
Cut 4 fruit segments per lemon/lime.
To make a fruit slice, cut 8 triangles, one white pith and 2 rind pieces.
To make a wedge, cut 8 triangles, one white pith and only 1 rind piece.
Adding Embroidery Details
Use a single strand of cream or white thread and embroider a selection of teeny tiny x’s across the fruit segments. This makes the lemons look kind of dimpled like they do in real life!
The number of x’s and the placement of them is totally up to you. I just went pretty random with mine, some lemons have more than others.
How to Sew a DIY Felt Lemon and Lime
Use a single strand of matching thread and a tiny whip stitch to join the fruit segments together.
I almost exclusively use a blanket stitch when I’m joining felt pieces because I love the clean and finished look. But in my first trial run of the lemon, the blanket stitch made the seam stick out too much when the lemon was stuffed. I wanted the seams to lie a little flatter once stuffed. So a whip stitch it is!
If you’re not sure how to do a whip stitch, just do a quick search on Youtube and a couple great tutorial videos will pop up.
Sew 3 of the seams completely then only sew about 1″ to 1.5″ of the last seam then stop.
Before you continue, it’s time to add the stem piece. I opted for brown felt for the little stem, but you could use green or cream instead if you prefer.
Disclaimer: If you have are planning to give these lemons to your kiddos, be aware that very determined toddlers might rip the stem piece off. So either secure it REALLY well or don’t add it at all. Totally up to you.
Grab a wad of stuffing and fill the end of the lemon firmly.
Use a large ‘x’ stitch and sew the stem to the end of the lemon, pulling the thread right through the wad of stuffing on the inside and pull the thread snugly. This will pull the end of the lemon into itself slightly and give it a more realistic shape. Secure the end of the thread really well.
Now you can keep whip stitching the seam, stuffing the lemon firmly as you go to force the seams to lie flat.
When you get to the top of the lemon, add a few extra stitches to close up the lemon tightly.
How to Make a DIY Lemon Slice
Arrange the little triangles onto the white pith piece to make sure they all fit nicely. You may need to trim them a tiny bit if they are too large.
1. I found the easiest way to position the triangles was to sew the first one, then to sew the one directly opposite. Then you know you have created exactly equal spacing for the remaining 6 triangles to fit into.
Sew the triangles with a single strand of matching thread and a back stitch.
2. Now you can add the seed details.
Use 2 strands of cream or white thread and make a lazy daisy stitch. Use a straight stitch to fill the empty space in the middle of the lazy daisy. Add as many seeds as you prefer!
3. Use a single strand of matching white threat and a blanket stitch to attach the pith to one rind piece.
4. Now you can either fold the slice in half to create a wedge and blanket stitch the edge closed, or create a whole slice by joining it to another rind piece with a blanket stitch.
Here’s a helpful image description for making a lazy daisy stitch.
And now, make a whole collection of these delicious felt fruits!
These are so darn adorable and cheerful!
I’ve also recently designed a felt peach slice pattern that I think goes great with the lemon slices! You can find the free pattern in this post. 🙂
If you missed the link above, just click here to download the DIY felt lemon pattern. No sign up required for now! 🙂
Tell me in the comments, what do you plan to do with this fun felt play food pattern?!
Debby Thompson says
So pretty! Love this!
Thank you so much! 🙂
These are so cute. Only problem is that my arthritis makes hand sewing very difficult these days. I think I’ll try making the slices using a glue gun. I realize they won’t be quite as realistic looking but think they’ll still be cute.
These look amazing, what a lovely idea – save a fortune in fresh lemons this way!!