How To Finish an Ornament Using Aluminum Ornament Forms

Have you ever avoided stitching a round ornament because you weren’t sure how you were going to finish it??  Aluminum ornament forms are the solution…  its super easy to do and they always look great, and more importantly, perfectly round, when you’re finished.

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Ornament Forms

I’ve seen these at a couple of different LNSs.  I most frequently buy them from The Silver Needle in Tulsa, but I also know that House of Stitches carries them too.

I was finishing up some ornaments today and thought I’d take some pics of how I used the ornament forms for anyone who is curious about trying these out.

You Will Need:

  • Stitched ornament
  • Pair of ornament forms  that fit the stitched piece
  • Backing Fabric
  • Thin batting
  • Tacky Glue
  • Strong thread and a needle (I usually use #8 perle cotton)
  • Trim (ribbon or cording)

I like my finished ornaments to have a little padding, so I squirt some glue on the convex side of the ornaments, stick some rough cut batting on them, then trim away the excess batting using the outside of the form as a guide:

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Using your ornament forms as a loose guide, trim both your backing fabric and your stitched ornament to about 3/4″ beyond the circumference of the ornament form.

Thread your needle with some sturdy thread (I use perle cotton) and stitch a running stitch near the edge of your trimmed fabric.  As you can see from my pic below, there’s no need to create a perfect circle with your running stitch or even have the stitches be nice and even!  When finished, make sure that the tails of your thread end up at the front of your stitched piece.

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Next, place one of the ornament forms, batting side down, on the back of your stitching. Do your best to center the form on the stitching.  Pull the tails of the running stitch to cinch up the fabric around the form. Think of it kind of like cinching up a draw string bag. Tie the tails with a square knot, then put a little dab of glue over the knot:

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Turn the form over and make any small adjustments needed to be sure the stitching is centered on the ornament form.  The batting should be betwen your stitching and the convex side of the ornament form.

Do the same with the backing fabric on the other form:

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Don’t worry about the fabric bulk created by the cinching. Because the ornament forms have a rounded surface, there is plenty of space for the fabric bulk to be contained within the hollow space at the center of your ornament.

Next, dab a small amount of glue around the edge of the form that is fitted with backing fabric:

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Pick up both halves of the ornament and line the edges up and press firmly together. If you want a ribbon hanger (click here for a pic of ornaments that I finished this way), you would want to slip the ends of the ribbon at the top of the ornament before pressing together. I chose cording for this ornament, so no need for this step:

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Wipe away any excess glue then put the ornament under a book or other heavy object for the glue to set.

Twisted cording is the next step. I make a little puddle of glue on some scrap paper or fabric, then use the end of a pin to run glue along the seam between the back and front of the ornament. Using the pin helps you avoid putting too much glue that will squeeze out from under the cording, and also gives you more control over where the glue goes.

Arrange your cording around the ornament, leaving room at the top to create a hanger, and gently run the cording along the glue line between the front and the back of the ornament:

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Take some thread that matches your cording and wrap around the cording at the base of the hanger and the point where the cording joins at the bottom of the ornament. This helps secure the tension on the cording while the glue sets and also just looks nice. 🙂

Clip the ends of the cording at the bottom then untwist and separate the threads to make a tassle.  Trim the tassle threads so that they are all the same length:

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You are finished!

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10 thoughts on “How To Finish an Ornament Using Aluminum Ornament Forms

  1. Oh, Holly…thank you! I’ve seen the forms at the LNS but wasn’t quite sure how they go together.

    One question, do the pieces “snap” together or is it just the glue that holds them?

  2. Great tutorial, but I have to ask – couldn’t you use lids from cans to do the same thing? (lids that have been removed with one of those openers that doesn’t leave sharp edges)

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