Tuesday, December 09, 2014

DIY Sewn Felt Ornaments

I'm so sorry that I've missed five days of blogmas already! I've been so, so busy with homework and concerts that I just didn't have time to blog. I've changed the "rules" a bit because I won't be able to blog every single day... I'll just make sure that I have 24 posts up by Christmas :) Anyway, let's get on with the post...

Decorating for Christmas is always really exciting. I especially love cute ornaments, so I thought that I'd make some myself this year! I sewed all of them using felt, so if you've never sewn before, you may want to make these with someone that knows how to sew (I'm no good at explaining how to sew, so don't try to rely on me!)

To learn how to tie the knots at the beginning and end of your sewing, watch this video: (click here)

For all of these ornaments, you will need:
  • Felt in various colours
  • Regular thread in matching colours
  • Embroidery thread in black and whatever other colours you want
  • Pins
  • An embroidery needle
  • Ribbon
  • Fabric scissors
  • Cotton stuffing
  • Paper, pencil/pen and scissors for patterns
The cute reindeer ornament

On a piece of paper, draw a pattern that's the shape of a reindeer that you like. Cut the pattern out. Fold a piece of felt (I used white) in half, and pin the pattern to the felt. Make sure your pins are going through both layers of felt AND the paper! Carefully following the pattern, cut the reindeer shape out of the felt. You'll have two identical reindeer shapes at the end.

Using black embroidery thread and a thick embroidery needle, stitch a face onto one of the layers. Make sure that you're only stitching through one layer at this point! I personally liked how the reindeer looked with just a simple face, but you can experiment with different facial expressions, and you can even try other patterns or appliqués on the reindeer. Once you're satisfied with your embroidery, tie a knot on the inside ("wrong" side) of the felt. If you don't know how to sew, or don't feel confident with embroidery, you can always just attach little pieces of felt with fabric glue to make a face!

You should now align both pieces of felt, and make sure that they aren't crooked. Thread your needle with some thread that matches your felt. Knot one end, And pull the thread through ONE piece of your felt (It doesn't matter which one), and leave the knot on the inside of the two pieces.

Now you just need to sew all the way around your reindeer, leaving a gap at the end to stuff the ornament. You also have to keep the pieces lined up to prevent crooked pieces of felt or sloppy stitching. I used whipstitch for this part... it's super easy, and keeps the stuffing inside the ornament well without it spilling out. If you want to learn how to do whipstitch, you can check out this video that I found: (click here) because I won't attempt (and fail) to explain stitches using words. :P

When there's about an inch left before you hit your first stitch again, stop sewing (don't knot the thread just yet either)... stuff the reindeer through this gap in the stitching. A chopstick is very helpful to push the stuffing into areas of the ornament that are hard to reach. Once your reindeer is full of stuffing, finish stitching him up all the way to the place that you started. Tie a few knots, and trim the thread. 

And there you have it, you've made an adorable reindeer ornament!

The scented mitten ornament

The mitten ornament is very simple to make. To start off, draw and cut out a pattern on a piece of paper. Take a piece of felt in the colour of your choice, and fold it in half. Pin the pattern onto the felt, and cut out the mitten along the edges of the pattern. You should have two identical mitten shapes made out of felt.

Thread your needle with some embroidery thread, and tie a knot on the other end. Insert your needle through one of the layers to keep the knot INSIDE of the mitten, and then stitch around the mitten, leaving an opening to stuff it. I really like how blanket stitch looks, so that's what I used. If you want to learn how to use blanket stitch, watch this helpful video here: (click here)

Now it's time to stuff your mitten! I put some whole cloves into my stuffing just to add a scent to the mitten. Some other ideas for things to add are:

  • Cinnamon
  • Dried lavender
  • Pine needles/branches
Once you've added whatever it is that you want to add to your stuffing, stuff your mitten! You can use a chopstick to push the stuffing into corners that are harder to reach.

When your mitten has been stuffed, put a loop of ribbon in between the two loose pieces of the felt at the top. Finish stitching along the top of the mitten while holding the ribbon in place... make sure to put a stitch through the ribbon: it needs to stay in place so that we can hang the ornament! When you get back to where you started stitching, tie a few knots and trim the thread.

The festive robin ornament

For this ornament, you start off in the same way as the other two: draw and cut out a pattern... fold a piece of felt in half and pin the pattern on... cut out the shape in the felt by following the pattern.
On one of the pieces of felt, I sewed on a little red wing that I cut out freehandedly. Then, lign up the two pieces and sew around the border of the bird, leaving a gap for stuffing. I just used running stitch, which is your standard "up and down through the fabric stitch". It's not the most effective, but it works.

Once you only have a one inch gap left, stuff the bird ornament with your cotton stuffing. Again, use a chopstick if it helps. Once the bird is stuffed, finish the stitching and tie off the thread. Voila, you have a bird ornament!

I hope that I explained these projects well enough, because I really enjoyed making them! If you make any of these, send me a picture on twitter or my email, I'd love to see your takes on my projects! Happy Holidays :)

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