Friday, November 6, 2015

Finishing Christmas Ornaments

One of my newsletter readers recently made a request which I though might be helpful to many of you who are in the midst of making Christmas ornaments - either as gifts or for your own trees.  I've written a simple set of instructions and will post them here on the blog , and  we will put them on my website:

Many of the ornaments have been finished in a variety of shapes - a heart, circle, tree shape, square, or as a house shaped ornament.  When you first begin, you can use tracing paper to make a paper template of the stitched design.  Allow at least 1/4" - 3/8" beyond the finished design for mounting it onto the mat board.  You will be cutting two pieces of mat board in this shape - one for mounting your design, and the second will be for the backing.  Continue with the finishing steps listed below and please feel free to write if you have other questions.

Mat board
Small piece of batting or a piece of felt (optional)
Cotton fabric for backing
Floss to make cording, or you can use a 1/4" ribbon to finish the edges

Finishing steps:
1. Cut two shapes of the mat board for mounting your design and the backing fabric.
2. Place a small piece of batting or felt onto the mat board and center the stitched design on the top.
Wrap the edges neatly to the back, using fabric glue to secure.
3. Cover the second piece of mat board with the cotton fabric and secure with glue to the back.
4. Put the two covered shapes together - with the wrong sides facing one another.  Slip stitch the edges of the two pieces with small basting stitches or glue together.
5. The edging of the ornament can be finished with either twisted cording, beads or a ruched ribbon.  ( A ribbon which has been gathered and twisted before being attached to the edges.)
6. If you are using cording, allow a long enough piece to add a loop to the top.  And  you will need enough to go around the perimeter of the ornament.  (Kreinik carries a tool to make cording that is a great little device.)
7. The cording can be either glued or stitched onto the edges, ending at the top or base of the ornament.  If you leave a little opening at the top or base - you can sink the ends of the cording into that space to make a neat joining.
8. Use a small ribbon bow to cover the joining area at the top or base of the ornament.
9.  To attach the ruched ribbon to the edges - gather the ribbon and twist it as you sew it to the edges.  You can also tack down the ribbon using just straight pins with a pin at the top.  Space about every 1/2" .  The pins are placed between the two layers of mat board.  It's a beautiful and clever finish and was used on the Christmas Tree VIII ornaments pictured above.

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