Tuesday, October 1, 2013

DECORATE WITH AUSTRALIAN XMAS FLAIR!




We've got big plans for a total DIY Christmas this year! Last week we showed you how to use our Australian Bush Xmas stocking panel to make two cute plushie toys, now this week we are back with lots of ideas for making cute and easy decorations using the leftover panel scraps.

Today we are going to start by making some simple fabric baubles. Here's what you need:

  • 1x Australian Bush Xmas Stocking panel (the off-cuts from making Kanga and Koala plushies)
  • Green Polka Dot coordinate fabric
  • Light weight iron-on interfacing
  • Pinking shears
  • Light weight cotton or polyester wadding
  • DMC stranded cotton in E415 (Light Effects) 
  • Needle for hand sewing

1. From the Stocking panel scraps, roughly cut out all the hanging ornament shapes. Leave at least 3mm around the outside of each shape, as this will be trimmed down in the next steps.
NOTE: If you are following on from our previous DIY plushie project, your fabric scraps should be lined with the iron-on interfacing. If not, it is a good idea to apply iron-on interfacing to the back of the entire panel, and to the Polka Dot coordinate fabric, before cutting out your pieces. This will make your finished ornaments more durable and avoid fraying edges.

2. Place each ornament shape on top of the Polka Dot coordinate fabric, with wrong sides facing. Pin shapes in place and then cut around shape outlines with pinking shears.



3. Cut a small piece of wadding to fit inside each shape. The wadding should be about 3-4mm smaller than shape so that it will not get caught in the stitching.
4. Unpin your fabric pieces and sandwich the wadding in between. Pin all layers together for each shape.


5. Cut a length of DMC Light Effects thread, approx 1mt long. Separate a single strand from the group of 6.
Thread your needle with the single strand, and then double the thread on your needle so that you have a 50cm length to work with.
The light effects can we tricky to work with because it is a metallic thread. Using a single strand at a time will make it easier to thread your needle, and doubling the thread will give strength to the finished ornaments.

6. Knot the doubled thread about 8cm/3" from the end. Start at the top of each bauble shape, in between the two fabric layers. Push your needle through from the back to the front of the top fabric layer, leaving your 8cm tail at the top. Make a few stitches through both layers of fabric to secure everything together.

7. Begin making a running stitch around the shape, tracing along the printed silver line on the fabric. Continue all the way around and finish with your needle at the back.
8. Working from the back side of your shape, pass the needle through only the Polka Dot layer of fabric, to finish with your needle in between each layer.


9. To finish off your ornament, simply tie all loose thread ends together in a double knot. Leave about 5cm from the top of the bauble shape to the knot so that you have enough length for your ornament to hang. 


It's so easy, you'll have a whole bunch of little ornaments ready in no time!
Hang them from your Xmas tree, or use them as cute gift tags!



There are many more great decorative ideas coming up soon, including beautiful bows and cheerful table settings. Check out the entire Australian Bush Xmas fabric collection on our website now!  



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