January 9, 2015

DIY Gingerbread Man Christmas Ornament

I've missed posting here. I have all these ideas swirling in my head, just not all the time in the world to complete (or even start) them these days! Motherhood is very challenging and amazing, in the best way possible, but I'm still struggling to fit in "me" time. And blogging time (since very often those times are one and the same)!

I managed to get quite a few projects done in time for Christmas, but didn't get to post them here for you. So, with many apologies, I thought I'd post them anyways and if you like something you can plan on making it for next Christmas/winter. Not the same, I know, but hopefully still helpful!

This is a felt gingerbread man ornament I made as a gift for a relative. It was a little time-consuming (all those little stitches!) but very easy. I think it only took me two hours at the most. First, trace a gingerbread man shape you like onto brown felt (or whatever color you like). I based my shape on a cookie cutter, with a few modifications because he seemed to have an inordinately large head. Cut two pieces of your chosen shape, but I wouldn't fold over the fabric as it might be too thick to cut without warping. So, just trace two shapes and then cut them out.

Designate one as your "top" piece. On this one, use embroidery thread to stitch on as many or few details as you like, in whatever color you fancy. I chose arm and leg bands, eyes, and a smile. (I wanted to do them in white, but only had red. Oh well!) It helps to trace where you want your details to be with chalk or some other type of marking that you can rub off once you're finished, to make sure you like where things are placed before you embroider.

Then place your top piece over your bottom one, and line up your edges. Cut a long length of thread (I used white here) for the outline stitches. I chose to double mine up so the stitches would look thicker and show up better on the dark brown felt. Start above one of the shoulders, and neatly and evenly stitch around (going next to an arm, then the legs, etc.) until you get to the other shoulder. I think it's easier to start at a shoulder so that when you get to the other side, you'll be able to reach into the limbs so you can stuff them. If you start between limbs, you might end up at a crook where you wouldn't be able to reach back into an arm or leg very easily.

Lightly stuff your gingerbread man. I think I made mine about a quarter-inch thick. You want just enough padding to make your ornament a little 3D.

Stitch around the head, adding in a bit of stuffing as you go. Use a knitting needle or something thin to get in the last little bit of it before you finish your stitches and knot your thread on the backside. Finish by adding a hook, or some more embroidery thread (as I did) for a hanger. I cut about a 5- or 6-inch length, doubled it, threaded both ends through the needle (so the end of my thread was a loop), eyeballed the center of his head and pulled the needle through an inch or two, then removed the needle and knotted the ends together. Then I pulled the loop back the other way so the knot came up right against the back of his head. You could also pull the knotted ends over his head and through the loop, pulling tight so the loop cinches at the top of his head and your knot is at the top of the hanger (instead of the loop being there). Both would work!

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