Thursday, November 20, 2008

Patchwork Ornaments

There is something about a quilt that always makes me feel cozy, safe, and at home. I have a beautiful quilt in autumn shades on my bed and I just love it! I have made a couple of small wall-hanging quilts, but that's about it. When I taught elementary school we did many crafts with the students, and this was always popular. I actually got the idea from an ornament my sister made as a first grader that still gets hung every year, and looks great! The base of the ornament is a 3 inch Styrofoam ball. I have also made them larger, and some of my friends have tried the egg shapes. They all look great, it just depends on what the store has in stock and your own style.The handle is made of wire, which I put on before anything else. I've tried different types of wire, but I like using a thicker gauge and sticking it completely through the ball. I loop one end and pull it back up into the ball, locking it in place, and make the loop at the other end.I've also used very thin wire and wrapped it around the ornament, but it is more of a challenge to put the covering on the Styrofoam with the floppier wire. I've seen some people just cover the Styrofoam and then use thin ribbon wrapped around the ornament and glued to make a hanging loop. I like to use the loop to hold the ornament while I am working, and without it I'd be constantly touching it and messing it up.
The ball is covered with fabric that I pre-cut with pinking shears into approximately 1 inch squares. I like to sit and watch TV and just cut, which is why I have 3 gallon Ziplocs full of fabric squares!In addition to scraps of red, green, and Christmas fabrics, I have scraps of regular colors for those who like to do a color theme. Only once have I seen someone do their entire ornament in the same fabric and it didn't look very good, at least to me. If you're going for a patchwork quilted look you want several fabrics.
The squares are glued on with regular white glue, although you can use Mod Podge if you like. Use the wire loop as a handle, and avoid touching the fabrics as things start to dry. If you are working with kids, you can't emphasize this enough! They love to go back to an area and smooth things and when they lift their fingers often the entire fabric covering comes off and they have to start over. Bummer! Also, be sure their hands are really clean. Just the normal dirt of everyday will embed into the glue and make the whole thing dingy. Don't worry about some of the fabric lifting up around the loop because it will eventually be covered with ribbon. I like to hang these to dry along a clothesline, which is where the loop comes in handy again.Once they are dry, I brush on a thin layer of Mod Podge and hang them to dry again. I check the bottom of the ornament a few times because hanging there it gets a bump of glue on the bottom. I like to do 2 thin coats of Mod Podge, and I vary shiny or matte depending on the style I'm going for. The final step is a big cheery bow on top! For some reason I really got into using lace for a while; it gives an even more homemade look.
Besides these easy ornaments, I have a table of Santa Candy Cane Holder Ornaments and holiday cards made from re-used & recycled materials. I hope you'll take a look at those, too!

36 comments:

Shelia said...

Good evening, Elizabeth! Oh, those are the cutest little ornaments!! I've made ribbon ornaments before and had a ball doing it. I missed coming by yesterday so I've just scrolled down and saw your post on the Dickens Christmas. We have a beautiful Dickens on the Strand here in Galveston the first weekend of December. They say it's going to happen this year, even after the hurricane.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

bj said...

these are soooo cute..i love them.
i will have my post up early in the morning for the Fair...how fun..
sure hope you are feeling ok...
love, bj

Dragonlady said...

I think these are so very cute and thanks for telling how you did them too...
Brenda

squawmama said...

Hey Elizabeth... These are really cute decorations... I love the quilted ornaments... I use to make something similar and you have made me want to make them again... Thanks for the ideas...

(((HUGS)))
Donna

An Enchanted Cottage said...

Those are great, Elizabeth!! My Christmas Fair post goes up at midnight and mine is also an ornament craft project!! Great minds think alike, huh? LOL... Donna

Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

i love all three of those books but would pick the year of the perfect Christmas tree.....I ust found your blog and as I work with children love the Christmas craft ideas...m..

dana said...

Your ornaments are a wonderful selection for the Christmas Fair! I made something very similar to that years ago---that brings such great memories to mind!
Hope you have a great time at The Fair! Dana ;)

Jewelgirl said...

Okay very easy the best book is the
Polar Express it is a true Christmas
Holiday classic and it has the best
lesson about having Christmas in your
heart when you get older! I liked your quilty ornaments, they super and not breakable which is a major factor in my cat household! Jewelgirl :)

Oh2122 said...

This is nifty. I've only ever used pins with fabric on these balls, so I am psyched to learn a new way to do it!

KarenHarveyCox said...

These ornaments are so lovely. I love quilts too, and when I lived in NYC there was a little shop on Madison Avenue and they sold ornaments made of cloth. I loved them, and have a few. This would be a lovely compliment to the other fabric ornaments on my tree, and great gifts for Christmas too. Thank you for joining the Christmas Fair.

Karen

GABRIELA DELWORTH said...

Hello,

These ornaments are so beautiful!

~ Gabriela ~

Smilingsal said...

I have a patchwork ornament like this that a friend made for me years ago. I love it and hang it every year.

Now, I'm going reveal how inept I am. I don't get this part:
"sticking it completely through the ball. I loop one end and pull it back up into the ball, locking it in place, and make the loop at the other end." Could you take step-by-step pictures? (I am not kidding. I am this pathetic.)

Shelia said...

I'm packed!! Let's go! ;)
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Oh Goodie, a raffle! I think I would choose the Polar Express. And thank you for the tutorial. Every post I have been to this morning is so different and so much fun. Have a super great weekend. ~ Lynn

Melissa said...

Thank you Thank you Thank you!
I just found my Christmas project. You are always an inspriration!

CIELO said...

Nice give-away... thank YOU! and a happy Christmas Fair Day to you.... nice meeting you!

cielo

Katie @ makingthishome.com said...

I remember making these as a kid! Okay, so we tried. Only my mom succeeded. We still hang hers on the tree today.
My favorite of the three stories is Polar Express. Again, from being a kid.
And even though I'm in Germany, I offer a US mailing address where I'll be for the holiday. ;) How's that for positive thinking?
Thanks so much.
Katie

She'sSewPretty said...

Your ornaments are so cute. I've been saving little scraps of fabric and now I know what to do with them. Thanks for sharing!

Terrie's Lil' Piece of Serenity said...

Those quilted ornaments are so cute. I love a heart-felt Christmas!! Hugs, Terrie

Vintagesquirrel said...

Thank you for sharing your patchwork ornaments. I think I will try this...they sound easy enough for my kids to try, and look so sweet. I would love to read "The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree" to my sons. Thanks for offering this giveaway.

V. said...

Thanks for popping by...I'll bookmark you and spend some time on your site tomorrow...off to create more goodies in my studio now!

V.

Kathy at Shocking Pink Thread said...

Pretty ornaments! My daughters are 22 and 24 years old. Every Christmas I buy them a book to remember the year. If I were to choose for your raffle, I would choose Polar Express. I have happy memories of reading it with my children.

Holly said...

We like the Polar Express, but already have it. So I think I would pick the Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree.
Thanks for visiting and entering my giveaway!

Justine said...

What an awesome ornament craft! Geez, it looks easy enough that I could even do it! Thanks for sharing with us, Elizabeth!

Justine :o )

Carolyn (Harbor Hon) said...

You always share neat, thrifty and gifty ideas. Thanks so much! I never would have thought to do this without you helping. What a wonder you are. xxoo

Jill said...

I love these and I am always looking for a new Christmas project to do with the kids. This is a fun one so I think I am going to do it!

CC said...

These are the cutest ornaments. I've made them with torn sheet music and then a matte finish, but i've never tried fabric. I will now..:)

Poopsie said...

The ornaments are sweet. I loved the Santa candy cane holders. (I might have to try those out myslef. Thank you for the pattern.)
From your three books, I would have to say I would choose "The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree". The reason, the little girl's name is Ruthie, just like my daughter. :)
My favorite Christmas story is "A Wish For Wings That Work". It is contemporary, but I love the message it holds.

Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

Thanks so much!!! I know we wiil really enjoy it...m./..

windy angels said...

my congratulations to Mary Isabella on winning the very beautiful ornaments.
and thanks for the reminder to laugh today :)

Angie said...

I've done the egg shapes with fabric and ribbon for Easter, but I've never thought to do Christmas ones. They're super cute.

Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

Wanted to wish you a Happy thanksgiving...m...

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countryblocks said...

these are so cute. I would like to make some for my children.I have lots of Christmas scraps and this is such a good idea. I hate to throw scraps away.

countryblocks said...

I forgot to add I have 3 young grandchildren who help decorate the tree

Lisa said...

I really like these ornaments. They are extremely original.