Welcome to the 12th Day of Last Minute Christmas Gifts! Today’s is a special one… because it is a guest post written by Dione from Clever Chameleon Quilting! She is a new blogging friend of mine, and is here to show us how to make a Christmas Bauble Ornament.
A little while ago Dione wrote a tutorial on how to make a Christmas Star ornament by using “couching”.
I really liked it and wanted to make some for this series.. but of course all the materials I needed are packed away in the container here.. or are in my sewing room in Arabia! So after a few emails, Dione very kindly offered to do a guest post.. and I jumped at the offer!
She is a very talented lady… and it has been great getting to know her. You know the best part about blogging for me is meeting new friends…
I’ll be telling you more about Dione soon because we have been working on something fun for next year.. but for now, I’m handing over this post to her 🙂
Here’s Dione from Clever Chameleon Quilting:
It is my great pleasure to be with you today at Days Filled with Joy. Words cannot adequately express how very honoured I am to provide a post for Joy’s 12 Days of Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas series.
Joy has been very kind and encouraging to me over the last 7 months or so since my blog first launched. If she wasn’t my first “stranger-subscriber”, then she must have been very close to it. Of course she is not really a stranger anymore, but a friend I hope to meet in person one day.
The gift idea that Joy has asked me to share is a variation on the couched thread ornaments that I have been playing with on my blog lately.
Joy is quite right – they would make lovely gifts. You could gift them as an item in themselves, or use them to add some homemade splendour to your parcels. Use them as a personalised decoration on a bottle of something nice, as a tag on a wrapped gift, or as a little extra slipped into a Christmas card.
The couched thread technique is quite also suitable for making bookmarks (yes, I still read real books!).
Here is another of the ornaments I have shared on my blog recently.
These ornaments are made by couching a thick cotton thread onto a wash-away stabiliser until the threads criss-cross sufficiently to become self-stabilising. Then the stabiliser is washed away. Once you have prepared the couched base of your ornament, you can decorate it however you please.
For Joy’s series I have added a Christmas Bauble ornament to the other designs that you can find on my blog.
What you need to make a couched thread Christmas bauble ornament
Size 8 Pearl Cotton thread
Sewing machine thread in a colour that matches the pearl cotton (top and bobbin). The composition of this thread is not critical. Choose something that you like.
Notions and craft supplies to decorate your ornament. In this case I used green glitter, the beads from an old earring and red ribbon.
A biro to draw your ornament shape onto the wash-away stabiliser. If you do not like to draw freehand you can find the shapes I have used in these pdf files:
Otherwise cookie cutters are another good design source.
Couched Thread Christmas Bauble Ornament Step 1
Create your self-supporting thread ornament shape by couching the pearl cotton onto 2 layers of wash-away (soluble) stabiliser as described in my tutorial here.
Once you have washed away the stabiliser make sure your ornament is thoroughly dry.
The undecorated ornament will look something like this:
Couched Thread Christmas Bauble Ornament Step 2
To add some sparkle, add some glitter. Use a glue stick to coat the back of your ornament with glue (the back has a much flatter surface than the front).
Press your ornament, glue side down, onto a thin layer of glitter spread out in a saucer or tray. Continue until your ornament is coated to your liking. Some glitter will fall off, so feel free to overdo it a little. 🙂
Allow the ornament to dry.
Couched Thread Christmas Bauble Ornament Step 3
Now add beads/buttons/sequins etc and ribbon as desired. I considered a combination of pink ribbon and silver beads for a while but decided that they weren’t really right for my intended purpose. Pretty though!
So I went with a red and green colour scheme instead. First, I added a scrap of fine ribbon across the top of the ornament.
I added green beads from an old earring as a little subtle bling. A few hand stitches hold these securely in place.
Then I added a red ribbon bow.
To keep the design tidy I twisted the ribbon several turns and then secured near the base of the ornament to hold the ribbons in place.
Finally I trimmed the ribbon ends to the desired length.
I added a loop of ribbon to hang this ornament early in my decorating phase, but I recommend that you do this last. It got in the way a fair bit as I was trying to sew down the red ribbon bow.
These ornaments are actually very simple. And the glitter-coated ornament is a good one to try if you are not completely confident in your couching skills, as the glitter will cover a multitude of sins!
However, do be warned that the couching stage of this ornament took me about an hour at a moderate sewing speed. So you probably shouldn’t expect to make a dozen of these in an afternoon unless you are the sewing machinist equivalent of a rally driver!
This technique can be used to create all manner of shapes… it really boils down to your imagination and confidence. I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and Joy’s 12 Days of Last Minute Gift Ideas series. Thanks for having me, Joy!
Thank YOU Dione for writing this awesome tutorial! You know I’ll be making some of these when I get back to Arabia – they won’t be in time for this Christmas, but they will be for next year!!
Thank you everyone for joining me on these 12 days of Last Minute Christmas Gifts. I hope you found something you could make at the last minute to add to your gifts this year.. or to your list of what to make next year!
PS The main page of this series is here along with links to each post for this series.
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