As I mention each year around this time, the children in our extended family all live far away, so we mail them gifts at Christmas. I've been told that our packages are amongst the first ones under the tree, because they're not from Santa, who obviously waits until Christmas eve to put his out. This being so, I like to make sure the outside looks nice and interesting, by adding some sort of kid pleasing decoration. However mailing the gifts as we do, inevitably results in the presents getting flattened, and regular gift bows getting crushed. So I aim to make gift toppers that can withstand being packed tightly in a box and still look good upon arrival. (At the bottom of this post I'll link to the ones I've made in previous years.)
This year I've made some small wreaths out of felt and ribbon. While the stitching part can be done on a machine, I didn't have any green thread, so decided to use embroidery floss and hand sew them, using an easy running stitch. I like how the hand sewing turned out and is probably almost as quick at using a machine. I timed myself and found that it takes about 15 minutes to make one.
Below is a pictorial of the steps, but I'll give you an overview here: Cut a piece of felt that's about 2 inches by 8 1/2. Fold it in half lengthwise, and sew up along the middle. Knot the ends and hide them inside the casing you've just made with the sewing. Carefully cut a fringe along the side that is not folded. Each section is about 1/6th inch wide. Really sharp scissors work best for this. (And I can't stress the 'carefully' part enough, because it's really easy to accidentally cut through your sewing. If you're making these with a child, you might want to take over the fringe cutting part.) Then attach a 14 inch piece of 1/4 thick ribbon to a safety pin, and use it as a guide to get the ribbon through the casing. Pull the ends tight, to form a ring, and tie a knot. Then tie a bow using the Loop Method, so that both the ends of the ribbon face downward (you may have noticed that when you tie regular bows, one tail goes up and the other goes down, which doesn't look very good for this purpose.) Finally make a loop to attach the wreath to the gift by using a single stitch to attach a length of embroidery floss, through the back of the wreath so it is hidden.
While I set out to make these for children, I think they look elegant enough for adults too, so I'll be making a few more while I watch Love Actually later on. I hope you consider giving them a go too. They're fun to make.
Oh yes, I forgot to mention, that I'll also be attaching a tag made out of white card-stock so they'll know who gets which gift.
Thanks very much for taking a look at this year's Crushable Gift Decorations. Last year I made these ones using coffee filters, and the year before I made these Origami Stars.
I hope you have a great weekend. We have plans to go to The Distillery District Christmas Market with Andrea (like last year but this year Nick is joining us. Good times!
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