Sunday, November 29, 2015

Festive Forest Friends - A Tutorial

How To Make A Festive Forest Friend!
As the holiday’s approach, Christmas trees are popping up everywhere I turn!

So here is my crafty take on the iconic holiday tree! I call them Festive Forest Friends! They are simple and sweet and probably full of eggnog soaked dreams and hearts in the shape of candy canes.

I used the following list of materials to create my very own Festive Forest Friends,… but you could easily swap out the hand stamped muslin for another print of choice.


1. Fabric - I chose plain muslin for this craft
2. Sewing machine
3. Thread to match your fabric
4. Scissors
5. Eraser or stamp of choice
6. Acrylic paint and paint brush
7. Embroidery floss, pink for mouth, brown for eyes
8. Embroidery ring
9. Embroidery needle
10. The Festive Forest Friend pattern print out

How to:

Step one print out the pattern here!

Then Trace pattern onto a piece of muslin. I’m using blank muslin because it’s sturdy, and yet somehow still airy. You can really use any robust fabric for this, as long as it seems like it will hold it’s cone shape without any stuffing… a chiffon silk is probably NOT what you want here!

Note: Do not cut out yet!

Next step is to create your ‘print’ on the blank muslin. For my two trees I used two very simple stamps. One, a triangle that I cut from an eraser! And the circle was the end of my paint brush! I love finding existing things to use as stamps! Lots of great shapes out there to create beautiful surface design with!

Since my Festive Friends are for only for decorative use I decided to use acrylic paint to stamp them. If you intend to wash them, you probably want to use something more permanent like a fabric paint, fabric ink, or fabric marker.

Next, mix your color of choice out of the paints in a shallow plate. Then begin stamping your pattern in the traced out Festive Friend body shape and base. Remember to do your stamping on a piece of cardboard because the paint will seep through the fabric and mark whatever is underneath. Feel free to got outside of the pattern lines! I also stamped my star. But you could use an alternate fabric here, like a yellow felt. Sky is the limit.

Let the paint dry!

Next step, embroidering the face! This could be done before painting… but I’m a klutz and I would worry I would somehow mess up my embroidery in the stamping process! So it’s really up to you!

To start you will need to mark your face outline onto the muslin, lightly with a pencil.
Next you will embroider on the eyes with the brown embroidery floss and the mouth using the pink embroidery floss. I personally like to have my fabric mounted in an embroidery ring while doing this, which is why you do not cut out the piece first. You want to have enough fabric to fit it into the size of ring you have!

For the embroidery itself, I do a simple satin stitch to create a filled in circle for the eyes and either again a satin stitch to create a half circle or a simple outline stitch to create a half circle line for the mouth. Here is where you can really play around with expression! You can make your tree happy or sad, or have eyebrows or tiny tears. It’s up to you! The face on the pattern is just a general guideline.

Once the face is embroidered on, you can now start to cut! Cut out the body, base and star piece.

Now it’s time to machine sew! Start with the the body piece. Just a straight stitch down the back to the first opening notch marks, back stitch, lift up sewing machine foot, pull fabric through to next notch mark, start sewing again, starting with a quick back stitch to the end of the line. You will use that space between the notches for flipping you Festive Friend inside out! Then sew on the circular base to the bottom of your cone shaped tree.

Once you are done with that, you can carefully flip your Festive Friend right side out!

You will need to hand stitch up that hole you left open. I use a simple whip or chain stitch for this part in a thread color to match fabric.

You could also stuff this little Festive Friend up if you like. I just prefer the light and airy feel of the none stuffed tree friend, and since mine are just for decoration, I’m not too worried about them getting squashed.

Now it’s time to attach the star. I just did a  couple quick stitches in a thread color that was close to the muslin to attache the star to the tip of the Festive Friend.

And voila! Finis! Your very own Festive Friend, and if you make more than one, well then you’ve got yourself one real Festive Forest!

Have fun and make it awesome.