How to Make Folk Art Ornaments

Spread a feeling of warmth and nostalgia with folk art-inspired ornaments.

What You Need

For the hangers

  • 8-gauge black wire such as annealed mechanic's wire (available at crafts and hardware stores)
  • Wire cutters
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Pencil
  • Heavy-duty thread
  • Glue gun and hotmelt adhesive

For the Ornaments

  • Boiled wool or wool felt in the desired colors
  • Low-loft polyester or cotton quilt batting
  • Embroidery floss
  • Trims such as pom-poms and buttons (see the specific ornaments for details)

How to Make It

For the 10-button tree

  1. Cut out two black trees and a green inner applique.
  2. Sew the applique to the ornament front.
  3. Sew rows of 7/16-inch buttons to the applique section.
  4. Cut the batting using the smaller tree shape.
  5. Baste the batting to the wrong side of the ornament back.
  6. Make a hanger according to the directions below.
  7. Hot-glue the ornament hook to the top of the tree so the thread-wrapped base will be encased.
  8. With wrong sides facing, whipstitch the ornament front to the ornament back.

For the 3-button tree

  1. Make the ornament using green for the trees and black for the applique.
  2. Instead of 10 buttons, sew three buttons vertically onto the applique.
  3. Starting at the bottom, sew on a 7/8-inch, a 3/4-inch, and a 7/16-inch button.
  4. Assemble the ornament as described for the 10-button tree.

For the single-penny tree ornament

  1. Enlarge the pattern.
  2. Cut four trees from gold.
  3. Cut four concentric circles from wool or felt scraps with the largest circle being 2 1/2 inches in diameter.
  4. Using a long stitch, sew the circles on top of each other and to the ornament front.

For the three- penny tree ornament

  1. Enlarge the pattern.
  2. Cut four trees from gold.
  3. Cut three 1-3/8-inch diameter circles and three 7/8-inch-diameter circles from the desired colors.
  4. Using long stitches sew a smaller circle to each larger circle.
  5. Arrange the three circles on the ornament front and embroider them in place.

For the 15-pom-pom tree

  1. Enlarge the pattern to scale.
  2. Cut two complete trees from white and one trunk from red.
  3. Applique the trunk to the tree.
  4. Hot-glue rows of small purchased pom-poms to the tree.

For the 11-pom-pom tree

  1. Cut two complete trees from red and one base and trunk from gold.
  2. Applique the base and trunk to the ornament front.
  3. Hot-glue small purchased pom-poms to the trunk and bottom of the tree.
  4. See the photograph for details.

To make a hanger

  1. Cut a 6-1/2-inch length of wire.
  2. Fold it in half to make a tight U-shape.
  3. Using the pliers, make a tight circle on each end.
  4. Curl the ends back into a loose spiral.
  5. Cut an 8-inch length of wire.
  6. Wrap it around a pencil at the center and twist the wire tightly on itself.
  7. Continue twisting until the twisted strand is 2 1/2 inches long.
  8. Cut the wire so the twisted portion is 2 1/4 inches long.
  9. Slip the twisted wire into the U-shape of the curled wire.
  10. Using heavy thread, wrap the base of the U to hold the pieces together.
  11. Secure the pieces with hot glue.


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