Project Ninety Seven: Making Christmas Baubles using Fabric Scraps (with tutorial)
I love a good project that uses up my fabric scraps, as I seem to have more than ever at the moment. I have bags of fabric scraps stuffed into every corner of my sitting room at the moment, and these baubles are the best thing I have ever found for scrap busting!
These scrap fabric baubles are really easy to make, and really effective, with endless possibilities available to make them unique. I love how they turned out, and how they evolved as I got better at making them, from my first random scrap fabric baubles to my later, neater, baubles that had more thought go into the placement of the fabric scraps.
I am going to be selling these on my stall at the Made-It market on 26th November, and also giving them away as presents. They are also suitable for children to make too, this would be a good Christmas craft activity (you could even substitute the fabric scraps for pretty paper scraps or coloured tissue paper).
- Styrofoam balls in a selection of sizes, it is up to you. I bought mine from Amazon because I was buying them in bulk, but you can buy them individually from places like Hobby Craft
- Fabric scraps. Use your littlest scraps, all the pieces you might usually throw away. You will be cutting them into tiny little pieces anyway
- PVA glue
- Thin wire (I used Beadalon bead stringing wire because that’s what I had in the house). You don’t want anything too thick
- A selection of medium sized beads, enough for one or two per ball
- Clear gloss varnish
- A paintbrush
- Gluegun with glue to secure the wire onto the ball (you could use PVA glue but it doesn’t dry instantly so you will have to hold the wire in place until it is secure)
Sort out your fabric scraps and decide which ones you want to use for your fist bauble. I’ve got some red and cream ticking here that will be perfect for this tutorial. Gather all your pieces together and then get out your scissors and chop your fabric into tiny little scraps. Because I wanted to use the stripes from the ticking on my bauble, I cut up each stripe from the fabric into little pieces, between 5mm and 10mm long.
Now cut a length of wire about 6″ long (it is up to you how long you cut it, depending on how long you want the loop on your bauble to be) and plug in your glue gun. Fold your wire in half so the two ends are together, and then string a bead or two through both ends of wire. Once that is done push both ends of wire, together, into the stryrofoam ball, about half an inch in, and then dab some glue from your glue gun onto the ball where the wire is going in. Be careful not to let the hot metal tip of the glue gun touch the styrofoam or it will melt it. As soon as your blob of glue is on the ball push your beads down onto the hot glue. You should now have a secure wire loop at the top of your bauble with the beads at the bottom, like in the photos.
Now for the fun part. Cover the top of your bauble around the wire with PVA glue, and then start attaching bits of fabric to the ball, with the first pieces going nice and snugly under the bead. Overlap the pieces of fabric, applying more glue as you go round the ball, filling in all the gaps. For this bauble I wanted concentric rings of red around the ball, so I carefully chose each piece of fabric to make the pattern, but for a lot of the baubles I made I just randomly picked pieces of fabric and stuck them on. You can be as creative (or not) as you like. Keep working round the ball systematically until you have entirely covered it in fabric. It doesn’t matter if the top of your fabric gets glue on it, it dries clear and you will be covering it all in varnish anyway. Stick all your fabric down so all the pieces lay smoothly over the ball.
Suspend your bauble by the wire loop somewhere to dry. I have some dowelling that I suspended on top of two tall jsrs that I then looped my baubles onto as I finished them. Leave it to dry overnight (or for about 6 hours).
Once your bauble is dry get out your clear gloss varnish and paint it onto the bauble, covering all of the fabric. Leave it to dry again. If you want you can add another coat of varnish but I just used one coat for these baubles.
Which one is your favourite? I hope I have inspired you to get out all your fabric scraps and try this project.