Stitch Easy Fabric Art Gift Tag Ornaments

I spent last Sunday sorting through my paper and fabric stash, taking inventory of what I have. I'm trying to get my studio set up for holiday crafting, as I plan to make many fabric art and mixed-media gifts for my family. (Shhh. Don't tell.)

Fabric art ornament gift tag by Virginia Cole.

As I do every year, I took the holiday issues of my favorite magazines off the shelf and flipped through them, looking for projects that involve textile art and fabric collage mixed with a little paper. By the end of the afternoon, I had a bunch of ideas and a pile of magazines on the floor beside me.

In my quest to keep things simple this year, one of the fiber art projects I settled on is this Ornamental Gift Tag design by Virginia Cole. I like it because it uses fabric embellishments and easy sewing along with paper and paint. It's a project you can do in stages, cutting the shapes in one sitting, hand stitching in another, and assembling in yet another session.

Here are the instructions, adapted from Virginia's tutorial in the November/December 2009 issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine.

Ornamental Gift Tags with Embellishment, Paint, and Stitch
By Virginia Cole

To make the base: Make a pattern for your ornament by tracing the shape you want. (The ornament shown is approximately 4¼" x 6".) Trace the pattern onto old paper (such as sheet music). Iron iron-on interfacing onto the back of the paper and cut out the ornament shape. Trace the shape onto another piece of paper and set aside.

1. Sew 3 four-patches and add triangles to create a complete row. (Or, cut a 1¼"-wide strip from an old quilt or create another design of your choosing).

2. Back the strip with muslin and hand quilt.

3. Wipe red paint thinly onto the ornament shape so the text/design on the paper is still visible. Let dry.

4. Use white school glue to attach the quilt piece to the ornament. Trim the edges close to the ornament shape.

This close-up shows the hand-stitching detail
above and below the quilted strip.

5. Stitch big stitches above and below the quilt in white thread.

6. Embellish as desired. You could add beads, text, or embroider some fancy stitches.

7. To finish, use glue to tack the second paper ornament shape you cut to the back of the decorated shape and machine or hand stitch all around the edges to close.

8. Punch a hole in the top and bottom for your hanger and bell. Write a greeting on the back, if desired.

I love the fact that this project does double duty: as a gift tag and an ornament. I also love that it will help me use a lot of bits and bobs I've collected over the years.

I still have the problem of the magazines piled on the floor, however. If I had them in digital form, I could still flip through the issues, but they wouldn't take up shelf space and putting them away would be as simple as a click.

Did you know you could get Cloth Paper Scissors issues in digital format, powered by Zinio? Digitial technology from Zinio allows you to take your inspiration with you, wherever you go. And no mess to clean up after!
P.S. What's your favorite handmade ornament? Was it something you created yourself, an ornament you purchased from another crafter, or one made by a child? Leave your comment below.


Blog, Easy Gifts to Make, Fabric Art


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