Yo-yo Christmas Ornament

I hate to throw things away. Sometimes it's a bit of a problem and others it turns into creation. When I first made the Reversible Christmas Tree Skirt from my last post, I was left with two perfectly round scraps of fabric begging to be turned into some sort of creation.

It turns out that two round scraps of holiday fabric, a couple butotns and some ribbon are all you need to make a yo-yo ornament for the Christmas tree. This project is easy enough for the kids to practice basic skills with a needle and thread.


  • two 6-inch diameter fabric circles
  • 2 buttons
  • 15 inches of 3/8 inch wide ribbon
  • two 1-yard long pieces of thread
  • needle
  • pins


Let's start with the two fabric circles.

Turn the circles face down.

Fold about 1/4 inch of fabric down around the edges of the circles and pin them. It's okay if the edges are a little puckered and bumpy.

Thread your needle with one of the pieces of thread. Don't tie any knots in it, yet.

Baste around the  circle.

Basting means you use kind of large stitches and go down, and up, and down and up all the way around the edge. Carefully take out the pins as you go.

Make sure both ends of your thread are on the the wrong side of your fabric.

Gently pull the ends of the thread. The fabric circle will begin to close up like a drawstring pouch. Flatten out the circle and make sure the small opening is in the center.

Thread both ends of thread through your needle and sew a button over the opening.

Follow the same steps with the other piece of fabric.

Now you'll attach the ribbon.

Turn one of the yo-yos button-side down.

Fold the ribbon in half and lay it across the back of the yo-yo as shown.

With both pieces of thread, stitch  the ribbon to the yo-yo. To do this, you can stitch through your button.

Lay the other yo-yo button-side down near the first one.

Cross the thread from each yo-yo.

Turn the second yo-yo over and set it button-side up on the first yo-yo. Pull the pieces of thread in opposite directions.

Tie a knot so it is between the two yo-yos.

Trim the threads and you have a cute handmade ornament for the tree.

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Fun Find Friday

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If you have a fun Etsy treasury you would like to share on Fun Find Friday, e-mail me at thechillydog@gmail.com.

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Reversible Christmas Tree Skirt

We may only be a couple days into fall, but it is never to early to start thinking, planning, and making things for Christmas. A few years ago I needed a new Christmas tree skirt and I couldn't find one I liked in the stores. I usually decorate in blue, white, and silver during the holidays and those colors aren't as easy to find as red and green.

I ended up making this pattern for a reversible, ruffled Christmas Tree skirt. I liked the results so much that made around 15 to give as gifts that year. The best part about this pattern is that you don't need to pin any pattern pieces to your fabric. I'll show you how to make your own compass so you can easily cut your fabric in the shape of a circle.


  • 1 1/3 yds green (or color of your choice) holiday fabric
  • 1 1/3 yds red (or color of your choice) holiday fabric
  • 2 yds gold (or color of your choice) fabric for the ruffle 
  • 4 pieces of ribbon that is 3/8 inch wide x 24 inches long
  • water soluble fabric pen or chalk
  • 1 yd of curling ribbon or string that doesn't stretch
  • sewing and cutting tools


I used 5/8 inch seam allowance for this project.

Wash, dry and iron all of your fabric.

As I said before, you can make this without any paper pattern pieces. You are going to make your own compass to draw an arc. Tie one end of the curling ribbon or string around your water soluble pen or a piece of chalk.

Fold the green fabric into quarters.

The corner where there are no raw edges will be the center of your circle.

Place the loose end of your curling ribbon at the center of your circle. Place the pen or chalk about a half an inch from the selvage.

Hold the end of the ribbon on the center of the circle as you draw an arc on your fabric.

Cut along the line you just drew.

Use the same method to draw a 3 inch radius circle in the center, where the tree will be. Cut along your line.

Don't unfold the green fabric, yet. You can use it as a guide for cutting your red fabric.

Fold your red fabric into quarters. Set the green fabric on top making sure to correctly place the center of the circle.

Cut out the red fabric.

Set aside the center circles. I'll show you how to make a cute ornament with them in my next post.

Unfold the green fabric halfway. Press on one side from the central circle to the outer edge.

Completely unfold the green fabric.

Cut along the line you just pressed. This will be the opening to your tree skirt.

Press and cut the red fabric in the same manner.

Now it's time to cut the fabric for your ruffle. It's easiest to use a rotary cutter for this. Fold the fabric in quarters (or eighths) lengthwise.

Cut five strips that are 12 inches wide. The selvages of the fabric should be on either end.

All of the pieces are cut. Now, it's time to start sewing. Let's start with the ruffle.

Pin two pieces of the ruffle fabric right sides together along the short end. Stitch them together.

Repeat until all five pieces of the ruffle are stitched together.

Press the seams open.

On one end of the ruffle, fold the fabric in half lengthwise, right sides together. Pin the six inch end together and stitch shut. Do the same on the other end.

Now it's time to make the ruffle ruffley.

Fold the ruffle in half lengthwise, wrong sides together. Press the length of the fabric. Baste along the raw edge of the fabric, about 1/4 inch from the raw edge. You can do this by hand or with a sewing machine. Gather the ruffle.

It's time to put it all together.

Lay the green fabric out flat with the right side up. Set your ribbon on each side of the opening about one inch down and about five inches down from the central circle.

Carefully lay the ruffle along the edge of the fabric aligning the raw edge of the ruffle withe the raw edge of the skirt. Take your time and make sure that the ruffle is gathered evenly all the way around.

Position your red fabric face down over the ruffle and green fabric.

Pin the red fabric to the ruffle, ribbons and green fabric.

Make sure to pin the pieces together carefully so you sew the ruffle and ribbon in the appropriate places. It can be easy to catch a length of ribbon or a folded up ruffle in the seams if you are not paying attention.

Stitch around the skirt as shown. Make sure to leave an 8-10 inch opening.

Take out your pins and turn the skirt right side out through the opening. Stitch the opening shut.

If you are experienced at sewing you could use buttons and buttonholes to secure the skirt shut instead of ribbon.

Enjoy getting things ready for a happy holiday!

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Selvage, Grain and Bias

Fall is a great time to work on sewing projects for the holidays. Before I show you two fun and easy Christmas projects, let's learn about selvage, grain, and bias.

If you are learning how to sew, selvage, grain and bias are three words you should be familiar with. They are commonly used in sewing tutorials as well as in store bought patterns. They may sound confusing at first, but it is worth learning these terms before you make your first cut. Understanding them will help you make your sewing projects great!

When you buy fabric, it comes in a folded in half lengthwise and wrapped around a bolt.

For this fabric, the fold is on the left hand side.


The selvages are the finished edges. They are finished so the fabric doesn't fray or unravel. Many times the name of the fabric manufacturer or design are printed along the selvage.

Grain or Lengthwise Grain

The grain of the fabric is parallel to the fold and selvages.

If you pull the fabric in the direction of the grain there isn't much give. If you pull side to side, perpendicular to the grain, the fabric will stretch more.

Most store bought patterns will show a grain line on the pattern pieces. It's important to make sure the grain line is parallel to the fold and selvages of your fabric, especially if you are making clothing. You are more likely to need a little give side to side around you instead of up and down.


The bias of a fabric is at a 45 degree angle to the selvage.

Try to stretch your fabric on the bias. It has a lot of give.

Quilters frequently use bias strips to bind the edges of a quilt. You can make your own, or purchase pre-made bias tape.

Check back on Wednesday for a tutorial about how to make a stunning reversible Christmas tree skirt.

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