Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Recycle a Card into a Crochet Ornament

crochet christmas ornaments5

Do you save the Christmas cards you receive? Have you told yourself that you will recycle and repurpose them? It is time to put them to good use. It is also time you brought out your circle cutter. I know you have one somewhere! If not don’t worry you can use any circle shape to trace and cut them out the old fashioned way. ;)

PLEASE DON’T STOP READING BECAUSE YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO CROCHET! I have taken a ton of pictures of just about every step. Thank goodness for digital cameras!! I would love to know if this helped you to try your own ornament.

If you know how to crochet, I would love your feed back on my tutorial.

As always we would love to see your finished projects on our www.flickr.com/groups/1039495@N22 page.

Today I am going to show you how to turn your Christmas Cards into lovely ornaments to hang on your tree or give as gifts. Stay with me this is going to be a long post. I am a very visual person and I for one do better with crochet patterns if I have a visual aide of what I am suppose to do. Also forgive me because I am not going to use the proper terms. I am pretty much self taught and crochet patterns with the abbreviations scare me!!! They are a totally different language and no matter if I think I have followed them correctly or how hard I try I always get lost some where along the way. I still want to figure out those Mary Jane slippers!!! ;) I honestly think that anybody can do this ornament.

On with the tutorial………….

1 cut the back off the card

1. Select your card(s). You want to use cards that have a flat or embossed surface if you are using a circle cutter or punch. If you plan to trace your circle shape using a cup or stencil, you can make use of 2D cards for this project. However, you will need to leave a flat boarder to crochet around.

2 position circle cutter over image

2. Position your punch upside down so that you can see what you are punching out. Move your punch around the card and find the images you want to punch out. Here I am using the Extra Large Fiskars punch that measures 2 inches.

3 trim card as needed to get images you want

3. You may have to trim off a bit of the edge to get the image you want. I trimmed off a bit of the top so that I could have more of the top of the tree in my circle punch. As you can see I was able to get 6 images out of one standard sized card.

4. Now pair up your circles. This is going to be a two sided ornament. You will need to glue two circles together. Be sure to position them so that the tops of the images line up. I plan to pair up the house scenes, the snow scenes and the tree and sky scene together.

4 use eyelet punch to punch holes

5. Using a hole punching tool. I am using my eyelet setter with the smallest hole punch in place. If you don’t have anything that will punch small holes you could try using an ice pick, a nail or a metal skewer. As you can see by the picture I have made the holes about 1/4 of an inch apart.

5 holes all the way around the edge

6. Punch holes all the way around the edge. Be sure not to punch too close to the edge. If you punch is too close to the edge the hole will tear out as soon as you try to pull the thread through it as it did with my Santa. Oh well, I will probably get another card this year that has Santa on it and I can try again. ;)

FYI….the Santa circle was punched out using the Fiskars large circle punch and measures about 1-1/2 inches. The crochet pattern does not change with the size of the circle because the holes are still 1/4 inch apart.

6 Cotton knit-cro-sheen

7. The thread/floss you will use is for knitting or crocheting. One kind you can get is by J & P Coats called “cotton Knit-Cro-Sheer.” Some packages will say what size crochet hook to use. There are at least 3 different thicknesses of this kind of string. Keep in mind the hole size you will be punching. From this point on I will refer to the spool or ball of thread as a “ball” as I am unsure of what it is actually called.

Your hook needs to fit through the hole with room for the thread doubled up. The thread I am using isn’t the finest thickness you can get. I am unsure of the size thread I have because they were given to me. The hook I am using is labeled 8/1.50MM. Depending on the product packaging for you hook it will tell you that the size is either an 8 or 1.50MM. Mine said 1.50MM. Believe it or not this is not the smallest hook you can get (if your store carries the smaller sizes).

7 make the first loop_edited-1

8. Starting your crochet project. Remember I am not using the technical terms for the stitches. My goal here isn’t to teach you all the basics of crocheting, just what you will need for this project.

First you will make a loop. I am holding the tail end of the thread with my thumb to my pinky to keep it in place. You want the tail end to be the thread under the cross that the loop is making. Put your hook through the loop and grab the thread that is still connected to your ball of thread.

7.1 slip stitch

Once you pull the thread through, pull it tight to form a knot at the bottom of your loop.

8 put hook through hole at the top

9. Now insert your hook through a hole at the top of your circle. You will want to start and finish at the top so that you can make a chain at the top from which to hang your ornament.

8.1 pull thread through the hole

10. Hook the thread and pull it back through the hole. Do not pull it through your first loop at this time.

10 pull string through both loops

11. What you should have now are two loops over your crochet hook. You will then hook the thread and pull it through both loops.

11 now pull through single loop x2

12. This is what it looks like once you have pulled the thread through both loops. You will now need to hook the thread and pull it through the single loop. Repeat this step one more time. Note: If your holes are farther than 1/4 inch apart then you will need to repeat this step to bridge the gap between holes. Adjust the rest of the pattern accordingly.

12 continue working counter clockwise

13. Work counter clockwise around your circle. Repeating steps 9 through 12 all the way around your circle.

13 once you have gone all the way around

This is what your ornament should look like when you have gone all the way around for the first row. You can see here that I continued with my 2 chains in the last hole.

14 start the next row

14. Lets start our second row. Insert your hook through the first loop left of the knot.

15 pull loop through

15. Just as you did at the start of this project, pull the thread through leaving two loops on your hook.

16 now make 2 single loops

16. Just like with the first row pull the thread through the single loop and repeat one more time.

17 work second row

17. Move counter clockwise around just as before. Crochet in the loop directly left of the one you just worked in.

18 finished 2nd row

This is what your ornament should look like after you finish row 2. It will start of have a bit of a ruffled look.

19 changing colors

18. Changing thread color is actually very simple. Cut the white thread leaving a 3 inch tail. With your middle and ring fingers hold the ends of the white and red threads to the back of the ornament. Holding the red thread just as you did when you were crocheting with the white, put your hook through the first loop that started row 2. Pull the red thread through. You now have one red and one white loop on the hook.

20 back view

This is what the back of your ornament will look like at this stage. Don’t worry about the thread ends until the end.

hook through loop in row 2

19. What you see here is that I have completed my first stitch. Stay with me, I went ahead on purpose. I want you to look at where my hook is inserted here. When you did row 2 your created little loops because you made two single loops. You will be going through those loops not through the stitching in this row. The reason is to keep the ruffle smaller and not so dramatic.

pull thread through

20. For the first stitch in this row you pull your thread through both the red and white loops. Every other stitch that follows will start with two red loops as shown above.

back to a single loop

one single stitch

21. This time you will only make one single loop. If you do two loops it will add to the ruffling/ bunching effect.

continue on in the next hole

22. Move on to the next loop on the left. My goal with this step to to show you where I am inserting my hook.

end of last row

23. You are nearly there!!! For the very last stitch in this row you will be overlapping the last stitch into the first read stitch.

back into first loop of row 3

24. Insert your hook ,just as you did when you finished rows 1 and 2, into the first loop of this row. Pull the thread through, leaving two loops on your hook.

the hanging loop

25. Instead of doing just one single loop, you will now make a chain of loops. Keep going till you can make a loop that will allow you to hang your ornament. Make it big enough so that it can easily fit over a tree branch and dangle.

connecting end of hanging loop

26. Pay attention to the loop I have enlarged (to the right of my thumb). This is where you will connect the end of your loop to the ornament.

attach end of chain to make loop

27. Insert your hook through that loop and pull the thread through to make a stitch.

stitching the loop

28. You will have two loops on your crochet hook. Now pull the thread through both loops.

cut the thread and pull the end through

29. Enlarge the loop and cut off the end of the string as shown above. Pull the end of the thread through the stitch.

weave loose ends in and out of the stitches

30. To tie up the loose ends you weave the thread through the bottom of the red stitches.

weave loose ends in and out of the stitches2

31. Weaving it in and out through both sides.

snip the ends off after weaving end in

32. It isn’t necessary to go all the way around, just enough to ensure the end will stay put. Snip off the excess thread. Do the same with the other 3 threads still hanging off the back. Weave the red through the red stitches and the white through the white stitches to hide them.

21 Crochet ornament out of a christmas card

YAY YOU MADE IT!!! I would really love to know if you were able to follow my tutorial. This is a crazy long post with lots of big pictures. Just the way I like it!!;)

I have to tell you that my 5 year old son wanted to help me make these. No, I don’t think these are so easy a 5 year old can make them. However, I pulled out an old ball of yarn and the largest hook I have and taught him hand over hand how to make a chain (like the loop on the ornament). He declared that he is making a blanket. He worked on it for hours and hours over 2 1/2 days making one long chain. Of course it would probably be nearly twice as long if he didn’t keep playing with it and accidentally pulling out some of the stitches. His chain is long enough to make a lap blanket. When he is ready I will show him how to make the next row. I think it will be some time yet before he is ready for that step. ;)

crochet ornaments 2

I borrowed my boys little tree to display the ornaments. I am not sure my 5 year old will let me put it away for a while. ;)

Other projects from this week are:

Christmas Bracelets

Advent Calendars

My Favorite Advent Calendar So Far,

Fabric Paper Type Advent Chain,

Fabric Candy or Activity Advent Calendar,

Framed Advent/Count Down Calendar 2 ways,

Christmas-in-July Advent Calender


Heartfelt and Handmade Holidays


Made In The South said...

Those are so cute. What a great way to recycle..

Katherine Marie! said...

What a treasure!!!!! I really love how you re-used old Christmas cards--- these would make sweet gifts!!!

scc said...

Is it OK if my students and I use this idea to make Christmas tree ornaments for the Festival of mini Trees at our library? There will be a silent auction and the money goes to the library.

Unknown said...

I am in LOVE with this idea! I'm going to make these for my ornament exchange I'm hosting. Thanks for the great tutorial!

Unknown said...

Love it, thanks for sharing.

reb said...

Your tutorial looks great. It's always nice to learn a new edging pattern. thanks so much for sharing =]

Ruth said...

These are such a good way to use up old cards! I'm going to try, but first I'll string seed beads onto the thread to crochet into the last round!! Thank you so much for sharing your lovely project!

Sigrid said...

I love them.Thank you so much!

Dolores said...

I also have a problem with crochet patterns abbreviations. Daughter just whizs through all knit and crochet. Very frustrating at 5imes. This showed exactly how to do it. I have cards I n9w know what I am goi g to do with them my sincere thanks for the instructions.

morrisoelliott said...

Great post! I really enjoyed reading this. The information you shared is so helpful,

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