Craft a Christmas Tradition

I’m always happiest when I am making stuff and being creative.  I love the way a few bits of fabric, ribbon and trims can come to life with a pair of scissors, needle and thread and a bit of glue. 

Years ago when I was beginning to collect Christmas ornaments and decorations for my first home, a friend and I got together once a week to make things for our trees.  These ‘guys’ came to life way back then and have been a part of our family Christmas tradition ever since.

Stuffed Gingerbread Men
Here’s what you need:
Gingerbread Man Cookie Cutter about 6” tall (or a steady hand to draw one)
A few squares of brown craft felt
6 red sequins
White Baby Rick Rack
Needle and Thread
Craft Glue
Polyester Fiberfill

Cut 2 pieces of felt into Gingerbread Man shape.
Machine or hand sew the front to the back.  By hand, a small overcast stitch will work well.  If you prefer the machine, a small zigzag stitch over the edges is perfect.  Leave an opening along the long side of one leg to stuff.

Gently push the fiberfill into the head, arms and legs.  Pack it rather tight so he will be nice and sturdy. 
Stitch the opening closed.

Create a hanger.  Cut a piece of sturdy thread about 8” long.  Using a needle, poke the thread through the very top of his head about 3/8” and tie off, creating a loop for hanging.

Attach the Rick Rack and the sequins with craft glue.
Allow time for the glue to dry.

Christmas Tree Bears
Make these in much the same way.  Use a cookie cutter or hand draw the bear shape.  A felt bear is perfect but consider other fabrics such as calico.  I used a remnant of ultra suede. 

Use one or two ply of embroidery floss to sew features as shown. 

If your bear is made from a woven fabric, it is preferable to place right sides together and machine stitch the outline.  Don’t forget to leave an opening for stuffing.  Then turn right side out, stuff and close the opening.  Run a length of thread through the top of the head  and tie into a loop to create a hanger.

Tie a handsome bow around his neck and he is ready to hang on your tree.

Christmas Angel

This beauty can stand alone or adorn the top of your tree.  Craft your angel using bits of lace and trim you have or hand pick some special pieces at your local fabric store.

My angel stands about 10” tall.  I used a piece of white, eyelet edged fabric for her gown with another piece of lace trim with gold ribbon up the front.  I used a smaller scrap of eyelet for her collar. 

Gather the gown at the top edge and sew to the neck edge of the face.  No need to fuss over it since the stitching will be covered up by the collar.  Attach the collar, sewing it so that the raw edges are tucked out of sight.  Tack the wings lightly on the nape of the neck and the halo so it forms a half circle that shows on top of her head.The wings and halo are cut out of white felt, edged in small gold braid.  

Her face is made from cotton broadcloth; 2 circles, about 2” diameter sewn right sides together, turned and lightly stuffed.  For hair, I wrapped yellow yarn in a spiral from the center back of the head working out bigger and bigger to the edge of the face.

Use fabric paint or a Sharpie marker to draw her facial features.

Now take the cardboard core from a roll of paper towels and trim it to fit the height of your angel’s body.  Wrap white tissue paper loosely around the core, place it gently into the gown giving her body some shape.  The core will give it stability to stand on a table OR can be place over the top branch of your Christmas tree for a tree topper.

Have fun making these Christmas decorations.  I hope they will become part of YOUR family traditions as they have been for my family.