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  • Writer's pictureBarbara Marrs

Cut & Sew Polar Holiday Ornaments

Updated: Oct 31, 2022

Celebrate the winter holiday season and promote biodiversity at the same time when you sew these enchanting Christmas ornaments that feature the northern lights shining on our favorite polar stars!

I designed this cut-and-sew fabric project to specifically highlight the key stars of both the Arctic and Antarctic poles—walruses, narwhals, polar bears, and penguins—that are depicted in a bright and sparkling midcentury modern winter wonderland theme perfect for the holidays! (On a side note, all four animals are threatened and/or endangered, so sewing these polar endangered species ornaments also helps to spread awareness of their plight!)

My five Cut-and-Sew Polar Holiday Ornaments come printed on a Spoonflower Petal Signature Cotton fat quarter (Fig. 1), that you can purchase online in my Spoonflower Shop.

The basic supplies you will need are as follows:

  • 1 Cut-and-Sew Polar Holiday Ornaments fat quarter

  • Scissors

  • Thread

  • Needle and pins

  • Polyester fiberfill

  • Five 10” lengths of cord trim or 1/4” ribbon

OPTIONAL supplies include:

  • 1/8" beads (gold, silver, pearl, clear faceted, etc.)

  • Rhinestones

  • Tassels

  • Piping

  • Buttons

  • Holiday trims

Polar Holiday Ornaments Sewing Instructions

1. Press your fat quarter to remove all folds, wrinkles, etc.

2. Cut out the ornament pieces along the dashed lines (Fig. 2).

NOTE: All seam allowances are 1/4”, and these are already included in each piece.

Fig. 2 - Ornament pieces cut along dashed lines.

Sewing Instructions for Star Ornaments

3. Sew on optional beads, buttons, and whatever other decorative trims you wish to the right side of one piece that you choose to be the ornament front. I used gold beads and transparent faceted beads that I attached to the small “retro stars” and to the bottom circles of the northern lights (Fig. 3). You can try gluing these on with fabric glue, or use the stick-on types, but over time these can fall off, which is why I prefer to sew them on.

NOTE: Do not sew any beads within 1/2” of the fabric edge—these will interfere with the sewing of the seam allowances.

Fig. 3 - Decorative beads sewn to star ornament front pieces.

4. Make a loop with one 10” ribbon/cord and hand baste the ends together. Then baste the ends to the top point of the star on the front right side, with the loop falling over the front (Fig. 4).

Fig. 4 - Cord trim sewn to top of ornament front pieces.

5. If adding an optional tassel, baste end of tassel cord to the bottom center of the front right side, with the tassel falling over the front (Fig. 5). (OR—you also have the option of attaching the tassel to the bottom of the finished ornament.)

Fig. 5 - Tassel sewn to bottom of ornament front piece.

6. Pin front and back pieces right sides together, making sure that the hanging ribbon/cord and/or tassel is completely enclosed inside both layers to avoid getting caught in the seam sewing (Fig. 6).

Fig. 6 - Star ornament front and back pieces pinned, right sides together.

NOTE: So I remember to leave an opening on one side, I place one pin vertically over

a 2” area. This helps me to see where to stop stitching, leave the opening, and then where to start stitching again.

7. Hand or machine stitch the pieces together (1/4” seam allowance), leaving a 2” opening on one side. As you sew, make sure that no part of the hanging ribbon/cord and/or tassel get caught. Trim seam allowance 1/8” (Fig. 7).

NOTE: Using a zipper/piping foot makes it easier to avoid any inside beads while sewing the seams.

Fig. 7 - Ornament seams trimmed to 1/8".

8. Carefully turn the ornament right side out through the 2” opening. I use a chopstick to gently prod each star point out to its fullest (Fig. 8).

Fig. 8 - Star ornaments turned right side out.

9. Stuff each star point first with a small amount of fiberfill (Fig. 9). Then continue to stuff the remainder of the ornament.

Fig. 9 - Stuffing star ornament points first.

10. Slipstitch the opening closed. Your beautiful stars are ready to be hung! (Fig. 10)

Fig. 10 - Completed hanging star ornaments.

Sewing Instructions for Arc Ornaments

11. For each arc ornament you should have three cut pieces: a front, a back, and a matching base (Fig. 2).

12. Proceed with Steps 3 and 4 (Fig. 11).

NOTE: If you choose to make a stand-alone arc ornament, skip Step 4. I decided to add piping to my stand-alone arc ornament.

Fig. 11 - Beads, cord trim, and piping sewn to arc ornament front pieces.

13. Proceed with Step 6 (Fig. 12).

Fig. 12 - Arc ornament front and back pieces pinned, right sides together.

14. Proceed with Step 7, stitching the sides and top seams together, leaving the bottom seams open. Do not trim the seam allowances at this point.

15. Match the arc base to the arc bottom, right sides together, easing the base edge and stretching the arc edge so they match up. Stitch the pieces together (1/4” seam allowance)(Fig. 13).

NOTE: This step is much easier if you just pin and stitch one side of the base at a time.

Fig. 13 - Arc ornament bases pinned and sewn, right sides together.

13. Proceed with Steps 8, 9, and 10 (Fig. 14).

NOTE: If you chose to make a stand-along arc ornament, after turning it right side out, add a small weight to the bottom before slip stitching it closed. This will help the arc to stand alone more easily.

Fig. 14 - Completed stand-alone arc ornament and hanging arc ornament.

These Polar Endangered Species Christmas Ornaments make wonderful gifts for family and friends—that is after you have sewn some for yourself! Get creative and have fun decorating them with trims and such to make each one a unique heirloom ornament that you will want to display year after year to celebrate the winter holidays and biodiversity!

Until our next project...

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