Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Scrappy Ornaments Tutorial

Sew, Mama, Sew is having a tutorial contest on how to use up scraps, so obviously I had to join up. I was going to make a pillow back from scraps from the pillow top, but that's still not entirely ready. However I did notice my scrap bag wasn't exactly getting smaller, so I took the scraps from the pillow back, which were scraps from the pillow top, which were scraps from my scrap bag, most of which were scraps from an upholstery store down the street for this little project.

That's scraps to the fourth power! (Yes I'm a crafting nerd.)

First gather your materials:
scraps - scraps to the fourth power. For this I had a lot of greens, some blues and a few bright colors thrown in
backing material - this can be any size. The one used was a little over 10"x10".
Glue stick
Coordinating or contrasting thread
Ribbon (1/4" to 1/2" wide, approx. 1 1/2 yards for 9 ornaments)


Lay out your foundation piece with the right side facing DOWN. This will be the back of your ornament.

Then glue your fabric scraps to your backing piece. I used a sample upholstery square. I did this with my two-year old daughter. For hers I glues the entire backing before we started so she could just lay it down and grab another piece. For myself I glued sections of the backing to work on and sometimes just glued the back of the scrap piece before laying it on.
Pat each piece down as you go. Depending on how your backing piece looks you can leave parts bare like this on or cover the whole thing with scraps.

Eventually it will look like this:
Here's the two projects, one done by me, and the other by my two year old. Can you tell which one is which? This is part of what makes this a great kid's project. it's cheap, and the results are pretty much the same as adults that do it.

Next, sew down each piece to the backing. The glue stick will keep it mostly secure but won't dry in a way that will make it hard to sew. I sewed each edge of each piece, using a variety of stitches on my machine that my daughter helped me pick out. If you are sewing with a simple machine a zig zag stich ans a straight stitch will serve you well. (The eventual ravels of fabric edges add to the charm of it.)

Now even it off into a square or rectangle. For this one it was 10" by 10"

Then cut it into pieces for your ornament. I used somewhat wonky squares, more because I wasn't paying attnetion to my lines and I had a fabric scrap with a grommet in it right at the cutting line. For a 10"x10" square I cut 9 squares that were loosely 3 1/3". (It can be any shape really, think tree shapes, circles, stars...)

Cut 9 pieces of ribbon in 6" lengths. I used a brown satin ribbon under a light green lacy ribbon to bring out the bits of brown, tan and green in the squares.

Fold the ribbon in half and place it between the backing and a scrap piece. I used a corner so the ornament would look like a diamond.

Stitch the ribbon to the fabric as you stitch all around the edges. I would recommend an overcast stitch, satin stitch, or zig zag.

Embellish as desired. Add lettering, beads, embriodery, or whatever else you want to personalize the ornament. I'm planning on adding my daughters name and the year for true heirloom keepsake sentiment.

This is a fabulous craft for toddlers to do. The pictures here are of the one my two year old did! The only part you do completely alone is cutting the ornaments/ribbon, and the stitching. Even for that my two year old was sitting in my lap helping me choose stitches. (That ended promptly when she tried to feed the material through the machine. I saw her little fingers heading toward the needle and nearly had a heart attack!) But she picked her fabrics, helped glue them down, patted them to make sure they stayed, choose the thread and some of the stitches. Slightly older children could even be more involved in the sewing. I love that she chose some of the selvage edges, and they turned out so cute.

1 comment:

Emily said...

I love this idea.