Need a quick last minute Christmas project to sew? This easy felt ornament is for you.
I love fast projects this time of year. It’s sometimes too much effort in the light of all the holiday happenings around you to pull out that tailored jacket pattern you’ve been wanting to try. In times like these, a quick easy felt ornament offers a lot.
This is an easy project to do with your kids. I actually made these with my beginner sewing class for grades 1-3 I teach at my kids’ enrichment school and all the kids loved it. They were fascinated with the reverse applique technique and they were really proud of themselves for getting the process.
This is a project you can make multiples of to put onto Christmas cards. You could also make several different sizes to decorate a mini tree all on its own. And because you need just a little felt and fabric scraps, this is an inexpensive project you can jump right into and finish in just a couple minutes.
Sound good? Grab your favorite felt and let me show you how to make this easy felt ornament.
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DIY easy felt ornament supplies
- Olfa rotary circle cutter
- Felt sheets (wool felt is beautiful though much more $, but craft felt is good too)
- Ribbon or twill tape
- Scraps of cotton quilting fabric
- Small embroidery scissors
How to make an easy felt ornament
Cut your circles
First things first, use your circle cutter to cut 2 circles from your felt of choice. For this project I like circles about 3″ across.
Also cut 1 circle slightly smaller from your scrap of fabric.
Do I need a circle cutter for this project?
In a word, no, you don’t absolutely need a circle rotary cutter for this project. If this is one of your first sewing projects, just get a glass and trace around it with a washable marker.
If you have however been sewing a while, I can’t recommend Olfa’s circle cutter more. This slick little gadget cuts perfect round circles and if your blade is sharp, you can cut through a few layers at a time. I create projects just to use this tool I love it so much! Other projects you’ll find on Elizabeth Made This that use the circle cutter:
Build the ornament
Whether you’ve cut your layers of felt and fabric with a circle cutter or by hand, the next step is to sew all the layers together.
Place your fabric circle face up on top of one of the felt circles.
From here, tuck a loop made from about 6″ of ribbon under the fabric. Top off the stack with the second felt circle, lining up the edges of the felt.
Be sure that the fabric is just slightly smaller than the felt but not peeking through the edges.
Sew the layers together
From here, stitch through about 1/4″ from the edge through all the layers. Keep turning the ornament as you stitch.**
**This is a good project for kids to practice turning a piece of fabric while they’re stitching. If they’re nervous, you can drive the fabric while they press the pedal as you stitch around the outside of the ornament. I have multiple ages in my class, and some of them are more confident and experienced with connecting the hand eye coordination of what’s going on with the needle with the power function of the pedal. All kids can absolutely handle the next step on their own.
After you’ve stitched around the ornament, stitch from one edge to another across the circle. When you reach the line of stitching on the opposite side, stitch across at another angle. Repeat this process 3-6 times. You can stitch little zigzag shaped wedges or cross your lines. Be creative here, just don’t make your wedges too small as the next step will be too difficult.
Create the reverse applique
It’s reverse applique time! This is the wow moment for this whole project. Revealing what’s underneath that first layer of felt is really cool.
Carefully pull apart the felt from the front side of the ornament. Make a small cut with your embroidery scissors through the felt only inside one of your shapes.
Start cutting away the felt inside one of the stitched out shapes you’ve made. Leave a small border on the inside of the stitching.
Obviously the tricky part here is making sure that you only cut away the felt. If you do accidentally cut into the fabric, don’t panic. You can simply zigzag (3.0 width, 0.9mm length) around the inside of the shapes later.
Take your time, cutting away the felt on the inside of each of the stitched shapes.
Finish off your ornament by giving it a quick press with an iron on low heat.
How to make your easy felt ornaments extra fun
For a fun easy handmade gift, add your new felt ornament to DIY Christmas cards.
- Felt sheet in any color
- Ribbon or twill tape
- Scraps of cotton quilting fabric
- Olfa circle rotary cutter
- Embroidery scissors
- Cut 2 circles from your felt of choice about 3" across.
- Place your fabric circle face up on top of one of the felt circles.
- Tuck a loop made from about 6" of ribbon under the fabric. Place a second felt circle on top of the other circles, lining up the edges of the felt.
- Stitch through about 1/4" from the edge through all the layers. Keep turning the ornament as you stitch.
- Stitch from one edge to another across the circle. When you reach the line of stitching on the opposite side, stitch across at another angle. Repeat this process 3-6 times. You can stitch little zigzag shaped wedges or cross your lines. Be creative here, just don't make your wedges too small as the next step will be too difficult.
- Carefully pull apart the felt from the front side of the ornament. Make a small cut with your embroidery scissors through the felt only inside one of your shapes.
- Start cutting away the felt inside one of the stitched out shapes you've made. Leave a small border on the inside of the stitching. Keep cutting away felt from the inside of each shape until you've exposed the fabric under each shape.
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Gingher 01-005280 Stork Embroidery Scissors, 3.5 Inch, Gold
15 Primitive Colors 9X12 inch Merino Wool Blend Felt Sheets Collection - OTR felt
OLFA 18mm Rotary Circle Cutter (CMP-3) - Adjustable Rotary Blade Cutter w/ Ratchet Handle Cuts Perfect Circles for Crafts, Sewing, Quilting, Replacement Blade: OLFA RB18-2
Check out more fun Christmas sewing projects
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.