(This post is part of my Frosty Festivities 2014 Blog Event – see the beginning HERE!)
Here’s a cute gift to make this Christmas – a felt Santa (Father Christmas) / Gnome! Read on for a tutorial and templates!
I’ve made this to give to my Nanna, she has some heavy doors in her house so she always appreciates a good doorstop. He’s about 10.5 inches tall by 4.5 inches wide at the base. I used blue for Santa’s coat (main body piece and arms) so that he could be mistaken for a garden gnome – in case she wants to have it on display all year round. But if you want it super festive you could give him a red coat.
It doesn’t have to be a doorstop either – you could also make this just for a room decoration, or as a toy for a child if you leave out the weighty insides and just fill it with stuffing. Oh the possibilities!
Want to make one? I’ve made some templates for you. You can download them at A4 size (page 1 HERE, page 2 HERE) or at Letter size (page 1 HERE, page 2 HERE) – clicking the link will prompt you to download the png file.
And here’s how to put it together…
Step 1: Gather your felt (I didn’t end up using the dark grey piece. My felt is from Handmade Haven), and print and cut out the template pieces:
Step 2: Use the templates to cut out the right amount of felt pieces. I pinned on the larger templates to cut around, and for the smaller templates I drew around them with haberdasher’s chalk before cutting the felt:
Here’s the pieces of felt all cut out – I used light grey for the circle for my base, I would have preferred light blue to match his coat but I didn’t have enough:
Step 3: Check the placement of the face piece by laying the beard and hat on top – they will line up with the edges of the main body, so you can check the face is centred. Pin the face in place and sew it on, then sew the beard on top, finishing with the hat and moustache:
Step 5: Sew the hat onto the back body piece, then add any other decorations you want to the main body pieces. I stitched on a belt of layered red and gold ribbon, with a black button for a buckle, sewed a few gold seed beads onto the hat, and used two small gun-metal coloured brads for the eyes.
NB: If you are giving this as a toy to a small child make sure you don’t add buttons, brads, or beads – or anything that could be pulled off a swallowed.
Step 5: Place two arm pieces together and stitch around two sides and the ‘hand’ end, leaving the body end open. Turn the arms inside out, then stuff lightly with toy filling (do not fill too much, you only want a little depth, and don’t fill above the ‘elbow’ height):
Step 6: Put two sleeve pieces together and sew down each long edge, leaving the top and bottom open. Push your arms through the sleeves – mine were a bit tight so I’ve increased the sleeve width on the template to make this step easier for you:
Step 7: Sew a couple of quick (tacking) stitches to hold the arms in place on each side of the body – they will fold outwards so make sure they fold the way you want them to:
Step 8: Pin the two main body pieces together, so the right-sides are facing each other, and the arms are tucked inwards:
Step 9: Sew down the two long sides. I used my sewing machine for the thinner areas, and hand-stitched a back-stitch across the arm areas, as there was no-way my sewing machine would get through that many layers of felt:
Step 10: Fold the circle felt piece in half, and pin it so the two corners you’ve created are pinned to the bottom edges of Santa’s body:
Step 11: Sew most of the circle onto the base, pinching the circle to gather it occasionally, otherwise you’ll run out of space for the whole circle. Leave a hole a few inches wide so that you can turn Santa the right way out again:
Step 12: Once he’s the right way out use some more toy stuffing to fill his top half – down roughly the arm height. If you are making this for a toy, and leaving out the weighty fillings, you can use toy stuffing all the way down.
Step 13: Add the weighty fillings. To weigh the doorstop down you can fill it with a variety of things like sand, dried beans, or gravel. I’ve used a combination of rice and pebbles. If you’re using something edible (eg. might attract critters to eat it) then make sure you bag it up. I tucked a couple of sturdy sandwich bags (one inside the other) into Santa, then filled it my folding a piece of paper in half and using it to tip the rice in:
When it was nearly full of rice I tucked four pebbles inside too – my Nanna’s doors are too heavy for rice alone:
Step 15: Tape up the bags with strong tape:
Step 16: Tuck in any extra toy stuffing that you think Santa needs, then sew the hole closed using an invisible seam stitch (HERE is a good tutorial for one by Fern Freckle).
Step 17: If you want to you could add a little pom-pom to Santa’s hat:
He’s finished! Gift him or place him in a doorway – and smile each time you walk by!
Use felt to make a gift, decoration, or embellishment
Create a Santa with a coat that’s NOT red (eg. use stamps, die-cut machines, or hand-cut paper)
Use brads, buttons, and beads on your next project
Would you make this Santa with a red coat or blue? Would he be a doorstop or a toy?
Thanks so much for reading, don’t forget to bookmark, pin, or share this post if you enjoyed it!
See you again in an hour for the first sponsored giveaway!
P.S. I’m linking this up to the Snap Show & Tell Linky!