Last Christmas, while we were out doing our holiday shopping, it was almost impossible to avoid looking at Christmas ornaments. Tad was only 8-months-old, and I wanted to find the perfect “First Christmas” ornament. Of course, most of my options were glittery, teddy bears, and goofy sentiments, which weren’t really my style. I wanted something a bit kitschy, with muted colors, and a hand-stitched look. Well, there wasn’t really something like that I could buy, and I knew that if I made his first ornament I would appreciate it that much more when I pulled it out of storage each year. Let me tell you, I was RIGHT! This year when opening our little box of ornaments, there was his first ornament, hand-stitched and made with love by me. I was so happy to hang it on the tree and look over my memory of making it the year before.
This ornament was so simple and fun to make, I figured it would be a great DIY project for these last weeks of December! You only need a few supplies and some beginner skills in sewing/embroidery. Everything is made by hand, no machine, so no need to worry about that! Let’s get started.
Wool Felt in 6 Colors
Choose the color of felt for the center of your star. I went with a cream so my stitched words would really stand out. With either a fabric pen or a piece of paper + pencil, create a start shape. I simply drew the five-pointed cross shape you learn to draw as a child directly onto the piece of felt. Cut out two stars in this color.
Using your stars as a pattern (or a piece of paper) cut out stars of the other five colors of felt. Lay them out and arrange the stars in the color pattern you wish to sew, as above.
Taking the color star that will have the stitched words, begin to write out your message with a fabric pen. I chose to write, “Merry Christmas” this time around and add a little flower at the bottom. If you are new to embroidery, it’s really quite simple! For the lettering, I used a Split Stitch (http://www.embroidery.rocksea.org/stitch/back-stitch/split-back-stitch/). I used a contrasting color thread and stitched along my own handwriting. My star was too small to use an embroidery hoop, which worked fine as the wool felt is stiff enough to not bunch up. Just make sure you’re not pulling tightly while stitching, or you could bunch up your fabric. For the flower, I used Lazy Daisy Stitch (http://www.embroidery.rocksea.org/stitch/chain-stitch/lazy-daisy/) and I did French Knots (http://www.embroidery.rocksea.org/stitch/knots/french-knot/) for the little bits around it.
Now you’ll begin to cut off the tips of the different colors to adorn your star! Line up the different stars with your original pattern and cut of the varying tips to fit. Pin each of the tips to the center color star.
With either the same color you used to stitch the letters or something different, stitch the center “seam” of each of the colors, as shown above. If you were using similar colors to mine, you may have some cream colored edges sticking out behind the colors. Simply round these out with your scissors!
Now you will attach the back. I did not sew this with front sides facing each other - there’s no need to turn this ornament inside out at the end. Simply line up the back with the front and stitch around the outer edge. Leave a little opening to stuff the star with Poly-Fil. Once stuffed, finish sewing it up!
With a bit of embroidery thread, you can create a little loop to hang your ornament. Tie a small piece with a slip knot at the bottom and sew the knot to the back, top point of your star. That’s it!!
I just love these little ornaments. They turned out so cute and perfect for our little family. I hope you have fun making one for yourself or are inspired to create something new!!