Tag Archives: sewing

How to Make Zombie Gingerbread Ornaments

Inspiration for me comes from the strangest places … this year for Christmas I decided that I would make some lovely felted ornaments, in the shape of gingerbread men. Then I thought how cute it would be if the ornaments had “bite” marks in them; I had seen a set of cookie cutters a year or so ago, in the shape of “half eaten” gingerbread men, and thought they were hilarious.

So on a slow evening I retreated to my sewing room, sat down with a piece of cardboard, some brown felt, and various odds and sods and within two hours I had made my first three “zombie gingerbread” ornaments. (Hmmm … I seemed to have missed a step … OH, did I mention I was watching “The Walking Dead” at the time? No? Well, I was. Great show.) It wasn’t that much of a mental stretch, to be honest … half-eaten gingerbread men … back for revenge … zombie gingerbread.

Supplies needed:

  • Cardboard
  • Fine tip black marker
  • 1-2 yards of brown felt (depending on how many ornaments you decide to make)
  • cotton batting for stuffing
  • sharp scissors
  • sewing machine
  • needle for hand sewing (if desired)
  • (for decorating) rick rack, ribbon, buttons, fabric paint

The first step is to decide how big you want your half-eaten gingerbread ornament to be … I think up to about 5-6 inches long is good, and about 3-4 inches across…this will make the figure large enough to add enough gory detail, but small enough so that they will not instantly be noticed when visitors come to admire your tree. My little guy below is about 6.5 inches long and about 4.5 inches across.

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Figure 1

Trace a basic gingerbread figure, with missing appendages, on a piece of cardboard, (Figure 1). This will allow you to use the pattern over and over again without the pattern getting ripped and torn. Along one of the sides of the figure, make two notches to indicate where you will leave the seam open to lightly stuff the figure with some cotton batting.

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Figure 2

Place your pattern onto a piece of brown felt, and trace the pattern with a fine tip black marker, (Figure 2). The outline should be just barely visible on the felt; this will help when you go to sew the felt together. Place the traced felt piece on top of another piece of felt, and pin the two segments together, with the outlined piece on top (Figure 3).

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Figure 3

Using your sewing machine, sew the two pieces of felt together, following the outline of the gingerbread figure, (Figure 4).

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Figure 4

Take special care around the “bite marks” … lift up the presser foot and adjust the material as needed to get the best bite impression. By the time I did the third ornament it was super easy. Also remember to leave a small opening along the side to stuff … (Figure 5)

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Figure 5

Once the felt pieces are sewn together, use a sharp pair of scissors to cut around the outline…try to cut as close as possible to the seam. (Figure 6)

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Figure 6

You now have a half-eaten gingerbread figure. Now all it needs is a little stuffing, (Figure 7), and a hook for hanging (Figure 8). When you stuff your zombie ornament with batting, you may also want to leave a little hanging out, like entrails. (Remember, not TOO much stuffing…most gingerbread men are fairly flat when they come out of the oven. Use just enough stuffing to give it a bit of a body).

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Figure 7
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Figure 8

You now have a blank slate in front of you. It’s time to unleash your inner zombie freak! For my first attempt I stuck with the very simple-to-use 3D paint markers. These are fabric pens that give a great 3D effect, and are SO easy to handle. If you are making zombie gingerbread you will most assuredly need the following colours; red (blood), white, black, green (gangrene), and perhaps a little yellow (gangrene/pus). Just remember to let the paint dry for a day.

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If you are more creative, you could also hand-sew scraps of rick rack or ribbon to simulate a zombie gingerbread man’s torn “clothes”, a spare black button for an eye…the possibilities are endless.

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One last note…zombies need a victim to chase, so it doesn’t matter how many gingerbread zombies you make…remember to make a terrified looking victim or two!!

gingerbread zombie

Easy Felt Costumes

Many thanks to guest contributor Jillian Grimm (don’t you just love that name?) for this easy, awesome tutorial.

Felt makes an excellent, virtually no-sew choice for simple Halloween costumes.

Because it doesn’t fray, felt does not require hemming. It is also easily glued and hand sewn, making it perfect for the non-sewing crowd. And with a variety of colors available at your local fabric store or a fabric store online, the possibilities are endless.

Here are just a few simple and easily customizable Halloween costumes that can be made from felt in almost no time at all.

Mustache-on-a-Stick and Masquerade Masks

These quick mini costumes are perfect for a last minute party and are also great to hand out to non-costumed guests at your own Halloween bash.

Cut two mustache or mask shapes from a small piece of felt (sheets of felt are available at most craft stores or online). Thread an embroidery needle with a two-foot piece of coordinating or contrasting (depending on the look you want) embroidery thread and sew a simple running stitch around all the edges.

When you have an inch or so to go, pause and stuff your mask or moustache with small pieces of felt scraps to give it a little poof and stability and finish stitching closed. Insert a dowel between the stitches on one side and secure with a few drops of craft glue.

easy felt moustache easy felt moustache for Halloween

Holy Batcape!

felt batman capeHave a little Batman in your house? They’ll love to swoop and swirl in this easy batcape. The weight of the fabric give the perfect drape for a cape and the wide width of felt sold in most fabric stores means you can avoid cutting and sewing panels of fabric to create the cape shape.

Fold one yard of 45-inch width black felt in half with the folded edge to one side. On the side opposite the fold, cut a triangle that starts a third of the way up from the bottom and finishes along the top edge, about 5 inches from the fold.

Make a second cut from the starting point of the triangle along the bottom, rounding it toward the fold. This creates a basic cape shape. Round the neck slightly and cut scallops along the bottom edge and stitch or glue ribbon (if you suspect this will become a long term addition to the costume box, stitching is best) to each side of the collar.

felt batman cape - beginning

felt batman cape - cutting

enjoying his felt batman cape

Wizard’s Hat

Measure the circumference of your head and add an inch. Cut a triangle from black felt with all sides at that measure.

Roll the triangle into a cone and glue the seam with craft glue. Once dry, trim the bottom to be straight before setting out for some Harry Potter trick-or-treating!

Red Riding Hood

Following the same proportions as the bat cape but leaving off the scallops and using red felt, you can create a simple cloak for your Little Red Riding Hood. In addition to the cape and ribbon ties, you will need to create a hood.

  1. Cut a 16-inch by 12-inch rectangle from the felt.
  2. Fold the rectangle along the long side to get a smaller 8 by 12-inch piece.
  3. Stitch or glue (again, stitching will hold longer) the top edge of this new rectangle.
  4. Open the bottom edge back up and center along the neck of the cloak. You’ll need to fold or gather the bottom edge to fit within the neckline.
  5. Pin into place and stitch the hood to the cape with general-purpose thread.

Have a great Halloween!

How to Make Your Own Trick or Treat Bags

Your child is dressed up all adorable, proudly ready to go out trick or treating! The Halloween costume is fantastic, scary and cute at the same time. However, something’s not quite right … something ruins the whole ensemble. Perhaps it’s the ugly plastic bag being used to hold the mountains of candy?

Never fear, you won’t have to worry about that, because you’re reading this article and will now make your own gorgeous masterpiece of a trick or treat bag! Or, at least, something better than a grocery bag or pillow case.

trick_or_treat_bag_supplies

Materials

  • At least ½ yard of Halloween themed fabric or pre-made canvas bag
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • Fabric glue/needles
  • Interfacing (optional)
  • Decorations to match the fabric
  • Buttons, sequins, foam shapes and beads
  • An iron

Sewing Your Trick or Treat Bag

The Bag

Cut a rectangle of fabric that measures 16.5” x 25”. Fold the 25” side of the fabric in half so that the wrong side is showing. Stitch the bottom first and then the side. Turn the bag right side out and press the seams with an iron. At the opening turn down ¼” and press. Then turn it down again 1-1/2 inches. Press and stitch.

Safety pin placed in the center (Click for larger image)
Safety pin placed in the center (Click for larger image)
inside out handle
inside out handle
placement matching and X seam
placement matching and X seam

The handles

Cut fabric for the handles that measures 3” x 19”. You will need to cut two of these. Fold the fabric in half with the wrong side showing. Put a safety pin in the very center of one end with the head towards the other end. This will make turning it right side out much easier. Take a ¼” seam allowance and stitch the strip of fabric. Turn it inside out by pushing the safety pin through the tube; press under ¼” on each end.

Pin the handles to the bag before stitching to make sure that you like the placement. Use the sewing machine to sew them on with a large ‘X’. This will attach them securely so that no trick or treat candy gets lost.

Now you can turn the bag over to the kids to have fun with. With fabric glue, beads, sequins, plastic confetti, and anything else you can think of, your kids will make and have their own personalized trick or treat bag!

Halloween trick or treat bag Halloween trick or treat bag

Bewitching Silverware Holders

I love to eat, and I love to sample the elaborate spreads my Halloween hostesses lavish on me and their other party guests. One problem I have, as I toss a few meatballs and other goodies on my plate, is juggling my plate, glass, napkin and then the silverware that is always placed at the beginning of the line.

It’s at those times that I wish I were a spider with eight legs so I could manage, but alas no, I’d probably get squished by a shoe! Anyboo, here is one way to solve that issue for your guests: silverware caddies! This is an easy, cheap craft project you can do in one afternoon mostly with items you already have on hand. Follow these simple steps and see how much fun you’ll have making these silverware holders that’ll perk up your buffet table, not to mention help your guests weave their way through your goodies.

Supply List:

  • Felt
  • Pattern of the item you want to make
  • Trims – feathers, sequins, beaded trim, pom pons, yarn, ribbon
  • Color-coordinated cord (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread
  • Fabric or felt glue
  • Hot glue (optional)
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Lay the piece of felt on the wrong side of the fabric you want for the outside of your caddy. Leave a two inches of material at the top, one inch on the side and just a tad at the bottom.

Time To Consider Ease of Project and Time

There are few things to consider before you get started. If you’re unsure of this craft project, use simple shapes like a cone, square or pocket style for your first caddies. They’ll be really fast and be very simple to work with, especially if you have to make a lot of them! If you feel more confident, you might choose a witch’s hat or a jack-o-lantern. I’ll discuss how easy it is to add to your collection later on in this article.

If it’s hard to find a large chunk of time to make these caddies in one day – no problem. Cut out your shapes one day. Another day, concentrate on decorating your caddies and pinning them together. Then sew them together another time, and before you know it – you‘re done. By working on them a little along, it will allow you to better enjoy your craft time, and you’ll turn out a quality product – stress free! Speaking of stress free – for the sake of this article, I’m going to use felt, even though you can use fabric for the sake of simplicity.

Step one – Pattern and Felt

Choose what kind of caddy you want to make or copy a pattern you already have. I have a file of Halloween patterns I’ve used over the years and stacks of my own designs. When choosing a pattern, it’s a good idea to keep the design simple for your first caddies. You can do harder type of design during the off season that will be more intricate and time-consuming.

Lay pattern on your felt and double it so that you cut both sides at once as you cut out your design. It may be tempting to stack six or eight pieces of felt layers together before you pin on your pattern so you can cut more than one caddy at once but don’t do it! The felt will get jagged edges when you apply enough pressure to cut through multiple layers felt and will look really bad. It may sound faster, but it’s the best way to ruin your material and not get a sharp design.

silverware-02Fold the felt and material with the material on the inside and pin the bottom and side edge.

Step Two – Decorate

It’s a great time to decorate the front side of the caddy. If you’ve chosen something like a witchy boot or a black cat, it’s much easier to attach the trims now while you have access to the back before they’re stitched together. Trust me!

***Note of caution*** Be careful not to place any trim on the front or back that can’t fit under the pressure foot of a sewing machine. Else, it will cause an unsightly bump under the seam. Glue will mess up any type of needle you use so try to keep all glue and glued on items away from your seams.

Step Three – Stitch It Together

Since we’re using felt, you don’t have to stitch your caddy together with the right sides together. Assemble your caddy as if it had already been stitched together with the wrong sides together. In just seconds . . . you’re done!

silverware-03Here are four different caddy’s pinned together ready for stitching on the sewing machine.

So many Possibilities – So Little Time!

You might not think of it, but thread can also be used for a decoration on your caddy. If you picked a Jack-O-Lantern, for instance, you can stitch the orange felt or fabric together with orange thread or if you’re going for the folk art look, use the zig-zag stitch in a different color so it‘ll show. If you don’t have a sewing machine, you can use a darning needle and stitch them together with yarn or use regular sewing thread.

Using Fabric:

There are some different considerations if you decide to make your caddies out of regular fabric. The felt is very sturdy on its own, so you don’t have to use anything to stiffen them. But with fabric, you’ll have to use some buckram or other Pellon-type stiffener for backing.

Another thing to think about when you cut out your shapes is that you’ll be temped to fold fabric into six or eight layers so you can cut out more than one caddy at once–don’t do it! The fabric will slip when you apply enough pressure to cut through multiple layers of the material, no matter how careful you try not to. It may look faster, but in reality it’s the best way to ruin your material and not get a sharp-cut design.

After you cut your pieces of material, it’s time to decorate them, just like the felt pieces, while you have access to the back. Attach all trims and then lay the pieces of material wrong sides together and stitch them together. Now turn the caddy right side out and stitch along the edge. You’re done!

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Here are the four caddy’s I made in ten minutes along with two I paid $5.00 each for (the boots). I much prefer my cost of using the scraps I had on hand vs having to buy enough of these just for my family.