Come visit with me as I stitch and craft my way from one Christmas to the next - I like to have Christmas projects close by me all year. I have a particular fondness for Santas and Angels. If you have the time, leave a comment so I know you've visited.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Two Beaded Tree ornaments finished - and I tell you how to do it.

My two beaded tree ornaments are finished.  Here are pictures of the fronts and the backs.

I usually 'batch' my ornament finishing - often 6 or more ornaments at a time - and I have developed a routine about it.  I should explain that I don't own (and couldn't use if I did own) a sewing machine, and I am absolutely dangerous with a tube of glue.  So, I have no option but to finish my ornaments by hand-sewing them.

To use my finishing method, you will need white cardboard, white felt, and double-sided tape (not the padded type) - all acid free.  I use A4 sheets of cardboard that I buy in a pack from a discount store, and A4 sized white felt.  You will also need beads (4mm size work well), a sewing needle, and white floss, and floss to match your back-stitched border. And to make it extra easy, you will need access to a photocopier. This method is much easier than the description indicates - it's harder to explain than to actually do.

First, I back-stitch a border around my ornament, and an identical border on the same count fabric for the back of the ornament.  The border determines the size and shape of the ornament.

Adhere the felt to a sheet of cardboard using the double-sided tape. After washing and ironing the fabric, photocopy the front of the ornament, and cut out the picture of the ornament, cutting just inside the stitched border.  To check that the size is correct, lay the cut out picture on top of the stitched ornament.  You should just be able to see the stitched border around the photocopy. Put double-sided tape on the back of the picture, and adhere the picture to the cardboard side of your cardboard-felt piece.  Cut around the ornament picture.  You now have an ornament-sized cardboard piece backed with felt.  Trace around it on the felt-backed cardboard, and cut that piece out, so you now have felt-backed cardboard liners for the front and back of your ornament.  If you don't have a photocopier it's a lot harder to get the lining pieces the right size and shape, but give it your best try - it is important that the cardboard is the right size.

Now prepare your fabric.  Cut out the ornament front and back, leaving a seam allowance of about 2 cm (3/4") all round. Put the stitched front stitched side down on your surface. Place a cardboard liner, felt side down, on (the wrong side of) your stitched piece, then fold the seam allowance over the cardboard, mitre-ing corners as you go and hold in place with a few stitches in white thread, and side to side lacing stitches if you like.  Repeat for the back.  

Now there's just one more step to go.  Hold the back and front together, wrong sides together. Making sure that you have the top of the front aligned with the top of the back, lace the front and the back together by stitching through the back-stitched borders only, using a back to front, front to back stitching pattern.  I attach my floss to the seam allowance near one corner, bring my needle up through the first back-stitch on the back piece, pick up a bead, bring the needle through the corresponding back-stitch on the front piece, then take the needle back through the next back-stitch on the front piece then through the next back-stitch on the back piece, and then it's back through the next back-stitch on the back, pick up a bead, through the next back-stitch on the front, continue in this manner. I hope I'm explaining this adequately.  So, the stitching goes from back, add a bead to needle, to front, then from front to back, then from back, add a bead to needle, to front, then from front to back and repeat.  Initially, it may be easier to stitch one side at a time, opposite sides, then top and bottom,  rather than just stitching all round the ornament (you'll usually not have enough thread to go right round anyway).

I finish my ornament with a beaded hanger, which I add last, anchoring my thread as securely and invisibly as I can.  If you want to use a ribbon or cord hanger, stitch it to the inside of the back of the ornament before you lace the front and back together.

That's the whole story.  It's not the quickest method of ornament finishing, but it does create a nicely-finished ornament.


rosey175 said...

These are such fantastic tree ornaments! I did have to giggle at your last post though, when you mentioned filling in the empty spaces with more beads! I thought they were full before! They look stunning though and they must have such a nice weight to them. :D

Rachel Tomkins said...

Thank you so much for the finishing tutorial. It makes perfect sense and hopefully we'll now see lots more finished ornaments popping up all over blog land! :)

Mini said...

Once again beautiful ornaments.

Lesley said...

Beautiful ornaments and I love your finishing.Thank you for explaining it.

Le trame della Galaverna said...

Always super beautiful

Julie said...

Very detailed tutorial, thank you.
More beautiful gifts for your family

Saxo Stamper said...

Oh my, these are absolutely stunning, so delicate and so well finished, just gorgeous. Visiting via my good friend Linda Harris's blog.


Brigitte said...

Such beautiful ornaments again.

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Great tutorial and one I shall bookmark. Photocopying is a great idea. My printer has a copy function so I could use that.

Astrids dragon said...

What beautiful finishes! Thank you so much for sharing, it looks like something even I could do!

Stitching Noni said...

Great finishing idea! I love them - they must look so sparkly in real life :o)
Thank you so much for sharing your finishing idea! I am definitely going to use this one
Hugs xx