Cute Christmas Tree Decorations

Last weekend, I did my first ever 10k.  It was a charity event to raise money for a little girl called Sophie, who lives in the next village.  Sadly, Sophie has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and is facing many years of treatments.  Her Mum set up a Facebook group (called Sophie’s Journey, if you’re interested) and it was through this that I found out about the virtual 10k event.  You could run, walk, cycle or swim the distance – I jogged half and then walked the rest – between 4-13th December and afterwards, collect your medal from Sophie’s house, socially distanced of course!  The medals were designed by Sophie and are super cute!

When I went to collect my medal, I wanted to take a little something for Sophie and her two sisters.  I’d seen this idea from Sew Dainty on Pinterest for a Christmas tree garland and thought they’d work well as individual decorations too.  First, I drew and cut out my Christmas tree shape on paper before pinning it onto felt sandwiched between two pieces of Christmas print fabric.  You can use wadding or anything in the centre of the sandwich, it’s just to give the trees some body.  It’s a good way to use up random pieces of fabric!

Next, I added in a hanging ribbon at the top before taking my tree sandwich to the sewing machine and sewing around the outside of the template, pivoting at the corners to give nice sharp points.

After I’d finished, it looked like this.

Using pinking shears, I cut around the outside of the tree, taking care not to chop off the ribbon hanger!

Lastly, I stitched some zigzag lines up the tree.  I wanted a tree topper but I’d run out of star buttons so I hand stitched a pair of wooden hearts to the front and back of the top of the trees instead.

I love how these came out and think I’ll be making a garland of trees in the near future.

Christmas Tree Skirt

Whilst your decorated artificial Christmas tree may look stunning, the stand usually doesn’t, by virtue of it having to be practical rather than aesthetic.  I used to just lay sheets of cotton wool ‘snow’ around mine but then heard of a tree skirt and set about making my own.  We have two trees so I made one with Christmas trees on and one with snowman.  Here’s the snowman skirt.

A friend was admiring the skirts and asked where I’d bought them and subsequently commissioned me to make one for his tree.  His daughter then admired that one and requested one of her own so I thought it’d make the perfect Christmas project for the blog.  So, if you fancy having a go at making your own, here’s how I did mine.

First, draw a circle that will cover the legs of your stand plus an extra inch or two for the seams.  Cut out a section so that the skirt will form a cone shape and then cut this out from your main fabric and backing fabric.  I divided my paper template into 3 pieces and sewed them together to save on fabric.  You may also need to divide the template into more pieces if the pattern on your fabric is directional.  Remember to add extra width for seam allowances!

Now is where you can go wild with your decorative elements!  My friend wanted Christmas trees so I drew out a tree shape, divided into three tiers, as I wanted to use different fabrics.  I traced around each shape and the trunks 5 times onto Bondaweb and roughly cut them out.

The beauty of Bondaweb is that you can then iron your shapes onto your chosen fabrics and cut the shapes out precisely.

I then peeled of the backing paper, revealing a layer of fusible adhesive web, and placed my trees onto the skirt base, ironing them in place to secure, ready for quilting.  The quilt sandwich was stuck together with Odif 505 temporary adhesive and formed using polyester wadding and another piece of fabric.  It doesn’t really matter what fabric it is as it won’t be seen.  I like to reuse old bed sheets (washed, of course!) for this purpose.

Using a satin stitch on my sewing machine, I quilted around the edge of each tier of the tree and around the trunk.  This makes the trees puff up and adds lovely texture.

Once the appliqué was complete, I sewed on 3 rouleau loops onto one side (for the buttons) and then sewed on the backing using the bagging out method, turned right side out and top stitched all around the edges.  Finally I hand stitched some rope trim around the edge, gold stars on the trees and some covered buttons to hold the tree skirt in place.

Messy Eaters!

Do you have a messy eater in your family? I can ask this as I am one myself! This is largely borne by our slovenly ways of eating our tea from lap trays in front of the TV rather than sitting at the table.  To resolve this problem, instead of making us eat at the table, I made myself a bib.  I got my pattern from the website shown at the end however, since Craftsy ceased a few months ago, it’s no longer available.  The shape is fairly simple though so it’d be easy to draught yourself.  This is my original.

I made this one for my sister (we’re a family of messy eaters, apart from my Mum!) for a funny birthday gift – she had asked for one so I was confident she wouldn’t be offended.  Like me, she is a big cat fan so cat-themed fabric had to be used.   After washing and drying the fabrics to pre-shrink them, I started by cutting out a front, some quilt wadding (extra absorbency!) and a backing (cut out the opposite was to the front).

After attaching the wadding to the back piece, I sewed the front and back together, leaving a gap at the bottom.  I graded the seam allowance and snipped the curves before turning the right way out through the gap and pressing the edges.

Next, I top stitched all around the edge of the bib before marking up quilting lines.  This step is entirely optional but I think it looks nice.  I use a heat erasable pen called Pilot Frixion (from Amazon, of course!) to draw my lines.  After sewing the quilting lines, I ran the iron over the bib and all the pen marks disappeared, like magic!

The last job was to attach some Velcro for fastening, although snaps or press studs would work equally well.

And here’s the finished article!

To make it look a bit nicer as a gift, I folded it and wrapped with a ribbon and a fun tag. Have I given you a top Christmas gift idea??!

 

 

http://www.hemmein.com/upcycled-grown-up-bibs/