Felt and Button Christmas Tree
What better way to learn to sew than while creating adorable felt and button christmas tree ornaments? This craft can be made in a variety of ways, with paint or glue as an easy alternative for very young kids.
What you'll need:
- Green Felt large enough to cut two tree patterns
- Needle and thread
- A few pins or small safety pins
- Fiberfill or cotton balls for stuffing
- An assortment of buttons and beads. We got some cute little kid buttons shaped like animals, fruit, stars, etc, along with an assortment of colorful round buttons. Some stores have assorted buttons you can scoop by the cup for cheap.
- Ribbon or yarn to use to hang the tree
How to make it:Making the Trees
Read all the directions before starting.
Step 1 - Print Patterns
Choose the size of tree you want to make. As not all printers print exactly the same size, two pattern sizes are included. Of course, you may make up your own.
Step 2 - Cut Out Felt Trees
Cut out two identical trees from green felt. It's pretty important that the trees be identical, so this is something for an adult to do for a very young child. Set aside one of the trees.
Step 3 - Sew Buttons and Beads on the Tree
Sew an assortment of buttons and/or beads to the tree. Try not to sew any right near the edge, because that is where you'll have to sew the two trees together. You can pick a fancy button for the top of the tree - we found star buttons. You do not have to tie off the threads when going from one button to the next, just make the stitch to the next button on the back of the tree - don't worry if it looks a bit messy, that part will be inside.
Step 4 - Add Ribbon for Hanging
Take the ribbon or yarn you want to use the hang the tree and sew it to the felt tree that does NOT have the buttons on it.
Step 5 - Attach the back to the front
Take your two trees and put them together, right sides facing out. That means that the buttons are showing on the front of the tree, and the ends of the ribbon to hang the tree with are hidden inside the tree. Use a few pins to hold the tree together, and then stitch around the outside, except for the bottom of the trunk. Small safety pins are a safe alternative to straight pins if making with small children. You can use a small running stitch (just up and down) or use an overcast stitch. If I can get the time, I'll illustrate the stitches here.
Leave one side of the trunk open, and stop sewing for a moment. You don't have to cut the thread, but you do need to do the next step before you finish stitching.
Step 6 - Stuff
Take a bit of stuffing - either fiberfill or cotton balls, and push it into your tree. Use your fingers or a pencil to push bits of it into the points of the tree. The tree just needs a bit of stuffing to make it plump, it should still be a flat shape when you are done.
Step 7 - Stitch it closed
Once you are pleased with how your tree is stuffed, sew the last part of the trunk closed.
You might want to write your name and the date on the back of the tree, and maybe a short message. Hang your tree up, give it as a gift, use it as the tag on a gift, or use it to mark place settings at your holiday table (write the name of the person you are giving it to on the back of the tree instead of your name).
- Here are directions for Felt Ornaments.
- Here are directions for More Felt Ornaments.
- Non-sewers can use fabric paints to decorate the front of the tree. Be sure to let them dry, and then glue the front and back of the tree together around the edges instead of stitching. Be sure to leave an area open for stuffing, and let the glue dry completely before stuffing. Then stuff and glue the last part. Instead of stuffing, you could glue a cardboard tree slightly smaller than the felt tree between the front and back layers of felt. Be sure to use a good thick craft glue.
- The trees can also be cut out of craft foam, decorated with fabric paints, buttons, pom-poms, and the like.
- The patterns can also be used to make fabric trees stitched on the sewing machine. Pick a nice Christmas or country look fabric. Add 1/4" seam allowances to the patterns, sew right sides together and leave an open area to turn it right side out. Clip the corners, especially the ones where the trunk meets the tree, turn it, stuff, and hand sew the open area shut. These could be cute for a more country look to a tree, and can be personalized afterwards with fabric paint or markers.
- It is possible to make the tree and stuff it with catnip for a special Christmas treat for your cat. In that case, avoid sewing on any buttons, because the cat might chew them off and hurt itself.