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  • Writer's pictureChristie

How to Make a Felt Ornament Using Your Fabric Scraps - Sustainable Gift Giving During Christmas


For Christmas this year, I decided to make ornaments for all of my family and friends.

Here's a small selection of the varieties I've made so far.

I wanted to make something that was relatively quick and easy to make but also use my newfound love of beading and embroidery. These felt ornaments served as the perfect way to do both of these.


I did end up going to pick up felt and some beads but already had most of the other supplies laying around.


I kept my color palette pretty limited, but had enough variance to pair the ornament to the person in a really fun way.


How I made these Ornaments Sustainably:


I have become extremely conscious to all the waste that we generate, and used this project as an opportunity to re-use some fabric scraps from past sewing projects as the filling to make these ornaments plush as opposed to using polyfill. I have been keeping my scraps in a plastic bag in my closet waiting to find a use for them and found that this was a great way to re-use them in a way that prevents scraps from going into a landfill. Even the extra scrap felt can be used as filling!


One thing to note if you plan on using scrap fabric as stuffing in your ornaments - be mindful that if your scraps are dark or colorful they might show through a bit if you use light color felt. My scraps were all white so this wasn't an issue. If you do have colorful scraps, make your ornaments out of darker felt or buy the more premium (thicker) felt.


Below are instructions so that you can learn how to make your own felt ornaments.


How to Make the Felt Ornaments:


Supplies:

  • Paper scissors

  • Fabric Scissors

  • Thread cutting scissors

  • Hot glue gun & gluesticks (only if you are making a layered ornament like my cookie ornament but you can also sew any layers down if preferred)

  • Paper cutouts of simple patterns for your ornament - I made a heart cookie and a bulb.

  • Clear plastic thread for beading

  • Beading Needle (this specific needle it much easier if you are dealing with seed beads with small holes but if you only have regular or embroidery needles, buy beads with large holes)

  • Embroidery Needle

  • Seed beads

  • Embroidery Thread

  • Twine

  • Felt

  • Scrap fabric for filling

Here's a flatlay of the supplies needed for this project.

Step 1: Print out your template & Cut out the pieces: Print out your template and cut out the necessary pieces. Simple smooth designs are easiest to work with.


Step 2: Cut out your ornament shapes:

  • Cut 2 of your main ornament shape by pinning the template to your piece of felt. This will be the front and back of your ornament. (Tip: I find it easiest to cut out each piece one at a time since this will result in smoother edges and a more accurate shape).

I cut through one layer of felt at a time for smooth edges and precision.
  • Cut 1 piece of any layering elements - the frosting on this cookie is an example of this. Feel free to cut 2 if you want the layers to be on both sides, though.

The frosting on this cookie ornament was cut a single time, beaded, then glued onto the main felt ornament after the main pieces of the ornament were sewn together.

Step 3: Add Embroidery & Beading:

  • Before sewing the pieces together, add any decorative beading or embroidery that you desire to one (or both) sides of the main ornament. I chose to do this detail only on one side. I would recommend planning ahead how you want your beading to look, what kind of embroidery stitches you want to use, etc. but feel free to wing it if you prefer. (Tip: Before you start on your final fabric I recommend practicing these techniques first - I went through a bit of trial and error before I got some of the stitching correct).

  • For Embroidery: Using your embroidery needle and decorative embroidery thread, add your embroidery to the felt as you desire. For my embroidery, I personally used the star filling stitch and the featherstitch since they are pretty easy to do and attractive. These are the stitches that I used on my ornaments.

Here is an in-progress featherstitch.
  • For Beading: using clear plastic thread and a beading needle, add beading to the felt. Here is a fantastic reference if you are new to beading on fabric. (Tip: If you do embroidery first, I recommend adding the beading afterwards).

I like to add the beads on the edges of some of the feather stitches.

Step 4: Prepare your pieces to sew: Note that these pieces need to be sewn "wrong" sides together. These will not be turned inside out.


Also note if you have layers: If you have layers that you will be adding, please review step 6 first to make sure you complete the steps in the right order since your layers may impact what order these steps need to be completed in).

  • Tie a loop with your twine and sandwich it between the 2 layers of your felt at the top of your ornament. Pin it in place with a bit of a gap so that you can ensure that a few of your stitches go in the middle of your loop keeping it in place.

Here's how the pieces are layered.
  • Pin your pieces lining up the edges. You will only need about 1-2 pins as hand-stitching is pretty easy to manage.

Step 5: Sew the front and back of the ornament together & add your stuffing:

  • Thread your embroidery needle with the embroidery thread you want for the stitching.

  • Using a blanket stitch, stitch the front of the ornament to the back. Here is a great video explaining how to do the blanket stitch. When you get to the twine, remember to make a couple of stitches that go in between the 2 sides of your loop to secure it in place.

Securing the twine loop with a blanket stitch at the top.
  • As you are going, cut pieces of your scrap fabric and stuff it in as you are sewing. Gently squish it around to spread it out and make it lay smooth inside. Feel free to add more as you go.

Fill the ornament with any of your scrap fabric or other filler. Here I'm adding a failed sewing project. :)
  • Sew until you get to the end, tie a knot, hide it inside, and cut your thread. If you don't have any layers to add, you're done!

You're done!

Step 6: glue on your layers (optional).

  • Reference step 3 to add embroidery and beading to your layer before attaching it

  • Using a hot glue gun, carefully attach the layer to your ornament. (Note that if your layer goes to the edge of your ornament, you may want to attach this layer before you go to step 4 so that the stitches aren't covered by the added layer). (Tip: You can also sew your layers on if you don't like the idea of hot gluing them but make sure you do this part before progressing to step 4 as well). If you want to go back to that step, click here.


Conclusion:

I hope that you enjoyed making your ornaments - There are so many variations on this that a person could do. I could see this simple technique being used to piece together more complicated items as well, like plushes. Also, felt is a really easy fabric to learn these techniques on and it's relatively low cost & low stakes to make. This makes it a good project to do if you're just learning and don't want to mess up on a really expensive or time intensive project.


If you end up making ornaments, please tag me on instagram @mermaidcoveart


I would love to see them! Anyway, thanks for reading and I hope that you have a happy and restful holiday!

Just my cat, Snowball, doubling as a backdrop. :)



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