Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tree-Topper Star How-to and a Giveaway!

A little while ago my sister-in-law Anna made this request of me:
I would like you to figure out some easy yet strikingly beautiful way to make a home-made star for a little Christmas tree.
Ta-da! I don't know about "strikingly beautiful", but I have finally made a tutorial for you, Anna. I hope it satisfies your request. Everybody else is welcome to use this too. The stars made from this tutorial work great on small Christmas trees and would look adorable on a small tree in a child's room. They could also easily be made into ornaments instead. And keep reading to the end of this post because you're going to get a chance to win one of your very own! Woot woot! Let's begin.

EASY! Since this tutorial was made with Anna in mind (and since she doesn't sew much) I will give very basic, detailed instructions. I think even if you have zero sewing experience and this is your very first sewing project ever you will still be successful. Let me know if you have questions about anything though!

These are the materials you're going to need:
-yellow felt
-dark yellow felt
-orange felt
-thick gold sparkly thread
-light yellow thread (all purpose or quilting)
-needle(s) (note: a regular hand sewing needle works great for the regular all purpose or quilting thread, but you are going to want a needle with a larger eye to use with your gold sparkly thread since it is so thick.)
-sewing scissors
-poly-fil (stuffing)
-a pencil or chopstick

Start with your yellow felt.

(I just got the cheap-o craft felt from the fabric store. This project would doubtless be even cuter with wool felt or fun fabric or something.)

Fold your yellow felt in half to cut out a star shape (2 pieces).

The star I used as a template was the star ornament/ tree topper that I made last year. You could just trace around a cookie cutter or find a star shape online to print and use as a pattern. Or you could really mix things up and just cut it out free hand.

My yellow stars measure about 4" across from point to point and about 4 1/2" tall from top point to bottom points.

Cut out your two yellow star pieces.
Cut out one slightly smaller star with your dark yellow felt.
Cut out one orange star slightly smaller than the dark yellow star.

This is what you should have now.

Using your sparkly gold thread, thread your needle, tie a knot on one end of the thread, and sew the orange star to the dark yellow star using a running stitch. Tie a knot, but don't cut your thread.

Using the same thread, sew your dark yellow star to one of your yellow stars using a running stitch.

I used a shorter length running stitch on the orange star and a longer length running stitch on the dark yellow star.

Tie a knot on the back. To do this, make a small stitch on the back of the yellow star so that it won't be seen on the front. When you have a small loop (before you pull the thread all the way through) bring your needle and thread through your small loop. This will allow you to tie a knot flush with your fabric. Do this a couple of times.

Next, make a long stitch starting from your knot and going in between your dark yellow star and your yellow star. Come up a little ways out. Pull thread tight. Cut thread close to where it came out. Now your thread end will stay hidden. Nifty, eh?

This is now what you should have.

Before sewing your yellow stars together, sew a piece of your sparkly gold thread through the back yellow star (the one without anything on it yet) using one single running stitch.

If you make this as an ornament instead of a tree-topper, skip the above step and the next step.

Bunch up the gold sparkly thread and pin it in place so the gold thread doesn't get in your way for the next step.

Place yellow stars one on top of the other with wrong sides together. (In other words, the top yellow star should have the dark yellow and orange stars facing out and the back star with the gold sparkly thread and pin facing out.)

With the yellow stars together use a double strand of light yellow thread to stitch most of the way around the edge of the yellow stars using a blanket stitch. Don't cut your thread yet.

This is about how big your opening will need to be. Stuff with polyfill as desired.

Use a pencil or chopstick to push the poly-fil into the points on the star.

Keep stitching until there is just a tiny hole (opening) left. Stuff the remaining point of your star with poly-fil as desired, using your pencil or chopstick as needed.

Finish sewing your blanket stitch around the edges and tie a knot the same way you did before, so the knot is flush with the fabric. Then, as before, hide your thread ends inside the star. And you're finished!

If you are making this as an ornament instead of a tree-topper, stitch a piece of your gold sparkly thread through the end of one of the points on your star. Tie thread to make a loop. Now you are finished too!

This is what your star should look like on the front.

And this is what it should look like on the back... after you tie a cute little bow that is completely unnecessary.

This is what it looks like on our puny little Christmas tree.

Yes, our tree is sitting on top of our coffee table/ TV stand. That's how small it is. But, hey, Anna did request a star topper for a small Christmas tree.

Here's a view of the back so you can see how the star is tied on.

The big O approves.

And now just because it's the season for giving, you have a chance to win one of your very own!

There will be two (2) winners.

The first winner will receive the lovely finished tree-topper star that I made for this tutorial.

The second winner will receive this kit to make their ow tree-topper star. Or they can make it into an ornament. Whatev.
The kit includes:
-2 yellow star pieces
-1 dark yellow star piece
-one orange star piece
-enough gold sparkly thread for this project
-enough light yellow quilting thread for this project
-enough poly-fil for this project
-a needle (note: this needle works great for the regular thread, but you are going to want a needle with a larger eye to use with your gold sparkly thread.)

To enter:
Leave a comment on this post. The end.
(Please include your e-mail so I have a way to contact you if you win!)

For a second chance to enter:
Become a follower of my blog (or tell me that you already are) and leave a comment telling me so.

This giveaway will close at midnight (Utah time) on Friday, December 11th, 2009.
In other words, this Friday is the last day to enter.

I will then cut up little strips of paper with all the comments on them and have someone (probably Bryan... maybe my niece or nephew) pull two out of a hat.
The first name pulled out will win the finished star.
The second name pulled out will win the kit to make their own.
That is how winners will be chosen.

The giveaway is now closed. Thanks to all of you who entered!

Best of luck to you all! And if anyone makes these (or some cool variation of them) I'd love to see pictures!


Kathy Haynie said...

Very nice tutorial. But it wouldn't be fair for me to enter for the prize. Good luck, everyone!

Katie Lewis said...

It's fair for anyone to win the prize! Even you, Mom. :)

alyssam said...

1. the time difference is kind of creepy - it says that you commented at 9:03pm, but it's only 8:37pm here!
2. my tree is on a nightstand too! :] but my tree is neon pink!

Anna said...



Anna said...

I'm already a follower so...



Unknown said...

I don't know if I really need another tree topper, since I have Abbi shining brightly at the top of my tiny tree, but games are fun! Here I am to enter. I think you know where to find me if I were to win, but you can choose Anna instead of me if you want.

Expressions by Heather said...

What an adorable little star! It would also make for a cute ornament on a full size tree!

I am a new follower.



Hillary said...

I just won your last giveaway... so I'm not really entering the giveaway... and just commenting. Isn't Friday the 11th??? And not the 10th?? Just a little confused. :) Great star Katie!!

Katie Lewis said...

Haha! You're totally right Hillary! Thanks for catching my typo! I'll go fix it.

CK Morgan said...

very creative Katie! If only I could have set up a tree this year. We are moving next Saturday so Clark said no. :(

Joshua Sears said...

I would love to have a star for our tree...because it is starless right now!

Lisa Lou said...

Woah woah. This would be a perfect (non-disney) gift for one of my roommates...
I am entering.

I am also a follower of your blog. (Which I thought I was before, but I wasn't! Sorry! But now I am!)
So, I am entering again.

Love, Lisa

Sylvia Louise said...

I'm commenting! I'm commenting! I love the star! For real! And I'm following it! It took me a while. I kept thinking there was some security deal on this blog so I couldn't follow it normally. Turns out I just wasn't being too bright.

My email is:

P.S. The pic of the star on the Big O is my favorite. Please give her my compliments on her progress as the world's cutest (and littlest) fashionista.

Emily said...

Ooh! I want one (maybe the kit, b=since I need to be sewing more :)

Emily said...

I'm a follower too!

JuliaKoponick said...

I am a follower, and I would love to win one. If I win, I think the kids would prefer the kit so we could make it all together! Very cool!

Lckevan said...

You are so crafty! I just copy other people's stuff...I can't ever think of my own. I would love to put one of those starts on top of our little tree!

emmalou said...

Katie, this is super cute! Let's try my luck at your little drawing. Everybody likes to be a winner!

emmalou said...

p.s.- I follow your blog(s) too! :D

Patricia said...

Cute baby! And the star is cute, too.
I read your blog often, does that make me a follower?

David Mayer said...

Great post, Katie. Your instructions are excellent, and I love the fact that the star is child-proof!!