Christmas is over, but unfortunately there's lots of winter still to go. It seems such a shame to have to take down all the decorations and lose the festive spirit so early on, before cabin-fever has even had an opportunity to set it. Seems to me a little bit of festive decorating would help lessen the winter blues. So I thought I'd present an idea that can be the seed for many other decorating projects, and one that is very simple too.
These cute little mittens take less than 10 minutes to make. And if you make more than one, the time needed for each set is even less.
You'll begin by making a mitten template from cardboard so you can trace around it. I have two templates I use: the one used for this tutorial, and one that's basically the same but a little taller and narrower. My templates are about 3" tall, but you can make them any size, even super teenie if your eyes and fingers can take it.
Take a piece of fleece or felt and double it. Begin tracing the pattern for as many mittens as you'd like to make. You'll probably need a marker to be able to write adequately on the fleece. Leave about 1/2" between each pattern for a seam allowance.
After you're finished tracing your pattern, sew the mittens, stitching directly onto the traced line. At the cuff of the mitten, reinforce the stitching so that it won't unravel when you try to turn the mitten right-side out. Do not stitch across the cuff of the mitten.
When finished stitching, your project should look something like the picture above.
Next, cut the mittens out, trimming the fleece to withing about 1/4" of the stitch line.
Cut the cuff of the mitten straight across.
Now turn the mitten right side out. Use your fingers to get a good turn on the seam, paying special attention to the thumb section.
You now have the base for your mitten. But these are pretty boring, so you need to dress them up. This is the fun part! You can use any sort of embellishment that you like or have on hand. For my mittens, I've used ribbon, rick-rack, yarn, sherpa, buttons, fleece, sequins, ribbon and more. This is a great opportunity to apply your own creativity.
I start mine by finishing off the top. I did one with a blanket stitch, but I didn't like it more than my other approach, plus it was a lot more work. My favorite method, and the easiest (coincidence?) is to use fancy yarn.
I have several types of yarn, but almost anything will work. This yarn I used for this example is rather fluffy.
Cut or wrap 4 to 6 pieces of yarn about 6" long. This length will vary depending upon the size of your mitten. It needs to be able to reach all the way around the cuff of the mitten, with a little excess.
Next, twist the pieces of yarn together and hold.
While the yarn is twisted, wrap it around and glue it to the cuff of the mitten.
Now your mittens should like they have a fancy cuff. Rather pretty for just a few pieces of yarn, I think.
Now you can add whatever embellishments you'd like. I added just a few buttons for a very clean finish.
Next, I added a piece of satin ribbon to the inside of the cuff to make a mitten hanger.
Isn't that simple?
And they add such a darling touch to a gift package.
But they can also be used for decorating.
I hosted a ladies craft night with a group of lady friends of mine, and we made this fun mitten garland. I did mine in colors that match my decor, so I'll be leaving mine up at least through January, and perhaps February too.
It was such great fun doing it as a group, because everyone had ideas on different ways to decorate the mittens, which inspired even more ideas. I don't have two mittens that are exactly alike.
Just make the mittens (without the ribbon hanger) and attach them to a "clothesline" with a mini clothes pin.
... fleece hearts and buttons...
... buttons and embroidery floss...
... sherpa strips for the cuff...
The very fancy yarn makes for a fun cuff.
I even used my embroidery machine to embellish some with a snowflake. (I had to do this before I sewed the mittens.)
... a little rick-rack...
... sequins and snowflake confetti... really the options are endless. I hope this sampling of ideas will feed your imagination.
In the last example, you can see that if you cut the mittens a little longer in the cuff, you can even cut the cuff with pinking shears and fold it back and consider it finished.
With this simple decoration, I can keep a little of the festive spirit alive, which is helpful when the thermometer reads 6 degrees as it does right now.
And be sure to check out the endless list of inspirational ideas at my home page childmade.com.