So there’s about a week left to Christmas, right? Here’s a tutorial for a quick but lovely ornament you can make with stuff you almost definitely have around the house. It’s a good one to slip into a card, use as a tag on a gift for some extra-special wrapping, or just as a little treat for yourself to break up the Christmas panic. These are modeled on ornaments my family has had on the tree ever since I can remember* and they’re some of my favorites. I love that they’re quite large, larger than ornaments normally are, and let you showcase beautiful fabrics.
You can use whatever quilting-type fabric you have handy, but I made mine as a gift, so I went that little bit further and bought some Christmas-colored Liberty Tana Lawn pieces just for this project. That does make these ornaments extra-pretty, but it’s also a nice use for your favorite scraps. Here’s what you’ll need per ornament:
– 2 x fabric pieces, minimum 4.75″ square
– 2 x medium-weight fusible interfacing pieces, minimum 4.75″ square
– 1 piece of Wonder-Under, minimum 4.75″ square
– removable fabric pen (we use Pilot Frixion pens** – you don’t want one that needs to be washed out with water)
– sharp scissors
– sewing machine & thread to match (or contrast with!) your fabric
– some kind of string or thread for hanging (not shown) – I used some perle cotton floss
– a printed copy of my heart template (Download here!) and a bit of light cardboard – I used the back of a cereal box
** Note: be careful with these Pilot Frixion pens! We love love love them but have noticed that they leave a white mark behind when ironed away. We didn’t notice for a long time because we do all of our embroidery pattern work on white fabric and, besides, it won’t matter if you stitch right over the line anyway. But if you change your mind about line placement, it could leave a mark.
First things first. Cut out the large heart template, trace it onto your cardboard and cut that out. We’ll come back to the little heart later – until then, don’t throw anything away.
Next – apply your interfacing to the wrong side of your fabric squares:
If you are using Liberty Tana Lawn, be sure to test your interfacing on a scrap first! This medium-weight interfacing worked well for me. You want it stiff enough not to droop when hung, but not bubble or wrinkle. And iron very carefully – I went very slowly and left them untouched on the ironing board for a minute or two until they were completely cool between each ironing step.
Apply your Wonder-Under to the interfacing side of one square, peel back the paper backing, then apply the two squares together. If you’ve used a directional print, make sure they’re both facing the same direction before you iron!
Now you basically have a double-sized, interfaced, square of fabric. Trace your heart onto one side of the fabric square.
Now sew along the line you just drew. Make it easy on yourself and start along one of the straight lengths, not a curve. Also, you might want to use a small stitch length for this to make the curves a little tighter. I set the stitch length on my machine to about 2.25.
Remove your line marking and cut out the heart close to the stitching, about 1/16″ or so, or as close as you can cut neatly.
Thread a string through the top of the heart and there you go! (And I just noticed my ornament magically changed prints!)
Of course, you can use this method for any shape or size ornament you like, or with different prints on each side, or even with a bit of decorative stitching maybe. They’re perfect for customizing to the recipient.
Oh, and remember when I told you not to throw anything away? If you were really using 4.75″ squares at the beginning, you should have these funny little triangular fabric-interfacing-Wonder-Under sandwiches left. Cut the smaller heart from my template and it should be just the right size to make mini-ornaments from those scraps! I didn’t sew these because I didn’t trust my skills on something so small, but I bet they’d be cute with some hand-stitched running stitch or blanket stitch along the edge.
I hope you like them, and come back here to show off if you make some!
* Because these are not really my original idea, I’m just re-creating something made long ago by some unknown crafter, I’m happy for these to be made for sale by the enterprising among you. It’s hardly mine to own!