The Christmas decoration preparation is well under way, and everything has been coming together nicely. I’m planning on baking my Christmas cake later this week (recipe to follow), and mince pies the week following.
This week though, I’ve been doing some more crafting with the left over felt from my christmas tree tree decorations (there seems to be too many ‘trees’ in that sentence, but it does make sense…). I thought I’d use that alcove space above the television in the living room to display more festive decorations than the normal paper bunting that adorns that particular corner of the room. Whilst the paper bunting is pretty, I thought it would be nice to make the most of all the felt and christmas fabric that I had to hand, and produce something more festive for the flat.
This project was a little more time consuming due to the amount of sewing I did (I had to do all of it by hand as I do not own a sewing machine!). I spent around three evenings in front of the TV cutting out the shapes and sewing them all together, but it would be a lot quicker if you used a sewing machine (and perhaps a little tidier too).
First of all, I drew a template for a heart onto paper and cut it out. I then drew around that template and cut out a smaller heart from the new (second) template. Basically you end up with two templates, one about 1cm smaller around the edges than the other.
Once these templates were cut out, I used the larger template to draw around on the red piece of felt, to create the felt heart backing.
I then cut the hearts out carefully, and placed them to one side.
I then used the smaller heart template to trace around onto the back of the christmas fabric (I chose to use a red gingham material for the hearts, and a holly fabric for the christmas trees). The reason why I traced onto the back of the fabric was so that no pen would show through once I cut out the shapes.
Once I’d traced enough smaller heart shapes, I cut them out, and put them aside with the felt hearts.
Next, I pinned one small fabric heart to the middle of a felt heart (there should be about 1cm-ish space between the edges of the small and large heart shapes). I then sewed carefully around the edge of the fabric, to secure it onto the felt. I chose not to hem the fabric first, as I quite like the effect of frayed fabric, which will probably occur quite slowly due to me packaging them carefully and not really stressing the fabric in any way.
From here on, it was a bit like a factory line, pionning small heart on big heart, sewing up, placing to one side, and repeat with new fabric shapes….
I then repeated the process with a christmas tree template to create the christmas trees.
Once I had all my shapes completed and sewn up, I measured the lengths of ribbon needed for the alcove, chopped and tied loops in each end to hang over the hooks in the wall.
I then got my packet of mini pegs out, and carefully pegged the shaped to the ribbon, making sure that the first shape was pegged first, and put in the middle of ribbon (and so then worked outwards on each side from the central shape).
I liked the effect of alternating the shapes, but this could have been arranged differently. You could have all trees on one ribbon, and all hearts on the other. The beauty of this garland is that it is easily interchangeable due to the pegs. I’ll probably get the garland out again in February, but just use the hearts, for a Valentine’s Day decoration… Next year I may make stars or snowflake shapes, which can easily be added to the garland, or could replace the existing shapes.
Cost of Christmas Tree and Heart Garland:
Red and green felt: free (already owned, and used for christmas tree decorations)
Ribbon: free (already owned)
Christmas fabric (holly): 32p (for 1/8 of a ‘fat quarter’ that was used)
Christmas fabric (gingham): 23p (for 1/8 of a ‘fat quarter’ that was used)
mini pegs: free (already owned)
Total = 55p