Friday, November 29, 2013

Sew Fabric Christmas Ornaments Safe for Small Children, No Sewing Machine Required

Red fabric Christmas ornament shaped like strawberry
Strawberry for Full-Size Christmas Tree
You've probably started your Christmas crafts already, but there is always time for more fabric slashes and stitches to round out the holidays. I'm making some fruit Christmas ornaments from cotton, satin and felt scraps and thought I would share them with you. These are made entirely by hand, so you can make them while watching television or chatting. You'll need a needle and thread and fabric scraps.
My grandchildren are 2 this year, so not all ornaments are safe, and the wire hangers we all use are especially unsafe for little ones. You can make ornaments small children can enjoy by using fabrics and thread, with thread hangers. As the children get older, you may want to add decorations that you can't use now -- buttons, beads, sequins or rolling eyes. You still have to watch a small child with any Christmas ornament, especially if he still put things in his mouth.
These are all simple, but original patterns and ideas you are welcome to try.
Start with scraps of fabric and choose some shapes you'd like to hang on a tree. A large tree will need full-size shapes; a small tree can use small ones.
Here are some of the fruits you can make, with a little imagination: Strawberries, apples, lemons, cherries, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, oranges, and maybe grapes, with lots of patience.
Round red Christmas ornament representing apple or tomato
Tomato or Apple Christmas Ornament Handmade
Round green fabric Christmas ornaments resemble white grapes
Could these be Grapes? Need Several to String Together
All the round fruits take a full circle, just like yoyos. A 2 or 2 1/2 inch diameter circle makes smaller fruit, and a 3 1/2 inch circle makes larger pieces of fruit.
Choose a color that resembles the fruit, but it doesn't have to be solid colors. Cherries, strawberries, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, red apples can be made from shades of red fabric. Represent lemons and star fruit with yellow, and grapes with purple or green. 

Cut the circles for the size fruit you want to make, except for the strawberries. Use a larger circle cut in half and make two strawberries from one circle. See more directions below for the strawberry.
Fold about 1/4 inch at the wrong-side edge of the circle and secure the thread with a couple of stitches on top of the knot-- you'll be pulling on it later and need it to be anchored. Stitch around the circle with wrong sides together until you get all the way around. For a lemon, I take a few tacking stitches in the center to resemble the bottom and use a round green circle for the top.
Yellow circle with stitching around edge
Cut a Circle and Stitch Around It for Round Fruit Ornaments
Yellow fabric Christmas ornament shaped like lemon
Completed Lemon with Stitching Gathered Tight at Top
For the strawberry, fold a half circle in half with right sides together and stitch up the side. Tack. Fold about 1/4 inch of the raw edge at the top, wrong sides together and tack the thread. Straight stitch around the semi-circle until you're all the way around. Turn the strawberry so the inside can be stuffed. 
Red half circle stitched up side and around edge for ornament
Strawberry Requires Half a Circle Stitched Closed
Red semi-circle and star cap makes strawberry Christmas ornament
Strawberry Christmas Ornament with Star Cap
I use felt for filling the fruit -- scraps, strips, small pieces left over. Once the fruit is stuffed, pull the thread to gather it tight at the top. Take a few stitches to secure it, then add a top piece. A cap for a strawberry or tomato looks like a star, or you can add a stem for an apple, or leaves.
Green felt fabric used for cap for tomato and strawberry Christmas ornaments
Cap for Tomato, Strawberry Christmas Ornaments
Secure the top, then loop the thread two or three times to make a hanger for your fruit. Tack the hanger loops in place and cut the thread.
Your fruit Christmas ornaments don't have to look real. You can make fictional pieces and let the children imagine what fruit they represent. Children love magic, and may find that the best Christmas ornaments don't represent anything they've ever seen.
Printed fabric makes fruit Christmas ornaments
Start with a Fabric Circle and Stitch Around the Edge for Gathers

Green printed fabric with solid red star cap makes fictional fruit Christmas ornament
Complete a Fictional Fruit with Christmas Colors
We hope you get pleasure from crafts and creating safe and inexpensive Christmas ornaments, and that you have a wonderful Christmas season!
See you soon.

1 comment:

Gardeningbren said...

I love that you showed how to make fruit ornaments for Christmas decorations. Adorable.

Me, in N.S.