Thursday, December 8, 2016

A Christmas ornament tutorial...a pudgy lamb...



Christmas is upon us!  This post is a poor attempt at me keeping a promise to share a tutorial on how I made this fuzzy little Christmas lamb ornament...oh, so long ago in the late 1980's.

Peg Margo, this one is for you...sorry it took so long!

The original idea came from a craft leaflet that I hoped I had hung onto, but my search through the last of the packed moving boxes last week was futile.  Doh!

I tried to wing it and re-create what I did 30 years ago.  I learned from making this one, but had no time to make another one that would reflect those lessons learned.
  
So I will be constantly telling you what I have told my daughter through the years..."do as I say, not as I do."


I will list all materials that are needed concisely at the end of the post.  I still had the larger of the two template circles that I made all those years ago, funny enough.  I guessed on the smaller one...and I guessed wrong (it should have been a little smaller...).

Yep, if the observant among you noticed one of Karen Kay Buckley's "Perfect Circles," you would be correct.  In fact, you can make this critter any size, with any material, and actually any species.  I want to explore this some time with a spotted body to make a cow, for instance...

So I recommend a 3-  to 3.5-inch circle template for the body and a 1.5-inch circle for the head.  I used a 1.75-inch circle for the head, and wished I had made it smaller.


For each ornament, you need TWO large circles of cardboard for the body and ONE small circle for the head.


Next, I cut out scrap batting about 1/2 inch bigger all the way around.


I then clipped about 1/2 inch deep all the way around.


Being very careful not to burn myself, I centered the cardboard circle in the center of the batting circle.  I applied hot glue half to 2/3 around at the very edge of the cardboard.  The clipped sections were quickly folded over onto the glue and held.  Then I glued the remaining edge and pressed the remaining clipped batting sections into place.



I repeated this with the second large body circle and the small head circle.



Do you see that writing is faintly visible through one of my body circles?  Don't do that.  I should have made sure that the writing side of my recycled cardboard would be to the inside of the ornament.

It doesn't matter with this ornament, but if you were using a thinner body fabric, that faint writing might show...


OK...now we will do the same thing again with the outer body fabric.  The batting just gives some pudge to the ornament.

For my original ornament, I just used sheepy fabric I found in the fake fur department.  Because I live in the middle of freakin' nowhere, I ordered some 'Minky Sherpa Cuddle, Ivory' from Fabric.com.  The material substrate is actually thinner and easier to work with than what I used years ago, but the shedding edges are a little more annoying.


Again, see my little clipped sections?


Once both body pieces are covered, you need to add legs before gluing the sections together...oh...and a loop of thin ribbon or heavy thread for a hanger.  I forgot that.  Now, I have to go back with a needle and thread and stitch and pull something through the edges for hanging...

I still had 3-inch craft cinnamon sticks, so I used them for legs, just like I did originally.  You can also use craft sticks, heavy ribbon with a knot or bead on the end...or leave them legless...whatever you would like (they are less likely to run away or wander off if you leave them legless).


I put the curly seam of the 2 cinnamon sticks to the front so that they have the appearance of having all 4 legs...then, I glued the two body pieces together with a generous amount of hot glue. 

At this point you can stop here with a walking snowball ornament or continue.


Using felt, cover the head circle just as you did with the two body circles.  I thought I was ordering plain ol' felt from Fabric.com, but ended up with something called 'Plush Felt, Vanilla."  I would have preferred felt, but this was OK.  It was thicker and more hairy than felt, probably more realistic, but the texture made applying make-up later a little more challenging.

Let's make some ears!  The shape is below.  On the rounded end, they are about the size of a nickel with a tab attached...sort of the shape of a hot air balloon.


I put a little dot of hot glue on the tab ends of the ear pieces and pinched together to make the folded ears.  

Next I cut a small, football-shaped piece of the sherpa body stuff that would fit on the top part of the head, like bangs.  I applied the bangs, which hang over the head piece a scant amount on top and each side, with a little glue.  Then I attached the ears to the head piece, right where the bangs stop on either side.

Glue the head to the body.  Mine is almost in the center, but you can glue the head where you like, cocked at any angle you like.


Now it is time to make the blind see and accessorize this beast!  I just happened to have these little plastic craft balls, but you can use buttons, circles of black felt, beads, googly eyes, tiny black pom poms...whatever you have.

I put the bow on top of the head in my original ornament.  I chose to tuck it under the chin on this one.  Feel free to bling him out however you want!


Using a black Sharpie marker, I drew hoof-like little shapes at the bottoms of the cinnamon sticks.  You don't have to use perfectly shaped cinnamon sticks...I chose these because they twisted a bit and looked like fun.


I also snipped a couple of plastic holly leaves from an old sprig and glued them on top of the bangs with a tiny ribbon rose.  You can use jingle bells, beads, buttons, jewelry findings...whatever floats your boat.



And of course, to pile on the cuteness you can apply some blush with a Q-tip.


Ta da!!

Ingredient List:
     template plastic or "Perfect Circles"
     recycled corrugated cardboard scraps
     batting scraps
     fake fur, fake sheep, Minky, or fabric
     felt
     cinnamon sticks or craft sticks
     black Sharpie marker
     3/8 or 1/2 inch ribbon
     skinny ribbon or heavy thread for hanger
     craft eyes and findings for embellishment
     hot glue gun
     make-up and Q-tip

Tutorial provided, promise kept, mic drop...

In stitches,
Teresa   :o)