5 Days of Christmas Crafts: Day 5 - Felted Twelve Days Ornaments

On the fifth day of crafting, My project was to be:

A Partridge in a Pear Tree.

I feel like I should start out with a disclaimer. I started this project 3 years ago, after I was given a Debbie Mumm craft book for inspiration. Inspired I was! And I embarked on a project that I finally completed this morning, just in time for my blog post. Now, to be fair, I only work on holiday crafts in November and December, while my husband is watching football on TV and my little guy is in bed. And although the project took me a long time to finish, it can be completed in a reasonable amount of time if it's scaled back and not shoved in the back of the craft closet for long periods of time.

SONY DSCOne of the ideas in Debbie Mumm's craft book was to make 12 Days of Christmas ornaments from felted wool scraps. I thought it was a great idea, and that it would be even cooler if I made the correct number of ornaments for each of the lines of the song. (Note: I realize that technically, on the third day - for example, the gifts are 3 French Hens, 2 Turtledoves, & a Partridge in a Pear Tree, for a net total of 6 gifts that day, and so on and so forth until the cumulative total equals 364 total gifts).

I didn't do the math at the time I made the decision, but I did realize that making ornaments the way the song was written was too epic an undertaking for me. As it was, by only doing the first set of gifts per day, that's 78 ornaments. That's nothing to snooze at, either.

I don't usually have wool scraps laying around, so I opted to use felt. I like felt because the cut edges don't unravel and it's easy to work with, but I think you could use any fabric you have on hand to make this work. Felt has a bit of body to it, so I didn't need to use interfacing. But if you use cotton, wool, or other fabrics, it's something to consider so that the ornaments hold their shape.

To make Felted Twelve Days Ornaments, you will need:

Pattern and/or wax paper

Felt (variety of colors)

Embroidery floss and a needle (or a sewing machine and thread)

Straight pins

General Directions:

Since the pattern for the ornaments came in a nice book, I didn't want to clip them out. I traced the pattern onto wax paper, cut them out, and used that for my pattern. This is also a great technique for making custom patterns of anything you see in books, magazines, online, etc. Trace onto wax paper (I like it because it's semi-transparent), cut, and voila! A pin-able pattern.

Next, I cut out the felt. I cut two pieces for the front and back of the basic forms, and then a single piece for the detailing, since I only needed those for the front of the ornament. Because I was making multiple ornaments for all but the Partridge in the Pear Tree, I scaled it up accordingly.

SONY DSCFor example, for my swans, I cut two white swan bodies, one grey wing, and one yellow beak per ornament. To complete all seven swans, I ended up cutting 14 swan bodies, 7 wings, and 7 beaks.

When it came time to assemble the ornaments, I pinned the detailing to the front of the ornament, and used a blanket stitch to sew it on. I did this by hand, but if you prefer machine sewing, have at it. Once the front of the ornament was prepared, I used a blanket stitch to sew the back on. Sometimes, I added sequins for some added dazzle or used a decorative stitch to make patterns, as you'll see below.

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, a Partridge in a Pear Tree-

SONY DSCOn the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, two Turtledoves-

SONY DSCOn the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, three French Hens-

SONY DSCOn the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, four Calling Birds-

SONY DSCOn the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, five Golden Rings-

SONY DSCOn the sixth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, six Geese A-Laying-

SONY DSCOn the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, seven Swans A-Swimming-

SONY DSCOn the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, eight Maids A-Milking-

SONY DSCOn the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, nine Ladies Dancing-

SONY DSCOn the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, ten Lords A-Leaping-

SONY DSCOn the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, eleven Pipers Piping-

SONY DSCOn the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, twelve Drummers Drumming-

SONY DSCIt turns out that 78 ornaments take up a lot of display space, so unless you're planning on having a sizable tree, single versions of the ornaments might be better (and shouldn't take three years to complete 😉). I ended up making a felt display tree to tack them to, which I'll use as a wall hanging.

SONY DSCIf you have any ideas on how to improve on this craft project or would like to share pictures of your 12 Days of Christmas Ornaments or other design based on this blog post, please leave a comment! I'd love to hear from you.