Friday, August 14, 2009

Quilted Ball Ornament Tutorial

Here's the ornament we'll be making today:

  • 1/4 yard, or a fat quarter, of the main fabric (pink in this example)
  • 1/8 yard, or a fat quarter, of an accent fabric (green in this example)
  • 3" diameter Styrofoam ball
  • 1/2" sequin pins
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • glue gun
  • narrow ribbon (approximately 6" depending on preferred hanging length)
  • 1 button with a flat back (preferably with 2 holes)
  • sewing machine or needle and thread (or you can substitute glue - sewing is optional)
  • iron and ironing board (optional)
  • rotary cutter, mat, and ruler (optional, but handy)

Step 1: Cut 26 2.5" squares of the main fabric and 16 2.5" squares of the accent fabric.

Step 2: Fold all of the accent squares and 24 of the 26 main fabric squares in half and iron. Two squares of the main fabric should remain flat and square.

Step 3: Fold the rectangles into triangles and iron. The point of the triangle should be the folded edge of the fabric. The long flat edge should be the open side.

I iron them all at once:

Optional: You can avoid the ironing if that seems like too much work, but then each triangle has to be done individually as you go. Just take a square and fold it in half, pinching enough in the center so that you can see the crease when you unfold it.

Center the pin as best you can and place it right above the crease. Pin the piece into the ball, fold into a triangle, and pin in place as shown in step 6.

Step 4: Now unfold each triangle and add the pin. It should be placed just above the crease so it exits through the back of the triangle. You don't want it exiting through the tip of the triangle or it won't lay flat on the ball.

Step 5: Lay one of the squares of fabric over the ball. This prevents styrofoam from showing through between the triangles. You can pin the corners in place if you like.

Step 6: Pin the triangle in the center of the ball. Pin each flap of the triangle at the top where the folds meet and pin down the corners. Add 3 more triangles to complete the first ring. Due to the curve of the ball, the corners of the triangles will overlap a bit.

Step 7: Start the second ring by pinning four of the triangles 1/2" out from the center. A clear ruler is very convenient for this step, but not necessary.

To achieve the proper overlapping effect, pin the first four triangles in this pattern, pinning at the top where the folds meet. You don't need to pin the corners because they will be held down by the next four triangles in this ring.

Add the next 4 triangles. I save pins by ever so slightly overlapping the two flaps of the triangle and pinning them both in place with a single pin.

The second ring is complete!

Step 8: Repeat the same process as in step 7 for the third ring.

Step 9: Start the next side by centering the other square of fabric on the opposite side of the ball. Measure from each corner to the edge of side 1 to make sure the square is properly centered. If the square is not centered, the two sides will not meet up properly. Repeat steps 6, 7, and 8.

Step 10: Now both sides are complete!

Trim off any triangle corners that may overlap the other side too much.

Measure the distance between the pins on side 1 to the pins on side 2. This is the gap that needs to be covered. Mine usually ends up being about 1/2".

Step 11: Create the binding to cover the pins and raw edges of fabric. The circumference of a 3" ball is about 10" so I make mine about 12" long to give myself some wiggle room. To make it 12" long by 1/2" wide, start with a piece of fabric 12" x 1.5". Sew a tube with a 1/4" seam allowance.

Turn it right side out and press so the seam is centered.

Optional: If you don't sew, you can glue the binding together to hide the edges. I've also used ribbon to cover the gap.

Step 12: Start gluing the binding in place, with the seam facing the ornament so you won't see it.

When you get back to the beginning, overlap the starting point just a bit and snip of the extra.

Step 13: Thread the ribbon through the button and glue the ends if the ribbon to the back of the button. (Sorry, not a very good color contrast here. I prefer two hole buttons, since only two of the button holes get used.)

Step 14: Glue the button to the ornament where the binding meets to cover the seam.

Ta da! You're finished!

Other examples:
Featured on Dabbled's Handmade Christmas Ornament Tutorials.


  1. What a great tutorial! I first looked at your post and thought it required a lot of complicated sewing but I might actually have a go at making one myself! Thank you :)

  2. Thank you. My sister thought the same thing about the sewing, but you can easily get away without any!

  3. I just went and bought a bunch of fabric for these! I found styro balls at a yard sale! can't wait to get started! hugs, michelle

  4. thanks so much.... I saw these on ornament girl website and fell in love but didn't want to buy one. This will be an awesome Christmas gift for a lot of people this year. Thanks again for posting this. YOU RULE !!!!!!!!!!!

  5. I'm anxious to try making the quilted ball ornament. Looking over the instructions, it seems to me that a way to streamline the construction a bit is to cut 2 1/2 inch strips and then press the strips in half (wrong sides together) lengthwise-- then all you'd have to do is cut 2 1/2 inch segments from the already folded strip. Let me know if this would not be a good move. In this busy world of ours, any shortcuts are helpful! Sally

    1. Great idea...then you could use a jelly roll since you normally get 2 of each print!

  6. Yes, ironing strips and then cutting them should work just as well!

  7. Just what I was looking for! Awesome! Thanks

  8. Thank you, Sam, for this wonderful tutorial !

  9. Thank You, thank you, my daughter and I made several and I must say they were beautiful and loved by all who received them. We plan to make many more during the year and be ready when we need them. Thanks again

  10. This project reminds me of a project that I did years ago, same technique, but mine was placed inside an embroidery hoop for wall mounting, like a picture frame. Does anyone have that particular project instructions? I used to have it, but as I said, that was years ago.

  11. I googled "folded star," which is the pattern this ornament is based on, and found this tutorial which could be used in an embroidery hoop instead of as a trivet:

  12. какое чудо! просто классссссссссс!

  13. I tried making these not long ago, I love them so much I started my own website. Hope everyones loves them as much as I do. :-) xx

  14. Looked for a tutorial on the web and there was yours... thank you for the "how to" helped me alot and made several....greetings Francien.

  15. THANK YOU! exactly what I was looking for :)

  16. Found other tutorials for this type of ornament that were really complicated and confusing. Thanks for making this one so easy to follow!

  17. thank you.I made 1 but was`nt very pleased with it.Then found your tutorial and it was much better.Thank you.xx

  18. Love these! I think my kids may be getting one of these in their stockings this year.

  19. Thank you for the easy instructions! After the tragedy in Connecticut, I made my first ornament as a remembrance to the lost ones and a way for God to help me through the grief. I made 5 more as Christmas gifts to loved ones who are helped me connect and use crafts to work through the sadness.

  20. Thank you, may i make these for sale if i refer to the blog for credit? I am making many to give away as gifts.

  21. WOW, great. Thank you for tutorial.

  22. I think what you made is beautiful. I am going to try your idea, and see if it works for me. I have made the shaggy balls, the ones with flowers and easy and fun, and I have made the ones with the star shape. They are all so neat. I wonder have you done the ones made like pinwheels. I am working on trying that out. There are so many different types of these, it is hard to decide what to make.


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