DIY CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS TUTORIAL

This tutorial shows you how to make beautiful Christmas Decorations using fabric braid. These fabric braids are really easy to make and have endless possibilities in decoration. Here I propose some ideas to decorate your Christmas tree and your Christmas table. Enjoy!

Materials:

Christmas Tree ball

-  Foam balls (mine were pretty big of about 12'' of perimeter).
100% cotton fabrics of at least 3 different colors. I recommend using a light color for the background and      two darker colors for the braid. I needed 3/4'' wide x 60'' long strips of each fabric per ball. 
- Scissors.  
-  Sewing machine and basic sewing supplies.
- Fabric glue (Ex: G├╝termann glue).
- Ribbon.
- Yarn needle.

For the place mats, add:

- 1/2 yard of fabric per place mat (top and back). 
- 3 different fabrics for the fabric braid. I needed 3/4'' wide x 60'' long strips of each fabric per place mat. 
- Quilt batting (20'' x 20'' for each place mat).

Directions to make a Christmas tree ball:




1. Cut 3 long fabric strips (¾'' wide approximately) of the darker fabrics. Cut 2 of the same fabric and one different to make the braid.
The fabrics I used were 60'' wide and as my foam ball was pretty big, I cut the stripes 60'' long.  However if you use a different ball size or your fabrics are standard 44'' wide you may have to adjust the length of your strips. You will need a little bit of trial and error here to know exactly the length that you need. Remember that you can join individual strips if you need larger ones. Also we don’t need the strips to be perfectly straight, so we can use scissors!





2.  Fold each strip in half and sew a zigzag stitch along the open edge. Now we are ready to start the fabric braid.


3. The first step in making the braid is to sew the three strips together at one end.



4. While holding the stitched end, start making the fabric braid. You may need someone to help you hold the end. Continue making the fabric braid until possible. Once the braid is done stitch the other end.



5. Press the fabric braid with the iron.


6. Now that we have the braid done it’s time to cover the foam ball with the background fabric. Cut a ¾'' wide strip of the lighter fabric. Mine was 60'' long but as I said above you may need a larger or smaller one depending on the size of your balls and on the wide of your fabric.


7.   Pin one edge of the fabric strip to one pole of the foam ball.




8. Cover the entire foam ball with the fabric strip removing and placing the pin each time the strip goes through that point. Try not to leave any wrinkles.


9. Once the ball is totally covered, trim fabric excess and paste the fabric strip end to the ball.


10. Now we have the ball ready to be decorated with the fabric braid.

 

11. Pin the fabric braid to the ball.


12. Wrap the fabric braid around the ball allowing the background fabric to be visible. In my case, I used the braid to divide in 8 sections the ball. However if you have a smaller ball it would be enough to divide it into 4 sections. Once done, trim any braid excess and hand stitch the end of the braid to the ball.





13. Pass one or two ribbon strips between the fabric braids using a yarn needle and make a strong knot in order to attach them to the ball. I used transparent fuchsia and blue ribbon to hang the balls to the Christmas tree. 



Directions to make the place mats:


1. Select your fabrics (you will need 1/2 yard for each place mat plus some extra for the fabric braid). I've used the same fabrics of the Christmas tree balls and I've added a light pink fabric for the place mat back.


2. Find something rounded of the size you want the place mats and use it to draw 2 circles on the chosen top and back fabric. I used a 15'' plastic place mat from IKEA as a template. I choose the blue fabric for the top and the light pink for the back of the place mat. Add  ½'' extra and cut them. Place and pin them with right sides together.


3. Place a piece of batting behind the place mat top. The batting must be bigger than the fabric circles (2'' more) and must be facing the wrong side of the fabric.


4. Sew together the three layers stitching a ¼’’ seam and leaving an aperture enough big to flip the place mat. Cut excess fabric and batting.



5.  Flip the place mat and close the aperture.


6. Make a fabric braid as explained in the Christmas tree ball section above.This time I used 2 fabric strips made of the lighter fabric and just one made of the dark pink fabric. As the place mat top is made of a dark blue fabric, a lighter fabric braid would be more visible.


7.The new fabric braid will be used to decorate the Christmas place mat.


8. Place the fabric braid all around the edge and machine stitch it to the place mat.  Your Christmas place mat is done! 


These beautiful and easy fabric braids have endless possibilities! you can also use them as a garland for your Christmas Tree or even as a napkin wrap in your Christmas table! 

Hope you enjoy this tutorial and make gorgeous Christmas Decorations! And why not decorations for other festivities too! 

You can see the related blog post here.


Ingrid


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