While brainstorming for a fun ornament to make this year, I thought back to what my grandparents and great grandparents would have done during tough times, like many people are facing these days. I decided to only use things that I already had and pulled out my box of miscellaneous craft supplies. Within the slew of things I found brown felt, embroidery floss, ribbon and buttons. What could I make with this?
Safe enough to have around with the pooch, easy to make, and most of all…festive and cute! You can adapt this to make with kids by cutting shapes out of felt to glue onto the gingerbread man shape. I decided to put these all over my tree and made them with some simple sewing. The perfect craft to do while watching Christmas movies 🙂
What You Need to make a Gingerbread Man Christmas Ornament
- Brown Felt
- Gingerbread Man Shape Template (FREE Download in The Printable Vault)
- Small Buttons
- Embroidery Thread (cream, or whichever colour you prefer)
- Embroidery Needle
- Thin Velvet Ribbon (to hang the ornament)
- Brown Thread
- Sewing Machine
Print out the Gingerbread Man Template (FREE download in The Printables Vault) to your desired size and cut it out. Pin the template to the brown felt, cutting two pieces for every gingerbread man you would like to make.
For the buttons, I went to my Great Grandmother’s trusty Button Tin, full of buttons that have been collected for the past four generations.
Back then, my Great Grandmother would cut the buttons off of any garment before it would make it to the trash bin (or more likely, the rag bin to be reused again for cleaning). I still keep all the buttons from things before I through them out and have started a little bag of buttons at my own apartment. You never know when you need buttons to repair a shirt, or for a project like this!
I looked for buttons that were proportionate to the ornament, similar in size, but varied in colour.
How to Make a French Knot: Bring embroidery floss out at the spot where you would like the eye. Hold the embroidery thread down with you thumb and encircle the needle 2-3 times. Still holding the embroidery thread, pull up and gently allow a knot to form. Push the needle back in the felt near the original entry point, being carefully not to pull the entire knot through to the backside.
Pin a 6″ piece of the ribbon in a loop at the top of the head. Pin a blank gingerbread man shape to the back of the button one.
Using brown thread on a sewing machine, stitch 1/8″ in from the edge around the entire shape. Don’t worry if its not perfect because you can cover mistakes with the stitching later. If you would like to stuff it slightly to make it a little puffy, you can do so now, by leaving a 1/2″ hole in the stitches on one side. Then lightly stuff the shape and sew the hole by hand.
Using the embroidery thread, do a running stitch all around the shape. To do a running stitch, pass the needle in and out of the felt, making the surface stitches of equal length. The stitches on the underside should also be of equal length, but half the size or less than the upper stitches
And there you have it! A simple, yet cute Gingerbread Man Ornament! You can get creative and add anything you’d like to it. Rickrack lines on the arms and legs? A cute little bow tie? Anything will do 🙂
Here they are on the Christmas tree, looking fun and festive. I made 9 to go around my tree, but the great thing is that they are easy to whip up more for another year with a bigger tree.
You could also use them as tags on gifts!