Blog, DIY & Crafts, Family, Projects

Special Homemade Christmas Gift

December 15, 2013
Handmade ornaments from our Dad's shirts

Siblings, if you’re reading this … act surprised on Christmas Eve. {and if you’re not reading this … why not?!?}

This weekend, I finished off a small present for each of my siblings … homemade bird ornaments. Okay … there’s more to it than that. A LOT. My brother would not be one bit excited to get a bird ornament … even a homemade one {especially a homemade one}.

These bird ornaments are made from our Dad’s shirts. He passed away this past April, and I saved all the shirts that really reminded me of him. I knew I wanted to do something with them, I just didn’t know what. I still have more plans for them (pillow for the baby’s room being one of these plans), but I decided Christmas ornaments for my siblings would be something small I could do. They’re not perfect, but that’s kinda what I like about them.

Here’s the finished product:

Handmade ornaments from our Dad's shirts

Handmade ornaments from our Dad’s Shirts

and here’s how they started:

Shirts before

Shirts before … my Dad did love his pink-ish shirts!

It was a simple project, that only took about a half hour. Really, you could use this same idea with any cute fabric … it doesn’t have to be from loved ones clothing :). They would make great homemade gifts for lots of people on your list (just maybe not your twenty something brother). What about using part of your bridesmaid dress to make the bride and groom a personalized ‘First Married Christmas’ ornament (you’ll never wear that dress again, anyway, right)? Or a part of your newborn’s first hat or blanket that they used in the hospital? Or a baptism gown to make one for godparents (or for your baby’s first Christmas)? Or a graduation robe for a recent graduate? Ahhh … so many possibilities for meaningful fabric ornaments (both for gifts OR for your own tree).

Okay, on with the how-to …

Here’s what I used:

  1. Fabric for bird (this was the shirts)
  2. Felt for the wings
  3. PolyFill stuffing
  4. Small white buttons for eyes
  5. Ribbon and Baker’s Twine for hanging
  6. Needle and thread

The Simple Steps:

  1. I traced a simple bird shape onto cardboard and cut it out. Did the same with the wing shape.
  2. Using my ‘template’ I just made, I traced the bird shape onto the fabric. Then FLIPPED IT OVER, and traced a second bird on same fabric. Make sure to flip your template if your fabric has a right side.
  3. Next, I traced two wings onto felt (again, flip the template when tracing the second wing
  4. Sew each wing onto the right side of each fabric bird.
  5. Pin bird together, right sides facing (so you can just see the inside … without wings)
  6. Sew around bird, leaving as small a seam as possible. Leave an 1″ – 1.5″ gap at the bottom of your bird to flip and fill.
  7. Flip bird right side out and poke out beak and tail.
  8. Stuff with Poly Fill until your bird is the right ‘plumpness’.
  9. Sew gap closed.
  10. Position two ‘eyes’ (aka buttons) on either side of the bird and sew firmly in place with needle and thread.
  11. Using a large needle, thread ribbon or baker’s twine on top of bird to form loop to hang ornament. Tie a double knot and bow (and double knot the bow).

Step by Step

One for my sister …

Complete pink bird ornament

Completed pink bird ornament

and one for Jim …

Completed Red Bird Ornament

Completed Red Bird Ornament

I’m excited to give these homemade gifts on Christmas. Oh, and siblings, don’t worry … I did get you {a little} something else, too.

I also made one for our tree. It will be nice to put it on the tree each year and think of my Dad. I love meaningful ornaments.

And speaking of homemade ornaments, apparently I’m on a kick. Check out our DIY photo ornament here, and stay tuned for another ornament post coming tomorrow (with a giveaway … hooray!).

Hope you’re having a fabulous weekend!

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  • Reply Maria December 15, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    These are adorable! What fun little ornaments! And I love how you re-purposed the shirts to make these!

    • Reply Katie December 16, 2013 at 4:07 am

      Thanks, Maria! Happy Holidays!

  • Reply Theresa @DearCreatives December 15, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    These are super cute! Love re-purpose diy projects. Drop by sometime if you like. Happy Holidays!

    • Reply Katie December 16, 2013 at 4:08 am

      Hi Theresa,
      Thanks for stopping over to say “hi”. I’ll stop over right now …
      Happy Holidays!

  • Reply Courtney @ Crafts by Courtney December 16, 2013 at 1:49 am

    This is a really sweet craft you did, it’s something you can always Cherish Katie.

    • Reply Katie December 16, 2013 at 3:52 am

      Thanks, Courtney. Is still would like to do a couple more projects with his shirts, but I love these ornaments! Hope you had a good weekend!

  • Reply Christy December 16, 2013 at 3:36 am

    I love the sentiment behind these sweet birds, Katie! What a thoughtful gift. They’re super cute too ! Thanks so much for sharing :)

    • Reply Katie December 16, 2013 at 3:44 am

      Thanks for stopping over, and for saying “hi”. Thanks for another great party! Happy Holidays!

  • Reply Julie December 16, 2013 at 9:56 am

    This is a really beautiful idea, holidays are hard when someone special is no longer there, its lovely to hang a little “I remember you” on the tree.
    I also love your “siblings look surprised” comment, I’ve had to do the same with a “Look Away now if we are related” comment, no one want to read our brilliant Christmas gift ideas after we’ve given them on Christmas day do they!

    • Reply Katie December 17, 2013 at 5:13 am

      Julie … I know!! I thought about holding this post until after Christmas, but no one would be interested then! Oh well, my siblings will still appreciate these (I hope)!
      Thanks for the sweet comment! I hope you’re having a wonderful Holiday season!
      Merry Christmas!

  • Reply Linda December 16, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    Darling. The children are beautiful! Linda

    • Reply Katie December 17, 2013 at 5:12 am

      Thanks, Linda! Happy Holidays!

  • Reply DIY Ornament Party AND GIVEAWAY! | View From The Fridge December 16, 2013 at 4:18 pm

    […] Bauble Ornament Linda from Crafts A La Mode is sharing her fun Popcorn Ornament  And I shared my DIY Fabric Ornaments yesterday Now we need your inspiration!!! Link up your own favorite DIY Ornament on our Link Party! […]

  • Reply Mary @over40andamumtoone December 16, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    They look lovely #MagicMoments

  • Reply Helen Gullett December 16, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    I LOVE this! Thanks you for the inspiration!

  • Reply Leannes Blog Place December 16, 2013 at 9:45 pm

    Oh I really like these!!! and sooo simple/easy to do. 😀

  • Reply Coombemill December 17, 2013 at 12:18 am

    Very clever and effective. I love the step by step guide.

    • Reply Katie December 17, 2013 at 2:22 am

      Thank you! Have a good week!

  • Reply Amanda @ House Revivals December 17, 2013 at 2:21 am

    Soooo sorry to he about your dad! I’m sure he is pleased with how you are re-using his shirts. This is such a sweet idea — I love it!

    • Reply Katie December 17, 2013 at 2:25 am

      Hi Amanda! Thanks for the sweet comment! I sure hope he’s happy about me cutting up his nice polo shirts :). I really appreciate you stopping by. Happy Holidays!

  • Reply Jess December 17, 2013 at 4:36 am

    Super adorable!

    Thanks again for joining the Link Up this week!

    • Reply Katie December 17, 2013 at 5:05 am

      Hi Jess … thanks for a fun party again! Happy Holidays!

  • Reply Sara December 17, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    What a nice way t remember your dad! I love the rustic look of the plaid. Cute idea!

  • Reply JoAnn @ SweetPepperRose December 18, 2013 at 2:16 am

    How sweet and precious! wonderful keepsakes. I LOVE the upcycled use of the shirts!

    • Reply Katie December 18, 2013 at 1:30 pm

      Thanks, Joann! Happy Holidays!

  • Reply Carrie This Home December 18, 2013 at 9:16 pm

    What a beautiful way to remember your father! This is such a sweet idea. I lost my father 4.5 years ago and really miss him during Christmas. Seeing some of his clothes on the tree would definetly put a smile on my face! Thanks so much for sharing this at Frugal Crafty Home! I hope we see you back on Sunday night!

    • Reply Katie December 18, 2013 at 11:22 pm

      Hi Carrie, sorry to hear about your Dad, too. It is sad around the holidays. Thanks for the fun party, and for stopping over to say hi. I hope I’ll have something to link up this week :).
      Happy Holidays!

  • Reply Claire December 19, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Love this idea, so sweet :)

    Thanks for sharing t Creative Mondays …

  • Reply fariba December 20, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    Thank you for great pattern.

  • Reply Nici December 20, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    This is such a sweet reminder of loved ones to put on the Christmas tree. I’ve pinned it. Have a wonderful Christmas!

  • Reply Angela (Life in Velvet) December 22, 2013 at 3:03 am

    Thanks so much for linking up with us! These are too cute, and what an awesome way to remember your Dad!!

    • Reply Katie December 23, 2013 at 3:01 pm

      Hi Angela,
      Thanks for a fun linky party and for stopping over! Hope you’re having a very Merry Christmas!

  • Reply Krissy Buck December 22, 2013 at 3:22 am

    My heart skipped when I read that you re-purposes your dad’s shirts! What an awesome way to remember him. Your ornaments are super cute!

    • Reply Katie December 23, 2013 at 3:01 pm

      Thanks so much, Krissy! Merry Christmas!

  • Reply Mandy Hank December 22, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    Katie, these are so cute and I love that you used old shirts! Perfect! Thank you so much for linking up to Get Your DIY On! I hope you’ll join us today with your “all-star” projects!!

    Mandy @ The Hankful House Blog

    • Reply Katie December 23, 2013 at 2:58 pm

      Thanks, Mandy! Love your link party themes. I didn’t have time to finish my star project for this week, but I’ll be checking out everyone else’s work this week! Merry Christmas!

  • Reply Jeni December 23, 2013 at 1:09 am

    Very cute!!!

  • Reply Frugal Crafty Home Blog Hop December 23, 2013 at 2:01 am

    […] link up that took my breath away was this one from View From The Fridge.  She made A Special Homemade Christmas Gift from her late father’s shirts. […]

  • Reply Katie @ Addicted 2 DIY December 26, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    These are so sweet and thoughtful. Now I want to go through my mom’s closet and see if she has any of my late stepdad’s old shirts hanging in there still. I would love to make some of these. Thank you for linking up to the Really Last Minute Christmas Link Party!

  • Reply T'onna December 30, 2013 at 3:44 am

    These ornaments are so cute and what a clever idea!! I’m pinning them to my Christmas board! thanks for sharing at Submarine Sunday!

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