I Saw, I Pinned, I Followed Through
I recently saw button ornaments like these on Pinterest, and I remembered there was an article saved in one of my clipping notebooks too. (It was from the Dec./Jan. 2011 MaryJanesFarm magazine.)
I spent a lovely rainy day making them and a button garland. And then one of you did a post that showed the Advent calendar your grandmother made for you when you were three. (I’m sorry, I can’t find whose post that was! If you happen to read this, please tell me.)
So I made one for my grandson. He will get it late for this year, but he can just put up two ornaments a day for a while.
I thought about different ways to attach the ornaments – Velcro was one option, or hooks and eyes, or buttons, but it seemed like all those would take a really long time to attach. Then in the craft section at Walmart, I found a big bag of jewelry findings — jump rings and clips. I thought those would attach pretty quickly, and hold up for several years of use. I also thought they look vaguely ornamentish even before the trinkets are clipped on.
First I made a simple Christmas tree shape and fused it to background fabric, and went around the edges with satin stitch.
Then I set little eyelets through those two layers of fabric. This was the most time-consuming part. If you haven’t done eyelets before, they look like this:
The tool with the black tip is a tiny punch – you place it where you want the hole, with the cutting mat underneath the fabric, and hammer until the punch makes a small hole. Then you push an eyelet through the hole and turn the fabric over. The other tool is a setting tool — you line it up with the eyelet that’s protruding through, and tap the tool with the hammer until it mashes the eyelet flat.
(To save time, you punch a bunch of holes, push the eyelets through, then turn it over and set them.)
Once the eyelets were in place, I used thin jewelry wire to wire a jump ring into each eyelet. You can see the wire crossing the back of the fabric in the picture above, and from the front it looked like this:
The jump rings are places to clip on the little ornaments. I could have stitched them in place, but I just like the look of eyelets.
For the strips of pockets, I used pre-cut strips with pinked edges. One thing I remember from my high school art class, is that whenever you are doing lettering by hand, do that first. That way, if something doesn’t come out right, you haven’t ruined the whole piece! So I measured the spaces on the strips and then numbered by hand with a silver paint marker.
So, I did the attachment of all the jump rings on the front piece of fabric only, and then I added the batting and backing, pinned the number strips in place, and sewed through all those layers to make the little pockets. Then I added binding and a hanging sleeve.
Then the ornament fun started! I bought some mini-ornaments, and made some from jingle bells and cute buttons, but these below are my favorites. These are jewelry bezels and the art work is from all those free stickers and gift cards that World Wildlife Fund is always sending. You can see the little clips on some of these.
It was fun to make and I can’t wait to send it!