Having personalized ornaments on my Christmas tree is always something my family and I love. It gives such an individualized touch to my home decorating. They are also a one-of-a-kind gift to give to others that won’t be found in a store. I love the look of the Free Standing Lace ornaments and how intricate the designs are. I was a little intimidated by them at first, but here is a step-by-step tutorial to show you how easy they can be!

What you’ll need to create free-standing lace ornaments:  

• Embroidery machine with Christmas free-standing lace ornament embroidery patterns loaded. I  am using Designs By Juju’s Free-Standing Lace Christmas 7 set. 

• Embroidery hoop that will fit the design 

• Thread with matching bobbins 

• Non-woven, fiber mesh water soluble stabilizer. The mesh feels like a light cloth. You don’t want to use the one that looks like plastic wrap because it won’t be strong enough to support the stitching.

Above is an example of my final set-up before beginning. The colored bobbins help the ornaments look great from both sides. I don’t fill the bobbin if it’s a color that will just be used for a small portion of the design so as not to waste thread. If I use a metallic thread on top, I try to find a regular color that matches the bobbin. For example, a grey if I’m using silver and a light yellow for gold.

Hoop your stabilizer tight. The stabilizer will be stitched on without any fabric like in standard embroidery, so I use a couple of layers when the stitches are dense for added support.

Load your hoop in your machine with the thread and matching bobbin for the first step. Let the machine  

stitch it out.

When the first color is done, I like to trim the back threads. You will be taking the hoop out to change the bobbin at this point, and it helps the back look neater throughout the stitch. I love it when the back looks as good as the front when finished.

Continue through the rest of the color changes, changing the bobbins and trimming the threads each time. It is essential to stitch in the order shown in the design. Remember, the stabilizer will wash away. The framework of the stitches will be the only thing left holding your pattern together.

Once finished, remove the stabilizer from the hoop and carefully trim around the design. Leave some excess mesh around the edge, and don’t cut your stitches.

I like to stitch all my ornaments out at once and then wash out the stabilizer at the end of the day.

The backsides look great, too.

Next, it’s time for a shower! Or a bath! Read and follow the instructions on your stabilizer thoroughly, as the instructions may differ. The stabilizer I chose said to use cool water to wash it away, or you could immerse it in water. So, a shower it is for this gingerbread boy.

The photo helps to demonstrate how the stabilizer “melts” away in the water. I use my fingernail to scrub around the edges if it doesn’t seem to disappear. I like to rinse them until the edges are gone and shake them well to remove excess water. I rinse them until I can’t see any stabilizer through the design. I try to do it quickly so a little of the stabilizer is left behind the thick stitches to ensure the ornaments are stiff when finished.

After rinsing out the stabilizer, I like to put them on a towel and blot as much water out of them as possible. Make sure they are flat, and let them dry. I do this at the end of the evening so they are dry in the morning. I live in an area with pretty low humidity, so if you live in a high-humidity place, it may take longer.

The following day, after they have dried, add a ribbon or an ornament wire to hang them on the tree.

These are so easy to personalize to your specific décor theme. If your tree isn’t red, white, and green, feel free to switch up the colors. Try blues and silver.

Or reds and gold.

If you have a particular theme, why not green and pink?

There are so many ways to use these ornaments. Tie one to a sweet treat for your friends or neighbors.  Who wouldn’t love this as a surprise? (The tag pattern is Designs By Juju In The Hoop Gift Tags)

As you prepare for the holiday season, check out Designs by Juju’s Christmas Ornament Embroidery Patterns. I guarantee you’ll find something that will fit your home and make one-of-a-kind decorations and gifts to celebrate the holidays!

Melanie Zitzman

Melanie Zitzman

Melanie has been sewing and crafting from a very young age. She loves to quilt, embroider, and paper craft and is always looking for her next project. She loves gnomes and they are overtaking her house! When she's not crafting she is a part time dental hygienist, a voracious reader, and volunteer hospital pianist.