A Year of Christmas Stitching - April
Despite lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, the year is galloping by... I can hardly believe that it's April already! And now that it's April, we can reveal our April design - or should I say designs? Yes, it's plural, we have two designs for you this month.
Do you leave out cookies for Santa? Do you do a cookie exchange or give cookies as gifts? These little designs are perfect for ANY of these things... anyone can use these fun little signs!
Make the lead up to Christmas even more exciting for little ones with our cookie signs for Santa. Children will love leaving out these signs so that Santa knows exactly where they have left the cookies for him :) And if you sign up for our emails there just might be some more signs to add to your collection! ;)
Do you join in a cookie exchange at Christmas? Add these little signs to you table or plate as a fun addition. Your cookies will stand out from the rest with these cute little signs!
The charts can be found as a PDF at the bottom of this page.
I stitched these little gingerbread men signs on plastic canvas as I thought they would be more durable being stitched on plastic rather than Aida. Little hands aren't always gentle! You can stitch them on Aida, perforated paper or plastic canvas... choose what works best for you and your family. If you have never stitched on plastic canvas before, there's a handy guide here.
So once you have stitched the designs, how do you finish them off as little signs? Well it's really easy... just read on!
If you are planning to make the "Cookies for Santa" sign on plastic canvas so that it stands up by itself (like in the picture), you'll need to use a piece of plastic canvas that is approximately 17-18 cm long by 8 cm wide - making it a long, narrow canvas. Make sure that you stitch your piece as far to the bottom of the plastic canvas as possible, so that you have enough "blank" canvas to fold over for the back.
In other words (short and sweet!): make sure you have at least 7 cm of blank canvas above the top of the gingerbread man's head.
As always you can finish off the designs however you want to, but here's how I made my little signs.
You will need:
Needle and thread
So for the "Cookies for Santa" sign, stitch the design according to the chart, then cut around the base and the sides of the design one square from the stitching. Continue cutting the sides until it is approximately 8 cm longer than the design so that there is enough blank plastic canvas to fold over to make an easel type stand.
Next you will have cut around the gingerbread man's head and arms leaving the area above the red stitching intact so you can fold the plastic canvas.
You can either:
cut around the head one square from the stitching as in the first two pictures above (I used a craft knife to do this part).
cut a rectangle first using the green lines from the third picture above as a guide, then go in to cut the plastic canvas to one square from the stitching around the head (the blue line indicates where the plastic canvas will be folded over - do NOT cut where I've drawn the blue lines!).
You will need some white felt to back the front of the ornament. I used the stitching as a template to draw the shape onto white felt then just cut the felt a few millimeters in from the pencil lines I had drawn, as I only wanted the stitching part to be covered with the felt. It really wasn't terribly neat, but no-one will see this so don't worry about how neat or accurate it is! Glue the backing felt to the reverse of your stitching and leave to dry.
Carefully fold over the plastic canvas at the top of the red stitching. Trim the back of the sign to be the same length as the front, if it's not already the same size.
Grab a needle and some white thread. Using a double strand, loop through the front and back of the sign at the left hand corner near the base of the sign (it doesn't matter where you do this!) tie a knot and slide the knot to the felt side of the ornament so that it can't be seen. Repeat on the right hand side of the sign.
If you used Aida to stitch the sign, you can do a similar finish by backing your stitching (and the area that will be the back of the sign) with iron-on interfacing, then finish using the instructions above.
How to finish the arrow sign.
Stitch according to chart. Trim one square from stitching and then back with white felt using the same method as described above. Again, this doesn't have to be super neat!
Glue a small crafting stick to the back of the arrow sign so that it can be placed in flower pots etc. to guide Santa to his plate of cookies.
Or attach some red (or green!) ribbon to hang the signs on door handles etc.
Here are some handy hints for making your signs look amazing!
I used half stitch for the white part of the signs instead of whole cross stitch as indicated on the chart - use half cross stitch to save some time.
Use two strands of thread for the lettering and the 'icing' on the gingerbread man so that it shows up better.
Carefully add the French knot in the letter 'i' and don't pull the thread tightly otherwise the knot will disappear through the plastic canvas!
When doing the backstitch details on the gingerbread man, whatever colour you use last will be the one that shows up the most, so if you want a specific colour to be more dominant, use that one last... I used red last.
Use sharp scissors when cutting the plastic canvas and works slowly to ensure a neat finish
And lastly... the one I am most embarrassed to mention here... don't carry your threads across the back of your stitching... they show! :(
And now Santa will be able to get to his cookies quickly... we all know how busy Santa is on Christmas Eve so I'm sure he'll appreciate our help!