Handmade decorations, like this Christmas ball ornament, hanging on the tree is something that has always made Christmas a little more special. Growing up, my grandmother always made crocheted decorations. As a child, we made little decorations out of paper and such. I loved seeing our finished treasures hanging on the twinkling tree. I made Christmas ornaments with my kids, and now my children do the same. I love how some traditions continue through the years. It just makes everything seem that much more special.
As an adult, I still love the homemade decorations, and decided to use both sewing and hand embroidery to create a lightweight, hanging Christmas ball ornament. Since I am fairly new to hand embroidery, and have been publishing videos on YouTube of my journey, I thought I would share this hand embroidered Christmas ball ornament tutorial with you. It’s a simple holiday project with small spaces to fill, so it’s a great way to practice your hand embroidery skills!
- Fabric (fat quarters are used here, but you can use any cotton or linen fabric)
- Wooden embroidery hoop
- Embroidery floss
- Embroidery needles
- Poly-fil stuffing
- Template for sphere sections of the Christmas ball ornament. You can find templates online of different sizes. Search “sphere template for sewing a ball” (my template is 3″ long)
- Embroidery tracing paper (optional)
Embellishing Your Ball with Hand Embroidery
To make the Hand Embroidered Christmas Balls, you will need to know some of the basic hand embroidery stitches. The stitches that I used here are the stem stitch, back stitch, straight stitch, and lazy daisy stitch.
You can learn how to do these stitches on our YouTube Channel. You can do the same designs as I did, create your own, or trace a design, then stitch it out.
Steps to Make a Christmas Ball Ornament
Step 1: Lay out fabric, and trace your sphere templates (I used 5 for the larger ball, and 4 for the smaller ball).
Step2: Place fabric with traced templates in your embroidery hoop, lining it up to work on each template, until you have all 5 templates stitched with your designs.
On my first Christmas ball ornament, I used a stem stitch in vertical lines, with a silver metallic thread. My fabric was a quilting fat quarter in white, with a faint design in the background.
On my second Christmas ornament, I embroidered a free hand flower and vine design, using lazy daisy stitch for the flower and leaves, and the straight stitch, back stitch, or stem stitch for the vine.
Step3: Once all of the templates are hand-embroidered, you will need to cut them out.
Step 4: To stitch the pieces together, pin each piece to the next piece (right sides together) with long edges together, and work your way around. When you have attached the last one (the 5th) DO NOT sew the last connection completely closed. Leave about an inch or two to poke your stuffing into the ball.
Step 5: Fill your embroidered Christmas ball ornament with stuffing, until firm and round. You may need to work the stuffing in to create the roundness you want.
Step 6: To make the hanger for your ball, simply thread a larger eye embroidery needle with your embroidery floss. Tie a knot at one end. From the center-bottom of your Christmas ball ornament, push the needle through to the top center, until the thread is stopped at the bottom by the knot you tied. Now, push the needle back through, from the top to the bottom, which will leave a loop at the top. Pull until the loop is the size you desire for hanging, then tie off at the bottom. You should also tie the loop off at the top, next to the top of the ball.
Now you have your hand embroidered Christmas ball ornament to hang on your Christmas tree! Be creative – you can add beads to your embroidery, or dangle a sparkly bead from the bottom before you cut off your bottom threads. Have fun, and Merry Christmas!
ALTERNATIVE IDEA: You can also leave the hangers off, and make several colorful balls for a centerpiece or to put in a bowl for decorating.