Christmas is almost here and with all of the planning and preparation nearly done, it’s nice to take a break from all of it and do something creative with family and/or friends. Making Christmas ornaments is fun because they can be made using so many different types of materials: styrofoam balls, wood, pinecones, candy, clay and of course fabric and felt. Felt is ideal because it can be sewn or glued.
When making felt ornaments, I look no further than my favorite cookie cutters. The first cookie cutter was a baker’s hand. The maker would lay their hand over the rolled-out dough and cut around it. A heart shape could be cut into the palm to remind the maker of the Shaker verse: “Hands to work hearts to God.” The first actual cookie cutters were fashioned by tinsmiths from scraps and given out to their customers, much like the promotional pens, rulers and mugs businesses give out to their customers today. Fast-forward to the early 1920s and aluminum replaced tin cutters and after WW II plastic cookie cutters were the norm.
Cookie cutters make great templates for Christmas ornaments and are easy to use. I choose cutters of simple designs with minimal fuss: bells, hearts, trees, gingerbread boy/girl and simple angels. I just draw around them and if needed enlarge the pattern either “old school” with my trusty six-inch ruler that measures ¼” on one side and ½” on the other or I enlarge it “new school” on the copier. Next, I will trace my pattern several times over various pieces red, green, blue and yellow felt. If I am going to embroider them, it is so much easier to do it prior to cutting them out.
Once the embroidery is done the ornaments are cut and sewn wrong sides together near the edge. Before it is completely sewn shut batting is added to give it a bit of a “puff”. Once it is complete a crochet chain makes a great “loop” to hang it from and is easily stitched in place.
Snowmen with buttons, angels and metallic fabric wings, trees decorated with sequins and sparkles, are just a few ideas to give your felt ornaments a special touch. The best part of all is taking the time to create together special tokens during this season of love.
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