Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ornaments From the Scrap Bag

A couple of my favorite ornaments were made from simple scraps of fabric that might otherwise be tossed ( one really throws out any size of fabric do they???????????)

Nothing could be easier than these little Styrofoam balls wrapped with scraps of homespun plaids. Tear the fabric in strips about 1 1/2 - 2" wide, put a small bead of Elmer's Glue down the center of the strip and wrapped to cover the ball. I went around the covered ball two or three times with a piece of twine, leaving a knotted end on top for hanging. Add a fabric bow and dried flowers or any other embellishment you wish. If you Google "fabric wrapped Christmas ornaments" you will find and other ideas. If you don't like the torn edge look, use pinking shears. Personally I love the primitive look of these and wish I had kept more for myself when I made them...guess I may have to get out my plaids and make a few more.

Another quick and easy decoration that is basically made from scraps are these gingerbread swags. I apologize for the poor quality of these pics. I scanned them several years ago, before we had a digital camera and when my scanner glass had a scratch. Now I no longer have the swags to take decent pics of, having given them away or sold them.

I took recycled mattress pads and cut gingerbread shapes (you can freehand draw your own or find a pattern in a coloring book or child's story book). I drew the shapes on the fabric, used a fairly short stitch length to sew on the drawn line, then cut a scant 1/4" outside using pinking shears. Then I crumpled a piece of aluminum foil and put it on a cookie sheet. I laid the gingerbread figures on the aluminum foil and used a spray bottle filled with a strong solution of tea or coffee to liberally wet each side. Then I baked in the oven at 250ยบ until nearly dry, turning now and then and watching closely to not bake too long and risk fire. I don't remember how long, but it wasn't really long. The fabric had interesting designs where the foil touched. If you try this, PLEASE BE CAREFUL.

After the shapes dried really well I used acrylic paint to add frosting like decorations, eyes, mouth, etc. Then grabbed my scraps again and added clothes, bows and buttons, yarn for hair on some.

While I used a recycled mattress pad for the first set or so I also used muslin and batting scraps which I loosely quilted together to make other sets. Actually you wouldn't even have to do any quilting..they are small enough that the outline stitching is enough to hold the layers together without shifting.

I joined a set of four or more together by gluing twine to the backs, adding a bead or two between and on the ends. How cute is that?

1 comment:

karenfae said...

I love your Christmas decorations Mary, sure look like some of them took awhile to make.