Tag Archives: Christmas

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

Time has been flying by with lots of projects on my plate. I can’t believe it is nearly Christmas! But I finally have the last two polar family felt ornament patterns ready for you to enjoy.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

This year’s theme is Polar Families, inspired by some of the animals Jax and I have been studying in homeschool with our world continent project. There will be four designs: a penguin daddy and chick, a narwhal family, a pair of penguin mates and a polar bear mama and cub. The latter two are featured here.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

What I Used

I am listing all the supplies I’ll use for the 4 ornaments, noting the ones not needed for these two.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins  Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

These beautiful sequins are a new offering of American Felt and Craft!

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

Penguin Daddy & Chick

 I cut a rounded strip of white felt for the snowy ground and tacked it down across the bottom of the white background felt with felt glue. After I cut out all my pieces, I tacked them into place as well.  Then I trimmed down the background felt so there was just a small edge around the penguins.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

For the penguins, the heart and the top of the snowy ground, I stitched all the edges down with matching floss. (I use 2 strands.) I stitched crystal sequins randomly onto the snowy ground using 2 stitches each. I also added them to the heart. At the end of the scarf, I made upside-down V stitches as tassels. I made French knot eyes on the chick.

On the white background, I stitched snowflakes: a plus sign shape of four stitches, all stitched towards the center, then four more longer stitches on the diagonal in between.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

I cut a length of red ribbon and a piece of orange whip (coral orange) felt to fit as the ornament’s backing. I stitched all the way around, adding stuffing halfway and catching the ribbon loop in the top. I used a blanket stitch.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

Narwhal Family

I love narwhals! They live up in the Arctic ocean, so I was happy to include them in this polar series. Narwhals are brownish grey, and they turn speckled white with age. I stuck with my color scheme, as they look blue gray under the ocean water. I had intended to use two shades of brown sequins for the adults’ speckles, but I ultimately decided to skip them. I found them distracting. [ You can see what they look like here and decide for yourself. ]

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

There aren’t a lot of narwhal pictures out there. I was very inspired by this drawing. Narwhals don’t typically stay in family groups, but I wanted to show all of their forms in this ornament.

I started by tacking everything down to a dolphin teal-gray background with a light layer of felt glue, including a pointed strip I cut out of lemongrass to be the male adult’s tusk. I cut the tusk into two pieces and layered part behind the heart and part in front so that it looks like the heart is pierced. I stitched around all the edges, and added sequins to two of the hearts. The eyes are French knots with little stitches in one corner of each. The tusk was done with diagonal stitches running across it.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

After sewing everything down, I cut around the outside of the ornament to trim it down, then sewed crystal and mermaid sequins on as bubbles. Add as many or as few as you’d like. I overlapped and grouped mine.

I cut a length of red ribbon and a piece of blueprint (blue-gray) felt to fit as the ornament’s backing. I stitched all the way around, adding stuffing halfway and catching the ribbon loop in the top. I used a blanket stitch.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

Are you an Etsy or craft fair seller? Would you like to sell these ornaments, or any other item sewn from an Imagine Our Life pattern? Visit my Etsy shop and contact me for custom commercial licenses. All authorized sellers get featured on the website.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Narwhals & Penguins

If you make one of these ornaments, I’d love to see it! Stop by our Facebook page, or mention me @iolstephanie on Instagram or Twitter. (If you are private on Instagram, I’ll have to request to follow you to see it.) Happy Holidays!

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Four

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Four

I can finally mark a major sewing project off my list holiday season! It was one that was chosen by my readers in our Facebook page: a felt Christmas tree play set! I hope you’ve been sewing along with me as I’ve shared the toddler-friendly tree pattern and tutorial and the first, three sets with you. But it’s not too late to join in! These mini ornaments bring a whole lot of holiday cheer and work up fast. Choose a few to stick in someone’s stocking or tie to a present as a gift tag!

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Four

I designed 24 ornaments, and I’ve been giving Jax one to unwrap every day leading up to Christmas. I shared the ornaments in batches of 6. Ornaments 19-24 are: a fireplace, a lamb, a rocking horse, Santa, gifts and a reindeer.

To see all the posts in this series, click here.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Four

What I Used:

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Four

For all of the ornaments: I cut pieces of baker’s twine, doubled it over and tied a knot in the ends. When stitching the tops of the ornaments together, I made sure the knot of the twine loop was inside. I also made sure to stitch through the knot to secure the loop.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Four

19. Fireplace

Fore the fireplace, I tacked down with glue the logs and flames to the black fireplace area, then stitched everything down. I stitched the black area to the bottom center of the front of the bricks, then stitched the front mantle on along its bottom. I glued down three stockings, then sewed them down with a sequin on the toe of each. I did a long stitch at the top of each for a cuff, and a single loop of a lazy daisy stitch at the top corner. On the back, I stitched the back mantle on along the bottom, then stitched the front and back together, catching a loop of twine at the top.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Four

20. Lamb

Oh, this sweet little lamb! She is quite simple, but you can believe me that all those crystal sequins are a labor of love. I started by gluing the heads onto each body piece, then sewing sequins onto the whole thing. (I provided a basic body shape in the pattern, but I found it worked best to trim the body into wooly bumps freehand.) I took the legs and folded them in half, gluing them down then stitching all around. I stitched the body of the sheep together with the twine loop at the top and the legs at the bottom. I stitched the two sides of her face together. I glued the hat brims onto the hat sides, then layered them around her head and sewed them together and onto her head.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Four

21. Rocking Horse

I started this cute rocking horse by gluing the saddle on, then sewing it. I added two green sequins on each side, then bordered it with French knots. I gave him black French knot eyes. I sewed the two sides of the main and tail together then glued them in between the two finished sides of the horse, as they are too small to pin. I stitched all around the horse catching a twine loop at the top, skipping the ears, but making a little brown stitch in the center of each. Using gold floss, I made an anchor stitch under his chin then looped the floss around his muzzle, then made a French knot on each side. I then loosely looped the floss behind his neck and made an anchor stitch to keep it from pulling out.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Four

22. Santa

Ho, ho, ho! I had to do Santa! I started him by gluing his beard and mustache onto his face. I stitched them down, then added some crystal sequins to his beard. I made two straight pink stitches for his mouth, a peach stitch for his nose and two blue French knot eyes. I stitched the beard to his red back piece around the outside, the stitched his face and corners of his ‘stash onto one of the hair pieces. Then I sewed the back hair piece to the front. I glued the hat brims on and stitched crystal sequins to the front one while sewing them down. I layered the two hat sides onto his head and sewed them together and onto him. I added a white pompom to the tip of his hat.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Four

23. Gifts

These three little gifts could be made in any colors. I went with a classic Christmas palette. I stitched each of the two larger gifts separately, then stitched them together, only going through one layer of felt to hide the stitches. The corner of the red gift got the loop of twine. For the two bows, I decorated each loop with a sequin, sewed the two sides together, then stitched them on with some crossed stitches only in the center. On the gold gift, I glued down a strip of red felt as a ribbon and trimmed it to fit. I sewed a trio of sequins on to decorate it. I put the back and front together and started sewing them together with blanket stitch at the bottom, then laying it on the other two gifts and sewing through bother the gold gift and the top layer of felt of the other two while sewing the last three sides. I finished it with a plastic holly embellishment that I stitched on with red thread around the berries.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Four

24. Reindeer

I started the reindeer by gluing the two layers of each antler together and setting them aside. I made sure to glue them edge-to-edge as I wasn’t sewing them together. I decorated the front of his face with a red sequin nose and brown sequin eyes. I glued then sewed the inner ears to the front ears, then sewed the front ears to their backs. I sewed the face pieces together with the antlers and a loop of twine at the top. I stitched the ears to the front top of the head. On the top of one antler, I made a line of back stitch running down, across and up to the top of the other. I stitched colored sequins along the way, using only one stitched in each so the dangle like holiday lights.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Four

And now all the ornaments are complete! Which have been your favorites? It is so hard for me to choose, but I’ve really liked the tree truck, the dove and the hot cocoa cup. This project and its patterns are completely free for you to use for personal use. If you’d like to purchase a commercial license, visit my Etsy shop and contact me if you don’t see a current listing for it.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Four

If you are making a set, I’d love to see your finished ornaments! Tag me on Instagram @iolstephanie (if you are private, I’ll have to request to follow you), mention me on Twitter @iolstephanie or post a picture on our Facebook wall. I love what I’ve seen so far! If you’d like to support my free site in other ways, visit my support page. If you’d like to get my posts the moment they go live in your email inbox, sign up here.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Four

I’ve been giving Jax his ornaments in little origami boxes (mine use 6″ papers) with printed numbers on top. I have them all in in a Christmas basket and he finds the right one each night. I started out adding candy treats in there as well, but he lost interest so I stopped. He’s really gotten into opening them and asks me all day long if it is time yet.

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Happy holidays!

 

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Three

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Three

My large sewing project this holiday season was one that was chosen by my readers in our Facebook page: a felt Christmas tree play set! I hope you’ve been sewing along with me as I’ve shared the toddler-friendly tree pattern and tutorial and the first, two sets with you. But it’s not too late to join in! These mini ornaments bring a whole lot of holiday cheer and work up fast.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Three

I will be designing 24 ornaments, and giving Jax one to unwrap every day leading up to Christmas. I’ll be sharing the ornaments in batches of 6. I am planning two more sets next week to finish the project. Numbers 13-18 are: a drum, a truck with a tree, a dove, an ice skate, a snow globe and a wreath.

To see all the posts in this series, click here.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Three

What I Used:

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Three

For all of the ornaments: I cut pieces of baker’s twine, doubled it over and tied a knot in the ends. When stitching the tops of the ornaments together, I made sure the knot of the twine loop was inside. I also made sure to stitch through the knot to secure the loop.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Three

13. Drum

My husband is a drummer, so we already have a few little drums for Jax. All that aside, this little drum came out much cuter than I expected! I started by gluing down the red and green bands to each side of the drum, the stitched them down. I also added red and green sequins. I stitched the drum heads on, then made rows of gold French knots along their edges. On the front of the drum, I back stitched two drum mallets and used red sequins for the heads. I stitched around the edge of the drum, catching a loop of twine at the top corner.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Three  Mini Advent Ornaments Set Three

14. Truck with a Tree

We haven’t gotten our Christmas tree yet, but I’m really anxious to! I was inspired by all the cars and trucks taking home their trees, so I designed this truck. It had to be red- Jackson’s favorite color!

To sew the truck, decorate each side the same. Tack down the parts, then sew around the fenders and windows. Stitch green sequins into the cents of each tire. Put the two sides of the truck together, and sew each pair of tires together, going through all the layers on the upper halves. Sew the truck sides together, leaving the truck bed an open pocket and catching a loop of twine in the top of the cab.

For the little tree, I stitched green sequins onto each side. I then tacked the two sides of the truck together and stitched them around the edges. I layered them between the two tree sides, and stitched it all together. The tree can stick into the truck pocket, or come out!

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Three

15. Dove

I am in love with this little dove! To begin, I stitched the outer piece of each wing with stripes of back stitch. At the end of each line, I stitched a crystal sequin. I left the bottoms of the sequins hanging free. I did the same rows of stitches and sequins on the tail of each body piece. I sewed each decorated wing piece to a plain one, then stitched them on along their fronts. I stitched sequin cheeks onto the dove’s face on each side, and added brown satin stitched eyes. I stitched the two sides of the dove together all the way around, catching a loop of twine in her back and the two beak pieces (sewn together) in her face.

To make the olive branch, I rolled the branch felt lengthwise and blanket stitched up its length. I then worked my way back down, stitching leaves on in a staggered pattern. I coated each leaf with felt glue and let them dry to make the sturdier. If you have a younger (or rougher) child, you may need to skip the delicate olive branch. Once the branch was dry, I stitched it to the under side of her beak.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Three

16. Ice Skate

For this little ice skate, I glued together the two sides of the gray blade using a thicker layer of glue than I’d normally use. I didn’t want stitches taking away from the crisp look of the blade, so I made sure they were thoroughly glued together. I then tacked the tan sole pieces onto either side of the blade and stitched them on along the sides and bottom. I decorated each of the sides of the boot with a crystal sequin and some stitches and French knots. Then I layered the two sides around the sole and blade and stitched them on along the sides and bottom, catching a loop of twine in the upper back corner. I left the top open, like a real skate. I used white floss to stitch zig zags along where the shoelace would be, and stitched on a looped bow. I finished it off with a mini white pompom.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Three

17. Snow Globe

I have to give credit to American Felt and Craft for the idea of a snow globe ornament. This is my (mini) version!

I started by prepping the two sides of the red base with some stitched on sequins. I then glued the snow and trees to each of the blue globe backgrounds and letting them dry. I stitched each of the trees down, but didn’t stitch the snow as only a bit of the edge was exposed. I thin layered the two pieces back-to-back and sandwiched them between two circles of clear vinyl. Starting at the snow line, I stitched up and around through all the layers, catching a loop of twine at the top. I used a blanket stitch and pulled it firmly. I went all the way around the blue edge and stopped at the other side of the snow line.

I turned the snow globe upside-down, and carefully poured a little crystal glitter in to each side (about a 1/4 teaspoon – whatever fits but doesn’t obscure the view too much). The glitter won’t really move around, so having see-through glitter is key. Keeping it upside down, I sewed that bottom edge closed. I then sewed on the red base.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Three

18. Wreath

The wreath is quick and easy, but very pretty. On the front, I took a little bow I’d tied in ribbon and stitched it down using tiny stitches around the knot. I then stitched colorful sequins around the ring on both sides. I stitched the fronts and backs together, making sure to catch a loop of twine at the top.

 Mini Advent Ornaments Set Three

Which one is your favorite of this set? What would you like to see next? I have to design 24, and your idea may be one! Stop by Facebook or Twitter, or comment here with your ideas. I have a couple planned that were reader suggestions!

If you are making a set, I’d love to see your finished ornaments! Tag me on Instagram @iolstephanie (if you are private, I’ll have to request to follow you), mention me on Twitter @iolstephanie or post a picture on our Facebook wall. I love what I’ve seen so far!

I have to say a quick happy birthday to my fabulous big (and only) brother! He is so wonderful, and a big reason why I’d love a sibling for Jax (the husband disagrees.) He has been a big help on all of my more technical projects and is very creative himself. Check out his puppetry!

Happy birthday big bro!! Love you! <3

 

Minted for the Holidays

It’s hard to believe that December is almost a week old! Have you finished your holiday cards? Me neither! Minted to the rescue!

Throughout the years I’ve gone in many directions with our holiday cards: inexpensive photo cards, handmade cards and even a holiday email. It is so rare to get real, physical mail nowadays. December becomes extra special as your mailbox fills with cards, photos and letters. So when deciding what to send out this year, I thought about what I like to receive. Photos top my list, as do the special handmade ornaments that often decorate the cards sent by my aunt. My plan is to decorate simple felt Christmas tree ornaments to send along with a photo card. (I will be sharing my template with you in an upcoming post!)

minted01

Minted Holiday Cards

I’ve used an number of online photo services and paperies over the years. Minted is an “online stationery store powered by a global community of designers.” It falls in a higher price point than I’m used to, but the quality certainly shows. Last year I splurged on high-quality ornament photo cards, and it’s hard to imagine going back to the shiny drug store style cards.

Minted’s website is beautiful, and the biggest problem (aside from price) is there are too many lovely designs to choose from!

I love all things chalkboard, so this design caught my eye right away. I also like how the photo is separate from the design, so family could cut it off and frame it later.

I haven’t taken our family picture yet – I need to get on that a.s.a.p.! If you have a really great photograph, why not make it the star of your card? This design adds a watercolor wash that gives a dreamy feel.

Do you love Instagram as much as I do? I’m considering featuring a look back at my year of photos. This design would be perfect for that! (Want to go all out? Try the Insta-Book!)

Have you recently moved? I love this design! Choose from the east coast, midwest, or west coast, then mark your hometown with a star!

Last year I went with an ornament photo card. These are great because they can be saved and hung on the tree year after year. This snowflake is gorgeous!

All of Minted’s cards are highly customizable. Change the text color and font. Move elements around. Crop and style your photos. For added fees you can add on card backers, convert your flat card to a folded greeting, or included fancy envelopes and address labels.

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Which design would you choose?

This is a sponsored post. Minted invited me to try their service in exchange for store credit. I only post my honest opinions in my reviews, and I’d love to hear yours. Want more Minted? Visit them on Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Two

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Two

My large sewing project this holiday season was one that was chosen by my readers in our Facebook page: a felt Christmas tree play set! I’ve already share the toddler-friendly tree pattern and tutorial and the first set of ornaments with you, but now it’s time to decorate even more!

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Two

I will be designing 24 ornaments, and giving Jax one to unwrap every day leading up to Christmas. I’ll be sharing the ornaments in batches of 6. I am planning two more sets next week to finish the project. Numbers 7-12 are: an angel, a gingerbread man, a train, a letter to Santa, a bell and a stocking.

To see all the posts in this series, click here.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Two

What I Used:

  • The Pattern
  • Felt scraps from American Felt and Craft (from my scrap bag – choose any colors you like)
  • Sequins (I used Classic Red, Moss, Gold and Crystal)
  • Felt Glue (great for holding tiny bits in place when pins are too big!)
  • Mini Pompom (I used white)
  • Baker’s Twine (I’m on year two using this cone)
  • Jingle Bell
  • Holly Embellishments (These, but try to get them at the craft store cheaper)

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Two

For all of the ornaments: I cut pieces of baker’s twine, doubled it over and tied a knot in the ends. When stitching the tops of the ornaments together, I made sure the knot of the twine loop was inside. I also made sure to stitch through the knot to secure the loop.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Two

7. Angel

This little angel is so very special to me. I recently lost a loved one very suddenly. She adored angels. This one is for her.

I started by adding the sequins. On the back of the wings, I sewed a line of crystal sequins all the way across. On the front of the wings, I stitched 3 on each end. I stitched the two sides together around the outside. For the back of the halo, I stitched on a ring of 6 gold sequins. On the front of the halo, I stitched a ring of 5 (none where the head overlaps.) I put the two sides together with the back hair piece layered in place between, added a loop of twine and sewed the halo around the outside.

I then tacked down the face, arms, hands and front hair to the front gown piece. I stitched down the arms, hands and chin, then made a back stitch mouth and eyes. I tacked the halo/back hair piece to the back of the gown, then laid the wings in place. I back stitched a vertical line down the center of the wings to attach them. I stitched up the sides of the gown, and stitched the hair on, sewed the front and back together at the sides.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Two

8. Gingerbread Man

The gingerbread man works up quickly! Using 4 strands of white floss (instead of my normal 2) I back stitched in a zig zag at his ankles and wrists on both sides. On the front, I gave him two red sequin buttons, a smile (made like a lazy daisy stitch) and two French knot eyes. I stitched the two sides together with a loop of twine at the top.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Two

9. Train

The little red train is the same on both sides. I started by stitching crystal sequins to both sides of the steam, then sewing both sides together. I stitched the two bumper sides together. I glued the red swirls to the big white wheels then stitched them down and added red and crystal sequins. I stitched the wheels in place on the train bodies at their tops.

I used felt glue to tack down the roof pieces, windows and green wheels. I stitched the windows down and added rows of green sequins along the roof pieces. on the green wheels, I stitched a green sequin to the center of each using a starburst of long stitched to look like spokes. I decorated each train body with two gold sequins. I laid the two train sides together with the bumper and steam in place, as well as a piece of twine at the top (knotted at each end) then sewed them together around the outside.

Using a large-eyed needle, I threaded a piece of baker’s twine and knotted the end. I stuck the needle between a gap in the two sides of one of the candy wheels and came up through the center. I made a loop in the center of the middle green wheel, then went down through the center of the front green wheel. My needle came out of the center of the front green wheel on the other side, and I repeated everything in reverse. I ended it by bringing the needle out of one of the gaps in the last candy wheel, tying a knot as close as I could, cutting the twine and tucking the knot into the wheel.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Two

10. Bell

The little gold bell is a fun addition to the tree play set, as it really jingles! On each side, I sewed a row of red sequins. I stitched each side together with a loop of twine at the top, pausing at the bottom to sew a jingle bell in place. I stitched holly embellishments on each side using red thread around the berries.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Two11. Letter to Santa

This little letter has a long way to go! I started by freehand stitching the words “Santa north pole” using back stitch. I tried to make it look like little kid handwriting. I cut a piece of white felt a little larger than the red stamp and used my micro-tip scissors to pink the edges. (You could use pinking shears, but I thought mine were too larger for the scale of the stamp.) I glued the three pieces of the stamp together, then sewed them to the letter front all around the red rectangle. I also sewed the green tree down, but left the white pinked edge loose. Using gray floss, I stitched a dashed circle and three back stitched lines to make the postmark.

For the back of the envelope, I tacked the tip of the fold down with glue, then stitched the red heart on top. I added three red sequins. I stitched the front and back of the envelope together with a length of twine (with knots at each end) in the top.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set Two

12. Stocking

The little elf stocking actually opens! I started by stitching a line of red sequins on each of the stocking sides. I then sewed the two sides together, leaving the top open. I tacked the white cuffs in place with glue, catching a loop of twine in one side, then sewed up the sides and around the top. I added a tiny white pompom to the side with the twine loop.

 Mini Advent Ornaments Set Two

Which one is your favorite of this set? What would you like to see next? I have to design 24, and your idea may be one! Stop by Facebook or Twitter, or comment here with your ideas.

If you are making a set, I’d love to see your finished ornaments! Tag me on Instagram @iolstephanie (if you are private, I’ll have to request to follow you), mention me on Twitter @iolstephanie or post a picture on our Facebook wall.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set One

Mini Advent Ornaments Set One

My large sewing project this holiday season was one that was chosen by my readers in our Facebook page: a felt Christmas tree play set! I’ve already share the toddler-friendly tree pattern and tutorial with you, but now it’s time to decorate!

Mini Advent Ornaments Set One

I will be designing 24 ornaments, and giving Jax one to unwrap every day leading up to Christmas. I’ll be sharing the ornaments in batches of 6. I am planning 2 sets this week and two sets next week. The first 6 are ready for you: a snowman, a candy cane, a cottage, a mitten, a cupcake and a mug of hot cocoa.

To see all the posts in this series, click here.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set One

What I Used:

  • The Pattern
  • Felt scraps from American Felt and Craft (from my scrap bag – choose any colors you like)
  • Sequins (I used Confetti and Crystal)
  • Felt Glue (great for holding tiny bits in place when pins are too big!)
  • Mini Pompoms (I needed white and a green)
  • Baker’s Twine (I’m on year two using this cone)
  • Holly Embellishments (These, but try to get them at the craft store cheaper)

Mini Advent Ornaments Set One

For all of the ornaments: I cut pieces of baker’s twine, doubled it over and tied a knot in the ends. When stitching the tops of the ornaments together, I made sure the knot of the twine loop was inside. I also made sure to stitch through the knot to secure the loop.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set One

1. Snowman

This little snowman makes me smile! The way he is holding his tiny stick arms reminds me of how Jax stands and wiggles when he is really excited about something but trying not to show it. To making him, I started by embellishing the front body piece. I stitched the carrot nose on, then used French knots to make eyes, mouth and buttons. His arms are just long stitches with some little ones at the ends for fingers. I then sewed green sequins onto the brim of both sides of this hat while they were layered on their corresponding body piece. I stitched all the way around both sides of the ornament, adding the twine loop at the top. I finished him by stitching a tiny green pompom to the tip of his stocking hat.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set One

2. Candy Cane

I had to make a candy cane for Jax’s little tree! They are such a Christmas classic. To make the candy cane, I lightly glued the white stripes onto the two red canes. I stitched down the white parts, then sewed both sides together, adding a twine loop at the top. On both sides of the candy cane, I stitched on holly embellishments. These aren’t buttons, so I used red thread and attached them near the berries.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set One

3. Cottage

The Christmas cottage is very simple but very sweet! I used sequins to make colorful strings of lights. I started by embellishing the front of the house. I stitched on the red door, then sewed a green sequin on as a wreath. Above the wreath, I stitched two loops (lazy daisy stitch) and a French Knot to made a bow. I then took the two snowy roof pieces, laid them on their corresponding house pieces and stitched the lights on each. I did this with back stitch in a swagged line, with one stitch into the top of each sequin light to allow them to dangle. I stitched around both sides of the cottage, catching the twine loop in the top.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set One

4. Mitten

This little mitten turned out so dainty and cozy! I decorated each side with the same stitched pattern of a starburst in back stitch and a few French Knots. There is a crystal sequin at the center of each starburst. I stitched the white cuffs onto each side, then sewed the sides together with a twine loop at the top corner. I added a little white pompom to finish it.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set One

5. Cupcake

This little holiday cupcake could be decorated any way you’d like! I went with pink, as Jax loves strawberry *anything*. I stitched the frosting pieces to the liners, then embellished both sides with red and green French knots. I sewed the two sides together with a loop of twine at the top, then stitched holly embellishments onto each side.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set One

6. Hot Cocoa

I love this little mug of hot cocoa! you might recognize it from the camping quiet book page. I did make a few changes, though. I started by sewing a red heart onto the front, then adding three red sequins. I glued the brown cocoa to the inner side of the mug back, then sewed the front and back together, I didn’t sew around the top, so I attached the twine loop at the top of the handle. No cocoa is complete without marshmallows, so mine were added via stitched-on mini pompoms.

Mini Advent Ornaments Set One

Which one is your favorite? What would you like to see next? I have to design 24, and your idea may be one! Stop by Facebook or Twitter, or comment here with your ideas. I’d love to see your finished ornaments! Tag me on Instagram @iolstephanie (if you are private, I’ll have to request to follow you.)

Mini Advent Ornaments Set One

Stay tuned for mini ornaments 7 – 12 later this week. I’ll be posting sneak peeks on Facebook and Instagram.

 

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns – Penguins & Polar Bears

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns - Penguins & Polar Bears

Last year I made a set of felt holiday ornaments with the theme of Christmas Cottage. I really enjoyed the process of designing and sewing them, so I knew I’d do it again this year. I made some loose sketches and chose a color palette so I could order supplies, then began designing the patterns once November started. (Eek, it’s November!!)

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns - Penguins & Polar Bears

This year’s theme is Polar Families, inspired by some of the animals Jax and I have been studying in homeschool with our world continent project. There will be four designs: a penguin daddy and chick, a narwhal family, a pair of penguin mates and a polar bear mama and cub. The latter two are featured in this post.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns - Penguins & Polar Bears

What I Used

I am listing all the supplies I’ll use for the 4 ornaments, noting the ones not needed for these two.

These beautiful sequins are a new offering of American Felt and Craft!

These beautiful sequins are a new offering of American Felt and Craft!

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns - Penguins & Polar Bears

Penguin Mates

 After I cut out all my pieces, I tacked them into place on white felt with a thin layer of felt glue. I cut a wavy strip of white felt for the snowy ground and tacked it down across the bottom. Then I trimmed down the background felt so there was just a small edge around the penguins.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns - Penguins & Polar Bears

For the penguins, the heart and the top of the snowy ground, I stitched all the edges down with matching floss. (I use 2 strands.) I stitched crystal sequins randomly onto the snowy ground using 2 stitches each.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns - Penguins & Polar Bears  Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns - Penguins & Polar Bears

On the white background, I stitched snowflakes: a plus sign shape of four stitches, all stitched towards the center, then four more longer stitches on the diagonal in between.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns - Penguins & Polar Bears

I cut a length of red ribbon and a piece of orange whip (coral orange) felt to fit as the ornament’s backing. I stitched all the way around, adding stuffing halfway and catching the ribbon loop in the top. I used a blanket stitch.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns - Penguins & Polar Bears

Polar Bear Mama & Cub

After I cut out all my pieces,  I cut a wavy strip of sparrow (light blue) felt for the snowy ground and tacked it down across the bottom dolphin (grayish teal) felt with a thin layer of felt glue. Then I tacked down the remaining pieces, only sticking the base of ear ear down. I trimmed down the background felt so there was just a small edge around the polar bears.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns - Penguins & Polar Bears

For the polar bears, the heart, the scarves and the top of the snowy ground, I stitched all the edges down with matching floss. (I use 2 strands.) I stitched crystal sequins randomly onto the snowy ground using 2 stitches each. For the ears, I made three small stitches in the base of each so the rest of the ear could stick up. On the mama’s scarf, I stitched coral sequins. I stitched dragonfly sequins onto the cub’s. At the bottom of each scarf, I made 4 upside-down V stitches as tassels. The polar bear’s noses are satin stitched. Their mouths are straight stitches. For the eyes, I made a curved stitch, then tacked the curve in place with a teenie tiny stitch wrapped around the center, much like you’d do with the lazy daisy stitch.

Polar Family Felt Ornament Patterns - Penguins & Polar Bears

I cut a length of red ribbon and a piece of lemongrass (green-yellow) felt to fit as the ornament’s backing. I stitched all the way around, adding stuffing halfway and catching the ribbon loop in the top. I used a blanket stitch.

Are you an Etsy or craft fair seller? Would you like to sell these ornaments, or any other item sewn from an Imagine Our Life pattern? Visit my Etsy shop and contact me for custom commercial licenses. All authorized sellers get featured on the website.

If you make one of these ornaments, I’d love to see it! Stop by our Facebook page, or mention me @iolstephanie on Instagram or Twitter. (If you are private on Instagram, I’ll have to request to follow you to see it.) Happy holiday crafting!

DIY Holiday Tree Decorations – 3 Tutorials!

I feel like I’ve been waiting forever to get a Christmas tree, though it is only one week into December. Maybe because I started sewing felt ornaments in October? Last night we finally picked out a tree. An hour of living room tree surgery later, Jax and I hung our decorations.

     

For his first two Christmases, I only used unbreakable ornaments – mostly colorful balls and stars and plastic snowflakes. This year, we skipped the boring balls and mixed handmade ornaments with special family heirlooms. (Though I did keep the fragile glass and crystal ones in the box for another couple of year!)

I adore how the tree turned out! It is full of love and handmade touches. Jax told me it is his “favorite Christmas tree!” and that he loves it. Here are three little tutorials for some of what I created.

DIY Origami Crane Garland

Supplies:
Origami Paper
Beading Needle
Beading Cord

I originally made these origami crane garlands back in January for Jax’s sushi-themed birthday party. A friend had the great idea of reusing them on our Christmas tree. I’d been looking forward to pulling them back out all year!

  

Start by folding your cranes. I can do this in my sleep, as I used to make hundreds of teeny tiny cranes when I was little. I used three sizes of origami paper, the medium and large were purchase in the craft store, then I bought this 3″ paper for the tiny ones. Using strong thread (I used this) cut to your desired length and a needle, poke your need through the tail and neck of the first bird (for a horizontal garland) or up through the body (for a vertical garland). Tie a knot after each bird and repeat until your garland is the desired length. To make my knots, I made a slip knot, then ran my needle through the loop and pulled it tight.

I made three 6 foot lengths of garland which made them much easier to manage. Those birdies love to tangle up when not in use!

Crochet Candy Cane Garland

Supplies:
Mosaic Yarn in Psychedelic
H Crochet Hook
Pattern
Tacky Glue
Wax Paper
Ironing Board
Pins (rust proof)
Old Paintbrush

I hadn’t crocheted since having Jax, but after pulling out an old crochet hook to try to get a hairball out of the vacuum tube (I know, yuck!) I was itching to get back to it. I’d already had Jax pick out a ball of yarn to make pompoms ornaments with, but decided to do a garland instead. After washing the hook (hah!), I took a look online for easy garland patterns and fell in love with this candy cane one.

You could certainly got with yarn in more traditional Christmas colors, but Jax likes rainbows. Our yarn was Bernat Mosaic Yarn in Psychedelic. I followed the pattern, except that I did 18 chains where it asks for 14. I wanted an extra inch of space between the candy canes. After doing two repetitions I had the pattern memorized, and no longer bothered with the stitch marker. I used the full ball of yarn and the garland was the perfect length for our 6 ft tree.

  

I worked on crocheting it for 3 evenings, and every night before bed I’d lay out wax paper on my ironing board and wet the completed candy canes with water. I pinned them down flat in their proper shape and then brushed on a 50/50 mixture of white tacky glue and water with an old paint brush. I left them to dry overnight. I liked doing this in batches, as they wouldn’t have all fit on my ironing board at once.

Painting the glue mixture onto one side of the candy canes gave them enough stiffness to hold their shape while still being soft to the touch on the other side. If you really want them sturdy, dunk the whole thing in the mixture.

DIY Cinnamon Ornaments

Supplies:
Cookie Cutters
Cinnamon Powder (4 cups)
Apple Sauce (4 cups)
Drinking Straw
White Glue (half bottle)
Parchment Paper
Baker’s Twine
Puffy Paint

There are many tutorials and recipes for cinnamon ornaments online, but I just did my own thing. They turned out perfect and the house smells great! I ordered my cinnamon in bulk from Amazon. I have a full bag left. My cookie cutters are similar to the ones linked above, but it is a 30 piece set I found at the thrift store. My twine and parchment were ordered from Zulily (some good deals there, but they deliver via donkey – i.e. SO SLOW!)

Pre-heat your oven to 200° F. Mix together the cinnamon and applesauce in a big bowl. Stir in white glue until the dough is a good cookie dough consistency. I used half a 7-ish oz bottle.

   

Sprinkle cinnamon on your work surface and roll out batches of dough, using cookie cutters to cut out fun shapes. I did an assortment of holiday shapes, then a bunch of dog bones for my friend who is a pet sitter. Using a drinking straw, punch holes for hanging. (The dough goes up into the straw and you end up with a perfect hole. Place your shapes onto parchment lined cookie sheets. I was able to stuff my oven with two large cookie sheets and two mini ones (meant for our toaster oven). If you have more than two racks in your oven, you could do more than that at once.

Jax’s Star

Place the ornaments in the oven and enjoy the smell over the next 3 hours. Flip the ornaments after 1.5 hours so they dry out on both sides. Pull them out and allow them to cool before decorating. I decorated mine with a glittery puffy paint (meant for fabric). We also tested a white puffy paint, but felt it looked too harsh. A mixture of the two was nice, but two much work going over things twice. You could also use actual royal icing, but the ornaments may end up more delicate. Jax enjoyed squeezing out multicolored paints onto his ornaments. When I was decorating, I ended up liking best the ornaments I painted simplistically with delicate lines.

We let our paint dry for a couple hours while we ate dinner, then tied loops of bakers twine for hanging. If you use ribbon, you might need larger holes. The holes shrink a bit as the ornaments bake.

Have you made any of the ornaments featured on Imagine Our Life? Post a photo of your tree to our Facebook page! Jax would love to see it!

Toddler Crafts: Painted Tree Garland

IMG_1211

Jax and I made some decorations this week. We don’t have our tree yet, but we’ve enjoyed bringing out some of our Christmas items early. Jax asked to do some painting, so I put together a little project for him.

We started with a roll of craft paper from the dollar store. I rolled out some and used paper tape to mark off a bunch of triangle shapes. I set Jax up with paint brushes and crafts paints in red, green and silver. He had a lot of fun painting all the triangles!

At the end, I helped him do some drip painting to add some silver dots. We set our paintings aside to dry, and I let him paint some $1 wooden ornaments he’d picked out at the craft store. We also used a dollar store foam ABC puzzle as stamps and stamped out “peace”, “love” and “joy”. Jax found the letters we needed and helped press them onto the paper.

Decorating Ornaments

Today after breakfast, I pulled off the tape and cut out all the triangles. I set us up at Jax’s school table with baker’s twine, green and red paper and a glue stick.

I cut out red and green triangles to match our little trees, as well as shapes to match the backs of the words. Jax helped me put glue all over the backing papers then we pressed them together with the twine sandwiched between.

We did a pattern of three trees followed by a word. I have a nice pile of trees leftover that will become gift tags on gifts going under the tree.

I wasn’t sure where to hang it at first. I wanted it on the stairs, but Jax thought it would be great to tug on there. So, it ended up hung on the wall in the foyer.

Too Tempting…

Jax was very proud of himself! He keeps reading the letters to me and and asking what the words mean. Well done, little man!

Felt Bird Nest Ornament

This little bird is an ornament I wanted to make once I saw the sparrow felt from American Felt & Craft. I just could resist! This ornament is two sided, but still sews up very quickly.

I’m trying to decide if I will design any more ornaments this season. Do you have any requests?

What I Used:

To start the ornament, I threaded 4 strands of a darker brown embroidery floss on my needle and made long stitches to look like the twigs in the nest. Then I threaded 3 strands of medium brown and repeated. I repeated one last time with 2 strands of light brown.

I sewed the belly pieces to each side of the bird’s body. I also sewed on the rosy cheeks. To make the eyes, I used a French knot and two little stitches for eyelashes. I pinned the wings in place, but only stitched around the shoulder (see photos.)

I sewed the two beak pieces together so it would be ready when I stitched around the bird.

I pinned each side of the bird on to a side of the nest, then sewed it down along the outer edge of the belly. I sewed three vintage red buttons onto the nest with the holly leaves layered underneath. I chose all different buttons on purpose.

I cut batting to fit inside the whole ornament (I twisted a thin strip to fit inside the tail) then pinned it between the two sides of the ornament. I sewed all the way around the ornament, using colors that matched each part. I made sure to add a loop of pink ribbon at the top and the beak on his face.

I think I’ll be making a new bird every Christmas – just choosing different colors each time! I hope you enjoy using the pattern.

{ This pattern is free for personal use only. If you would like to purchase a $25 license to sell the finished project in your shop, please email me. }

Felt Holiday Train Ornament

This is a new felt ornament I designed especially for my train-loving little guy. I added the year to this one, so hopefully I can make it a yearly tradition to sew him a special new ornament. He loves it and thinks it’s a toy! He played with it for 10 minutes before bed and handed it back wet and covered in dog hair. Haha! I tried my best to de-hair it for photos.

What I Used:

To start, I embroidered the year onto the train. I actually sewed right through the pattern paper, then cut away the paper very carefully. (Here is an example from another project.) I sewed the window on, lining its top with the top of the red train piece. I took some gold trim (the same stuff I used on my treasure page) and thin blue ribbon and sewed it on to the train.

I took some red ribbon and wrapped it diagonally around the white trim piece, stitching the edges down as I went. You could use red felt strips or even 3/8″ candy cane striped ribbon. I sewed the striped trim down onto the bottom of the train. I sewed the gray undercarriage strip below that, then sewed on the front bumper thingy. (What *is* that thing called??)

For the wheels, I layered the black centers over the red circles then crisscrossed thread to make spokes. I made a little * shaped stitch in the center where they crossed to hold the threads in place. I sewed the wheels down onto the train around the edges that overlapped. I cut a strip of thin blue ribbon and laid it across the centers of the wheels before sewing gold sequins over each.

To sew the roof on, I first sewed down the gold piece, then the green piece. For the headlight and the steam, I pinned them behind the train and stitched them on with thread that matched the train body.

To add a back to my ornament, I laid the finished front piece down on my blue felt and cut out around it. I’ve drawn a backing piece for the pattern, but you need to make sure every lines up just right if you use it. I added some gold ribbon while sewing the front and back together.

The last thing I did was stitch a red vintage button and holly leaves onto the front.

I really like how it turned out, and it is so perfect for Jackson. What do you think?

If you make one of these ornaments, I’d love to see yours! Post a photo in our Facebook page or email me.

Felt Gingerbread Star Cookie Ornament

Photo Courtesy Tikkido/tikkido.com

Here is the fifth ornament in the series of five I make for Nikki of Tikkido.com. Her beautiful Christmas Cottage ideas were featured in the newly released Bird’s Party magazine. This is a very simple ornament. Though I’ve only had a chance to make one, I’ve included 2 versions of the cookie on the pattern.

What I Used:

There isn’t really many steps to making these, and you could easily make your own variations.

You start by embroidering the snowflake designs onto the front (or both) sides of the ornaments. I used two strands of white embroidery floss to stitch mine. Switch to one strand of floss and a beading needle to sew on the beads. I made two passes through each bead for strength. To finish, add some batting and a ribbon and sew the two sides together.

To view all of the ornaments I’ve designed (with more to come) look here. Ornaments have been a fun break in between quiet book pages. If you have a request, let me know here or on the Facebook page, and I just might get a chance to design one!