Tutorial: Gingerbread man ornament

I am back! I am so sorry for my extended absence from this blog - I have only just come up for air after a crazy three months of being busy with my two (very active) young kids, Etsy shop, and life in general. And just in the nick of time to share this pattern and tutorial for a felt Christmas ornament (a tradition I started last year). Last year I made a gingerbread house ornament, so I thought I would keep to the same theme and complement it with a gingerbread man.

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MATERIALS:
You will need:
- The pattern (download it from here as a PDF and print it to A4)
- Felt in brown, red, white, and green
- Embroidery thread in colours matching the felt
- A few sequins / felt balls for decoration and a beading needle if you are using sequins (thinner than an embroidery needle)
- Two black beads for the eyes
- 20cm of white ric-rac
- Ribbon or string for the loop on top
- Stuffing material (e.g. Hobbyfill)

STEPS:
1. Cut out each pattern piece leaving a small margin of white paper around the pattern. Pin or staple each pattern piece onto the felt (I personally prefer to staple rather than pin, as I find pins distort the felt/pattern, but it's a personal choice). Cut each piece out of the felt, using the small curved scissors for smaller shapes like the eyes and bow
2. Applique the red felt buttons onto the front body piece. Embellish with a sequin held in place with a small glass bead (optional).
3. Applique the eyes onto the face. Stitch the black beads in the middle of each eye.
4. Make the green bow following the instructions in the Easter Chick tutorial. Attach to the front body piece.
5. Cut the ric-rac into pieces approximately twice the size of each arm/leg. Place the ric-rac on the arm and machine stitch it onto the arm. Turn the piece over, fold over the ric rac and secure together with a hand stitch (this doesn't need to look pretty as it won't show once the ornament is finished. You can also cut the excess ric-rac off rather than folding it back in this manner, but ric-rac frays badly when cut, and with this fold-back method you won't get any frayed edges on the arms and legs).

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6. Using back-stitch and 6 strands of red embroidery thread stitch a smile on your gingerbread man.
7. Embroider name and date on the back body piece if desired.

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8. Put the front and back body pieces together, then starting on one side of the body, and going clock-wise, blanket stitch the two body pieces. When you get to the top of the head make your hanging ribbon/string into a loop, insert into the opening and continue blanket stitching the felt, trapping the ends of the loop inside.  I used baker's twine for the loop but you can use ribbon, packing string, or even ric rac.
9. Continue blanket stitching until you have a 2cm gap on the side of the body, lightly stuff the gingerbread man with your filler material, then finish blanket stitching.
10. Decorate your top candy cane piece with any embellishments you like (I used red felt balls but you can also use sequins or buttons), then blanket stitch the front and back candy cane pieces together. Stitch onto the gingerbread man's hand.

And here we go, a cute gingerbread guy for your Christmas tree!

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I am also going to make a gingerbread woman for my little Alice over the holidays - I will add the pattern for it here soon.

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