How-To: Gingerbread Man Tutorial

Last night I made a small beaded Christmas tree decoration, which I thought would be lovely as part of a set of three ‘traditional’ style decorations. As I dutifully sat down to make a Gingerbread Man this morning, I thought it would be fun to take pics as I went along to make into a tutorial. So here they are!

What you need:

Felt in the colour of your choice; seed beads, sequins or other decorative additions; thread or ribbon to hang the decoration; stuffing; and a needle and cotton. Simple!

Instructions:

Firstly, you need to draw a gingerbread man template on a piece of paper or lightweight card. It doesn’t have to be perfect; the way I see it, the gingerbread man biscuits I make never come out perfectly regular, so why should the decorations? If you want to use this template, feel free to copy and print it, just excuse the writing (the keen-eyed might recognise fragments of a Lord of the Rings quote in mirror-writing: don’t ask).

Now, carefully draw around the template onto your felt. I used a biro so that the outline was a bit clearer for the camera, and also the pen doesn’t pull the fabric as much as a pencil. Be warned that the ink may come off onto your fingers though – I don’t use pen on lighter colour felt for this reason! Flip the template over and repeat: you will now have the mirrored-outlines of two gingerbread men.

Cut the two shapes out. Make sure you know which is the ‘back’ and the ‘front’ of each; these sides will go together to hide any pen marks! Now the fun part – decorate your gingerbread man! You may just want to decorate one side, but I’ve done both here. I used sequins for buttons, seed beads for the eyes and sewed a mouth on, but I often use embroidery thread to add detail to the arms and feet as well.

Next, you need to pin the two sides together. Don’t worry if the two shapes don’t match perfectly; you can bring them into line once you start sewing, or if necessary neaten the edges up with scissors. Secure your thread and start sewing near the ‘armpit’ (well, it is) so that a little bit of untidiness when you’re starting and finishing off isn’t noticeable!(I like to use a thread that you can see, so that it becomes part of the detail: if you prefer you can use a matching colour.)

Sew around to the head, and then stop: you need to add a hanging loop! Knot a loop of embroidery thread or ribbon and insert the knot between the two layers of felt, then continue sewing so that the loop is trapped between them.

Keep going until you have a couple of centimetres left. Take a small piece of stuffing and gently poke it into the hole you have left, using a pencil or similar object to push it right into the arms and legs. You need to use lots of little bits of stuffing rather than one big lump otherwise it will all ball together and make your gingerbread man misshapen.

When the gingerbread man is stuffed to your satisfaction, finish sewing the hole up and secure the cotton.

And there you are: your own little Gingerbread Man decoration!

As I said, you are welcome to use my template for your own crafting purposes, however this is my design and therefore not for commercial use. Thankyou!

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