Friday, December 16, 2011

The Twelve Days of Christmas Crafts, Day 5: Embroidery Hoop Ornament

I mentioned a few days ago that I'd dreaming of replacing most of the store bought ornaments on our tree with handmade ones, so I've been trying to think of new types to make. In my studio I have a whole bunch of unused embroidery hoops, including a lot of these three inch ones which I picked up somewhere for cheap. I think you can buy them online at Create For Less for a little over a dollar each.

To make an ornament like this you'll need:

One 3" embroidery hoop
One 6" x 6" piece of muslin or printed cloth
embroidery thread in an assortment of colors
Optional: embroidery transfer pencil, tracing paper and iron, lightweight iron on interfacing

I started by drawing a little tree directly onto my piece of muslin with a very fine tipped marker. If you want, you can trace a small drawing (of a candy cane, santa hat, tree, bulb, etc.) onto a piece of tracing paper with an embroidery transfer pencil, then iron it onto your fabric as a template. Just make sure that the image fits inside the workable area of your hoop.

Next I traced the outlines of the drawing using a simple straight stitch (I actually use a kind of weird combination straight/backstitch, but you can use whatever kind of stitch you like.)

Then I filled in the star and the base of the tree with a satin stitch.

Finally I decided to spruce up that empty looking middle bit with a few colorful french knots.

Nearly finished. This next step is optional, but highly recommended.

If you have any lightweight fusible interfacing lying around, cut out a little circle of it and iron it onto the back of your ornament to keep your little french knots intact and also to give the ornament a more finished appearance. You can make your own interfacing by ironing double sided fusible web onto a piece of muslin, but that still requires materials you might not have lying around. If you decide to buy some I like Steam-a-Seam 2, which you can buy in packs of three sheets.

Finally you'll need to cut away the excess fabric from around the edge of the hoop. Make sure your hoop is tightened well before you do this, and use sharp scissors so you can achieve a nice clean cut right next to the edge.

You're done! Put a hook into the top and hang this lovely on the tree. I'm going to try and make a whole bunch more of these before Christmas. I'll sleep when I'm dead.

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