Make a Shamrock Clip with this easy Molly and Mama tutorial

Make a Shamrock Clip for St Patrick’s Day

This little project is perfect if you’re looking for a little shamrock inspired nod to Saint Patrick’s day. You’ll have your four leaf clover for luck, without having to go head-to-toe in green! All you need to do is make a felt shamrock, sew a yo yo to sit it on, and add a hair clip to the back. It really is the most simple craft project!


  • 48mm double-pronged alligator clip
  • 12cm of 10mm wide grosgrain ribbon (with heat sealed ends)
  • a hot glue gun
  • a pressed fabric circle with a 16.5cm (6.5″) diameter
  • a needle and thread
  • scissors
  • green felt scraps (at least 5 inches x 1.25″)
  • button, bow or other embellishment for the top of your shamrock – I used a button that I covered with the same fabric as my yo yo

Gather your Supplies to make a clip - Molly and Mama


There are three stages to making these gorgeous clips. First you need to create the four leaf clover. Nothing could be simpler! And the image below really makes it clear.

Cut four squares of felt, each about 1.25″ or 3cm.

Fold each square in half and cut a little scallop in the top of each piece using small sharp scissors. You’ll end up with two semi-circles at the top of each piece.

Thread a needle with green thread and stitch three small running stitches across the base of each piece of felt. (I used pink thread so that the stitches were easier for you to see).

Gently pull the thread to gather the felt. Secure the felt in place with some extra stitches. I like to stitch through each gathered piece again, just to be sure the gathering doesn’t come loose.

Sew a Four Leaf Clover with Molly and Mama

The Molly and Mama Shamrock tutorial


Now let’s stitch a pretty yo yo (you may also know it as a suffolk puff). If you haven’t made these before, they are super simple. And I have very conveniently included a link HERE to a previous tutorial that explains exactly how to make them.

To make the yo yo used for this project, I used a 16.5cm fabric circle. This made a yo yo with an 8cm diameter. But you can play around and choose a yo yo size that works best for you. You simply stitch a running stitch around the outside edge of the fabric, and then pull the thread to gather the fabric into a puff. Flatten it out and secure the stitches.

a yo yo for your shamrock - St Patrick's Tutorial by Molly and Mama


You’ll need to have a lined alligator clip ready to attach to the back of your yo yo. And guess what? I’ve got a tutorial for that too! You can head over HERE to find out how to make a simple bow and cover an alligator clip at the same time.

But here’s the short version; Take your 12cm length of heat sealed ribbon and attach it to the 48mm double-pronged alligator clip using a hot glue gun. The numbered pictures below really demonstrate how I do this stage. Just remember to work quickly but carefully with hot glue!

Line an alligator clip - a tutorial by Molly and Mama


First, stitch your shamrock securely onto the centre of the yoyo. Glue the fabric covered button on with a small dab of hot glue. Then attach your clip to the back of the yo yo. Press a line of hot glue onto the top of the clip. Turn it over and gently press it into place on the yo yo back. At this stage it’s important to consider which direction you’re placing the clip on the back. Does the fabric pattern on your yo yo or button embellishment have to face a certain way?

Put your clip together - Molly and Mama

You’re all done! Were you surprised by how simple it was? You could wear this as a hair accessory or add a brooch clasp instead.

The four leaf clover hair clip tutorial by Molly and Mama

The beauty of this piece is that it can be worn all year round! But it has an added touch of luck for Saint Patty’s day!

For more St Patrick’s inspired craft you can visit the tutorial for a pretty lucky pin cushion.

Wishing you all the luck in the world on the 17th March!

Enjoy, Lauren x

This post was written by Lauren Wright and appeared first on Molly and Mama

What’s in store for Molly and Mama in 2015

I’ve been wanting to write a post about the new year, well….. ever since the new year. And I can’t believe that we’re nearing the end of February! If you’re anything like me, you’ll be wondering where the time goes. Sorry it’s taken me so long!

I wanted to start 2015 with some very clear goals, plans and ideas because I am determined to be a little more organised this year. To help get me started, I have spent a lot of time reassessing where my business is heading in 2015.

My sister (from That Healthy Girl) visited recently, and we spent a really productive day helping each other come up with some important directions for 2015. Even though our businesses are completely different, it’s funny how the fundamentals are still the same!

In January I also joined with some local ladies to create a bit of a ‘mastermind group’ where we plan, encourage, support and promote each other’s enterprises. I’ve found this monthly meeting to be invaluable (and it’s only February)!

One of my best ‘organisational moves’ was teaming up with an accountability partner. She’s a busy, busy lady, with a business on a much larger scale than my own. But it’s lovely be able to encourage her with her goals, and have her to keep me accountable in reaching my own.

I’ve become obsessed with inspirational podcasts, including listening to Abby Glassenberg on While She Naps (who’s spoken to a veritable ‘who’s who’ in the craft world), and to Kari Chapin on AIM (who’s just starting out, but is immensely entertaining).

My ‘audible’ library is also growing and I’ve been enjoying The Fortune Cookie Principal by Bernadette Jiwa (thanks for the tip Jen). And Manage Your Day-To-Day has literally changed my life!  *there’s no affiliate links here, or kick-backs for me. I just wanted to share my finds! 

In an attempt to tackle the pile of UFO’s (unfinished objects) in my craft space and sketch book, I’ve decided to institute a kind of ‘Finish It Friday’ plan. Last Friday, I got busy with appliqué and created a gorgeous new range of tees for sale.

Appliqué tees by Molly and Mama

If you’re in Australia, you can pick them up HERE. If not, you can browse the instant download pattern range HERE.

Today, I finally finished a beautiful hand stitched felt doe made from a pattern by Posie Gets Cozy. I started it for my daughter in early December and had intended for it to be a Christmas Present. I’m so glad I finished it off. And it turned out so much better than I thought. It was wonderful combining my three loves; hand stitching, wool felt and Liberty fabric.

Miss Dandelion Doe stitched my Molly and Mama using a Posie Gets Cozy pattern

Completing this today has encouraged me to begin a kind of ‘Finish It Friday’ routine, in an attempt to tackle the long list of half-started and half-baked creations I’ve begun in the past. I’ll look forward to sharing more completed projects with you on the Fridays to come.

Do you have a creative business? What are your goals for 2015? What sorts of plans do you have to help you achieve your dreams this year? I’d love to hear!

I can’t wait to share more of what’s happening in Molly and Mama land, and I hope that it inspires you to follow your dreams and encourage your own creative aspirations. So stay tuned!

And happy stitching, Lauren x

This post was written by Lauren Wright of Molly and Mama

Create a Love Heart Appliqué for Valentine’s Day

Will you be celebrating Valentine’s Day this year? Do you and your family do anything special? I think the day is a lovely little reminder to show your family and friends how much you love them, care for them, and appreciate their presence in your life. And there’s so many simple things you can do to share the LOVE!

With this special day almost upon us, I thought I’d share with you my favourite ‘heart’ project! This is a tutorial on how to create a sweet love heart appliqué. The tutorial comes with lots of clear instructions and photos, and is really well suited to the beginner! It’s such a quick project too. You can be adorning all manner of things with lots of love before Valentine’s Day! Here’s a little example!

Valentine's Hearts by Molly and Mama

Head over HERE for the full tutorial.

Sweet Heart Applique Tutorial by Molly and Mama

Pop by my Valentine’s Pinterest Board for more inspiration too!

Wishing you and your loved ones a very special Valentine’s Day!

Happy sewing, Lauren x

This post was written by Lauren Wright and appeared first on Molly and Mama

Make a Felt Koala Hair Clip - a Molly and Mama tutorial

Make a Koala Hair Clip

In honour of our national day, Australia Day, I’ve created a gorgeous little felt koala. My daughter wanted a hair clip to match her ‘Katie Koala‘ appliqué t-shirt. So I whipped up this cute little clip and thought I’d share how I put it together!

Kylie Koala Clip by Molly and Mama

The finished koala only measures 6cm (or 2.5″) across and fits neatly on a 48mm ribbon-lined alligator clip. She’s made from wool felt. If you haven’t already guessed it, I’m obsessed with this medium! You can see more tips for using wool felt HERE.


  • wool felt scraps in your chosen colours. I selected taupe, brown and pale pink.
  • matching embroidery floss
  • embroidery needle
  • fine embroidery scissors with sharp blades
  • an optional mini bow (or similar) for embellishment
  • a 48mm alligator style hair clip
  • 12cm of coordinating grosgrain ribbon (10mm wide)
  • a hot glue gun
  • a heat erasable pen (like a frixion pen)
  • a print out of the template from HERE


Download and save the koala template so that you can use it anytime. You can find a copy of it HERE. It’s pretty basic but it does the job :-). (This project is for personal use only. Thanks for understanding).

Cut out your template pieces using small embroidery scissors. As most of the pieces are too small to pin to the felt, I just held the paper template in place while cutting. You’ll need two head pieces, two ears, two ear inners and a nose.

Felt pieces to make a tiny Kylie Koala

Use whip stitch to join the pink ear inners to the ears so that it’s easier to attach them to the head later. I used a single strand of bright thread to help you see this step. Be sure you sew a left ear and a right ear. Trim the excess thread away.

Whip stitch Kylie Koala's ears

Now let’s create Kylie’s face. Thread your embroidery needle with a single strand of brown embroidery floss. Position the nose piece on one piece of the face felt. While holding it in place, carefully whip stitch the nose in place. I started stitching at the base of the nose, where my embroidery will begin.

Next, we’ll embroider the facial features using back stitch. For more tips on Back Stitch head over to this tutorial HERE. This image is a great refresher too!

How to do back stitch by Molly and Mama

Thread your needle with two strands of pink embroidery floss (or whichever colour you choose). Using the template as a guide, you can stitch the mouth design on freehand. Or you can use a heat erasable pen to mark your outline first. Start at the base of the nose and make one straight stitch down, then you can branch off on either side to stitch the smile.

Kylie Koala face embroidery

Now it’s time to stitch the eyes. Use the same method we used for the mouth. You can see above where I marked my eye outline with the pen to help. Start each eye at the end closest to the nose, then stitch out. Add the eye lashes last.

When putting it all together, lay your other head piece on a flat surface. Lay the ears down next so that they slightly overlap inside the head piece (and you can’t see your whip stitching). Place your embroidered face piece on top.

Pin the layers together carefully through the ears. Thread your needle with two strands of floss to match the koala’s head colour. We’re going to blanket stitch the two head pieces together. Here’s a quick stitch refresher.

Molly and Mama blanket stitch illustration

Begin your stitching below the right ear and then down and around the base up to the other ear. Take some time when stitching though the ears to be sure you catch both layers of the head felt and make sure the ear felt is in between.

Stitch Kylie Koala together

Secure your stitching well when you return to the starting point. Then Kylie Koala is all complete! Here’s how she’ll look from the front and the back.

The front and back view of Kylie Koala

Now all that’s needed is to add a teeny tiny bow. I had one already made up, and I just hot glued it on. But if you’re making this for a little child, then hand stitching will make it more secure.

Kylie Koala tutorial by Molly and Mama

Then we just need to hot glue Kylie to a ribbon covered clip. Covering clips is really straightforward, and I have a great tutorial about it HERE. But this image shows the basics.

Line an Alligator Clip - a beginner's tutorial by Molly and Mama

Once you’ve covered the clip using your glue gun, just add a line of hot glue to the top and carefully attach your koala. If the clip is for your own child, consider which side her hair is parted, and attach Kylie so that she won’t be upside down when worn. My little miss wears her clips on the right of her head, so the alligator opens to the left as pictured above.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this sweet little tutorial. My daughter LOVES this clip! So it’s sure to be a favourite! And she loves her ‘Australia Day’ ensemble too.

The 'Katie Koala' Appliqué Pattern by Molly and Mama

If you’d like to have a go stitching the Katie Koala applique, it’s very easy too. You can pick up the instant download PDF pattern for it HERE. Or you can read more about it HERE.

Happy Australia Day to our local followers, and happy stitching! Lauren x

This post was written by Lauren Wright and appeared first on Molly and Mama

Introducing Katie Koala by Molly and Mama

Introducing the ‘Katie Koala’ Appliqué Pattern

I guess when most people think of Australia, they think of our adorable Koalas. And with it being our national day tomorrow, I thought I’d share my latest appliqué pattern – Katie Koala!

Katie Koala has just been released in the pattern store. All Molly and Mama patterns have loads of images, and simple to follow instructions. So they are perfect for beginners! Learn how to attach the koala appliqué to fabric, blanket stitch the design and hand embroider the facial features. You can even change Katie to Kevin with a few small adjustments. There’s also lots of tips and tricks to help you along the way.

Katie and Kevin Koala by Molly and Mama

Some lovely ladies have already created some beautiful koalas and I’d love to share them with you. Sarah from Piccolo Studio stitched up some sweet little bibs. How clever is she?

bibs 1

Isabel at Lamb and Wolfie has been very creative with the Katie Koala pattern. Fridge magnets are the cutest gift for young ‘Australia Day Party’ guests!

Katie Koala by Lamb and Wolfie

Marissa’s daughter asked for a vibrant pink koala. I think this tee from Lily Hope Designs really fits the bill.

Katie Koala by Lily Hope Designs

 All Molly and Mama patterns are original, hand drawn designs, that you won’t find any where else.

The 'Katie Koala' Appliqué Pattern by Molly and Mama

To celebrate Australia day, I’ve also just published this adorable Felt Koala Clip project. You can see it HERE. Kylie the Koala Clip makes a beautiful addition to a Katie Koala T-shirt!

Kylie Koala Clip by Molly and Mama

For more Australia Day inspiration, pop by Pinterest. And don’t forget to join the conversation on Facebook.

Thanks for stopping by!

Happy stitching, Lauren x

This post was written by Lauren Wright and appeared first on Molly and Mama 

Hand Embroider a simple Hoop Art Project by Molly and Mama

Hand Embroider a Simple Hoop Art Project

It’s high Summer here and it’s not long until we celebrate our national day; Australia Day. When I think of our gorgeous country, I think of green and gold, the beach, the summer, the sun, and our tropical surrounds. I really feel like this pineapple embroidery is a fantastic representation of what summer in Australia is all about!

I’d love to show you how I created this Hoop Art Project and I hope it inspires you to get hand stitching. Hand embroidery is such a relaxing, portable project and a lot of fun. And this hoop art is so easy!


  • square piece of linen fabric – mine was 9 inches / 23cm
  • square piece of iron-on interfacing slightly smaller than your fabric square
  • embroidery floss like DMC thread. I used variegated thread for this
  • an embroidery needle
  • small, short blade embroidery scissors
  • a wooden hoop – mine is 5 inches / 12.5cm
  • a design to transfer – my pineapple was 4 inches / 10cm high
  • a Sulky iron-on transfer pen or similar product
  • a piece of plain white paper
  • an iron
  • pinking shears (optional extra)
  • a needle and thread

Back stitching with a hoop, by Molly and Mama


For this project, I enlarged a pineapple embroidery design that comes with the ‘Miss Miranda’ appliqué pattern. You can see the embroidery detail here;

Miss Miranda appliqué template from Molly and Mama

If you’d like a copy of this pattern, it’s available exclusively over at One Thimble Sewing Magazine until the 12th February. It’s a part of Issue 5. You can purchase the whole magazine or the pattern on it’s own if you wish.

I simply printed the design, cut out the pineapple and then enlarged it by 400% on my printer. I then traced the design onto plain white paper using my Sulky iron-on transfer pen. I followed the recommendations that came with the pen’s instructions, to achieve the best results.

Hand stitch a hoop art project by Molly and Mama


Iron your linen fabric so it’s smooth and flat. Attach the square of iron-on interfacing to the back or wrong side of the linen.

Hand stitch a hoop art project by Molly and Mama

Transfer the design to the front of your linen, following the instructions that come with the pen. Centre the traced design face down on the right side of the linen fabric. Use a warm iron (with no steam) to transfer your design to the fabric. Don’t forget that your design will appear as a mirror image of the original, so any text needs to be written in reverse.

Hand stitch a hoop art project by Molly and Mama

Place the fabric in your embroidery hoop ensuring your embroidery design is centred. Adjust the tension so that your fabric is taut.

Hand stitch a hoop art project by Molly and Mama


Use back stitch to embroider over the lines of the design. If you’re unsure how to back stitch, I have written a detailed tutorial with extra tips HERE. However, this image is a great refresher.

How to do back stitch by Molly and Mama

Before you begin, consider where you will start your stitching and where you will end. It helps to know where you’re heading so that you avoid any unnecessary wastage of time and thread. And you’ll have less thread shadows to show through lighter fabrics if you limit criss-crossing the back of the fabric. Try and make sure your stitches are even in length too.

Use two or three strands of the 6 strand skein of DMC thread. I used three here.

Starting backstitch

I stitched the pineapple top first.

Hand stitch a hoop art project by Molly and MamaI then changed thread and stitched the perimeter of the pineapple and then the centre detail.

Hand stitch a hoop art project by Molly and Mama

Hand stitch a hoop art project by Molly and MamaBe sure to secure your stitching well at the back of the embroidery, every time you change thread or colour. You can see the detail here below.

A hoop art project by Molly and MamaOnce your stitching is complete, trim around the excess fabric using your pinking shears. Leave about an inch of fabric (3cm).

Hand stitch a hoop art project by Molly and MamaThread your needle with ordinary sewing cotton and secure it with a knot. Start at the base of your design and stitch a loose running stitch around the perimeter of the fabric. Stitch a half an inch in from the fabric edge (or 1.5cm). When you reach where you started, draw the cotton taut. It will gather your fabric and bring your overhang under the hoop. Secure your cotton well to keep your fabric out of the way. You can also use hot glue on the inside rim of the hoop and gently stick your excess fabric to it.

Hand stitch a hoop art project by Molly and MamaThere are certainly more glamorous methods of covering the back of your hoop art, but this way is simple, effective and quick.

And when you flip it over, it’s a beautiful piece of art ready to be hung or displayed!

Pineapple Embroidery hoop art project by Molly and Mama

You could use your children’s art work for inspiration. My five year old drew this lovely design and I carefully embroidered it for her.

Embroidered Children's Art by Molly and Mama

Many of my Appliqué Templates can also be used in hoop art projects. This one is a modified version of the Doll Face Appliqué Pattern. She’s always been a favourite of mine!

'Doll Face' with pigtails by Molly and Mama

Whether using hand embroidery, appliqué, or other techniques, hoop art projects can be a simple and adorable way to decorate. And there’s nothing more special than a hand made project you’ve created yourself. I’d love to see what you make. Feel free to head over to Facebook to share! And for more ideas, check out Pinterest.

For those of you in Australia, happy Australia Day! Enjoy the celebrations!

Happy stitching, Lauren x

This tutorial was written by Lauren Wright and appeared first on Molly and Mama

How to Back Stitch by Molly and Mama

How to Back Stitch – practical tips for Hand Embroidery

A lot of my sewing projects include hand embroidery. And the most common stitch I use is back stitch. It’s such a simple stitch to do, and it’s a great one to start with. Especially if you’re just beginning your hand stitching journey.

I recently stitched this lovely tropical inspired wall art. It’s created using nothing more than back stitch.

Pineapple Embroidery copy

I also transformed one of my five year old daughter’s sketches into a beautiful embroidery using back stitch too! I love it!

Embroidered Children's Art by Molly and Mama

Back stitch is so easy and you can achieve such a neat and straight finish. It’s also a great alternative to machine sewing (if you ever need another option).


  • fabric to embroider
  • embroidery floss like DMC thread
  • an embroidery needle with a sharp point
  • a design to stitch and a method to transfer it to your fabric
  • an optional hoop
  • an optional fabric stiffener like iron-on interfacing

I use six stranded skeins of embroidery floss (like DMC) for hand embroidery like back stitch. Depending on your project and how thick you would like your stitching to be, you can use all six threads or you can split them up. It’s not uncommon to stitch with three strands or two strands of floss also. In this project, I split my floss skein in half so I used three threads together.

Some people like to pre-prepare their floss but I usually just cut a length of embroidery floss and then divide it as I need it.

Don’t forget to store your embroidery floss well too. It’s best to wind your floss onto individual cards that you can label with the floss type and the colour number. That way, you always know what colour you’re using and how much you have left. (But if I’m perfectly honest, I must confess to also having a little container bursting at the seams with tiny offcuts and remnants of floss. It’s just a big old jumble of thread! But it’s great when you just need a tiny bit of pink for a smile, or a scrap of brown for an eye.)


Before starting your stitching, consider using an embroidery hoop. They’re inexpensive and they help keep your project flat. This means you’ll have a similar thread tension throughout your project. You’ll avoid puckering and have a neater finish. I like the adjustable wooden hoops like the one shown below. You don’t need a hoop large enough to fit your whole project. You can just keep moving them around and readjusting their position on your fabric.

Back stitching with a hoop, by Molly and Mama


Prepare your fabric by ensuring it is clean, ironed flat and has the edges prepared. As the fabric edges can fray during the hand stitching process, prepare the edges by overlocking (or serging) them, taping them with masking tape or cutting them with pinking shears (my preferred method). The method you choose will also depend on what you’re using your embroidered design for.

If you’re creating a hoop art project, consider adding some weight to your fabric by adding some iron-on interfacing to the back. I did this for my pineapple embroidery project. It makes the fabric stiffer and easier to work with.


To prepare a project for stitching, transfer your design onto your fabric. Your design may be a pattern, or a print out. You may also have a pre-made iron-on transfer. You can use a light box to help you trace your design with a lead pacer pen or erasable ink pen. You can also hold it up against a window to trace. You can draw the design on thin paper, and stitch through it. You can also draw your design on paper with a fabric transfer pen and then iron your design onto your fabric. Remember if you iron your design on, it will be a mirror image of the original though.


So to start, cut a length of floss and split it in half. Your length should be long enough to easily work with. If it’s too short, you’ll be rethreading your needle constantly. If it’s too long, your project will be more susceptible to knotting and tangles. 15 to 20 inches is a good starting length (38 – 50cm).

Thread the three strands onto your embroidery needle. Be sure to create a simple knot at the end and trim the excess thread past the knot (to 1/4 inch or less than 1cm).


Consider where you’ll start your stitching and where you’ll finish. Try and work it so that your stitching will travel from line to line without too much overlapping and without travelling too great a distance on the back of the fabric. Will you stitch section by section or colour by colour? Take some time to consider this before you begin.


You’re ready to start. When backstitching, you’re just making a series of normal straight stitches. But you stitch them in a backward motion.

Bring the needle and thread up through the back (the wrong side) of your fabric so that the needle pops up a stitch ahead of your starting point or the beginning of your template. Stitch back to the starting point of your template. Make your stitch a 1/4 – 1/8 inch long (or a few millimetres long). This will be your first stitch.

Then bring your needle and thread up a ‘stitch space’ ahead of your last stitch. Lastly, bring the needle down through the same hole as the end of the last stitch you made. This diagram may make things a little more clear.

How to do back stitch by Molly and Mama

As you back stitch, be careful to cover the lines of your transfer as you go. Try and keep your stitches the same length. However, make adjustments as you stitch so that you don’t end up with one unusually short or long stitch at the beginning or end of a section or line.

Starting backstitch

Consider the direction of stitching before you begin each new section, so you know exactly where you’re heading and where you’re ending.

When complete, your stitching will look something like this from the front and the back;

The front and back of Back Stitch

As you finish your thread, feed the needle down into the back and be careful to catch a number of your stitches to help secure the thread (you can see this in the image above, where the yellow thread is being drawn through a number of the stitches on the back to secure the thread). Trim the excess thread away.

To start a new length of thread or to change colour, follow the previous instructions and continue stitching.

This FREE tutorial features back stitch and explains how to transfer text onto a pillowcase using an iron-on transfer pen. It also goes though the process of back stitching.

Embroider a Pillowcase - a tutorial by Molly and Mama

Back stitch is featured in most of my Applique Patterns too. You can browse the instant download range HERE. You can see how I’ve used it to stitch all the facial features below.

Molly and Mama Patterns .jpg

If you’re keen to create a backstitch project, you might like to use this FREE pattern I created for my Laundry Day post. You can download it HERE or Pin It for later.

'Washing Day' - a free embroidery pattern from Molly and Mama

Thanks for being here for another Molly and Mama tutorial. You may have some terrific tips and ideas so please leave a comment. Or feel free to share your thoughts, and projects over on Facebook.

Happy stitching, Lauren x

This post was written by Lauren Wright and appeared first on Molly and Mama