Monday, December 3, 2012

Ornament Exchange: Beaded Peace Dove

To be honest, I'm not really one of those people that gets really excited about Christmas decorations.  I enjoy them, but I don't really put effort into decorating at home and I don't seek out fancy displays in Manhattan.  My boyfriend, on the other hand, is a huge fan of all things holiday-related; he drinks egg nog, loves seeing the decorations and plays Christmas carols at home.
When Kelli invited me to be a part of the Ornament Exchange, I thought it would be a good way to get me into the holiday spirit.  Plus, who doesn't like a good swap, especially with these ladies?

Sonja of
Suzanne of
Miranda of
Megan of
Jen of
Dixie of
Madalynne of
Kelli of

Click through to their blogs to see their ornament posts today!

It took me a looooooong time to decide what to make, but I finally settled on a beaded peace dove - not so Christmas-y, but still holiday-themed.  And it's sparkly, a must for holiday decorations.

Want to make your own? Here's how.

You'll need:
  • Two squares of the main fabric, large enough to fit the embroidery hoop.  
  • One square of muslin or sew-in interfacing
  • Piping made from your main fabric. (Learn how to make your own with DesignSponge's tutorial.)
  • Ribbon (4 inches is all you need for one ornament)
  • Image to bead, centered in a circle.  This circle determines the size of your final ornament.  Any simple dove image (or any other image) will work.  
  • Embroidery floss for olive branch
  • Small beads
  • Beading needle
  • Beadstring or thread.  I ended up using sewing thread and it worked fine.  
  • Not pictured: A circle of batting (preferably high loft, poly fill would work fine too), the size of your final ornament.

I am not a beading expert.  I'm sure I broke every cardinal rule of beading.  But this is what worked for me!
1.  If your fabric is semi-sheer: Trace the image outline and circle onto muslin or sew-in interfacing.  Center the image behind the main fabric, and put into the embroidery hoop.  I just used pen, because I knew the marks would not be visible once it was done.
2.  If your fabric is not sheer: Transfer the design onto your main fabric using a water soluble pen or another erasable method.
3.  Find a comfy seat and a good movie (or 6, if you're making nine of these!!) Bead the outline of the dove onto your main fabric.  Then fill in the outline.
4.  Backstitch the olive branch on to the fabric with the embroidery thread.

5.  Trim around the circle, leaving a 1/2" seam allowance.
6.  Pin the piping around in a circle around the right side, with the piping edge inward.  Overlap the piping at the top, sandwiching the ribbon between the piping and the main fabric.
7.  Sew the piping to the circle.
8.  With your second square of main fabric, cut a circle the same size as your ornament front.  This second circle will be the ornament back.
9.  Place the ornament back on top of the front, right sides together.
10.  Sew around the circle, leaving an opening of 1.5" at the top (where the ribbon is attached).
11.  Turn right side out through the hole.
12.  Stuff the circle.

13. Take the loose end of the ribbon and put it into the gap.  Then sew the opening closed.

That's it! Now swear off beading forever and admire your ornament.

Thank you Kelli for running the swap, and all of the other bloggers for swapping with me and putting me in the holiday spirit. 


  1. Wow! So much detail. I love it.

  2. This is so beautiful! I feel so lucky to be a recipient of one!

  3. the beading is so clever! I can't wait until you get mine!

  4. I am blown away by how beautiful this and how much time it must have taken you to bead all that! So pretty.

  5. Oh wow, this is awesome! I love dove's, and the beading is amazing! Eeee! Hopping around to everyone's posts feels like Christmas already!!


  6. Wow, I can't believe you did all that beading, it looks beautiful! The dove is going to look so good sparkling under the Christmas tree lights too

  7. This is gorgeous, and very holiday-neutral, which I appreciate, as a non-Christmas celebrator. Very lovely!

  8. this is really pretty! and you could mix up the colors, too. i'm impressed with the amount of time you put into this, it's lovely!