Remembrance Day Red Poppies


We had some house guests this past week — Superdad’s sister and brother-in-law were visiting from Calgary. In true Canadian spirit, we attended a professional hockey game with them. (Yes, as surprising as it may seem Phoenix DOES have an NHL team.) I noticed that the coaching staff for both teams were wearing these lovely red poppies on their jackets. My relatives explained that it is tradition in Canada for everyone to wear the flowers for Remembrance Day — the Canadian version of our Veterans Day.

RemembranceDayPoppyFeltTutorial 2

Since 1922 disabled veterans in Canada have made and sold red plastic poppies to wear on lapels for Remembrance Day. According to the Royal Canadian Legion the poppy flower was chosen based on the popular poem “In Flanders Field” written by Canadian Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae.

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.

It seemed like a perfectly lovely tradition, but since no one is selling poppy pins here in Arizona, I decided to design simple no-sew felt poppies that my girls could help me make.

Salute Veterans with a Remembrance Day Poppy Pin

How to Make Felt Poppy for Remembrance Day

Here’s what you need to make your own Felt Poppy Lapel Pins (you might just have everything you need in the cupboard — I did!)

:: Red and Black Felt (even scraps will do)
:: Hot Glue & Gun -or- Fabri-Tac Adhesive
:: Pin -or- Metal Clip
:: Scissors

First cut three red circles out of felt. Make the first approximately 2 inches (that’s 50mm for our Canadian friends), then make the second and third slightly smaller. Don’t worry about getting them exact or perfectly round. The beauty of this project is that free-handing the cuts makes them look even more poppy-ish.

Next cut a half-inch (12mm) black circle to create the center.

Now glue all your red circles together, beginning with the largest on bottom. Finish your poppy by gluing the black circle in the center top.

Glue the completed flower to a pin or clip and wear for Veterans Day!

Bettijo Bridges

Administrator at Paging Supermom
Bettijo is the founder and designer of Paging Supermom where she shares creative ideas for family fun. Known for practical and kid-friendly activities, free printables and holiday entertainment. Bettijo was a guest on the Martha Stewart Show and has frequently appeared on local TV. Her work has also been featured in national magazines including Real Simple, O, Redbook, Parents, Family Circle, and Health. She enjoys art, retro-modern design, photography and making new things. Mom of 4 kids.


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13 thoughts on “Remembrance Day Red Poppies”

  1. Actually, the Ladies Auxiliary from the VFW sells tissue paper red poppies to honor vets (and raise funds) on Memorial day…same idea, based on the same poem. I remember my Grandmother distributing these when I was a child. Thanks for reminding me!
    I LOVE your felt poppy version…and of COURSE they should be displayed on Veteran’s Day as well!

    p.s. Cute model!

  2. I think You’ll find it’s many more countries than Canada, possibly a Commonwealth thing? We use poppies and rosemary here in Australia and I know they wear poppies in the UK.

  3. I was raised in Boise, Idaho and when I was in 5th grade, I was the Poppy Girl of the Year. I represented all those that would stand out in front of stores and present people with a paper poppy for a donation. This was for Veterans Day and sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars. It was a great privileged, and a fond memory for me. It was also the then that made me care so much for those who serve in the armed services! Thank you to all of you!!

  4. Hooray! A Canadian mention on your blog! It was quite spectacular to have been standing at the cenotaph today amidst a sea of people wearing poppies, paying their respects and listening to the traditional music. I LOVE your simple poppy idea. It’ s ideal for young kids. It’s also ok for Canadians to hold their poppy secure with a small Canada pin in the centre. Thanks for mentioning Canada!
    A proud Canadian reader!

  5. What a nice idea. Your home made poppy would go well with my Poppy Center. It was made available to Canadians that have small children and are afraid of the pin. It is also used by Police,fire,EMS and military people to secure the Poppy to their uniform.
    Thank you.

  6. I was born and raised in the U.S and remember as a kid my Dad in the 50s wearing a red poppy so it not something new to the US. I am just wondering when and why did this tradition stop. Veterans Day was just here and I didn’t see any one on American TV wearing a poppy. Do they on Memorial Day?

  7. I love that tradition! It sounds like it was possibly one in the states too! What an easy little craft for kids. I’ve been making hair pins with my girls and so I have to do this. Adorable!

  8. Love these. Nice job. It surprises me however that you have never seen or heard of these before now. Maybe because I’m an Army wife of 18 years I’m submersed in the Military Culture so much I forget that these small tributes aren’t common place (sadly) Though go by any Walmart (amongst other places), around Veterans Day or Memorial Day, and the VFW will be handing these out for nothing more than a “Thanks for your service” (and hopefully a donation). Or the Blue “Forget Me Not”s.
    I will be making some of these for my two girls, and thank you for your support of our Military. Knowledge is power, and in your position you have the power now to spread support for our Military (which our men and women in Uniform desperately need in these times!) Thank you for your Post!


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