Arizona Box of Sunshine

I recently sent a friend a “box of sunshine”. She frequently spends winters in Arizona and enjoys the heat and sunshine. (However, I’m envious of her weather right now, as we are experiencing 118-degree weather! That’s hot!)

Into the box went several yellow things: some snacks (Goldfish and Nilla wafers), yellow wrapped candy (peanut m&ms and caramel Milky Ways), some Burt’s Bees lip balm, and some yellow buttons. I also included something to remind her of Arizona: a cactus! Since a real cactus would probably not travel too well in the mail, I created one out of felt, and it was fairly quick and easy! I did not take pictures while I was sewing her cactus, so I decided to make another one for myself.

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To create a felt cactus, you need a piece of paper, green felt, a pen, scissors, a needle, thread, and batting. A machine makes it go even faster, but it’s not necessary. I began by making a leaf shape on my paper. Once I was content with it, I cut it out and traced it six times on my felt and then cut all the leaf shapes out.

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Next, I paired them up, so that there were three sets of two. Using my machine, I did a quick zig-zag around the sides and tops of each pair, leaving the bottom open (to stuff later). Once all three pairs were sewn, I stacked them all together and did a rough stitch up the middle of the felt stack by hand. It was too thick to sew on the machine, even with the walking foot. (To keep the felt pieces from moving, I used binder clips on the sides!)

With the sewing (almost) complete, next came the stuffing! There were 6 holes to fill, with very small openings. I used the end of a pencil to help feed the batting into each section. Once they were stuffed, I fluffed the felt a bit and then sewed up the bottom of my cactus by hand.

I decided I wanted a flower, so I used my yo-yo maker with a pink fabric scrap and sewed on a little button for the middle. Then I put it in a pot and it was complete! To make spikes, you can put straight pins in the cactus, and it can function as a pin cushion!

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