Today is DIY Christmas cards day, and these ones are going to tell a story.
For a long while now I’ve loved vintage sewing patterns, and truth be told, I’m always looking for creative ways to use their illustrations.
For this project, you’ll be pairing up handmade ornaments with a basic card that you sew. It’s really a two-fer, this one because your best friend or favorite aunt that gets this card not only gets a sweet card from you, but a removable ornament she can use!
Add in some simple sewing, easy machine embroidery (no fancy embroidery machine needed!), and you’re going to have one sweet card. This is the kind of card to bring a smile in this rough time of isolation we’re in.
So grab some felt, a big ole glue stick and let’s do this.
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Gingerbread Mini House or Ugly Sweater Shortbread patterns
For the handmade ornament part of this card, I’ll be walking you through how to make the Gingerbread Mini House. The pattern is available inside of Fabulous Felt Christmas Cookies.
For some quick sew handmade ornaments, check out Fabulous Felt Christmas Cookies. This digital toolkit will walk you through how to stitch up not just the Gingerbread Mini Houses but 12 total handmade ornaments. If you love Christmas cookies, you’ll be amazed at how real these little jewels look.
Here’s some of what you’ll get inside of Fabulous Felt Christmas Cookies:
- 12 fun patterns and full step by step tutorials for handmade ornaments you and your family will love.
- PDF and SVG patterns: if you have a Cricut or you’re more comfortable with scissors, you’ve got a way to get all your pattern pieces cut and ready to sew
- Expand your creative embellishment skills with sequins, simple machine embroidery that doesn’t need a big expensive embroidery machine, and beading
- These are patterns to sew right now, and each of these adorable ornaments are quick sews. The most involved one will take you about 30 minutes, but most can be done in short order at the end of a busy day.
- After working through these projects you’ll have a collection of handmade ornaments that’ll make memories for your family. My kids are already telling stories with the ugly sweater shortbreads!
Click on the picture to learn more about Fabulous Felt Christmas Cookies.
On to the construction!
Prep the card
First, cut a rectangle of fabric the same size as the front of a card with your fabric scissors.
Next, trim off about 1/4″ from each side of your fabric rectangle with pinking shears.
Using the glue stick, tack down the fabric on the front of the card.
Cut out paper bits
Here you have some options. I have quite a few vintage pattern catalogs. They have a variety of images and the cool thing about cutting them up is that you won’t ever have to cut up an actual pattern.
That being said, if you go for a stroll at a thrift store, or you sew for any length of time yourself, you know how easy it is to find/build a stash of old patterns. This is a great little project to show off some of that fun illustration work.
Cut out some images you think will tell a story.
With these two kids, and tiny fox from some packaging, I’m going for a Hansel and Gretel vibe. I’m adding in a piece of measuring tape paper to make a walkway to the house too.
Or maybe find a posh lady you can put in an ugly sweater shortbread ornament! You can’t mess this up. Any paper pictures could be fun here.
Once you’ve cut out the images, set them aside.
Make button peppermints
To make peppermint buttons, dip the tip of a skewer or toothpick in red paint. Paint stripes radiating from the center onto each button. Set aside the buttons to dry.
Sew the ornament
Cutting the pieces
Print out the felt pieces from the pattern inside of Fabulous Felt Christmas Cookies. Cut out 2 houses, 2 bush A, 2 bush B, 2 windows. Cut 1 piece of fusible fleece a little smaller than a house pattern piece. Fuse it to the back of one of the house pieces.
Also cut out rectangles of felt slightly bigger than the chimney and door pieces. You’ll cut those down to size in a little bit.
Cut some narrow strips of contrasting felt, then stitch down the center of each on the chimney pieces and the door. You can twist the strips, make stripes, or even a peppermint stripe. Lay the pattern pieces down on top of the embellished felt rectangles, then cut out 1 chimney A, 1 chimney B, and 1 door piece. Also cut out 1 tiny window for the door from the internal window on the pattern piece.
Sewing the ornament
Glue all of the elements in place, adding a piece of ric rac along the edge of the roof.
Stitch around all the pieces, close to the edge. Add some horizontal stitching across the house and the windows, to make the house look like a log house. Be sure to clip your threads so it looks all clean.
Sandwich a loop of ric rac between the stitched house and the second house piece. Sew around the edge of the house, close to the edge to finish sewing the ornament.
Finish off the ornament by stitching on the buttons.
Assemble your DIY Christmas cards
Position the ornament so that the ribbon loop flips around to the inside of the front of the card. Place your cut out paper elements on top of the card where you want them, then glue them down.
Set aside the ornament, then stitch around all of the paper elements and the fabric on the card. Be sure to lengthen your stitch length to 3.0 mm so you don’t make too many holes in the paper.
Finish off the card by repositioning the ornament on the card. Wrap the ribbon hanger to the inside and tape in place.
Cut a piece of construction paper the dimensions of the inside front of the card. Lightly glue around the edges of the card, then press down the paper to cover over the stitches.
Now all that’s left is to send your sweet DIY Christmas cards!
Need more Holiday DIY ideas?
Make a mini Christmas dress form
Your sewing space needs some cute inspiration this Holiday season
Sew a yoyo garland
This festive DIY garland is what your tree has been begging for.
Sew a DIY felt garland
Welcome in the season with this free pattern
Elizabeth Farr is the writer behind the Elizabeth Made This blog where she shares helpful sewing tips, step by step sewing tutorials and videos to help you explore your creativity through sewing. She has written sewing Eguides and patterns, been a featured teacher at Rebecca Page’s Sewing Summit and Jennifer Maker’s Holiday Maker Fest and her work has appeared in Seamwork and Altered Couture magazines. She also created a line of refashioned garments for SEWN Denver. When her sewing machine isn’t humming, she’s playing and teaching violin, and hanging around a good strategic board game with her husband and 4 kids.