Today brings our first DIY tutorial to the blog. I've been stitching these somewhat time consuming but inexpensive and easy poinsettia ornaments each December for the past four or five years. I love the look of poinsettia flowers, but I'm bad about remembering to water plants and didn't like the thought of having poisonous flowers around with small children. So these felt beauties were a way to bring them into our home for the holidays with minimal cost, fuss, and worry.
The materials needed are simple. For every two ornaments you want to make, you need one 8.5x11 inch sheet of felt in green and whatever color you want your poinsettia to be. You'll need a pack of acrylic gems, a roll of thin ribbon, a needle and thread, and a hot glue gun with plenty of glue sticks.
Cut the red, white, or pink felt into two strips that are roughly 8.5x2.5 and two that are roughly 8.5x3.
Cut two strips from the green felt that are roughly 8.5x3.5. Then cut four circles out of the remaining felt.
Cut flame shaped petals and leaves from the strips of felt you've prepared. The broader the base of each petal, the easier they will be to sew together in the next step. You should be able to cut six petals from each of the white, red, or pink strips, and you should be able to cut four leaves from each strip of the green felt.
Once you've finished cutting out all your petals and leaves, it's time to begin assembling your ornament.
Start by threading your needle. I like to double my thread for strength's sake and use a long enough piece to sew two whirls before needing to rethread my needle. It just saves my eyes with these small eyed needles.
Fold the base of your petals in the middle and then fold both sides down again to form an "M" at the base. Pinch this together and hold it in your left hand as shown.
I apologize for the quality of the photo, I think I moved when snapping it.
Slide your needle through all layers at the base of the petal, pulling the needle toward yourself as shown above. Then loop the thread around and slide the needle through again in the same way a millimeter or so over. (You don't want to go through the same place because the thread will tangle.) Pull it tight to hold the fold in place, and fold the next petal in the same way you did the first.
Stitch the second petal the same way you did the first, but don't slide it all the way to meet the first petal just yet. Loop your thread around and slide the needle back through the folded material toward you, making sure to offset the stitch just a bit. Pull until you have a small loop as shown above. Pull the thread at the bottom of the loop until the petals meet, and then pull the needle until the loop tightens around the bottom of the petal.
This helps prevent knotting in the thread or making your whirl so tight it crumples in on itself before you are able to add all six petals.
Repeat this step until all six petals are added to the whirl.
Once the last petal has been added and tightened, Pinch the edges of the first and sixth petal together. Run the needle through the outer folds on each petal as shown above and pull tight. Repeat to loop the thread around and pull the whirl closed tight. Knot off your thread and cut to finish this step.
Repeat the process with the small and large whirls for each ornament you're making.
Once you've finished stitching each whirl together, warm up your glue gun and gather your materials for gluing. You need a whirl of small petals, a whirl of large petals, two backing circles, two leaves, an acrylic jewel in any color you choose for the center, and an 8 inch piece of ribbon for each ornament.
Start by gluing your whirls together. Position the smaller whirl over the larger one in whatever orientation looks best. Lift up the smaller whirl, add a dollop of glue to the larger one, replace the smaller, and press down.
Using another dollop of glue, secure your jewel to the center of your poinsettia. It should look similar to the one shown when you're done.
Flip your ornament over and glue down the first backing circle. This will provide the base for everything else we'll add.
Find where your leaves will best balance out the look of your ornament and glue down.
Loop the ribbon, and secure it with glue.
Add the final backing circle for a polished look and added durability.
Finally, use glue to secure the ribbon to the petals. The ornaments tend to be top heavy, and this will keep them from falling forward when hung on the tree.
Set the ornaments aside and allow them to cool completely. Clear away any hot glue filaments left behind, and they're ready to display.