Sunday, 27 December 2015

Felt Penguin in Rudolph Disguise [Free Pattern!]

I wanted a little extra something to slip in a Christmas present for a friend who loves penguins, and designed this decoration - a penguin dressed as Rudolph (obviously!), complete with antlers and a bright red nose.

If you want to make one, cut two bodies out of black felt, a round tummy out of white felt, a small nose out of red felt (or you could made a yellow triangle for a beak), four antlers from brown felt and a pair of feet from yellow felt. (The feet are optional, but help anchor the design as a penguin and not a confused reindeer!) Stitch the tummy and nose on to the front body piece, and embroider some eyes. Stitch down the centre of each pair of antlers to hold them together, and then stitch the two body pieces together inserting the feet, antlers and a small piece of hanging ribbon as you go. Get the template below, and let me know if you have any questions :)

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Cream and Gold Kusudama

This marvelous ball of flowers made from folded paper is called a Kusudama. I am not at all knowledgeable about it, but it is beautiful! It is relatively simple to make, though quite time consuming - that tends to be the way with origami! The tutorial I originally followed was on a site called Folding Trees, however this appears to have been replaced by a new site, PlanetJune. The basic petal/flower tutorial is still available here, but a donation is now required to view the full instructions. I suspect a Google about how to assemble an origami kusudama could help you find your way :)

I made this kusudama with half cream flowers and half gold flowers. because my gold paper was single sided, and thus had white edges, I applied gold ink to the centre folds for more colour and sparkle. I hung the kusudama using organza ribbon and some lovely complimentary beads from my stash. If you're wondering about adhesives, I used pritt stick to form the petals, double sided sticky tapes to form the flowers, and then my glue gun for final assembly. Despite it being a rather larger task than I anticipated, I already have another one in the works! Here it is on the Christmas tree:

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Crochet Bauble

In December 2014 I dug out a polystyrene ball, a small crochet hook and my embroidery threads, and started making this crochet bauble, making the pattern and stitches up as I went along. Come January, I hadn't finished it, and was in a bit of a grump with it as the sizing wasn't quite right. It then sat on the coffee table until last month, with the threads in this lovely state. I knew I just needed to get it out of the way, even if it wasn't perfect! Here it is, finished. It's certainly colourful!

Monday, 21 December 2015

Stamped Christmas Cards

I like to keep my Christmas cards simple in design, allowing me to make them for as many people as possible! I like this classic colouring of cream, maroon and gold - it feels rich and warm.

Having inherited a large amount of stamps earlier this year, I went looking through the box for an appropriately Christmassy design! This isn't super festive, but the leaves could be perceived as holly, and I think embossed in gold it looks right for the season :)

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Felt Rabbit Ornaments

As I have shared before, I have two beautiful bunnies, Flopsy and Toffee. I wanted to include their presence on our Christmas tree, with a bit of Christmas spirit too! I first considered making 3D polystyrene baubles, but settled on felt - I think it will last well and make nice keepsakes. Flopsy is the black rabbit, Toffee is white and brown. Their features are all hand stitches, although their whiskers are held on behind the scenes with my glue gun! Flopsy features a pair of reindeer antlers, and Toffee a little Christmas bow. I added their unique colourings to their faces using some wool roving and my needle felting kit - I think it was really effective for their subtle changes in fur.

Friday, 18 December 2015

Christmas Cross Stitch Hangings

I apologise that these are not the most wonderful photos, but I wanted to share these with you. I love stitching mini Christmas cross-stitches, but I never really know what to do with them. Yes, they could be used as Christmas cards, but they're a lot of work for something so disposable. They could also be Christmas tree decorations, but when you have as many as I do that becomes a bit crazy! They can be mounted in proper frames, but this can be difficult to store for 11 months of the year.

 In the end, this was my solution. I trimmed the edges of each cross stitch so they were all the same size. Using double sided sticky tape (we'll see how that holds up in time!) I mounted each cross stitch on some thick card. I arranged them to have a vague theme or colour similarity. These take up very little room to store, but allow them to be displayed at Christmas!

[This one is attached to my rabbits play area - their own personal Christmas decoration!]

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Cross Stitch Snowflakes

These snowflakes are another project I found in the Handmade Christmas magazine. There are two different designs, and I stitched them in thread colours from my stash that complemented each other. I snipped round the edges of the plastic canvas, and used my glue gun to attach a hanging ribbon and a felt backing. I love how these look on the tree! The patterns were a bit fiddly (two stitches here, one stitch there), but enjoyable and quick to make. Any snowflake cross stitch pattern found on the internet could be created on plastic canvas (I used 14 count) to make similar ornaments! The possibilities are immense.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Christmas 2015 - Treat Cones for the Tree

Like many of us, my husband likes some chocolate coins around this time of year. The thing is, I never quite know what to do with them...

Whilst reading Handmade Christmas, I saw this idea mentioned. Making little cones out of paper and hanging them from the branches of the tree - for us, it is the perfect solution!

I decorated ours a few different ways, one with glitter, one with holographic sequins, and a couple with a punched pattern, using my parchment embossing tools. I think they'll be empty fairly quickly!!

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Paper Baubles

These paper baubles are quick and easy to make - especially if you have a large circle punch! A sound investment, in my opinion. I used some paper from an old book, and some metallic gold paper.

I may have been a bit lazy with the gluing on this one - I should probably touch that up! If you want a tutorial to make your own, head over to the Guardian (though I'm not sure I could cut in to a gorgeous children's picture book!)

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Christmas 2015 - Pinecone Gnome

This is another little project that I am so pleased to have completed. I think most family trees have a little gnome made from a pinecone and some felt! I used a small pinecone, a felt ball, some scraps of purple felt and a little silver bell. The hat, bell and eyes are handstitched, though for the most part I went the lazy glue gun route! I also made the cord I used to hang him from - I'm hoping to show you how in a Tried & Tested Tip next year...! I think this little fella sits right at home on our tree :)

Thursday, 10 December 2015

"Gorjuss" Stamped Cards II

After making some "Gorjuss" stamped cards earlier this year, I decided to dig out my stamps again for some little cards for my nieces.

Much the same as last time, I stamped in black ink over backgrounds I had washed with watercolour, and mounted the images on an array of papers and cards from my collection.

I added some extra colour to their dresses with some felt tips, and added a touch of sparkle - everyone needs a little sparkle!

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Christmas 2015 - Beaded Wire Heart

This was another one of those ideas that had been floating around my head for a long time... Filling in the empty space of a shape with beads which will catch the lights of a Christmas tree oh so beautifully. I like things that sparkle on the Christmas tree! 

To be honest, my execution of this has disappointed me slightly, as rather than the wire being nice and smooth, I have lots of little wiggles and cricks throughout as I tried to convince the wire to sit where I wanted it to, and not slip off as it felt like it! On the Christmas tree these unique quirks are thankfully less noticeable :)

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Christmas 2015 - Felt Gingerbread Couple


I've been meaning to make some gingerbread men ornaments out of felt for years, but I have struggled to find felt in just the right colour. This colour is not quite what I pictured in my head, but I have accepted it for now!

Both Mr and Mrs Gingerbread are made from two layers of felt, blanket-stitched together by hand, with a smiling hand-embroidered face, and a tartan ribbon to hang from. Mrs Gingerbread features a small skirt made from red stretch lace (leftover from another project) with a lovely Christmassy bow. Mr Gingerbread has a matching bow which he wears as a bow tie, and two smart gold sequins as buttons. They add some lovely cheer to our Christmas tree!

Friday, 4 December 2015

Christmas 2015 - Fircones

I seem to have developed quite a collection of fircones over the years, and decided that is was about time I had a go at doing something with them for Christmas! 

I tried two different techniques. The first, above, I glued glitter on the inside "branches" of the fircone. I like that it is subtle but definitely sparkles when hanging from the tree.

The second, below, I painted the tips of the fircone white, before adding a very fine white glitter. Whilst it is certainly striking, I find the white a bit overpowering for my liking.

I have two giant fircones still sat on the side, as I cannot quite decide how to decorate them... Any ideas? :)
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