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I’m Dreaming of a Felt Christmas – DIY Tree Ornaments

Tis the season for custom-made Christmas presents!  If you’re like me and have a large family but a small budget, making gifts for everyone is a must. We actually draw names for gifts between the adults, but I like to come with a little something for everyone regardless of that.  Giving is the reason for this season of celebration and I like to take part and make something from the heart for each member of my family if my budget and time allows. The Man of the hour said it Himself, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”

Last year I made hand-lettered coffee mugs for everyone which was fun but also a lot of work!  I didn’t have my iPad and Apple Pencil yet so the design part took a while, a lot of erasing and re-doing, but all in all I think my designs came out great.  I found a quote or phrase that spoke to each member of my family and used Sharpie oil paint pens to write them out, then baked them in the oven to really let it set.

This year, with the help of my new Cricut Maker and my iPad/Apple Pencil setup, I created templates to cut out and sew together cute little felt ornaments.  Personally, I think we have some incredibly cute designs for all of our amazing Hedge & Fox fans who are into making things and would like to give this one a try! If you’re interested in any of these let me know in the comments and I can send you the details! 🙂 You don’t have to use a cutting machine – trust me (up until a few months ago, I never used one to cut out my felt projects)!  So don’t let that stop you from giving this a try.  It’s actually really easy and there aren’t all that many pieces to cut which is great.

This is a fantastic project to do with kids but takes some prep work beforehand if your kiddos are between 3-10 or so years old.  The amount of prep all depends on your kids abilities, of course, so if you have a little sewing genius on your hands you can probably skip some of the steps outlined below in the tutorial.  Another thing to note is that you can use all different types of hand sewing stitches when sewing these together… a running stitch being the quickest and easiest method.  Check out this amazing post for more info and video tutorial instructions on different types of beginning stitches!

Supplies:

  • Felt in multiple colors, depending on which template you use and what overall result you’re hoping for
    • On a side note, while I didn’t do this myself, I would recommend using premium felt for these – especially
  • Embroidery thread (or yarn) matching the colors of felt you selected or in a contrasting color of your choice
  • Embroidery needles (or yarn needles)
  • Stuffing
  • A small hole punch (if you have small kids doing the sewing….I have a leather hole punch which I found on Amazon
  • Depending on which item, you may need an assortment of add-on supplies (as little or as many as you want):
    • Glue and glitter (or glitter-glue! My son used this to decorate his H&F Christmas Tree ornament)
    • Beads (you could use these to make the face and buttons of the snowman, or the eyes of any of the ornaments needing them.
    • Tiny pom-poms (I used a red one for the reindeer’s nose…but if you get an assortment of colors you could use them in many different ways!)
    • There are a lot of other things you could use, like ribbon, buttons, tiny jingle bells…let your imagination go wild!

Since I have a mini supply of kid-friendly craft supplies, I just used what I had around already, like glitter-glue and beads.

Cutting the felt:

  • Start by cutting out all of the pieces you’ll need. third color if you choose!).
    • If you are using one of the templates that has a scarf (for the snowman or the penguin), you can add some fray at the ends of each side of the scarf by snipping four ½” slits like so

Putting the ornaments together:

Here is where the instructions will vary piece by piece.

General:

  • Depending on the ornament you’re making, if you are going to add details like eyes or buttons or noses, do this FIRST before sewing any pieces together!
  • If you have small kids doing the sewing on this, you’ll need to punch holes around the edges of the felt so they know where to sew and don’t have any trouble getting their needle and thread/yarn through the pieces.
  • Before getting your kiddo started, take a safety pin and pin the two pieces of fabric together for them to keep them in place.
  • If you’re planning to embroider the year or any wording, write out what you want the ornament to say first in a marker that’s close to the color of the felt. This will help ensure your embroidered lettering/numbering turns out the way you want it to, and as long as your marker color is close enough to the felt color, you won’t even see the line once the threading is done.
    • Make sure you explain where to start and where to stop, having them stop early enough to leave space for adding your stuffing before sewing the piece shut all of the way
    • Note: If you have a kid who maybe isn’t ready for sewing yet, you can get everything prepped for them to just add the accent pieces once it’s already sewed together and stuffed!

    For Santa:

    • Start by sewing the front piece that is for his beard/hair to the background piece that is his face, then add your details for eyes and nose and/or mouth (if you’re adding those, that is).
    • Next sew the back hair piece to the front hair/beard piece.
    • Sew the hat together, leaving the bottom open like a real hat so that you can place it on his head and tack it down once you’re finished
      • You can either sew the white rim and ball to the red pieces before sewing the hat together or you can glue them on, it’s your choice

    For the Penguin:

    • After adding his eyes and beak, start by sewing the white accent part of the body to the black piece that will be the front.
      • You can glue the feet and beak on, if you’d prefer, to keep things easy

    For the Snowman:

    • Be sure to add all details to the front before sewing the 2 pieces of white felt for the body together (eyes, nose, mouth, stick arms and mittens if you’re
    • When sewing the piece together, start with the hat but leave the brim open – sew the front brim to the front part of the snowman’s head.  Then sew the back brim to the back of his/her head.  Last, sew the body pieces together and then add stuffing.

    For the Reindeer:

    • When sewing this guy together, place the antlers in between the 2 pieces for the head/body until they line up perfectly.
    • If adding a pom-pom for the nose, take your scissors and cut a little flat space on the bottom of the pom-pom for where you will place the glue (I find that the nose sits on the top a little better when doing this)

    For the Christmas Tree:

    • Place the trunk piece in between the 2 tree pieces at the bottom and pin together before sewing
    • If you’re gluing on all of the décor pieces, sew the tree together first and add your stuffing before decorating.

    One last thing I like to do is add the year to the back of any ornaments I make. For these, I just grabbed a fine Sharpie marker and placed “2018” on the back. I also added my son’s initials for the ones he helped with so that I always know which ones were his and how old he was when he made them. I find this is a lot of fun to talk about years later when pulling ornaments out to decorate the tree!

     

    What do you think about how these turned out?  I absolutely adore them.  My favorite is the Christmas tree that my son decorated.  I know I will treasure it for years and years and have fond memories of making it with him every time I unbox it and go to put it on our Christmas tree!

    If you’re interested in using any of my templates let me know!

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