Advent Calendar 2023 – the 15th door

Christmas decorations made from fabric scraps and glitter threads

When sewing, there is always one thing: leftover fabric! But no matter how small they are, you can still create something pretty from them, for example creative Christmas decorations! Today we are sewing and embroidering Christmas decorations from fabric scraps. We have reached the 15th door of the Blog Advent Calendar.

I especially love free-motion embroidery or thread painting! It’s almost like doodling, but with a sewing machine. You can give free rein to the needle: it does not need to be perfect and precise, quite the contrary: the freer it is, the better. In combination with small pieces of fabric from other projects you can create stunning appliques and embellishments. I used this technique to make pretty Christmas tree baubles for the end of year celebrations. I don’t know yet if they will actually be placed on the tree, or perhaps in the Christmas window, on the table or as a tag on gifts. In any case, they are a nice detail for the Christmas period – and with the right thread they shine too!

Anhänger aus Stoffresten

Sewing Christmas decorations – Supply of materials

You will inevitably find the material for these Christmas tree balls in your stocks or in leftover cardboard. You need:

  • Scrap fabric, preferably fabric
  • Vliesofix
  • Supporting fabric (not visible later)
  • Felt
  • Thread


Fabric is best made from woven fabric. They can fit together harmoniously, sparkle like Christmas or be mixed together extravagantly.


I first ironed Vliesofix onto the back of the leftover fabric. I made sure that the Vliesofix was cut a little smaller than the fabric pieces so that none of them would land on the ironing board and get stuck there while I was ironing them. The adhesive side can be recognized by the rough handle and should face the fabric. You can tell if the Vliesofix is ​​already stuck by the fact that the backing paper becomes transparent. The heat from the iron melts the adhesive and fuses with the fabric. This requires enough heat for a few seconds, so you can leave the iron in one place and silently count to 10.

Stoffrest with Vliesofix

Before removing the backing paper, you must wait until the heated Vliesofix glue has cooled down again. Otherwise, the paper will not come off easily or the adhesive layer may come off after peeling off.

Vliesofixb auf Stoffrest aufgebügelt

Once the piece of fabric is prepared, it can be cut into pieces. I made this with a rotary cutter on a cutting mat. First cut crosswise into strips of different widths, then cut diagonally lengthwise again so that the strips are different lengths.

Stoffrest to Streifen schneiden

It’s best to separate the individual snippets, especially if you have fabrics that can be used on both sides, like my light-colored jacquard, which has beautiful gold highlights on the reverse, or the purple-gold woven fabric with the beautiful fine pattern, which can also be depicted on both sides. Since the glue is barely visible, it would only get more complicated if you mix them up. And this could lead to the strips being ironed with the adhesive side facing up…

Stoffreste zerschnitten

Design Christmas decorations

You can now combine and arrange the strips by placing them on a piece of fabric. This fabric only serves as a support and will not be visible afterwards!

Stoffstreifen anordnen

Before ironing, be sure to double check that all strips are placed with the adhesive side down. Once everything is well ironed and cooled, you can use a glass or other tool to draw a circle and then cut it out.

Kreisform aufzeichnen

Kreis auschneiden

This is where free-motion embroidery or thread painting comes in. This requires a firm fabric as a base. I used a nice, slightly thicker gray felt and ironed the circles. If you have several, make sure there is enough space between them!

Kreise auf Filz

Sew and embroider with metallic thread

For even more Christmas spirit, I chose a copper glitter thread, which goes perfectly with the little metallic dots of the gray stripe.


With such metallic threads, the beginning of the thread tends to untwist a little, making threading difficult. With the threader on my BERNINE 535However, this was no problem and was done in no time.

Image of the BERNINA 535.


Wide selection of stitches ✓ Perfect for sewing fine fabrics ✓ Threads are cut automatically ✓ Perfect tension for perfect stitches ✓ Sewing consultant ✓

Learn more

An embroidery or quilting foot is best suited for thread painting. I used the Quilting foot #29 because I really like the transparent effect.

Image of quilting foot #29.

Quilting foot #29

For topstitching quilts with thick and thin padding ✓ For contour quilting, thread painting and meander quilting ✓ Clear visualization of the quilting project ✓ For 5.5mm and 9mm machines ✓

Learn more

Fadenanfang dreht sich auf

When sewing, the fabric is guided in free motion under the foot. This is why it is important to use a suitable foot that leaves enough space for the sewing equipment. Second, the feed dog must be lowered. At first, it will take some practice to get comfortable with the free-motion technique and be able to move the fabric safely and evenly so that the lines are exactly how you want them.


I sewed three rounds around the circle and deliberately ironed over the edges, over and over again. At the top I sewed a hanger.

Christbaumkugel genähmalt

Since I was still missing something, I also sewed a decorative stitch into the ball using the metal thread and Open embroidery foot #20.

Image of open embroidery foot n°20.

Open embroidery foot #20

Perfect for sewing decorative stitches ✓ Creating attractive appliqué designs ✓ Allows you to accurately follow lines and designs ✓ Open shape for a clear view of the project ✓ For 5.5mm and 9mm machines ✓

Learn more


All you have to do is cut it out, and you get a pretty Christmas pendant.

I also added a pretty ribbon to hang my Christmas bauble on the Christmas tree or attach it to a gift. A pretty Christmas decoration in any case!


I hope you like my Christmas recycling of fabric scraps. Of course, this also works very well with other Christmas shapes, for example a Christmas tree or a star. Cookie cutters work great as templates. Here’s how to easily sew and design pretty Christmas decorations!

I hope you enjoy cutting and sewing!


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