This project is part of the 2014 Crafty Christmas Tutorial Link-Up over at Bugs & Fishes. Go check out all the fun projects!
As much as I love to cook, and as much as I love the flavor of gingerbread, and as much as I love candy and fussy details – I’ve never made a gingerbread house. Until now.
Maybe the problem is that I know a real gingerbread house is not really edible, even thought it’s made of edible goodies.
No such illusions with this little house made of felt and embroidery thread! You get all the pretty decorations and fanciness and it will last for years. Plus you can make it on your couch in front of the fire instead of in the kitchen. 🙂
Here’s what you’ll need. . .
- scraps of wool felt (I used Tahitian sunset for the gingerbread and lavender, grass skirt, blue bayou and fuchsia for the decorations)
- matching embroidery thread (I used DMC floss in white, 3858, 3746, 550, 907, 699, 326, 601, 603, 3846)
- 1 sheet of Sulky Sticky Fabri-solvy (optional, but recommended – will make two ornaments)
- small amount of polyester fiberfill stuffing (a few cotton balls will do if you don’t have it)
- scrap of string or yarn for the hanging loop
Throughout the pattern, the links go to video tutorials teaching that skill. If it’s a new stitch or technique for you, just click through to see how to do it!
Here’s how to make it. . .
1. Print the pattern. You can download it here. It’s formatted to give you the pieces for two houses – make one for yourself and one for a friend. Print the pattern at 100% size onto a sheet of Sulky Sticky Fabri-solvy (aka The Magical Embroidery Stuff).
2. Peel the backing off and stick the stabilizer/pattern transfer onto the felt. I used Tahitian sunset for the gingerbread, fuchsia for the pink lollipops on the sides of the door, grass skirt for the green stick candy sills, blue bayou for the door, and lavender for the purple candy.
Cut the pieces out on the lines.
Embroider the designs right through the stabilizer.
I used the following stitches and colors. . .
- For the snow along the roof I used U-stitch and 4 strands of DMC #white.
- For the snowflakes I used 2 strands of DMC #white.
- For the center window I used backstitch in 2 strands of DMC #white, with French knots in the same color below it.
- For the candycane stripes on the windows and door I used whipped backstitch. Backstitch the lines first with 4 strands of DMC #white, then whip with 2 strands of DMC #326.
- For the lollipop sticks on the sides of the door I also used whipped backstitch. Backstitch the lines with 4 strands of DMC #699, then whip with 2 strands of DMC #907.
- For the swirls on the purple candy I used chain stitch and 2 strands of DMC #550.
3. Soak off the Sulky Sticky Fabri-solvy. I soak mine in cold water for at least an hour, then rinse off the mushy stabilizer under cold running water. Don’t rub it to remove any stubborn bits – just hit them with a kitchen sprayer if needed.
Lay the pieces flat on a towel to dry. Do not wring, twist or even smoosh them. Just set them sopping wet on a towel and let them be. I promise they’ll dry. 🙂
(If you’ve never used Sulky Sticky Fabri-solvy before, I ramble on endlessly about how awesome it is and why I love it so much and how I use it here.)
4. Layer the small applique pieces onto the house. The stitching makes such a nice guide to help position everything!
I usually just hold them in place while I stitch them down, but this time I experimented with using a fabric glue stick. I used Prym brand and it stuck really well, but there was also a noticeable hardness to the glued bits. It wasn’t so hard that it was difficult to sew through – especially since I was mostly just sewing around the edges and I put a dab of glue in the middle of each piece – but I’d be careful not to use too much.
5. Use whipstitch and matching thread to applique each piece in place.
Add a tiny bit more detail stitching because there wasn’t enough already. Really – if you can’t go overboard on a gingerbread house then when can you? It’s supposed to be slightly insane. 🙂
I added little diagonal stripes on the green stick candy with 2 strands of DMC #699. I also added little starbursts in the centers of the pink lollipops using 2 strands of DMC #603.
6. Layer the ornament front and back together and whipstitch all around the edges.
Whipstitching the edges of the felt is a little different that whipstitch applique, so it has its own video. You can watch it here.
Leave the bit under the door open for stuffing.
7. Add a few pinches of stuffing through the hole, then switch to matching blue thread and sew up the opening.
Thread a 10″ piece of string through the peak of the roof and tie a knot to form a hanging loop.
Like all Shiny Happy World designs – you’re welcome to sell items you make with my patterns, but please don’t sell or distribute the patterns themselves.
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This ornament is the same style and size (and difficulty level) as all my other holiday ornament patterns. Here are the first ten ornaments in this year’s Christmas Club collection.
I do so love handsewing felt. 🙂