By Diane Gilleland
This holiday decoration may look complicated, but it’s very simple to make. Plus, it’s nice and lightweight, so it will hang beautifully from trees, wreaths, or garland. A group of them in a range of colors would make a lovely mobile!
1 sheet of Friendly Felt See note below.
Scraps of wool or acrylic felt
Water-soluble fabric marker
Hand-sewing needle and thread
Scrap of embroidery floss
Cotton swab (optional)
Download ornament template PDF
Note: Friendly Felt is a stiffened felt made from recycled plastic bottles. It’s a great choice for this project because it holds its shape well. You can find Friendly Felt at many large craft stores, or online at joann.com.
Step 1: Download the ornament template and print it onto cardstock. Or, if you prefer, create a shape of your own and draw it on cardstock. Cut the shape out. Use a water-soluble marker to trace this shape onto Friendly Felt 4 times. Cut the 4 pieces out carefully, so your shapes are as alike as possible.
Step 2: Stack these shapes up, matching all the edges. Use the water-soluble marker to draw a line down the center of the topmost piece. (I’ve drawn this line boldly so it shows up in the photo; your line should be more subtle.)
Step 3: On a sewing machine, sew through all 8 layers, following the line you drew in Step 3. If your ornament shape has points at the top and/or bottom, like this one does, you’ll probably find it easiest to begin sewing in the center, and stitch out toward each point.
Step 4: Gently fold the pieces along this seam to open them up a little.
Step 5: Cut some ½”-wide strips of wool or acrylic felt. If you’re using the provided template, you’ll need 8 strips, each 6″ long.
Step 6: Thread a hand-sewing needle, and knot the thread. Roll the first felt strip up tightly with your fingers. When you’ve rolled it up completely, sew the end of the strip down with a tiny whipstitch. Repeat this process with the other 7 felt strips.
Step 7: Take the first felt spiral, and apply glue to the back edges as shown.
Step 8: Carefully place the spiral between 2 layers of the ornament, making sure the glue comes in contact with the Friendly Felt. Repeat this process with the other 7 felt spirals, taking care to line them up with each other. Allow the glue to dry.
Step 9: Thread a scrap of embroidery floss on a needle. Pass the needle through the top of the ornament as shown. Tie a knot in the floss to create a hanger.
Step 10: If your ornament has any stray marks from the water-soluble marker, clean them up with a moistened cotton swab.
Variation: 2-Color Spiral
If you want to add a little more visual interest to your ornament, try making the spirals with 2 colors. Start with eight ½”-wide felt strips, but cut them about half as long as you’d normally use for this ornament. (If you’re using the provided template, then cut your strips about 3″ long.)
Step 1: Place the 2 strips together so they’re a little offset, as shown here.
Step 2: Begin rolling the spiral from the topmost strip, catching the bottom one as you roll.
Step 3: Stitch down both ends of the felt strips, using a tiny whipstitch.
About the Author
Diane Gilleland produces CraftyPod, a blog and bi-weekly podcast about making stuff. Her first book, Kanzashi In Bloom is currently out in bookstores.