When it comes to decorating for Christmas, there is nothing that warms my heart more than a tree that is donned with colored lights and homemade ornaments. I remember the joy I had as a child, when my mom would get out the box of carefully wrapped ornaments, many of which were homemade, to decorate our tree. We would take them out one by one, looking at the carefully sewn, painted, or glued details, deciding which branch would be the perfect spot for that individual treasure. Today, I still feel that childlike wonder when we get out our own box of ornaments, looking at each of them reminiscing about who made it or gave it to us and for what occasion.
This inspired me to create some of my own felt ornaments for our tree this year and I asked one of my favorite 4 year olds (and her mom) to help with decorating the cutouts (thanks June and Johanna).
- Polyester craft felt
- Craft Glue
- Googly Eyes, glitter glue, sequins, pompoms (or whatever you want to use to decorate the felt)
- Poly-fil (polyester fiberfill)
- Needle & thread
- Embroidery floss
The basic “how to” is very simple:
- Draw or trace your favorite shape onto a piece of felt. I used cookie cutters for tracing my shapes. Here are PDFs of my pattern pieces: Felt cutouts_1 of 2 and Felt cutouts_2 of 2
- Cut out 2 of each shape that you want to make into an ornament.
- Decorate at least one of the pieces of felt or both pieces if you want both the front and back of the ornament to be jazzed up. I used glitter glue for things like stripes on the fish, tinsel on the tree, adding an all over sparkle to the snowman and heart, and making the gingerbread man look like he had a shirt and pants on. For adhering the sequins, pompoms, and googly eyes I used craft glue – then reinforced the sequins and pompoms with needle and thread once the glue dried. I wanted the ornaments to last more than a couple years without having to re-glue, and most importantly I have little hands at my house that were picking off the sequins 😉
- *Sew the 2 pieces of felt together – you can use a machine or a blanket stitch by hand. I did the blanket stitch using embroidery floss. Leave a 2 inch opening so that you can stuff the ornament.
- *Stuff the ornament with poly-fil and sew up the opening.
- Use the embroidery floss to make a loop or attach an ornament hook to hang the ornament on the tree.
* You could do a no-sew version of this by using fabric glue around the edge. I haven’t tested this with stuffing the ornaments though. I would guess you would want the glue to dry before stuffing and glueing the 2″ opening.
These ornaments are a great way to use up felt scraps and other craft supplies, and a fun alternative to decorating cookies with kids! They also could be used gift tags (embroider gift recipients name onto the felt) or to adorn top of a holiday gift.
Happy crafting and stay tuned for our “12 Days of Stocking Stuffers” posts starting Tuesday!