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.

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:



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.


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:


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:


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:


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:


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:


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:


You are finished!

Answers to Questions – Beaded Edge and Looped Ribbon on Pinkeep

In my last post, I was asked how I made the beaded edge on my name tag…

First backstitch all the way around your stitching, then repeat the backstitch on your backing fabric, which should be the same count of fabric.  I did just a short row to show how this works. On your project you will have backstitched a square all the way around your stitching with the same size backstitched square on your backing fabric.


Next fold your fabric edge along the backstitch so that the fabric edge is along the back side of your stitching. You can finger press the fabric or use an iron to set the fold:


You will do the same with the backing fabric, then hold the two pieces of fabric so that the backstitches line up with each other.  The back of the stitching should be facing the back side of the backing fabric, with the edges of the fabric folded down between the front and back fabric:


Thread a beading needle, then secure the thread behind the fabric and bring your needle up at the beginning of the first backstitch:


Thread your first bead onto the needle, then slide the tip of your needle through the first two backstitches. Do not pierce the fabric:


Thread another bead on and repeat:


Here’s how it will look as you continue along the backstitching:


You can change the look of the beaded seam by beading every other stitch or alternating bead colors with each stitch.

The other question asked was about how I did the ribbon loops on the top of my pinkeeps. I can’t tie a bow to save my life, so what I do is take a length of ribbon and fold it accordian-style between my fingers:


Next, I stick a pin through the loops to hold them together:


Insert the pin into the top edge of the pinkeep. The loops tend to swivel or rotate around the center pin, so I line it up so that the top and bottom loops are on top of each other, then secure in place with an extra pin on either side:


I hope that helps!

Hardanger Cutting Error and How I Fixed It!

Snip… Snip… Snip… Snip…. Uh oh!

I am at the final section of my beautiful Victoria Sampler Heirloom Family Sampler and I make a cutting error.  Not only did I cut one thread that I shouldn’t have, but I cut FOUR! Now, if this had been the first thing I did on this sampler, I probably would’ve scrapped it and started again… but this is the last and final band, so I was motivated to fix it!

I’ve done this before and I know it can be fixed.  I decided to document my repair here for all others who make the mistake of watching TV while cutting for hardanger….

The big boo boo… this picture shows the mistake.  I had already started working on this before I started to take pictures. I’d removed the kloster blocks to the left and the bottom of the algerian eye. I took the long threads that were incorrectly cut, pulled them to the back, and secured the long threads under the kloster to the right of the algerian eye.


Next, I pulled a horizontal thread from the bottom of my fabric, threaded it onto my needle, then secured it to the back of the fabric and prepared to reweave the missing thread.


This picture shows the position of the needle for reweaving:


Next, I insert the needle into to the fabric on the left by carefully positioning the tip of my needle between two threads on the long kloster:


I weave back to the right and secure the thread into the still woven part of the fabric that is to the bottom right of the algerian eye, then repeat until all four threads are woven back in. The picture I took for this step didn’t turn out very well, so I left it out. Here’s a pic of the rewoven threads, with some extra fuzz on the threads that I removed later:


I re-stitched the previously removed klosters:


Here is the final result, with the rewoven bars wrapped:


Believe it or not, the rewoven threads are very well secured and I wrapped them just as I would if they hadn’t been cut.

So… the moral of the story… hardanger errors can be fixed!

My next post will show the completed piece….