Christmas DIY: Pair of Mittens Ornament

Pair of Mittens Ornament
I couldn’t stop the inspiration. Whenever I looked at my list of ideas I couldn’t bear to cross one off. So in this last dash to Christmas I’m going to be pumping out the tutorials to share them all in time. This little set was another one that the tree just wouldn’t be complete without. You have to have mittens on a bundled up tree! But lucky for me (and for you) they whip up in a super hurry.

Pair of Mittens Ornament Tutorial Step 1
Download the handy little pattern I’ve made for you, or just trace a hand or mitten you have nearby. You’ll need to cut the pattern out four times out of a fabric for the outside, and four times out of a fabric for the lining. If your fabric has a specific front and back remember that you’ll need to have one mitten be a right mitten, and one be a left. So if your fronts and back are different than you’ll want to flip the pattern over for two pieces.

Pair of Mittens Ornament Tutorial Step 2
Sew your lining and exterior pieces all around the edge, leaving the wrist section open. So now you should have two exterior pieces and two lining pieces. Snip the corners between the thumb and the hand and turn the exterior pieces right side out. Leave the lining pieces just the way they are and insert them into the mittens so that all the seams are hidden between the lining and outside pieces.

Pair of Mittens Ornament Tutorial Step 3
Fold the raw edges still at the wrist towards the inside between the layers. Pin in place.

Pair of Mittens Ornament Tutorial Step 4
Pin a piece of yarn (I didn’t even bother measuring it. Maybe it was a foot?) between the two layers. I liked to position my yarn right at the seam on the thumb side of the mitten.

Pair of Mittens Ornament Tutorial Step 5
Sew all the way around the cuffs right at the edge. Then fold them over to show the contrasting lining.

Pair of Mittens Ornament Tutorial
These are not only super cute, but I think they’d even be pretty functional. I can’t remember the last time I saw mittens for sale that still had the yarn connecting them, so if your little ones are always losing their mittens, this might be a solution. Or an adorable last minute gift.

Pair of Mittens Ornament Pattern
To use the pattern, just click on it and download the original size.

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Christmas DIY: Miniature Sweater Ornament (with tiny wire hanger)

Miniature Sweater Ornament
In my brainstorming, this is the ornament that started it all. The tree never would have been complete without it, and the sweaters I picked up from the thrift store with this project in mind were what set the whole color story for the tree. But it took me a while to get it right. Knit is tricky to sew, and pattern construction on knit fabric was a little bit of a nightmare, but I persevered. And now my nightmare will be a total breeze for you.

Miniature Sweater Ornament Tutorial Step 1
Download the handy little pattern I made for you and make yourself a cardboard pattern. I found it really helpful to have a kind of rigid surface to hold against the wiggly stretchy knit as I was cutting. The cardboard really helped. You’ll need two pieces for the body, and two pieces for the sleeves.

Miniature Sweater Ornament Tutorial Step 2
Working with pieces this tiny you’ll definitely want to hem as much as you can before you put the pieces together. Hemming a sleeve can be a bit of a wrestle when it’s for a full grown person, A hem on something the size of your finger will make you swear. Hem the neckline and the sleeve cuffs by just folding it over. You could fold it twice to make a cleaner hem, but second hand knit is going to look a bit raggedy no matter what, so I didn’t sweat it.

Miniature Sweater Ornament Tutorial Step 3
This style of sleeve is called a raglan sleeve and it is the simplest thing in the world. Line one of the body pieces up with one of the sleeve pieces, right sides together, matching up one of those angles by placing the point of the sleeve right up to the neck hem. Repeat for the other side.

Miniature Sweater Ornament Tutorial Step 4
Sew the other body piece on in the same way by lining it up with the other side of the sleeves.

Miniature Sweater Ornament Tutorial Step 5
Sew the sides closed by sewing one long seam from the sleeve cuff to the armpit, pivoting, and then sewing down the body to the waist. Repeat for the other side.

Miniature Sweater Ornament Tutorial Step 6
Hem the bottom of the sweater. You could do this step at the same time you do the rest of the hemming, but I like waiting until the sides are together so that the hem can be all one piece.

You could stop here if you want to just have a sweater, but if you want to hang it up neatly on your Christmas tree, you need a hanger.

Miniature Sweater Ornament Tutorial Step 7
I used a piece of electric fence wire because I had a whole bunch of it and it was a good width. Mine measured about 10″ long. Bend the first 3/4″ or so into a little hook.

Miniature Sweater Ornament Tutorial Step 8
Then bend it into a hanger shape…

Miniature Sweater Ornament Tutorial Step 9
…and twist the end around the neck of the hook, cutting off any extra.

Miniature Sweater Ornament Tutorial
A couple of hems and two seams and you have an adorable little sweater. Despite the fact that knit can be a bit challenging to work with, because it’s so stretchy, I think this would make a great first sewing project. You could always use a polar fleece or other fabric that doesn’t have as much give as a full on sweater knit, and since it doesn’t have to fit anybody it’s an easy way to make a few mistakes without it spoiling the fun of the project.

Miniature Sweater Pattern
Click the picture and download the original size.

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Christmas DIY: Polar Fleece Scarf Ornament

Polar Fleece Scarf
Two holiday parties last week, an epic sickness, and three holiday parties this week, and I am BEAT. And then at the class party today I realized I didn’t have enough presents for all the teachers aides, so I have to go back to the kitchen to make some more before getting up to do the whole thing again tomorrow. Next week I should be done with my to-do list and ready to just enjoy the season, but for tonight? My eyes are glazing over and I need some sleep. So I’m shuffling a few things around on my calendar because I need an easy night. And because I might be making a few of these to make up for the teacher’s aides and bus drivers I didn’t make enough hot fudge for.

Polar Fleece Scarf Tutorial Step 1
You’ll need polar fleece in two different colors. Cut two pieces each measuring 2 1/2″ wide, and 30″ long. The polar fleece I bought came off the bolt at 60″ wide, so I just cut off the selvedges and then cut it in half. If I was making this for an actual person to wear, I’d cut it about 6″ wide and 66″ long or longer, unless I was trying to skimp on fabric and then I’d call 60″ long enough.

Polar Fleece Scarf Tutorial Step 2
Line the two pieces up wrong sides together and sew the edges closed. If I was making this scarf to be worn I might take a little time to make this step more decorative, maybe with a blanket or other overcast stitch.

Polar Fleece Scarf Tutorial Step 3
Snip the ends of the scarf about three inches long and about 1/3 of an inch wide. (I was REALLY strict about the measurements here :sarcasm:) Separate the fringe and tie the front and back pieces together with a couple of knots. You’ve probably seen this done for simple baby blankets, and it’s a great way to not only secure the pieces together but add a little pretty at the same time. Plus, I love how it brings the contrasting fabric to the other side.

Polar Fleece Scarf Tutorial
On my tree I just tied these around the branches as if I was tying them around my neck. And I love how it turned out. This little tree has so much personality.

Now excuse me, I have presents to make, before my eyes slam shut.

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Christmas DIY: Yarn Stocking Cap Ornament

Stocking Cap Ornament
As I’ve mentioned in earlier tutorials, I love yarn. So, so much. It’s so soft and beautiful I just want to wrap myself in it. Which I then go on to do when I put on a sweater. But in the seasons of my life, knitting is for January. It’s for when I need to be still and quiet and let the world go on around me as I meditate through repetitive motions. This time of year I have no time for knitting. I promised myself one project (my crocheted sock) and everything else has to make due without it or else this tree would never have seen the light of day. So I thought and I thought and I tried to come up with all the other ways I could use yarn, and I remembered this classic from my days as a Merrie Miss – what we would now call Achievement Days – which is basically Mormon speak for a way to entertain and educate 10 – 12 year old girls.

A similar version is made by wrapping yarn around a piece of toilet paper roll, but I’m a grown up now. I had to go for something bigger and better.

Stocking Cap Ornament Tutorial Step 1
Instead of a toilet paper roll, I used a mail tube. I cut it into three inch sections using an electric carving knife, since the mailing tube I got was pretty dang thick. (On the video I share a great tip for how to get a clean, straight, circular cut.) Then I just cut a whole bunch of pieces of yarn long enough to be doubled over and then wrap around the tube twice with room left over for a hat and a pompom. I think I cut mine to be just about three feet, but I wasted a TON of yarn when it came to trimming time. Two and a half will probably still be pah-lenty.

Stocking Cap Ornament Tutorial Step 2
Here’s the most complicated part of this whole process. Ready? Take your yarn and double it over on itself. Put the folded end through the center of your tube, then put the loose ends through that loop.

Stocking Cap Ornament Tutorial Step 3
Pull.

Stocking Cap Ornament Tutorial Step 4
Do that over and over and over again, (with my yarn I think it was between 65 – 70 times, but it will depend on the yarn you’re using) until the cardboard tube is completely covered.

Then take all those yarn tails and push them back through the tube, pushing the little knots to the inside as well.

Stocking Cap Ornament Tutorial Step 5
Comb all those tails into a little ponytail and tie a piece of fishing line around it. This will also be your ornament hanger, so tie the ends of the fishing line into a loop.

Stocking Cap Ornament Tutorial Step 6
Be careful not to cut your fishing line, and trim the yarn ends into a little faux pom pom.

Stocking Cap Ornament Tutorial
Every one of my little hats came out slightly different in size, and I love it. It’s like a Dr. Suess crowd scene with short hats and tall hats, long skinny hats and squat hats. And each one makes me want to get a hot chocolate and put eh after everything I say.

If your kids can rainbow loom, they can totally make this hat. I think it would make a pretty great teacher’s gift since it’s cute enough for the poor teacher to not have to put it on the back of the tree with any playdough ornaments.

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Christmas DIY: Earmuff Ornament

Earmuff Ornament
One Christmas when my youngest sister was really little, she got it in her head that she wanted a pair of earmuffs. Every Santa she saw she’d ask for earmuffs. She made it clear that this was the make it or break it present and if no earmuffs were under the Christmas tree, it was proof the whole thing was a hoax. Who knows what put that in her head, but there was no dislodging it. I guess that’s just kid’s for you, I’ve gotten emails from other parents under similar emotional threat who used one of my tutorials to save Christmas after shopping proved fruitless. You wouldn’t think earmuffs would be that big of a challenge, but growing up in Seattle where it rarely got cold enough to freeze, we couldn’t find them anywhere. If I remember right, something turned up at the little 5 and Dime kind of place in town, the pre-dollar-store dollar store, and Christmas was saved at the last minute. If only I sewed back then, I could have saved us all a lot of trouble.

Earmuff Ornament Tutorial Step 1
These earmuffs won’t really keep your ears very warm, but they’re lightweight enough to hang on the tree without breaking branches and they cost about as much as the miraculous pre-dollar-store earmuffs did back in the early 90′s.

You’ll need four circles of fabric, a headband, a little stuffing, and any trim you want to use. To get the circles the size I wanted I just traced the bottom of a mason jar.

Earmuff Ornament Tutorial Step 2
Pin the circles right side together with the trim sandwiched between them. When you’ve got the trim wrapped all the way around back to where you started from, overlap it with your starting piece and make sure all the cut edges are hanging outside.

Earmuff Ornament Tutorial Step 3
Sew all the way around, leaving an inch open for turning. I like to make sure that the space I leave open is different spot from where all my trim comes out. It makes stuffing and turning and closing up way way easier if all those edges are dealt with.

Earmuff Ornament Tutorial Step 4
Turn it right side out and stuff.

Earmuff Ornament Tutorial Step 5
Stick the headband all the way in, fold the edges under, and glue shut.

Earmuff Ornament Tutorial
I love this ornament for a lot of reasons, but a big one is the variety it brings to the tree. With so many things made miniature, it’s a nice contrast to have something life sized in comparison. Plus, if Atti ever gets it in his head that Santa has to bring him some earmuffs, I’ll be prepared.

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Christmas DIY: Earflap Hat Ornament

Earflap Hat Ornament
I’ve made some pretty dang cute things for this tree, but this one is hands down my favorite. And believe it or not it was one of the least complicated. You don’t even need a pattern! And no holes to sew shut! As I’m discovering, everything is cuter in miniature, and I think bulky winter clothing might be the very cutest.

Earflap Hat Ornament Tutorial Step 1
Your pattern pieces are just:
4 pieces of the exterior fabric measuring 3″ x 4″
4 pieces of the interior fabric measuring 3″ x 4″
2 pieces of the exterior fabric measuring 3″ x 3″
2 pieces of the interior fabric measuring 3″ x 3″
A piece of yarn for the hanger
and two pom poms on a string.

To make the pom poms I used my earlier tutorial and wrapped the yarn 50 times around my index finger. Then I was sure to leave myself about a five inch tail.

Earflap Hat Ornament Tutorial Step 2
Fold each of your fabric pieces in half, start cutting about halfway down the side, and then round up to the top to create the curve shape. Consistency is the only thing that matters here, not the angle or anything, so I like to cut on piece and use it as a pattern for all the others.

Earflap Hat Ornament Tutorial Step 3
Match two larger pieces of the exterior fabric together and sew from the bottom up to the point of the curve, then stop. Repeat this for the other two large exterior pieces, and for two of the large interior pieces.

Earflap Hat Ornament Tutorial Step 4
With the last two large interior pieces, leave a one inch gap somewhere along that seam you’re sewing, so you’ll have a space for turning.

Earflap Hat Ornament Tutorial Step 5
Open up both of the large exterior pieces and sew them together across that long curve, placing the yarn loop for hanging in between them. Sew the large interior pieces together as well. This makes the crown of your hat.

Earflap Hat Ornament Tutorial Step 6
The smaller pieces are for the earflaps. Match them up across from one another on the bottom of the crown piece. To make sure the seams end up on the correct side, the earflap pieces should be lined up on the inside of the crown. Sew across. Repeat for the interior piece.

Earflap Hat Ornament Tutorial Step 7
Pin the interior and exterior pieces right sides together. Pin the earflaps together with your pom poms stuffed inside so that only the end of the yarn tail pokes through. Sew around the edges of the earflaps, across the crown, back down around the other earflap, and then back across the crown to where you started. Turn it right side out by pulling the whole thing through that whole you left in the lining, and then tucking the lining up inside the hat.

Earflap Hat Ornament Tutorial
It’s cute with the pom poms hanging loose, or you could flip the earflaps up and use the poms to tie them in place. I did a bit of both on my tree.

The pattern can be adjusted to any size you want, in fact, if you just add a few inches you could take this same silly ornament pattern and make an actual hat out of it. Or a BABY HAT! :gasp: Somebody point me to a newborn. STAT.

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Christmas DIY: Pipe Cleaner Ornaments

Wrapped Pipe Cleaner Words
On a lazy Sunday night I’ve got a couple of lazy Sunday projects for you. These two ideas are so so simple that it feels a bit like cheating to put them up, but I love the impact so much that I have to share them.

I’ve had a huge basket of Lion Brand Bon Bons sitting in my studio since I did a sponsored project with them ages ago, and wouldn’t you know it if those little suckers didn’t come in handy again. This is what I mean when I say I only do sponsored posts with companies I actually use. They sent me samples and I keep giving them new projects whether they want them or not. Anyway, rambling aside, they really are perfect for this project. Any yarn will do, especially any little yarn remnants you’ve been hoarding, but I liked the Bon Bons because they’re easy to maneuver around the pipe cleaner.

Pipe Cleaner Word Step 1
To start twist together enough pipe cleaners to spell your word. I did a dry run by bending the pipe cleaners into a word shape to know exactly how big I’d need to make it, but you’ll want to keep your pipe cleaners straight for wrapping. Shoving yarn through the center of tiny letter loops is no fun.

Pipe Cleaner Word Step 2
Then you just wrap and wrap and wrap. I tied the yarn in a knot around the pipe cleaner about a 1/2″ from where I wanted the color to start and then backtracked. That way I wrapped the yarn over my knot to cover it up and hide any tails. When I was ready to switch colors I did the same basic thing – went ahead about 1/2″, tied a knot, then tied a knot with the new yarn in about the same place and backtracked to wrap over both knots.

A little glue on the ends keeps the yarn from sliding off the tips, and then you just bend the pipe cleaner into whatever word – or in my case, sound – that you want.

Pipe Cleaner Chain
While I was in the pipe cleaner aisle I found these bright neon ones and they just looked like a fuzzy ski parka to me, so I had to have them. Later on that same shopping trip I saw a red and white chain garland and I knew exactly how my fuzzy ski parka was going to find itself on the tree.

Pipe Cleaner Chain Step 1
The size of chain I liked best was when I cut the pipe cleaners in half. Which is easy enough to do with scissors, but if you have wire cutters handy you’ll prolong the life of your scissors by using instead.

Pipe Cleaner Chain Step 2
Wrap the pipe cleaner in a circle and twist the ends over on itself. Not together like you would a bread twist tie, over on itself so keep the circle going.

Pipe Cleaner Chain Step 3
Thread that chain onto your next piece before twisting and then keep on building.

What I love about both these project is their simplicity. These are simple enough to entrust to the youngest of kids, but they still add a lovely punch of color to your decorations. Plus, it gives you a chance to keep those young hands busy as you sit together making Christmas memories.

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Christmas DIY: Yarn Ball Ornament

Yarn Ball Ornaments
For every knitter I’ve ever talked to, the finished item was only half the joy of knitting, if that. Most knitters I know would be content to just have balls of yarn piled up in every room, surrounded by the luscious colors and extravagant fibers, even if we never got to knit again. Most of us actually do live that way, stashes of yarn piled up in every spare space, more than some of us could ever get around to knitting but it won’t stop us. Such is the appeal of the yarn that we love.

So when brainstorming cozy, this was one of the first places my mind stopped. Balls of yarn all bundled up and waiting to be made into something lovely, looking lovely all by itself in the meantime.

Yarn Ball Ornament Tutorial Step 1
Yarn balls, even small ones, take quite a bit of yardage, which costs money, and can weigh an awful lot. So to become an ornament that can hang on a flexible tree branch we have to come up with a way to cheat. My brainstorm came in the form of ping pong balls. They’re super light weight and will give you a perfectly round starting point.

Yarn Ball Ornament Tutorial Step 2
I spread some white glue all over the ball. It provides an easy starting point, but it will also keep all the remaining yarn in place against the onslaught of pokey branches or curious cats. After a couple of experiments, I found that the yarn ball looks tidiest and most appealing (to me anyway, ymmv) if the yarn is wrapped in groupings. I wrapped the ball four times each direction before turning.

Yarn Ball Ornament Tutorial Step 3
If you’ve never made a yarn ball, this next step might sound like I’m making things needlessly complicated. But if you have tried to make one, then you know how easily it can go from a ball to an egg. Or a football. Which doesn’t matter even a little bit if you’re just trying to keep your yarn neat as you knit, but if you’re trying to make a pretty little ornament it can make things complicated. Here’s the method I came up with to keep things spherical.

After you wrap the yarn four times around the ball, turn it and wrap four more across it in the other direction. Now you can’t just keep turning between these two positions while keeping the ball spherical, so imagine that there is a compass sitting on top of your ball. If the south arrow is pointing at you when you’re holding it, turn it until the east arrow is pointing at you. Now imagine you’re looking at a clock. Turn the ball so that what was 12 o’clock becomes 3 o’clock. This is one of those things that’s hard to write out so if you’re confused than give a watch to the video down below. You’re basically just turning the ball a quarter of the way around on both the x axis, and the y axis.

Yarn Ball Ornament Tutorial
When you’re happy with how you’ve got the ball wrapped, cut the yarn leaving about a 5″ tail. Push an inch or so underneath the last group of wraps and use it to tie around the loop to make your ornament hanger.

These work up so quick and take such little yarn, that I think once the season is over I might just make a whole bunch of them to sit in a bowl on a desk somewhere. Yarn is just so lovely, it’s totally worth being an object of art.

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Christmas DIY: Flannel Shirt Ornaments

Flannel Shirt Ornament
As a teenager growing up in Seattle during the 90′s, I rarely wore an actual coat. Normally I wore layers of flannels. Usually stolen from my sister, who stole them from my dad. Since I never had many clothing options growing up, I remember that one day I actually buttoned the flannel, just to get a little variety in my weekly wardrobe, and I honest to goodness got made fun of for it. Trends are weird.

So on my Bundled Up Cozy Christmas tree, a flannel ornament was a must. But just like my Sweater Balls from earlier this week, I wanted to do it in a way that wasn’t literal. I’ve already got my Ugly Christmas Sweater ornaments, and coming up I have little sweaters and little coats, so I felt like the shirt shaped ornament was more than covered. With this little flannel I just wanted to give the impression of a shirt, which also meant it was ridiculously easy to whip up.

Flannel Shirt Ornament Tutorial Step 1
The back piece measures 3 1/2″ tall and 3″ wide, which was really just an arbitrary pick so you could easily change that and make it as big as you want. For the front you’ll need two pieces measuring 3 1/2″ tall and 2 1/2″ wide, although if you need to cut it thinner you can. I left myself a ton of room to maneuver. Then you’ll need two pieces to be your collar which are 1 1/2″ squares.

Flannel Shirt Ornament Tutorial Step 2
Fold one of the front pieces over and overlap it with the second front piece until it measures 3″ wide. You’ll want that seam to be off center by about 1/2″ to make room for buttons. Sew in place right up to the edge of that fold.

Flannel Shirt Ornament Tutorial Step 3
Fold the two square collar pieces into triangles and place them on top of the finished front piece so that all the raw edges line up together.

Flannel Shirt Ornament Tutorial Step 4
Place a loop of yarn or string on top to act as the ornament hanger. Put your back piece on top of the stack with right sides together and sew all the way around, leaving a 1″ opening for turning and stuffing.

Flannel Shirt Ornament Tutorial Step 5
Turn right side out and glue three buttons right down the center of the shirt. Once the glue is dry, stuff it and sew it closed.

Flannel Shirt Ornament Tutorial
I don’t know what it is about making these little, but in a miniature version even a grungy flannel shirt looks as sweet as can be. I made these fairly small so I think I’ll put them close to the tip of the branch so they can get the attention they deserve. And once again, I’m thinking how cute these would be as package decorations. Maybe it’s the miniature effect again. The mother in me wants to protect the widdol baby shurt.

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Christmas DIY: Sweater Ball Ornaments

Sweater Ball Ornaments
I think a good cable knit sweater just might be one of the most beautiful things two hands can make. I don’t really find them incredibly flattering, at least on my figure, but the intricacies of the patterns are something that I could stare at forever. Cable knit is also really time consuming, and if you want to make it look like a traditional ball ornament, it’s even more so as you try and coax a flat textile into the shape of a sphere. Which is where my trusty thrift store came in. For a few dollars I could rescue a cable knit sweater from the rack of used clothes and in a few minutes – instead of a couple of days – I can have my ball ornament swathed in beautiful texture.

Sweater Ball Ornament Tutorial Step 1
I just used the sleeves for this project, I was saving the body of the sweater for an upcoming ornament, but it made it really easy to get the size right. I just shoved a styrofoam ball inside the sleeve, pinned one end to the top, and cut the other end long enough for it to be pinned to the bottom. The part of the sleeve right above the cuff was the perfect size and I didn’t even have to make adjustments, but further up the shoulder it got wider so I pinned the sides in where they met on the ball and cut off the extra where the sleeves seam was.

Sweater Ball Ornament Tutorial Step 2
To make this fit your ball, you’ll need to cut off the corners of the square sleeve and finesse it to fit around the round ball. I found the neatest way to do this was to make three lines, one out of the side seam, and two more dividing the ball into thirds. Pinch the extra sweater material and cut it right off, pinning as you go to keep the sweater from unraveling or shifting around.

Sweater Ball Ornament Tutorial Step 3
Keep cutting off the corners and pinning in place until you have the whole ball covered. To make sure that I was leaving myself enough room to cover any raw edges, I pinned one side over the top of the other. This set me up so that my handstitching could be extra neat.

Sweater Ball Ornament Tutorial Step 4
Use a needle and thread to handstitch the edges down. To keep those raw edges in check I did a little needleturning – where I used the point of my needle to tuck the ends under as I sewed them in place. The needle can make a much cleaner fold than you could with your fingers, and catch any little thread that wants to go rogue.

Sweater Ball Ornament Tutorial Step 5
When your seams are all sewed down, sew on a loop of coordinating yarn to hang your ornament from.

Sweater Ball Ornament Tutorial
My first ball was a little messy for my liking, but that’s the nice thing about using thrift store sweaters. If you screw up you’re not out much. I just cut that piece of sweater off and went back for more. And then the next time I tried I figured out a better way to stitch things in place and I was much much happier. Now I get to enjoy all the beautiful texture these ornaments will bring to my tree, and I get to feel righteous about taking a shortcut. I saved a sweater.

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