Monday, November 1, 2010

Browncoat Christmas Ornaments - With Free Patterns!

This holiday season you can show off your Christmas spirit and your Browncoat pride at the same time. I wanted to design a quick and versatile Christmas craft project that would be a good homemade gift for my Firefly loving friends and also a nice piece of subtle geekery to add to my own holiday decorating. After rejecting a couple of other ideas I think these cute little guys sporting their Jayne hats have hit the mark.

Made on 7 mesh plastic canvas these ornaments are about 4 inches tall by 2.5 - 3 inches wide and each one would probably take about 2-4 hours to stitch up, depending on your stitching experience.

They're perfect for hanging on the Christmas tree or attaching to presents as a gift tag. I'm going to post the directions here for how to make the ornaments on plastic canvas, but feel free to take the gridded patterns and let your imaginations run wild. The patterns could also be used to make these little guys in cross stitch, fuse beads, knitting, crochet or anything else you can think of. And if you do come up with a clever way to use the patterns, feel free to send me a picture or a link to somewhere that you've posted your creation online.

(Clicking on the patterns should cause them to open a new window where they will appear somewhat larger on most browsers. Then you can print them or save them to your own hard drive.)


(Note: While I haven't taken an exact measurement, I would estimate that you will need approximatley 10 metres or less of the dominant colour in each design, and 3-6 metres of the other colours. These take very little yarn and are ideal for leftover bits from previous projects.)
  • small amounts of worsted weight yarn in the colours shown in the pattern grid.
  • Black embroidery floss (DMC 310)
  • White embroidery floss (for Gingerbread man only)
  • 7 mesh plastic canvas
  • No. 16 or No. 18 tapestry needle (blunt is preferred)
  • scissors
  1. Cut the plastic canvas into a smaller rectangle that is 2 squares wider and 2 squares longer than the ornament you're planning to make. (For example, the penguin is 17 squares wide by 28 squares high, so to make him you would cut a piece of plastic canvas that is 19 X 30 squares).
  2. For all squares indicated on the graph, cut two pieces of yarn in the appropriate colour and stitch in continental stitch.
  3. Begin stitching with the four yellow squares in the centre of the Jayne hat in the centre of the top row on your plastic canvas. Work downward from this central starting point. Weave ends in on back of the piece when changing colours.
  4. Once all of the continental stitching is complete, switch to embroidery floss. Cut floss and do not separate into individual strands. Use the 6-strand piece to backstitch the thin black lines on the grid. (Use white floss to backstitch where indicated by thin white lines on the Gingerbread man grid.)
  5. Use scissors to trim the ornaments leaving a line of plastic canvas around the outer edge of all your stitches. Refer to top picture to see how ornaments are cut.
  6. Cut an 8 inch piece of embroidery floss, separate into individual strands. Thread one strand through top centre of ornament and knot to create loop for hanging.
As always, feel free to post a comment or contact me through the blog's email address if you have any questions about the patterns. I'll do my best to help you out.



M said...

Thanks so much for these patterns; I'm making gingerbread as gifts this year, so this little fellow will be perfect for tags and cards. Planning to stitch up on 14 count aida, will post results. :D

Knotical Yarns said...

Love it! My husband and his brothers are all huge fans of Firefly. I think I might dive into this project!!

Unknown said...

What colors did you use for the hats and the gingerbread man? I absolutely love these ornaments, I can't wait to start on them!!

amber said...

Hi Sarah,

I didn't use any specific shades of the colours shown, just leftovers I had in my collection. Since this isn't an item you'd wear, it doesn't even have to be soft or high quality yarn. Just pick some red, yellow, orange brown, etc that you think looks right. Have fun stitching!

Trisha said...

How adorable! My grandsons need something to do for gifts -- these will be great. Thanks for sharing.

Angelus said...

These are amazing. Hope it's okay to post them on my Google+ page.