Embroidered Ornaments


It’s the last project day of our Handmade Holiday series and we’re going to do things a little differently;). One of our designers, Caren Adams, has a cute little embroidered ornament project to share. It’s easy, fun to do with the kids and would be an excellent weekend project leading into Christmas Eve & Christmas celebrations. The project isn’t yet available in pdf form, but Caren will tell you how it’s done. Just scroll down for all the info. We’ll still launch our final giveaway tomorrow, so make sure to come back and enter-to-win!

Welcome Caren!

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Hi everyone!  I’m Caren Adams from cadamsCREATIONS, and today I’m going to share a great way to make customized embroidered ornaments from your pile(s) of fabric scraps.

Do you have a creative child (or children) in your life? My son has been gifted with an amazing imagination. He thinks up stories that last for hours and hours, draws aliens that are too adorable to throw away, and has actually started to do bits of embroidery himself… with a real needle. Oh, and he’s only five.  Ok, I’ll stop gushing about my son, and start teaching you how to turn sketches (even the bits that kids have dreamed up!) into ornaments.  (Don’t be intimidated by the hand-stitching – just use simple backstitches and you’re set!)

How To Make A Custom Embroidered Ornament

— Muslin, linen, or other cotton fabrics (pre-washed) for the embroidered side
— Scraps of other festive backing fabrics
— Legacy™ by Pellon® 100% Bleached Cotton Batting
Pellon® 542 Stick-N-Washaway™ or Pellon® 805 Wonder-Under®
— Bits of ribbon (I used 1/8″)
— Embroidery Floss & Needle

note: Use whatever size circles you prefer.  Mine are about 2-1/2″ (finished size), but I am terrible at math (and seam allowances).  I used the outside of a roll of packing tape as my circle template!

1. Find a picture you want to use. Try to use a line drawing if possible. Simple images are the easiest to re-create in small scale. One of the images I wanted to use was too big for an ornament, so I took a digital picture of it, resized it on my computer, and printed it.) Your image should be about 1/2 the size of the circle you’re using so that you don’t cut off an antenna or something. [Experience talking here, folks!]


2. Copy your picture onto a transfer medium. In the past I have drawn directly on the fabric, but I mess up too often for that, so here are some other ways to get your image onto the fabric:

Pellon® 805 Wonder-Under®: This is a double-sided fusible interfacing. To use this you’ll want to reverse the image, draw it on the paper side of the Wonder-Under®, iron it onto the back of the fabric, & sew through it. Carefully peel off the backing paper (making sure not to pull the stitches out) and then iron it on to your backing fabric.
Pellon® 542 Stick-N-Washaway™: (This is how I do mine.) Stick-N-Washaway™ is one of the products by Pellon® that I just love. Simply copy the image directly onto the fabric side of the product (or print it in your printer!), peel the paper backing off, then stick it on the front of your fabric. No reversing the image, no ironing, and no pulling the stitches when you’re finished. As a great perk – it acts as a stabilizer so you don’t need to use an embroidery hoop. When you are finished embroidering, just soak it in a bowl of warm water to wash it away!


3. Cut out your circles. Now, I know some of you have a nifty machine to do your cutting, but if you don’t, you can just do what I did and use a template. I used a roll of packing tape, but you could use a cup, small plate, or even the spool from the ribbon. Draw the circle on the back of the fabric and then cut the circles out and stick (or iron) on the transfer medium (see above).

4. OK, now that you’ve got your transfer method all figured out and your circles all cut, let the embroidery begin! Use the simplest of stitches – straight stitches and back stitches are typically all that are needed. You may choose, if you are adventurous, to throw in some other types of stitches as well.

5. Take off the paper. If you’re using Wonder-Under®, CAREFULLY remove the paper so you don’t pull the stitches. As I mentioned, I used the Stick-N-Washaway™, so at this point I gave my little guys a bath. Here they are drying off:


6. Make a fabric sandwich: batting, back, then front (right sides together). Insert a loop of ribbon for hanging at the top. Put the ribbon between the front and back pieces of fabric with the cut edges hanging outside the circles. Make sure to pin the whole loop INSIDE the fabric sandwich so you don’t sew it into the seam!  I used about 10″ of ribbon and looped them in half, so with the seams that makes them about 4-1/2″.

7. Mark where you want your gap (for turning). Stitch around the edges with a 1/4″ seam allowance.


8. Turn your ornament right side out and iron flat. Hand stitch the opening closed.

cadamsornament11 cadamsornament12

Added Embellishments
At this point, you could call your ornaments finished.  Mine appeared to be lacking something, so I started playing with embellishments.  I used a knotted blanket stitch around the edge of my son’s “space dog.”


I did a running stitch along the edge of the “Space Mouse” – the running stitch shows on the other side, too, for a nice bordered effect.


I had two of the same “Space Mouse” images, so I whipped the running stitch around the edge to make it look somewhat braided.  See?


Then there was what I call the “Space Carrot”.  He’s a bit off-center, but I like it that way.  I think I may use a fabric pen to write the year on it! (I didn’t stitch this one in orange on purpose!)


So there you have it.  A quick, easy, and unique way to use up some of your scraps!  Think of what a sweet gift this would make for teachers, extended family, friends, etc.  Also, kids love these. You could play games with them if you want to.  My two kids have been having lots of fun playing with them! If you’re not one to celebrate Christmas, these would still make fun decorations.  Like I said, just a fun way to use up some of those scraps.

-Enjoy!  🙂 Caren

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Thanks so much to Caren for sharing this one! We’d love to see what you make, so be sure to post a photo on our Facebook page OR share with our ‘Made with Pellon®‘ flickr group!


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