Crochet Ornaments Make Fun Holiday Gifts
For most crocheters, every day is “Make a Gift Day” this time of year, but on Dec. 3 there’s an unofficial holiday actually dedicated to handmade gifts. I’m finishing up some crochet ornaments that I’ve been working on. It’s a super easy, super rewarding project, so I wanted to share the process in case you want to make some ornaments today too!
These crochet ornaments are destined to be St. Nicholas Day presents for my mom. We always exchange small gifts, candy, and fruit on “St. Nick’s Day,” a carryover from my mom’s Dutch heritage. It’s also a great time to give ornaments, as they will have plenty of display time before Christmas itself. My mom has a really epic, eclectic collection of Christmas ornaments, including a lot of heirlooms and handmade ornaments. I can’t wait to see how these crochet ornaments fit into the mix!
Making crochet ornaments is really quick and surprisingly easy. In fact, the hardest part is choosing your pattern. Just about any doily, mandala, or afghan motif can be turned into an ornament when stitched in festive colors and stiffened so it will hang nicely from the tree.
I modified a few patterns from the pages of Modern Crochet Mandalas and one from Interweave Crochet, but there are countless sources in the pages of your favorite magazines and books. You’ll only need to do the first few rows on most of these patterns; just keep going until you have a mandala that’s the right size and shape to be used as an ornament (somewhere between 3-8 inches depending on your preference).
I made my crochet ornaments with DMC pearl cotton, because I wanted a neat, glossy look with saturated, even color, but you can use any kind of thread or yarn you like. You can choose a green, red, and white color palette like I did, or experiment with metallic, all-white, or blue and white color schemes to match any holiday décor.
Once your ornament is finished and you’ve tucked in all your ends, you’re ready to stiffen the mandalas. I used fabric stiffener from the craft store, but you can also use a glue and water mix or liquid starch. I dipped each mandala in the fabric stiffener, squeezed out the excess, and then pinned them into shape on cardboard and wax paper. Take care in pinning, as the shape will be VERY permanent!
The mandala ornaments dried overnight and I added jump rings and ornament hooks in the morning. Now they’re ready to be wrapped in time for St. Nick’s Day!
Have you ever crocheted holiday ornaments, or are you making some crochet ornaments this year? Share your best tips in the comments. Where did you find patterns? What kind of yarn and stiffener did you use? How do you display them? I want to hear from you!
Yours in Stitches,