Thursday, January 12, 2012

Star Ornament Tutorial

O.k., so you guys already know that I love to figure out how to do stuff, right? Well, I do. That's one of the main reasons that I can't just follow someone else's tutorial or pattern (or recipe) without making adjustments or additions of my own. One I have the basics down (or at least think that I do), I am almost always compelled to see what else I can do with it.

That's how this ornament came about. I made the felt tree topper star, and learned how to 1) make permanent creases in felt by whip-stitching and 2) make a three-dimensional star. I LOVE my tree star, but I prefer that my stars have an odd number of points. Typing that out makes it sound weird and compulsive... maybe it is... at any rate... I wanted to see if I could make a 3-D five-pointed star. I can. And now you can, too.

Now, keep in mind that I am a complete amateur and I have zero patience, so my stitches are almost never even, and at least one area will require that you look at it with soft, unfocused eyes. That said, let's start crafting!

Rachel's Felt Star Ornament


felt (wool or craft - this project is small enough that you can get away with craft squares)
thread that matches the felt
embroidery floss (choose a color that compliments the felt - preferably a metallic ;-) )
star templates
needle that can accommodate 2 strands of embroidery floss at a time


I used white craft felt with silver glitter in it. This means that I used white thread and silver embroidery floss. I now have plans to make future stars using combos such as aqua felt with copper floss or hot pink with glossy black... you get the picture.

I traced and scanned stars for you - you're welcome ;-) Wait, I have no idea how to add PDF files to my blog. dammit. Fine, I'll turn them into jpeg files and get back to you... crap... :-O Ya'll, I am freaking.out. I put both stars on the scanner and hit 'scan'. My super-smart printer turned them into 2 separate image files. Awesome!

SO, the star with the dotted lines is your front piece, and the plain star with the skinny arms is your back piece. Cut out one of each.

The lines on the front piece are lines that you will sew down using a tiny whip stitch

First, mark the center of your star - front and back. I would NOT suggest using a Sharpie or a pencil - I used a pencil on my first try, and ended up with a mark that I had to cover later. I would suggest using a tiny stitch in the same color as the star.

Flip your star over so that the back side is up. If you are not using felt that has glitter on the front, pick a side, and call it the back.

Following the tiny dotted lines, and using the thread that matches your felt, whip a very shallow seam from the interior corners to the center of the star. It helps to match up the adjacent points - this creates a straight line from corner to center:

Once you have done that to all 5 corner-to-center lines:

flip the star over so that the 'front' is facing up. Following the dashed lines, and using the embroidery floss (I used 2 strands at a time), whip stitch a slightly deeper seam from the tip of each point to the center. Once you have found your seam line, pin it thus-ly - this keeps the felt from shifting as you stitch:

If you made a super-ugly mark in your center and need to cover it up, attach a bead that is too big and looks weird:

Then go back and remove the bead, for it is ugly. Replace it with random embroidery stitches:

Alright, here's the part where you just wing it... or at least that's what you do if you're me. Starting with a corner (not a point), line up your front and back pieces. Using the embroidery floss, whip stitch the two pieces together:

Notice that this is where my 'skills' let me down. For some reason, I can manage a fairly even-looking stitch down the points, but when it comes time to join the pieces, it all goes whonky. This is a case of 'do as I say, not as I do.'  Especially when it comes to the pointy bits. My original template for the back piece was slightly shorter than the front piece. This meant that I had to fudge the ends of each point. They look ridiculous. I even tried to only photograph the edges without including the points. My camera isn't good enough for close-ups that small :-/

Luckily for you, the scanner made the stars the same size. Yay for technology! Anyway, there it is. whonky points and all. My Star Tutorial :-) You'll get a picture of the finished product if and when I finish one and remember to photograph it before I give it away.

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