DIY - Six Remembrance Day poppy brooches

diy low- and zero-waste Nov 11, 2021

Its that time of year when we start seeing red poppies appearing pinned to peoples clothing, to show respect for those who served or fell in service for their country. The tradition began in response to World War I when the poppy was adopted as a symbol for remembrance. [1]

The Great War, as it was then known, ravaged the landscape of Western Europe, where most of the fiercest fighting took place. From the devastated landscape of the battlefields, the red poppy was one of the only plants that grew in the war torn landscape, and, due to the famous poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, it become a powerful symbol of remembrance. [2]

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,

In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.



In France, Anna Guérin organized women, children and veterans to make and sell silk poppies as a way to fund the restoration of war-torn France. Guérin brought her campaign to England, where in November 1921 the newly founded (Royal) British Legion held its first-ever “Poppy Appeal,” which sold millions of the handmade flowers and raised over £106,000 (a hefty sum at the time) to go towards finding employment and housing for Great War veterans. The following year, Major George Howson set up the Poppy Factory in Richmond, England, in which disabled servicemen were employed to make the fabric and paper blooms.

I think it is important to remember those people, and its also important to support the War Legions who raise funds every year by selling plastic red poppies. But it breaks my heart when I see these plastic tokens of respect on the ground, because they have accidentally fallen off the clothes where they were so lovingly pinned to honour and respect loved ones.

So, I have researched and found 6 alternatives where we can continue to celebrate and wear a red poppy. Ones that are made to last, and we can wear them year after year. And then we can simply donate to the cause without adding to the plastic consumption.


Image via

1. Crochet Red Poppy

Whilst the pattern is for a drink coaster, just pop a safety pin on the back and this transforms into a brooch.


 Image via The Stitch Sharer

2. Needle Felted Poppy
Have you been wanting to try needle felting? This is the perfect project to begin with.


Image via Anna-kovylina.livejournal

3. Wet felted Poppies

This is a fun project to combine flat felting with 3D felted balls.


Image via AllFreeCrochet

4. Crochet Poppy Brooch

If you’re into crochet, here’s a pattern for you!


Image via Gathered How

5. Knitted Poppy

And if knitting is more your thing, this is a fun pattern.


Image via And Then Home

6. Felt Poppy

If stitching is more your thing, try this pattern.