Embroidered Christmas Ornaments

My boyfriend’s mum is Swedish and, though she has assimilated pretty well into the French lifestyle, Christmas is still her kingdom and it has become a family tradition to transform the house into a Swedish Christmas wonderland every month of December. Because it’s soooo pretty and warm, we also like to keep this tradition at our home, so I’ve made quite a lot of Scandinavian-style decorations over the years.

However, this year it’s the first time we have a Christmas tree at home so, of course, we had nothing to put on it. Which meant craft time for me!

Finally, because our tree is so small, we only had room for a couple of dalahästen (the cute Swedish Dala horses) and two embroidered hearts, which I made in typical red and white colors.

Embroidered ornaments

 

This tutorial can be used both to make the horses and the hearts; you just need to adapt the shape. For the embroidered design, you can copy mine or do a quick search on Google or Pinterest for more inspiration.

You’ll need:

  • Red and white felt or cotton fabric.
  • Red and white thread.
  • Red and white embroidery thread.
  • Stuffing. The stuffing used for plush toys works best for this, though you can also use cotton wool (which is what I used.) The final result will be bumpier to the touch, but will still look ok.

Instructions:

1. Cut the shape twice on the fabric or felt. Make the shape a little plumper than the shape you want, as the borders and the stuffing will reduce the final size of the ornament.

Tip: Especially with detailed shapes, it’s easier to make a paper pattern and transfer it to the fabric. That way you can also make sure that both pieces are exactly the same.

Horse Paper Shape
A very chubby dala horse

2. Line up both pieces right sides facing each other and stitch around the shape, a few millimeters away from the edge. Leave a small stretch open on the top so you can add the stuffing later.

Heart cutting and sewing
Cut the shapes and sew them together until the red lines (more or less). Same for the horse.

3. Turn the fabric right side out and poke all the rounded edges and corners. Pressing the edges helps to keep the shape afterwards too. You can now start stuffing to your desired firmness.

4. Once you’re happy with the amount of filling, start sewing up the opening with a blind stitch. Stop when you’re close to the middle and add the small ribbon for hanging the ornament between both layers of fabric, securing it with a sturdier stitch. Then continue with the blind stitch on the other side of the ribbon until the ornament is fully closed. The ornament is now ready for embroidering!

Invisible stitch and ribbon

5. If you’re used to sewing, you can make your design up as you go. However, if you want a precise design or you want to make sure that your lines are straight, you can draw it lightly on the ornament with a fabric pen in the same color of the embroidery thread.

6. Thread the embroidery floss and make a small knot at the end. Make a single stitch in the fabric and pull the thread softly so as to hide the knot inside the ornament. When you need to end your thread, you’ll need to bury the knot. There’s a fantastic tutorial with pictures here.

Embroidering the horse

And you’re done! Now go hang your pretty ornaments on your tree and let everyone admire your work!

Embroidered Christmas ornaments

 

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