Saturday, July 12, 2014

Christmas In July Blog Hop

Today is my stop on Deby's Christmas in July Blog Hop. She has quite a line up of bloggers sharing felt Christmas ornament tutorials so if you are in need of some inspiration you should check out  the different tutorials. I know Christmas may seem like a long ways off but it always comes so quickly! Once November comes there are parties and Christmas concerts to attend, presents to wrap, baking. and shopping to be done that there is not a lot of time left for crafting so now is a great time to make for Christmas!
When I first thought about what ornament to make for a tutorial I thought about one of my favorite books, Santa Mouse, or that maybe I would make a felt gingerbread house ornament. The longer I thought about the Christmas ornament I thought about recreating an ornament I made when I was 11 years old. My Grandma loved to sew and she taught my sister and I how to make the birds. We had planned to make a few birds each year to add to our Christmas tree but i think we stopped after making a dozen. I have no idea what pattern we used or where my Grandma got it. She passed away a long time ago so I can not ask her :( A few years back my mom gave me and my sister each a few birds to enjoy on our own Christmas trees. Our Christmas tree is always a mix of old and new, handmade, and store bought. I have a few ornaments that I made as a kid and I love these reminders of my childhood and the memories attached to the ornaments.
In the end I decided on a less ornate looking bird that suits my style more but was influenced by my childhood design. This is a great project to do on your own or to create with your kids. On to the tutorial.

  • First gather your supplies. You will need some felt and linen scraps as well as scissors, needle, thread, poly fill, and a bird template. I used this template. If you would like a different shaped bird you could sketch one yourself or Google bird template. There are so many templates out there. Feel free to use cotton fabric instead of felt or linen if that is what you have on hand. Let your creativity run wild and use what you have on hand to decorate the birds. I used beads, sequins, ribbon scraps, and embroidery thread. You could use doilies, lace or a bit of pom pom trim. These birds would be fun to decorate for any season or holiday. They could be used as a garland, placed on a gift, or tucked in a wreath, as well as an ornament.
For each bird cut out 2 bodies (a front and a back) and 2 wings. Stitch one wing to the front and one  to the mirror image (back) body. I made one bird from linen. I wanted a rustic look so I stitched the front and back together with the raw edges showing. {If you use cotton or linen and want to have finished seams sew right sides together leaving a two inch gap open. Turn the bird right side out through the opening. Stuff then sew the gap closed by hand}.

Next, decorate to your heart's desire. Make it as simple or as intricate as you like. I lightly stuffed my birds. You can use the amount of stuffing you desire before closing the bird. Use a 5" ribbon scrap and fold in half. Tuck the raw edges into the bird in the neck/upper back area. Stitch through the ribbon as you close the bird.

Voila!!! You are done and the ornament is ready to hang on your tree.

I made a few to give you some different ideas. For the bottom bird I cut a scrap of embroidered fabric, put a little poly fill behind it and stitched it to the birds body. For the top bird I stitched a poinsettia in place of a wing. You can sew the front of the bird to the back of the bird with a running stitch, a blanket stitch, or any stitch of your choice. These birds are highly customizable. 
Thank you Deby for including me in your Blog Hop! It was a lot of fun!!