Friday, 28 September 2012

How To: Angel Christmas Card


I do love sewing, but I love paper crafting too - especially at Christmas! The final angel-themed project of the week is for making pretty cards. I've used paper doilies to decorate the angel's dresses, but you could use glitter or glue sequins on if you prefer something a bit more sparkly.

To make your own angel Christmas cards, you will need:

- The templates provided at the bottom of this post
- Scissors
- A fine tipped black pen & a pencil
- Prittstick or other paper-friendly glue
- Gold and silver paper ( metallic gift wrap, or kraft paper).
- White paper doilies, approx. 5 inches / 12.5cm in diameter
- Coloured paper for the angel's face, feet and hair (or felt tips and/or coloured pencils in the desired colours)
- Card blanks (I used some lovely recycled blank cards from Paperchase, but any colour which will help the white, silver and gold of your angel stand out would work).



1) Use the templates provided to cut out 1 each of the following shapes: wings (silver), halo (gold), dress (white), hair (your chosen hair colour, or white) feet and face (skin colour, or white).

Flip your templates over, and draw around them with a pencil so that when you cut the shapes out your pencil marks will be at the back and hidden on the finished card. If you're planning on making lots of angel cards to give to family and friends, you may find it helpful to glue your templates to some thin card (e.g. a cereal box) and cut them out again to create sturdy templates you can use repeatedly.

2) The use the dress template to cut out a piece from your paper doily. Try to arrange the template so the pattern on the doily's border is symmetrical. You only need one piece for each angel, but I found I could cut five pieces from the 5 inch (12.5cm) doilies I was using.



3) If necessary, colour in the face, feet and hair shapes. Then use a fine tipped black pen to draw eyes and a mouth on the face (make sure you leave room to stick the hair on later!). You now have all the pieces for your angel.


4) Use prittstick to glue the wings in position - make you you leave enough room for the head, halo and toas and for any message you want to write on the front of the card. Then glue the feet and the plain white dress shapes in position so that they slightly overlap (with the feet sticking out from under the bottom of the dress).

5) Then carefully glue the white doily dress shape on top. To do this, I turned the doily piece over and placed it on a piece of scrap paper. I dabbed it carefully with the glue stick and then picked it up (leaving the excess glue behind on the paper) and lightly positioned it over the plain white dress to ensure it matched up before pressing it down gently.


6) Stick the hair onto the top of the face, and the halo to the back of the head so you end up with something that looks like this:


7) Then stick the head & halo piece in position.


8) Finally, use the fine-tipped black pen to write your message on the card in your best handwriting. You may find it helpful to write the message in pencil first to make sure you don't make a mistake with the spacing / positioning of the text. Or you could print out a message and glue it in position, or miss out this step entirely. 



To print the templates - right click on the image and select to view it in another window or tab, then click again (if necessary) to view full size and print at 100%. I've added a scale so you can check if your templates have printed out correctly :)


This tutorial is for non commercial use only: you can use it for as many cards as you like to send to friends and family but please don't make any for sale. Please feel free to borrow photos if you want to blog about this project, but remember to credit me and link back to the original source, and do not reproduce my entire tutorial on your site. Thanks!

Thursday, 27 September 2012

How To: Felt Angel Ornament #2


As promised yesterday, here's the tutorial for making the second style of angel ornaments...

To make these ornaments, you will need...

- The template sheet from yesterday's post
- Scissors to cut out the templates
- Sharp sewing scissors or embroidery scissors
- A needle & pin
- White felt for the wings
- Coloured felt for the angel's dresses
- Felt in your chosen hair and skin colours
- Sewing thread to match all your felt
- Black sewing thread for stitching the eyes and mouth
- Optional: black seed beads for eyes, and sequins/threads/etc for embellishing the angels
- Narrow white ribbon (or another shade to match your chosen colours)

1) Cut out all your felt pieces - 1 x face, 2 x body, 2 x feet, 1 x hair (front) 1 x hair (back) and 1 or 2 x wings (the wings need to stay upright so if your felt is very soft and flops easily, cut two pieces).

2) Use running stitch in matching thread to sew the two feet pieces together, finishing your stitching neatly at the top. Use the same thread to sew the face in position on one of the body shapes - you just need to sew around the bottom half of the circle.


If you've cut two felt pieces for your wings, sew them together with running stitch in white thread and finish your stitching neatly in the middle (where it will be hidden when the wings are sewn onto the angel).

3) Now sew the front and back hair shapes in position, using running stitch in matching thread. Sew the front piece onto the face, sewing along the bottom edge only. Then sew the back piece onto the second body shape (make sure you flip this over first so it will match up with the front when you sew them together later!), sewing around the bottom half of the circle as before.


4) Now use black thread to sew two (closed) eyes and a smiling mouth. Use back stitch and very small stitches to create the curved lines. You might want to practice this on a scrap piece of felt before sewing the expression on your angel. If you prefer, you can use two small black seed beads for the eyes. Sew the beads flat (like an O) on the felt, using three or four stitches to hold each bead in place.

 


5) Cut a 5 inch (12.5 cm) length of narrow ribbon, and fold it over to form a loop. Sew the ends to the top of the ornament as shown, so they'll be hidden within the two layers of felt when you sew them together. Use whip stitches, and sew into the felt but not through it (if you prefer, sew the ribbon to the piece of felt which will become the back of the ornament, and use thread to match the felt so any stitches that show through will be less visible).


6) Use back stitch to sew the wings onto the back of the angel -sew a vertical line down the middle of the wings to hold them in place.



7) Place the front and back angel pieces together, then use whip stitch in matching thread to sew the front and back of the hair together around the outside edges (you may need to hold the wings back during this step and step 8, so they're not in the way as you sew).


8) Finally, use running stitch in matching thread to sew the front and back of the angel's dress together.  When you sew along the bottom edge, tuck the feet unbetween the two layers and sew over them so they just peek out, as shown.


Your finished ornament will look like this at the front...

  

... and this at the back: 


 

This tutorial is for non commercial use only: you can use it for as many ornaments as you like for yourself or as gifts for friends but please don't make any for sale. Please feel free to borrow photos if you want to blog about this project, but remember to credit me and link back to the original source, and do not reproduce my entire tutorial on your site. Thanks!

Want to make some of these ornaments to sell at craft fairs or in your Etsy shop? A PDF version of this tutorial is available for sale for just £3.50. Easy to print, buying the PDF allows you to sell as many angels as you like as long as you make them by hand yourself and credit me as the designer on the label or in the shop listing. You can also use the templates to teach a sewing class if you want to. The Felt Angel Ornaments PDF Pattern is now available from my Big Cartel shop and from my Etsy shop. 

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

How To: Felt Angel Ornament #1


Today, here's the instructions for making the first style of felt angel ornaments (instructions for the second style will be posted tomorrow).


To make these ornaments, you will need...

- The template sheet at the bottom of this post
- Scissors to cut out the templates
- Sharp sewing scissors or embroidery scissors
- A needle & pins (& possibly a larger needle for sewing the embroidery thread)
- White felt for the wings
- Coloured felt for the angel's dresses, and contrasting colour for the backing felt
- Felt in your chosen hair and skin colours
- Sewing thread to match all your felt
- Black sewing thread for stitching the eyes and mouth
- Optional: black seed beads for eyes, and sequins/threads/etc for embellishing the angels
- Gold stranded embroidery thread (floss) for the halos
- Narrow white ribbon (or another shade to match your chosen colours)



1) First cut out all your felt pieces, cutting one of each of the following pieces: wings, feet, body, face and hair (front). If you want to add arms to your angel, you will also need one arms piece and also cut two small ovals for the hands. Click here for a guide to cutting out small shapes.

2) Pin the body and wing pieces onto a piece of backing felt in a contrasting colour. Make sure to leave enough room around the edges for adding the feet and halo, and for cutting a neat "frame" around the angel later on. 


3) Use running stitch and matching thread to sew around the body shape. When you sew along the bottom edge, tuck the feet under & sew over them so they just peek out, as shown.


4) Sew around the edges of the wings, using white thread and running stitch.


5) Add the face, and sew this & and the feet in place with running stitch in matching thread.


6) Place the hair on top of the face, and sew with more running stitch in matching thread.


7) If you want to add arms to your angel, now's the time to add them. Use matching threads & running stitch to sew first the arms...


... and then the hands in position.


8) Now use black thread to sew two (closed) eyes and a smiling mouth. Use back stitch and very small stitches to create the curved lines. You might want to practice this on a scrap piece of felt before sewing the expression on your angel.


If you prefer, you can use two small black seed beads for the eyes. Sew the beads flat (like an O) on the felt, using three or four stitches to hold each bead in place.



9) Cut a length of stranded gold embroidery thread (floss) for sewing the halo - you could use metallic thread, or just choose a golden orange colour. The metallic thread looks great, but it is a little harder to sew with than standard thread. Divide the thread in half (so if your thread is made up of 6 strands, just use 3) and switch to a larger needle if necessary. Then use backstitch to sew the angel's halo.


I've included two styles of halo on the pattern sheet - you can copy the design of your choice onto the felt lightly with a soft pencil, or just stitch it free hand. Alternatively, you could use gold sequins or beads to create a sparkly halo.

10) If you want a sparkly angel, now's the time to decorate it! I used pearlescent white sequins for the wings and decorated the dress with small X's in silver embroidery thread. You could use any sequins or embroidery threads you fancy, or small beads (seed beads or bugle beads) or even tiny buttons.

 

11) Carefully cut out your finished angel, leaving a border around it as pictured. Then use the shape you've just cut out as a template to cut a matching piece of felt for the back.


12) Cut a 5 inch (12.5 cm) length of narrow ribbon, and fold it over to form a loop. Sew the ends to the top of the ornament as shown, so they'll be hidden within the two layers of felt when you sew them together. Use whip stitches, and sew into the felt but not through it (if you prefer, sew the ribbon to the piece of felt which will become the back of the ornament, and use thread to match the felt so any stitches that show through will be less visible).


13) Finally, place the front and back pieces of your ornament together and sew the edges together with whip stitch in matching thread. Finish your stitching neatly at the back.

 

Your finished angel will look something like this:

 
 

To print the templates - right click on the image and select to view it in another window or tab, then click again (if necessary) to view full size and print at 100%. I've added a scale so you can check if your templates have printed out correctly, but you can make them larger or smaller than mine if you prefer.



This tutorial is for non commercial use only: you can use it for as many ornaments as you like for yourself or as gifts for friends but please don't make any for sale. Please feel free to borrow photos if you want to blog about this project, but remember to credit me and link back to the original source, and do not reproduce my entire tutorial on your site. Thanks!

Want to make some of these ornaments to sell at craft fairs or in your Etsy shop? A PDF version of this tutorial is now available for sale for just £3.50. Easy to print, buying the PDF allows you to sell as many angels as you like as long as you make them by hand yourself and credit me as the designer on the label or in the shop listing. You can also use the templates to teach a sewing class if you want to. The Felt Angel Ornaments PDF Pattern is now available from my Big Cartel shop and from my Etsy shop. 

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Angel Embroidery Pattern


Today I'm sharing a free embroidery pattern for you to stitch your own angel...

You can use different stitches if you like, but I stitched most of my angel with backstitch and then sewed some star stitches (four stitches overlapping each other to make star shapes) to create a pattern on the dress.



There are two versions of the angel (one simpler, and one with more detail). Try this how to guide or this one for some suggestions for transferring the pattern to fabric, or if you want to sew your angel onto felt, you may find this tutorial or this tutorial helpful. These guides to embroidery basics may also be helpful if you're a beginner.



To print the templates - right click on the image and select to view it in another window or tab, then click again (if necessary) to view full size and print at 100%. I've added a scale so you can check if your templates have printed out correctly, but you can make it larger or smaller if you prefer.


This embroidery pattern is for non commercial use only: you can use it to stitch as many angels as you like for yourself or as gifts for friends but please don't use it to make anything for sale. Please feel free to borrow photos if you want to blog about this project, but remember to credit me and link back to the original source, and do not post the embroidery pattern itself on your site. Thanks!

Want to use this pattern to make items to sell at craft fairs or in your Etsy shop? A PDF version of this embroidery pattern is now available for sale for just £2.50. Easy to print, buying the PDF allows you to sell as many items stitched with the angels as you like as long as you sew them by hand yourself and credit me as the designer on the label or in the shop listing. You can also use the pattern to teach a sewing class if you want to. The Angel PDF Embroidery Pattern is now available from my Big Cartel shop and from my Etsy shop. 

Monday, 24 September 2012

A Choir of Angels for Christmas

Way back last year I posted a photo of some secret stitching I was working on for my "Crafty Christmas" series... but when the series got cut short due to my sudden move, the project ended up sitting in a box for months rather unloved. Finally (only a year late!) you can see what I was working on...


... an angel embroidery pattern! I was so happy with how this turned out when I first stitched it last year, it's great to be able to share it with you guys at long last.

I'll be sharing the free pattern on my blog later this week, along with a whole bunch of other crafty projects based on the same angel design. This is one good thing about putting a project in a box and coming back to it a year later - looking at it fresh helps spark a whole bunch of new ideas!

As well as the embroidery pattern, I'll be sharing "how tos" for sewing two styles of felt angel ornaments to hang on your Christmas tree ...
 

... instructions for making pretty angel Christmas cards...

 

... plus some ideas for other festive paper crafting projects you could use the angel motif for.

The first free project will be posted tomorrow!

I'm working on a PDF version of the felt ornament tutorials which will be available soon - like the other PDF tutorials in my shop, this will be an easily printable version of the projects shared on my blog which you can then use to make ornaments for sale at craft fairs etc, or to teach sewing classes. I will of course let you guys know when it's finished & in my shops.

I might make a PDF version of the embroidery pattern, too - if anyone's interested in that? (maybe included in the felt ornament PDF?) Please let me know :)

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