Fabric Star Christmas Ornament Pattern

  • 01 of 05

    How to Make Folded Fabric Star Ornaments

    Folded Fabric Star Christmas Ornament Pattern
    Janet Wickell

    My easy folded fabric star Christmas ornament pattern is assembled with a technique that's been used in many ways throughout the years. No sewing is required for this method, which has been put to use to create all sorts of craft items, including potholders, and throw pillow covers. A similar version of the stars can be used to create round wall hangings.

    We'll use this easy technique to make round ornaments by covering Styrofoam balls with fabric to create a fabric star on each side of...MORE the ball. The ornaments are perfect for Christmas but change the fabrics to make stars that are suitable for any holiday or event.

    What You'll Need to Assemble the Ornaments

    • Styrofoam balls (I used 3" balls. Adjust square sizes for balls of a different size.)
    • Dressmaker's straight pins with small metal heads.
    • Three fabrics, a light a medium and a dark (tone-on-tone fabrics and small-scale prints usually work best):
      • Cut (16) 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" squares of light fabric
      • Cut (16) 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" squares of dark fabric
      • Cut (10) 2-1/2" x 2-1/2" squares of medium fabric.
      • Beginning quilters - learn how to cut patchwork shapes.
    • About 10" of 1/2" to 3/4" wide ribbon or folded fabric to cover the raw edges where front and back stars meet
    • Additional ribbons or fabrics to make a bow for the top of the ornament (optional)
    • Floral pins (shaped like a U) are handy, but not required
    • Glue is helpful, but not required (try Elmer's, fabric glue, Styrofoam glue, or craft dots).

    Develop a Color Scheme

    You might already know exactly which colors and fabrics to choose. If you don't try an easy way to select fabrics. Using a color wheel to identify colors is another helpful technique.

    Learn about color value. If that term is new to you, think of it as contrast.

    Shopping for Supplies

    Try these links if you can't find supplies locally.

    Continue to 2 of 5 below.
  • 02 of 05

    Prep Fabric for Handcrafted Christmas Ornaments

    Folded Fabric Star Christmas Ornament
    Fold the squares and prepare the Styrofoam ball. Janet Wickell

    Fold Fabrics Before Making the Handcrafted Christmas Ornaments

    The two medium squares serve a couple of purposes. They cover the Styrofoam at the point where folded squares begin, camouflaging slight gaps between the first pieces pinned to the ball. They also make it easier to position the first layer of star tips.

    1. Set aside (2) of the medium fabric squares. 
    2. Fold all remaining squares in half one time, wrong sides together to create a rectangle. Press to secure each fold (upper left photo).
    3. Beginnin...MOREg at the folded edge, fold half of a rectangle down and align its raw edges with the raw edges along the original fold, creating a 45-degree angle along that side of the fabric (upper right photo).
    4. Repeat to create a fold on the opposite side. Press.
    5. Even though you've pressed the fabric, the angled edges may pop back up. That's okay -- the fold has been established, making it easier to work with the patches later.

    6. Repeat with all squares except the (2) medium squares you set aside earlier.
    7. Center one of the unpressed medium fabric squares right side up on one side of a 3" ball. Pin to the ball at all four corners. Try not to stretch the edges of the square. (bottom left photo)
    8. Pin the remaining unfolded medium square to the opposite side of the ball. Space the squares evenly.
    9. Look at their corners of the squares. Are they adjacent to each other, with about the same space between them? 
    Continue to 3 of 5 below.
  • 03 of 05

    Pin Fabrics to Ball to Make Christmas Ornaments

    Make Homemade Christmas Ornaments
    Pin four units tip-to-tip to create the ornament's first layer. Janet Wickell

    Pin Folded Fabrics to the Ornament

    1. Gather the medium folded units.
    2. Place the first unit on the ball, aligning its straight edge with one side of a medium square that's pinned to the ball (upper left photo).
    3. Use dressmaker's pins to pin the unit to the ball at its pointed tip and at its outermost angled edges -- stab the pins straight into the ball. Use two more pins along the straight edge, placing them through the "flaps" where the folded edges meet along raw edges. Try not to...MORE stretch the fabrics.
    4. Pins along the unit's straight edges will be covered later. Pins at the pointed tip will not. Hide the head of a pin by pushing it deeper into the ball.
    5. Position a second folded unit onto the ball, its point aimed directly at the point of the first -- the opening created by inner folded edges should form a straight line (upper right photo). Pin to the ball at the same five spots.
    6. Use two more folded units to fill in the gaps between the first two, pinning them to the ball in the same way (lower photo).
    7. Repeat on the opposite side of the ball.
    Continue to 4 of 5 below.
  • 04 of 05

    Pin the Dark Fabrics to the Christmas Ornament Ball

    Folded Fabric Star Christmas Ornament
    Add eight folded units to create the second layer. Janet Wickell

    Position and Pin the Dark Fabrics to the Christmas Ornament

    Pin fabrics to the ball as before.

    1. Position a dark folded unit so that its center opening is aligned with the line created by the center opening on one of the pinned medium units. Position the new unit so that about 3/8" of the medium unit below it is visible (upper left photo). Pin.
    2. Repeat by pinning folded dark fabrics into the empty slots between the first two, allowing the same width of medium fabric to show (upper right photo).
    3. Add...MORE four more dark units to the ball. They will lie over the edges of the dark units you just pinned. Align and pin one of the units, the straight line of its opening aligned with a straight line created between two medium units (lower left photo).
    4. Add a second dark unit directly across from the unit you just pinned. Next, align and pin the remaining two dark units.
    5. Repeat to add the remaining eight dark units to the other side of the ball.
    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Finish the Homemade Star Christmas Ornament

    Homemade Folded Fabric Star Christmas Ornament
    Add the third layer of folded units to the ornament. Janet Wickell

    Pin the Light Fabrics to the Ball

    1. The folded light fabrics are layered onto the ball in exactly the same way as other folded fabrics. Begin by aligning the folds at the center of four light units with the centerfolds of the dark units beneath them, taking care to pin units in opposite pairs as before.

      Leave a bit more of the dark fabric showing than you left of the medium units (1/2" - 5/8" or more, your choice).

    2. Add the remaining four light units, but align their folds with the lines...MORE created between dark units beneath them (as before).
    3. Add light units to the opposite side of the ball.

    Place a Ribbon Around the Center of the Ball

    Wind a ribbon around the center of the ball to cover the raw edges of the folded fabrics. Pin the ribbon in place on both sides along its length.

    If you prefer, fold under the edges of a fabric strip and press. Pin the fabric around the ball, right side up.

    You could also use fabric glue to secure a ribbon or fabric, but be sure to check it for colorfastness first. Use a few straight pins to help secure the strip.

    Add a Bow on Top

    Insert a floral U-hook into the ball along the center ribbon, leaving enough space between its top and the ball to create a slot. Feed a ribbon through the slot and tie a bow.

    If you prefer, pin the bow to the ball to keep it secure.

    Folded Fabric Star Ornament Variations

    1. Don't limit yourself to three fabrics and three colors. Ornaments made with just a couple of repeated fabrics can be beautiful.
    2. Use more layers of folded squares but leave less space between them. Be sure to cut and fold extra fabric squares.
    3. Use a pictorial fabric for the starter squares or personalize the area by printing a photo on cloth. Begin positioning points farther outward, creating a larger window for the focal area.


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