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Holiday Ideas - Combining Cross Stitch and Holiday Decorations and Celebrations

Show Off Your Cross Stitch Skills

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Incorporate your favorite hobby into your holiday celebrations as you use Cross Stitch for gifts, cards, decorative ideas, and more.

1. Frame a Holiday Design

Bless Us All, Stitched by Elaine in WI
Bless Us All, Stitched by Elaine in WI
Stitch and frame your favorite holiday-themed design, then display it each year with pride. Elaine submitted a photo of a great example of a framed design called Bless Us All. Not only did she win a prize at her county fair, but she learned some valuable stitching lessons which she shares in her description of the photo. Start your own holiday stitchery tradition.

2. Stitch and Frame Ornaments

Stiched and Submitted by Marty
Stiched and Submitted by Marty
Marty is one of the most prolific contributors to both the About.com Cross Stitch Photo Album and our collection of Stitcher's Submitted Tips. One of my favorite submissions is a set of three photos of Christmon Ornaments she submitted. (She is also a very prolific stitcher.)
Marty's photos:

Not only did Marty submit those great photos, but she also took the time to send in a tip on her framing method. Read Marty's tip.

Many of the free Cross Stitch patterns from About.com would make great ornaments. Here are just a few suggestions:

3. Bookmark Gift Idea

Design © Connie G. Barwick
I love to receive books as gifts. I like to read almost as much as I like to Cross Stitch. I also like to give books as gifts (and no, not just because I can borrow the book from my friend or family member and read it myself when they are done.)

One way I like to personalize a book is to tuck a hand-stitched bookmark between the pages. Pre-finished Bookmark forms are handy or you can create and easy Aida bookmark. Another easy option is to stitch a design on plastic canvas or vinyl Aida and cut out the desired bookmark shape.

Free Bookmark Patterns

4. Finger Tip Towels

Stitched and Submitted by Judy Janis
Stitched and Submitted by Judy Janis
When I give a fingertip towel as a gift I usually let the recipient know that the towel is meant to be used. I mean, why else would I take the time to stitch with colorfast DMC floss? If, however, the recipient lives on a farm or with mechanics, I tend to omit this disclaimer from my spiel. I did not spend all that time stitching for the towel to end up with greasy finger prints on it!

Towels with Aida inserts make creating a holiday gift easy. You could also use waste canvas to stitch a design directly on a dish towel or bread cloth.

Judy Janis submitted a great example of an Aida insert towel using one of the free patterns from About.com. See a larger image of her Snow Family Towel.

5. Make Your Own Christmas Cards

Design © Connie G. Barwick
I always look forward to getting card during the holiday season. I am always amazed at the variety of designs. This year, why not make some of your own cards to send out? Use Holiday motifs and follow the instructions in these tutorials to create your own cards.

Create Cross Stitch Cards:

6. Make a Quilted Wall Hanging

One alternative to putting a design in a wood frame is to make a quilted wall-hanging. Judy Janis submitted a great example of this in her Quilted Summer Sampler Photo. Stitch a Holiday design to display in your own home or stitch a favorite design to give as a gift or display all year long.

Depending on the stitching surface you chose, you may need to use interfacing or fabric stabilizer on your design. For help with adding the border to your stitched design, follow the instructions in About.com's Guide to Quilting Janet Wickell's tutorial for adding borders to quilts.

7. Make Cross Stitch Gift Tags

One way you can personalize gifts with Cross Stitch is to make gift tags. Use simple wrapping paper and allow the gift tag to be the star.

Ideas for special gift tags:
  • Use scrapbooking supplies to create a paper frame gift tag.
  • Stitch a motif on plastic canvas and back it with craft foam or acid-free paper.
  • Stitch an ornament, frame it in a small frame and write the "to" and "from" information on the back.

8. Make Advent Ornaments for Christmas

Design © Connie G. Barwick
In the rush and bustle of the holidays, it is easy to lose sight of the true meaning of the season. One way to combat this is to make an Advent tree. Stitch ornaments that represent what Christmas means to your family. Add a new ornament to the tree each day and take a few moments to discuss the meaning as a family. You can either add the ornament to your regular tree or purchase a small artificial tree specifically for this purpose. Count down to Christmas and create a special family tradition as well.

Suggested Ornament Patterns for Your Advent Tree:

9. Transform a Tote with Cross Stitch

One of my treasured holiday-themed possessions is a tote bag on which a friend painted a Christmasy scene. Now, I can't paint, but I can stitch! So, to decorate a tote for friends, I turn to Cross Stitch. It is quite easy to transform a tote with Cross Stitch. Make a special Christmas tote or chose a pattern that will be useful every day. You can either use a purchased tote as I did, or choose one of About.com Guide to Sewing Debbie Colgrove's free patterns and instructions for totes and handbags and sew the tote as well.

Free Tote Bag Patterns

10. Make a Holiday Pin

I don't usually like holiday sweatshirts or other clothing. For one thing, I am way too hot natured to wear sweatshirts. And, I don't want to walk around wearing a reindeer all day either. I would rather make my holiday fashion statement in a more subtle manner. I like holiday pins. Holiday pins make great gifts for co-workers. Learn how to make a Cross Stitch pin.

Suggested Patterns for Pin Projects:
Free Hanukkah Cross Stitch and Back Stitch Charts
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