Free Projects: Holiday Fabric Garland and Ornament

Lazies, Here are two quick and easy projects you can still make in time for the holidays: fabric ball ornament and easy fabric garland or ribbon. Both are made by fusing layers of fabric together to make what I call ‘quilters canvas’ – great body, double-sided and won’t fray on the cut edges. Fabulous!

Garland can be used as ribbon, too. Click image to enlarge.

Easy Fabric Garland or Ribbon
Now, this just can’t get much easier or more efficient. Ten 10″ squares, fused in pairs, cut into 1 1/2″ squares, makes 25 feet of garland! I ordered some tins of my favorite mini-brownies as gifts this year with plans to decorate using fabric garland. I used the rest to decorate around a door frame.

– Ten 10″ squares of fabric, or use scraps. Shown: ‘Merry & Bright’ Moda layer cake (10″ squares). 
– Five squares of fusible web a bit smaller than the fabric, or use scraps. I used Steam-A-Seam 2, any fusible web is great.
– Center the fusible between two pieces of fabric, wrong sides together, and fuse.
– Repeat for all fabric/fusible.
– Trim edge, then cut six 1 1/2″ strips.
– Re-cut strips to 1 1/2″ squares.
– Stitch together, on point, overlapping 1/2″ of the ends.

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Little stacks of garland-to-be.

Stitch on point and overlap ends of squares. Click image to enlarge.

The squares are double sided and won’t fray on the edges so they are ready to go! Seven squares make approximately 1′ of garland. Make the length needed and use around a tree, wreath, door frame, banister or anywhere you would use traditional garland.

For ribbon, I used a bit of fabric glue to tack the garland to the top of the tin and overlap the loose ends underneath and tack with glue. Use scotch tape (pins, paperclips) to hold ribbon in place until glue dries. Use a touch of glue to attach the red bow on top, too.

Fabric Ball Ornament
I saw a paper version of this concept by those sharp cookies over at Design Sponge here (via WhipUp) and thought ‘I want to do that in fabric’. As you can see, I did. I used the ‘Arcadia’ fabric from Moda. A charm pack (5″ squares) would be ideal for this project.

Ornaments made from fused layers of fabric. Click image to enlarge.

A word of caution
This project is thick and my machine made the ker-plunk, ker-plunk noise as I sewed through 14 layers of fabric and 7 layers of fusible web.  I used a size 12 needle, perhaps a 14 would have been better. Know your machine’s limitations before you try this. Or make it in paper at the link above.

Make circles, stack, stitch, include ribbon.
Click image to enlarge.

How To
– 3 1/2″ round template from Creative Grids. Use something at least this size.
– 14 scraps at least 4″ square.
– 7 scraps of fusible web cut just a bit smaller than the 4″ squares.
– Center the fusible between two pieces of fabric and fuse. Make 7 fused pieces.
– Trace and cut a circle from each piece.
– Fold one circle in half and press to make a crease, then open flat.
– Stack all 7 circles, place circle with crease on top.
– Stitch through all layers on center crease, stop 1/2″ from end, leave under presser foot.
– Place ends of folded ribbon between 2nd and 3rd circles at the stitching line and stitch in place.
– Alternately use just a stich or two to stitch circles together at the edge, about 1″ from the top and bottom.

For stitching the circles together at the edges, I used the smallest presser foot I had (zipper foot) because maneuvering things under the presser foot gets a little tight toward the end of this project.  You could use fabric glue instead, but I didn’t feel like waiting for glue to dry. My favorite Res-Q Tape was not strong enough for this task, either.


Leave a Lazy Comment

23 Responses to “Free Projects: Holiday Fabric Garland and Ornament”

  1. Jacquelyn Rambo — December 15, 2008 @ 6:22 am

    Happy Holidays!
    You are so generous to share your ideas and free downloads. Thank you for inspiring me so many times, and beautifying the world, not only with your patterns, but with your spirit.
    Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Joyous Kwanza, and may there someday be peace on Earth.
    Most Sincerely,

  2. Lish — December 15, 2008 @ 6:41 am

    Wow! I love the garland Joan and think how much cuter it would look ( if that’s possible) if you used a wavy edge rotary cutter blade to cut the squares!!!

    Thanks for a great idea!


  3. Penny — December 15, 2008 @ 6:42 am

    Fabulous ideas Joan, got to try the ornament thing. I have tons of stash Christmas fabric that needs help. I do like Lish idea of the wavy thing on the garland but I also think the plaid is adorable for the garland. Don’t ya just love plaid these days? Have fun!

    Penny D in Chesapeake

  4. Lissa — December 15, 2008 @ 11:38 am



  5. Shawn — December 15, 2008 @ 11:58 am

    Hi Joan.,

    I just love your blogs – your freebie patterns. I have shared your web site with numerous friends of mine. Gone broke purchasing fabulous patterns from you (HA!). Yours are so reasonable. My one sadness with your site & maybe it’s me.. is there an easier way to save your freebie patterns other than cut & paste for future reference? or searching your archive when one is ready to tackle your pattern?

    Smiles for a beautiful memorable holiday season.

  6. SarahB — December 15, 2008 @ 12:58 pm

    Love the garland and the ornament! I have had the paper Design Sponge one marked to make but I may just do this fabric one instead because I think it will hold up a lot nicer over the years!

  7. Lucinda — December 15, 2008 @ 2:28 pm

    This would be so cute with one color/pattern on one side and another one on the other. The colors would really pop and you would see the design more.

  8. Debbie Weiler — December 15, 2008 @ 4:02 pm


    Perhaps we could use fabric glue on the fabric balls instead of sewing, saving the stress on our sewing machines. We would still get the same effect.

  9. Dotti — December 15, 2008 @ 4:09 pm

    Hi Lazies, Happy Holidays to all. The ideas that are shared are wonderful ! And I am always inspired.

  10. Gill — December 15, 2008 @ 4:48 pm

    great project, not sure though if my machine could handle the thickness of the fabric

    Gill in Canada

  11. Elizabeth — December 15, 2008 @ 4:55 pm

    Don’t just use a heavier needle, make sure you also use a Jeans style needle instead of a Universal style. The Jeans’ needle’s point is sharper than a Universal style and can really help your machine a lot. If you can use a lower motor speed (some machines have adjustable speed) that will also help your machine get through that kind of thickness. Jeans needles comes in sizes from 10 to 16 or 18.

  12. Shannon — December 16, 2008 @ 4:29 pm

    I am not a sewing sort of person all that often, actually have stitched my own thumba couple times… heehee… but I made the garland this afternoon for my grandmother who NEVER has any sort of holiday items in her home anymore. She loves it and immediately hung it up around her front door!! Thank you for such an easy and fun project!!

  13. suesue — December 17, 2008 @ 7:38 am

    love this idea!! i’m such a last minute girl-i need late ideas all the time! thanks for the inspiration!!

  14. Therese — December 17, 2008 @ 10:04 am

    Hi! I just looked at your ornament, and stopped with the first photo. If I make the circles withe the ribbon, and one side is a light solid or tone on tone, I could use them as gift tags. Perfect!

    Thanks for all your ideas.

  15. Maegan — January 17, 2009 @ 1:51 pm

    wow. creative and awesome!

  16. NKULIKIYIMFURA — October 5, 2010 @ 5:36 pm



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