Christmas Craft Countdown Day 9: Whimsical Felt Animal Ornaments Tutorial
*Today's tutorial comes from my good friend since high school, Miriam. You can check out more of her sewing and crafting genius at her website Mad Mim. She just launched a beautiful ebook, How to Sew a Garden, with detailed instructions, pictures and video on creating tons of fabric flowers.*Martha
I’ll begin by saying that this craft is a complete swipe from my sister, Eirene (who originally swiped it (sort of) from Anthropologie). Actually, I believe the snail is the only true knock-off, and then from there she designed the other ornaments in the same style. I can only take credit (with her permission) for drawing up the designs and making these felt animal templates, and of course making these for my own Christmas enjoyment; my versions are only different in color and maybe slightly different in embellishment here and there.
There. Credit where credit is due. I am capable of coming up with a good Christmas craft on my own, but this year all my creative energy has been focused on my new (and so awesome!) fabric flower tutorial ebook: How to Sew a Garden, which you should definitely check out. My poor mind has been on creative overdrive for months now coming up with fresh, unique, and beautiful fabric flower projects that everything (even Christmas!) has become an afterthought. Luckily for me though, these beautiful felt animal ornaments breathed vibrancy into me and my Christmas tree!
I bought nothing to make these ornaments, and hopefully you won’t either (or at least much!) The supplies you’ll need to root around your craft supply for are:
-scraps of craft felt. If you’re fresh out, be consoled in the fact that you could by a lifetime supply and still only spend like 5 bucks.
-scraps (and I means scraps) of fabric to embellish with. Bright, medium scale flower prints work best.
-embroidery floss and needles
-heatbond (ok, unless you’re pretty crafty, you might have to buy some of that)
-medium heavy fusible interfacing
-beads/sequins for embellishment if so desired
Choose what little critter you want to make, and then choose what colors you want he/she to be: for any elements of the design that layer on top of the base design apply heatbond to (according to package directions). Cut out the felt animal template, and trace onto your felt. I found that it worked best to cut the template up as I cut the parts of the design that layer over the base shape.
With your heatbond applied (if you didn’t do it before, do it now), you can now iron it all together and are ready to embellish.
Use bits of fabric (also applied with heatbond) embroidery floss, beads and sequins . With all my ornaments I started with a blanket stitch around the entire outside, and then did whatever I felt like from there. See the photos for a reference.
After you finish making and embellishing these guys (which if you’re smart you’ll begin in July, because they are rather time-consuming), you’re almost done. Simply sew a loop of ribbon to the back using several whip stitches (be careful to not poke through the front side). To find the perfect hanging point I stuck my needle in the animal where I thought the ribbon should go, and allowed it to hang and balance; adjust the point accordingly.
And finally, trace around each ornament onto your medium-heavy interfacing, and apply to the backs in order to stabilize and cover up all unsightly knots and stitching.