Don’t Stop the Party! – Last Minute Christmas Ornaments

By now you’ve hung the stockings, wrapped the gifts, finished your last batch of cookies and watched quite a number of Lifetime Christmas movie specials.  You’re ready to relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor.  But just in case you didn’t get out all your crafty spirit yet – or there are bare patches on your tree – Consider whipping up these quick ornaments brought to you by Becca Brench of Pride of Lions. 

Becca is an epic crochet-er who has finished upwards of 17 afghans and recently chronicled just a few of the many hats she’s created. She lives in the wilds of Western, MA and has a fierce life keeping the the lions at bay out there.  Just kidding, but her blog is named after those magnificent beasts – Check her and her many crochet patterns out at Of Lions.

Since most of what I have to make ornaments with is yarn, I try to use it in creative ways so that I don’t have a whole bunch of similar ornaments on the tree. This week’s ornaments are crocheted chains which are dipped into starch and then pinned onto an outline.

These are the outlines I used: christmas shapes I printed this so that I didn’t have to make any shapes freehand, because I know in advance how that would turn out!

Materials:

– Christmas shapes printout

– yarn in yellow, red, green, brown, blue (I used Caron Simply Soft)

– yarn needle (optional)

– crochet hook (I used size F, but any size that goes with your yarn is fine)

– starch

– something to put the starch in (bag or bowl)

– pins

– large piece of cardboard or styrofoam or something that you can pin your ornaments on

Basic Tutorial on how to Crochet a Chain Stitch (it’s simple!  You can do it!)

Star:

Step 1: ch enough stitches to go around the outside of the star pattern shape. For me this was 37. Connect to first ch with a slip stitch.
Step 1: ch enough stitches to go around the outside of the star pattern shape. For me this was 37. Connect to first ch with a slip stitch.
Step 1b (optional): Tuck the yarn ends through the back of the chained stitches. You don't have to do this, you can wait until after you starch it, then cut off the tails, but it looks slightly better when you tuck them in.
Step 1b (optional): Tuck the yarn ends through the back of the chained stitches. You don’t have to do this, you can wait until after you starch it, then cut off the tails, but it looks slightly better when you tuck them in.
You should wait and do all the step 2's together. You will need a small baggy (or bowl, or something to put the starch in).
You should wait and do all the step 2’s together. You will need a small bag (or bowl, or something to put the starch in).
Pour a bit of starch into your container, and thoroughly wet the ornaments. Wring them out gently so that there isn't too much excess starch on them.
Pour a bit of starch into your container, and thoroughly wet the ornaments. Wring them out gently so that there isn’t too much excess starch on them.
Gather your cardboard (or other pinning surface) and pins
Gather your cardboard (or other pinning surface) and pins
Pin the chain down to your star outline, putting the join at the "begin" Wait overnight for it to dry.
Pin the chain down to your star outline, putting the join at the “begin” Wait overnight for it to dry.
Unpin the ornament, put a hanger on it, and hang it on the tree!
Unpin the ornament, put a hanger on it, and hang it on the tree!

Bell:

Starting at the top right of the bell, chain 30 stitches, then join with a slip stitch to 7th chain from hook, ch 14 more, join with a slip stitch to first ch, weave in ends if desired.
Starting at the top right of the bell, chain 30 stitches, then join with a slip stitch to 7th chain from hook, ch 14 more, join with a slip stitch to first ch, weave in ends if desired.
Do step 2 with all the other ornaments. Pin the bell down, with the join at the begin.
Do step 2 with all the other ornaments. Pin the bell down, with the join at the begin. Let dry overnight.
Cut a red piece of yarn about 10 inches long
Cut a red piece of yarn about 10 inches long
Wrap the yarn around the top of the bell
Wrap the yarn around the top of the bell
Tie a bow, then trim the ends to the desired length.
Tie a bow, then trim the ends to the desired length.
Put a hanger through the top, and hang it on the tree! This is my favorite.
Put a hanger through the top, and hang it on the tree! This is my favorite.

Tree:

With green yarn, chain 40, join to beginning chain with a slip stitch. Attach brown yarn to 19th green chain, chain 7, slip stitch to 22nd ch. Weave in ends if desired.
With green yarn, chain 40, join to beginning chain with a slip stitch. Attach brown yarn to 19th green chain, chain 7, slip stitch to 22nd ch. Weave in ends if desired.
If you did it right (unlike me) then you should put the join at the begin arrow. However, if one side looks longer than the other from the trunk to the join, it makes more sense to work from the bottom up.
If you did it right (unlike me) then you should put the join at the begin arrow. However, if one side looks longer than the other from the trunk to the join, it makes more sense to work from the bottom up.
Wait overnight for the tree to dry, take out the pins, and put in a hanger.
Wait overnight for the tree to dry, take out the pins, and put in a hanger.

Ornament:

I didn't like how this one turned out very much in my practice batch, but at the last second I decided to include it anyway. Blue section: starting at top right hand corner, chain 37, join with a slip stitch to first ch. With red: Join with a slip stitch to 2nd chain, chain 27, join with a slip stitch to 4th ch. Yellow: Join to 3rd ch with a slip stitch, chain 20, join to 3rd st again with a slip stitch. With the two middle sections, make sure the chain isn't twisted before you join them the 2nd time. Pin, starting with the blue section and working inwards. Leave overnight.
Lots of pinning for this one – Might not be worth it!

I didn’t like how this ornament turned out in my practice batch, but decided at the last minute to include it just in case someone else did like it.

Blue section: starting at top right hand corner, chain 37, join with a slip stitch to first ch.

With red: Join with a slip stitch to 2nd chain, chain 27, join with a slip stitch to 4th ch. With the two middle sections, make sure the chain isn’t twisted before you join them the 2nd time.

Yellow: Join to 3rd ch with a slip stitch, chain 20, join to 3rd st again with a slip stitch. Weave in ends if desired.

Pin, starting with the blue section at the top right of the ornament and working inwards. Leave overnight.

Note: With any of the ends, if they end up sticking out after you wove them in, or if you decided not to weave them in, wait until after you starch them to cut them off, because after the ornament has been starched, the ends are a lot less likely to come out again.

Hope that you enjoyed this tutorial and that you are ready for the big day tomorrow!

PS – You can always use this technique to make any shapes you want, not just Christmas, to turn them into a great bunting to decorate for a party or nursery for your child.

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