Gather up your favorite scraps of fabric and trim, leftover buttons or beads, and some new sheets of craft felt. Then, get ready to fire up your imagination for some ornament fun. While we used a simple hand stitch on our samples, you can also sew these up quickly on your machine. The key is to use what you have on hand and let your creativity run wild. This is a fantastic project to introduce children to sewing, and a wonderful way to keep them busy over the holiday break. Kids old enough to use a needle and thread will have fun picking and choosing their favorite bits and pieces, then cutting whatever shapes they dream up. They'll be beautiful however they turn out.
This concept could also be used to create a little ornament that holds a gift card. Measure the card and allow an opening about a half inch larger all around to accommodate slipping it in and out.
Because these little ornaments are made from scraps, everyone will have a different mix of ingredients. We offer a free downloadable template below with star, stocking, and mitten shapes, but don't limit yourself to our patterns. Create your own by simply sketching out any simple shape: bells, trees, snowmen... whatever strikes your fancy.
Sewing Tools You Need
- A sewing machine is optional
Fabric and Other Supplies
- Craft felt
- Fabric scraps
- Trim scraps, like rick rack and ribbon
- A small amount of polyester filler (optional) – it allows you to create dimension
- Embroidery floss in several colors
- Embroidery needle
- Needle threader (helpful)
- Pinking shears (optional)
- Straight pins
You don't need all of the above supplies to make felt ornaments. If kids are hand sewing, they may have difficulty sewing on buttons or through rick rack. In that case, just omit these supplies or offer your help.
- If you want to use our patterns, download the Ornament Patterns PDF file.
IMPORTANT: This pattern is ONE 8½" x 11" sheet. You must print the PDF file at 100%. DO NOT SCALE to fit the page. There is a guide box on the page so you can confirm your final printout is to scale.
- You can also choose to draw your own patterns or you can trace around simple shapes you can find in the kitchen, such as cookie cutters, small bowls, coffee mugs or teacups.
- From the felt, cut the desired number of shapes. For substance, because we added heavier buttons and trim, we cut TWO pieces for a front and back to our ornaments. However, if you keep embellishments simpler, you can get by with using a single piece of felt.
- From fabric scraps, cut whatever bits and pieces you'd like to apply to your felt shapes. We used a variety of ideas, from cutting a smaller fabric version of the felt shape, to fussy cutting fabric motifs, to layering bits of fabric or felt to create cuffs, heels, toes, etc. Have fun and get creative with whatever you have on hand.
- Pin your fabric or felt scraps to your pattern shapes.
- Hand or machine stitch your first layer of fabric, felt and trim. If hand stitching, a thimble makes it easier.
- Hand or machine stitch your additional layers of fabric shapes and trims, continuing until you've added all the bits and pieces you desire.
- If you decide to use a little polyester filler to poof-out all or a portion of the ornament, remember to leave a small opening, insert the filler, and then complete your stitching.
- If you are making double-sided ornaments, complete both sides, layer them wrong sides together, and then stitch them together using a hand or machine stitch, again leaving an opening if you want to add any filler. Trim any uneven edges of felt, which would be a fun time to use pinking shears.
- In the example below, we added a grosgrain ribbon along with some little felt leaves and a button to create a fancy hanger. All you really need is a way to suspend your ornament. You can keep it simple with just a piece of ribbon or length of embroidery floss.
- Hang and admire.
You can create a dozen ornaments in one afternoon – more if the kids help!
At Your Sewing Machine
If you choose to machine stitch your ornaments, simply replace the hand stitching steps with machine stitching. Use a long basting stitch for the best results.