Handmade Holiday Ornaments

Christmas is more than two and a half months away, I know.

But it’s not too early to think about how to decorate your holiday tree especially if you’re making them by hand.

Well, you’re in the right place for holiday ornament inspiration.

I’m participating in a super exciting and creative blog hop which includes handmade holiday ornaments galore.

holiday ornament hop

Welcome to 31 days of Handmade Christmas Ornaments which features a brand new ornament each day from a talented group of fellow bloggers from all over the country.

My little, soft elf ornament represents Day #8 in this holiday series.

Take a look at some of the simple supplies you’ll need.

Now, I used a home embroidery machine but you don’t need a machine to create a similar ornament.

embembroidered ornament supplies

I realize that many of you reading this may not have an embroidery machine but I still want you to see how wonderful these “computers that sew” can be.

After you see this, you may be inspired to add an embroidery machine to your Christmas wish list. Wink, wink.

If you don’t have a machine, you can hand embroider an image onto the cloth or you can rubber stamp an image onto the fabric.

OK, let’s start stitching.

embroidered ornaments quartet

As you can see from the photos above, you can transform a plain piece of fabric into something very special and unique.

Watching the design appear is my favorite part of home embroidery.

I’ve often commented here how having a home embroidery machine has really revolutionized my gifting giving me the ability to personalize and monogram practically anything.

You can see more of my embroidery projects HERE.

embroidered ornaments6

When stitching out a design, the embroidery machine monitor provides a wealth of information about your project including the total number of stitches, thread color changes and the dimensions of your project among other things.

See the little cross-hairs in the center of the design?

That represents exactly what part of the image the needle is currently stitching.

Pretty cool, huh?

embroidered ornaments5

Here’s a look at the finished elf design.

How cute is that?

Don’t forget, in addition to using a home embroidery machine, you can also hand embroider your fabric or use a holiday-themed rubber stamp and ink to add an image to cloth.

Now, lets take a closer look at turning this into an adorable holiday elf into an equally adorable Christmas tree ornament.

embroidery ornament markings

Whether your image is embroidered, hand stitched or rubber stamped, use a water soluble marker to draw a guideline around the design.

Add about a 1/4-inch allowance beyond the marked line and then cut the fabric accordingly.

You’ll also need to cut a second piece of fabric the match for the back of the ornament.

embroidered ornament sewing

Place the two pieces of fabric together with back sides facing each other.

NOTE: You may want to double your fabric pieces (as I did here) if your fabric is very thin or sheer.

Machine stitch (or hand stitch) the two pieces of fabric together following the guidelines from the water soluble marker.

I decided to use a zig-zag decorative stitch for a more interesting presentation.

Leave a small opening in the top of the two pieces of fabric so, you’ll have room to stuff a little cotton inside it.

 ornament trim

Once the two pieces of fabric are stitched together, trim the excess fabric away from the ornament.

I like to use a rotary cutter for this because it gives the edge a clean, sharp cut.

Please, keep rotary cutters out of the reach of children and always ways keep them closed when not in use.

Even a gentle, accidental brush against an open rotary cutter can cause a nasty cut. I know.

embroidery ornaments stuffing

Take a small amount of cotton and stuff it inside the top of the ornament.

Don’t over stuff it.

After you added enough stuffing, place a small loop of baker’s twine inside the opening and then stitch across the opening several times to close it and secure the loop.

Use a damp cloth to remove the water soluble marker lines.

Pull multiple threads around the edge to give the ornament a fringed look.

embroidered ornaments embellishment

Hide the stitching with a few twigs of pine, a bell and holly berries.

Add a bow from the twine.

Then, super glue the embellishments in place.

soft ornament

Here’s a similar soft ornament I made a few years ago using the same technique.

My star-shaped (and heart-shaped) soft ornaments are among my favorite.

You can see my step by step photos for this ornament HERE.

Meanwhile, be sure to check out the fabulous other bloggers who are taking part in this 31 Days of Handmade Ornaments blog hop extravaganza.

The full list and links are at the end of this post.

soft elf ornament

Here are all 31 Bloggers in order of their appearance:

Day 1Pet Scribbles | Day 2Yesterday on Tuesday
Day 3Cupcakes and Crinoline | Day 4An Extraordinary Day
Day 5Celebrating Everyday Life | Day 6Hunt and Host
Day 7Love of Home | Day 8Celebrate Creativity (You are Here Now)
Day 9Petticoat Junktion | Day 10What Meegan Makes
Day 11Atta Girl Says | Day 12Sweet Pea
Day 13Exquisitely Unremarkable | Day 14Imparting Grace
Day 15In My Own Style | Day 16504 Main by Holly Lefevre
Day 17Inspiration for Moms | Day 18The Chelsea Project
Day 19I Should Be Mopping the Floor
Day 20My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia | Day 21Hearth and Vine
Day 22Shabby Art Boutique | Day 23Remodelando la Casa
Day 24Domestically Speaking | Day 24The Everyday Home
Day 26Stone Gable | Day 27My Creative Days
Day 28Swoodson Says | Day 29Knick of Time
Day 30Lovely Etc. | Day 31Live Laugh Rowe

                  Stop by every day to see all the ornaments in this 31 Days of Homemade Ornaments blog hop. 

See them all via the linky list below which is updated daily.

  • Linda Johnson

    I love these kind of ornaments! Thanks for sharing.

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Glad you like them, Linda.
      If you don’t have an embroidery machine, you can always hand embroider or purchase pre-made appliques at your local fabric store.
      Have fun and thanks for popping by.

  • Jennifer Potter

    Lisa: Your projects are fantastic and SO inspiring! Can you share the source of your holiday font? The one used for Gingerbread / Elf / Reindeer are adorable! How can we have 879 fonts and still need another? Ha Ha!

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Hi Jennifer, I know what you mean about having so many fonts.
      The font used in for the soft ornaments is actually from a collection Happy Holidays by Nancy Halvorsen.
      I’ll email you a link to where you can find it.

  • Debra Brown

    Darling ornament. Can you share the software for this ornament? I want to try this on my embroidery machine.

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Hi Debra, the embroidery collection is by Nancy Halvorson and it’s called “Happy Holidays”.
      Just do a google search and you’ll find multiple sources including on Ebay. I’d love to know how your project turns out.
      Good luck and happy holidays.

      • Debra Brown

        Thank you. Merry Christmas to you and yours. 😁

  • Atta Girl Amy

    Now I know what to add to my Christmas list! All your embroidered ornaments are gorgeous!

  • Carrie

    This is so cute and it has me really intrigued about embroidery machines now!

  • Kelly

    What an adorable ornament — and that embroidery machine is amazing! Thanks so much for the inspiration.

  • Kristi Dominguez

    What a sweet ornament. An embroidery machine has been on my wishlist for a few years now. This is a terrific reason for me to move it closer to the top of that list!

  • Lindsay Eidahl

    I wish I knew how to run a sewing machine! This is adorable! I love it!

  • malia

    What an absolutely precious ornament!

  • Angie @Knick of Time

    This ornament is just adorable! I don’t have a machine that can do that, but I think a ready made embroidered iron-on would work great. Pinned!

  • Richella Parham

    Oh my goodness. This is so very pretty!! And my sister has a wonderful embroidery machine–I’m going to show her this post. Thank you for the inspiration!

  • Cristina

    This is adorable! And yes, an embroidery machine has been in my wish list for years. I might bring it to the top of my list after seeing your beautiful project.

  • kristin salazar

    This is so beautiful, the embroidery is gorgeous!

  • Susan

    How beautiful. I’ve been following your work for awhile. Your creativity is so inspiring. Can you tell us where we can get the elf design? Thank you.

  • Kerryanne

    I adore handmade ornaments Lisa and this one is so cute. I’d love to have one of these machines on my Christmas list.

  • Laura @ Inspiration for Moms

    Oh wow! You are so talented! I can’t sew a pillow cover together. Love your ornament!

  • [email protected]

    You are so talented, love this sweet elf ornament. Seeing it makes me want to purchase an embroidery machine. Something I never considered before, but the creative possibilities…. 🙂

  • Stephanie

    These are so cute! Soft ornaments are the best – no breakage 🙂

  • Susie

    This ornament is beyond fantastic! I would love an entire tree filled with these precious treasures! Your sewing machine with a computer is just dabombdiggity! Maybe Santa will bring me one!! 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing with us! Susie from The Chelsea Project

  • [email protected]

    Dear Santa,
    PLEASE bring me an embroidery sewing machine so I can make amazing things like this!

  • Maryann @ Domestically Speaking

    How fun is that!!! I might need to add one on my Christmas list!

  • Mary Beth

    Oh, my, word, Lisa! I love your ornaments. So pretty. I think they would be so cute for an Advent calendar of sorts. My mind is reeling with ideas.

    I used to have a sewing machine that did embroidery and I made so many of my oldest son’s clothes with it adding little monograms and cute little extras but I didn’t use it for a few years, pulled it out, sat down to sew and it seized up 🙁 I was so upset and rather than take it to be repaired (sometimes, I do the most foolish things), I threw it away…yep….now, I’m kicking myself.

    Thanks so much for being a part of the 31 Handmade Christmas Ornaments Hop this year! xo

  • kim jones

    such cute ornaments, you could even cut our cut fabric pieces to make like this. great idea!

  • [email protected] Designs

    Oh I love it when you create something on that wonderful machine of yours! The cutest!!! I so remember when us young moms had ornament making parties…now we have buy an ornament and exchange party! Need to get back to the fun of making them!!

  • Karen

    You’re so talented at so many things!! You simply blow me away 🙂 No matter what your posts are about, I know I’m going to love it! By far my favorite blogger!

  • Meegan

    Absolutely adorable! I am amazed at your talent and idea. Thank you for sharing and getting me into the Christmas spirit.

  • Patti

    Hi Lisa,

    This little elf ornament is adorable. I have a sewing machine that can do some embroidery but mostly I stick to the basics. However, you have now inspired me to look into the possibilities on my own machine. Thanks!

  • Diane | An Extraordinary Day

    Lisa… your ornament is exquisite! I’m totally smitten. The possibilities are truly endless. Thank you for the wonderful tutorial. I love that one could make the ornament with an ink stamp too. Such a great idea. Oh, my goodness… you are surely tempting me with your embroidery machine, too.

    Thanks so much for joining us on the blog hop this year. You are so creative and fun to work with. xo

  • Paula

    What an adorable ornament you created! You make me want a fancy sewing machine!

  • Jennifer at Celebrating Everyday Life

    Lisa! I LOVE THIS!!!! I need to dust off my embroidery machine. Since the move, I haven’t touched mine, but I’m really hoping that this winter I will get a chance to start using it again. I love these little ornaments!! I used to love making homemade monogrammed gifts. Thank you for reminding me of the simple joy of this craft!

    I love being on this tour with you!!

  • Kim

    Wow. These are absolutely adorable. I really didn’t know that you could do such intricate work on a machine. Now you have me thinking about what I’d like from Santa this Christmas!

  • susan

    Such a darling ornament! I love the embroidery!

  • Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    I just love your embroidery projects — they are so cute. In fact, your projects inspired me to get some red ticking fabric and the of that striped string. I haven’t done anything with either one yet but you are my muse. 😊How’s your college girl doing??I bet she misses her fantastic family. Sending big hugs — have a happy Sunday.

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