Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Soap sandwiches and a conical tree.

Not great at hiding what I really think, my involuntary eye roll has landed me in a LOT of trouble over the years. Rolling my eyes in dislike or disapproval as a child saw me hauled off to the bathroom basin. My filthy little attitude would be washed out of my mouth with cheap and nasty soap. When I exclaimed 'Shit,' at age 6, poked my tongue out in defiance of being told to hurry up and other sass dishing occasions, I'd be served a soap sandwich. I got soap while my cousins got hot mustard. Which they now love by the way. Soap, not so much. Especially those God awful ones shaped like roses or shells, they don't taste nearly as good as what they look. And they are ugly.

And since it nears the season to be jolly, I also think there is a lot of ugly Christmas garb. I'm a bit of a Grinch, I don't do a tree.  Which, to my surprise, I decided that making something like this for my daughter last year, would be great. It isn't an eyesore, doesn't drop needles or induce hay fever and it packs flat!

So you wanna know how to make it? It's easy, here's how...

You'll need:

Sewing machine (regular domestic works fine)

Glue stick
60 cm of string/thread of any kind
20 cm of hat elastic


Red, White, Green, Brown, Blue, Neutral/Cream


1/2 meter 5 mm thick stiff black felt
1/2 meter dark green felt
2 sheets of White
2 sheets of Red
2 sheets of Fawn
1 Sheet of Dark Brown
1 Sheet of Blue
1 Sheet of Yellow

35 Miscellaneous red buttons big/small

1.5 meter of 3 mm ribbon red or white

Ornament Templates printed out.

          (right click, save image, print)
Additional PDF templates are here and here



1. Take your 5 mm stiff black felt, string and pencil. Tie your pencil to one end of the 60 cm of string. Holding the opposite end of the string at the edge, half way across the top of your black felt and trace a half circle. Cut.

2. Repeat with the dark green felt.

3. Take your green felt and satin stitch 3 curved rows of green zig zags.

4. Sew on 28 red buttons with red thread, randomly scattered but fairly evenly spaced. I did mine with the machine, set on zig zag with your stitch length at 0. The width of the stitch you use depends on how far apart your holes in your buttons are. Easily adjustable with each button.

5. Cut your hat elastic into 4, 5 cm pieces. Loop each one and sew to the back of the other half of the straight edge.

6. Cut a notch in the middle of the straight edge through both green and black layers, it seems to curl into a cone easier. Sew your green tree front to your black thick felt using a 1 cm seam allowance from the edge. 

7. Sew 4 small buttons at an even distance apart down one half of the straight edge, at the same distance apart as your loops. These will fasten the tree when you turn it into a cone.

Voila! Tree done! Good job!

Now on to the ornaments.

1. Roughly cut each of the ornament templates out of the paper.

2. Cut the outline two of each ornament from felt sheets. One will be the front, where you will attach all the details, and one will be the back to hide all your stitching. White: 2 snowflakes, 2 doves and wings, 2 small angels, 2 lollies. Fawn: 2 Santa faces, 2 reindeer, 2 gingerbread men, 2 rocking horses. Blue: 2 baubles, 2 bells with bow, 2 blue angels. Red: 2 presents, 2 candy canes, 2 crackers and 2 stockings for each member of your family (initial to be stitched on). Yellow: 2 large stars and 1 semi circle 5 cm in diameter (these will form the star atop the tree, leave these until step 7), 2 smaller stars, 2 smaller bells. Dark brown: 2 puddings.

3. Cut your template pieces into more detail ie; cut the scarf, eyes, nose and antlers from the reindeer. Cut a scarf from blue felt, eyes and spots from white, nose from red and antlers from brown. The above image of all the ornaments should give you an idea about which colours I used for each detail.

4. Using the glue stick, glue your details onto one of the whole pieces of each ornament. Once dry stitch around each detail with matching thread.

5. Take your 3 mm ribbon and cut a 5 cm length for each ornament you have. These will form the loops for each ornament, if you have very large buttons on your tree you may need a slightly longer piece of ribbon.

6. Loop a piece of ribbon you just cut and place it on the back, at the top of each of your ornaments. Using the glue stick, adhere the back of the ornament to the front sandwiching the ribbon loop in between. Sew around each ornament in matching thread.

7. Take the two large yellow stars and semi circle. Fold the semi circle in half to make a cone and hand stitch the straight sides together. Sandwich the point of the cone you just made between the bottom two points of the stars and stitch around the outside.

Ta da! You're all finished!



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