Are you feeling festive yet? I don't mind admitting that I put my Christmas tree up quite some time ago, but there's always room for one more bauble! Stitch up an easy cross-stitch ornament for your tree with this quick and simple tutorial.
- Wooden cross-stitch pendant
- Embroidery floss in festive colours
- Embroidery needle
- Downloadable chart
- Small circle of felt or fabric (optional)
- Glue (optional)
- Downloadable template
1. Prepare Your Materials
Cross stitching onto wood sounds like it should be difficult, but it's actually really easy. If anything, it's easier than stitching on fabric, as you can't go wrong with splitting threads and so on - you just go straight in to the prepared holes - simple!
The other thing about stitching on wood is that you get to be a rebel and break all the rules. Knots in your thread to anchor your stitches are a must!
Let's get started - thread your needle with two strands of your first colour. I started at the bottom and worked my way up, starting with the green band. Tie that illicit knot - feels good, eh? To start your first stitch, insert the needle at the bottom-left corner of the first square.
2. Start Stitching
Draw the thread through slowly and steadily, so it doesn't tangle. Don’t pull too hard or the thread will come through and you’ll have to start again, even with the knot. Be gentle and the knot will stop your thread from coming through.
Now insert the needle into the top right-hand corner of the same square from the top side of the pendant and pull the thread through. Repeat this to form the second leg of the cross. From the underside, insert the needle of the top left-hand corner of the same square and pull the thread through, with the cross being completed by entering the bottom right-hand corner from the top side.
You can complete individual stitches, or whole rows of colour at the same time, it's up to you! I like to do blocks of colour in rows for neatness.
3. Continue Stitching
One important thing to remember is that the large hole at the top of your pendant is for the hanging loop and should not be stitched through! Make sure you leave it free so you can attach the finished bauble to your tree later.
If you run out of thread, finish a stitch and on the underside of the pendant, weave your needle in and out of the back of your stitches a few times and draw the thread through. This will secure the end of your thread and stop any stitches coming undone.
Carry on stitching, carefully following the chart. The chart is designed to fit the circular wooden pendants available to purchase from The Workroom, but you could stitch it onto aida or other pendants if you like - just make sure you adapt the chart to fit. Once you've worked your way through the chart, the back of your pendant might look a bit messy:
4. Finish Your Stitching
But don't worry about the back! We're going to cover it up, so even in a heavy cross-wind, your bauble will look great from all angles. This step is optional, if you're not totally obsessive like me! Take a small piece of fabric or felt and using your pendant as a template, carefully cut a circle slightly smaller than your pendant.
Being careful not to glue your fingers to the wood (yes, I've been there), stick the fabric or felt to the back of your stitches. Normal PVA glue will do this job nicely, but fabric glue is fine, too. Once the backing is in place, take a piece of thread and cut to around 10 inches long. Using all six strands, thread your needle and draw the thread through the big hole at the top of your pendant. Tie a knot in the thread to create a loop to hang the ornament from your tree.
Hang Your Bauble on the Tree!
And there we have it - your latest family heirloom ornament. Make one for yourself, make them for your friends. They're so simple to make, you'll be making one for the postman!
In this tutorial, you learnt how to cross-stitch a wooden Christmas ornament. Now you just need to decide who to send it to! You could stitch this on fabric and make a card, or even replace the Noel with a name to make a cute personalised gift. Or why not loosely affix the finished ornament to a card - a multi-purpose gift!