Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dala Horse Ornament Tutorial

FAMILY MEMBERS:Do not read unless you want a preview of part of your Christmas package!

Since my family is Swedish, we usually like to celebrate the season with swedish-ness. The bright cheery colors of Karl Larsson and the traditional handcrafts of the Swedish people lend themselves very well to Christmas, and we like to make crafts and give gifts that feature the Dala Horse.
If you came to my house right now, you wouldn't be able to swing a Lutefisk without hitting a Dala Horse. They are awesome and if I ever get a tattoo, I would consider getting a Dala Horse.

Anyway-My mom asked for my help in creating an ornament for folks to go out with our holiday packages. She had the idea originally to do a 3-D standing horse, but multiple prototypes proved that it would be too hard to get enough done before Christmas. So I convinced her to let me do this 2-D version! Enjoy!

Whatcha need:
Dala horse images (search the interwebs if you don't have them all over your house)
Tracing paper
Scissors (paper and fabric)
Red Felt
Batting or stuffing (or you can just use another layer of felt)
Rick-Rac, Ribbon, and Lace (or another color of felt)
Whatcha want:
Sewing machine with fancy stitches

Step 1:
Trace a dala horse shape on your tracing paper (or print out one from the web), cut it out with the paper scissors. Layer the felt, batting, and felt, with a looped ribbon between two of the layers. Pin all the layers, and then cut out a large rectangle around the horse. It will make it much easier to do the embroidery steps later.

Step 2: Using the machine (or hand stitching) sew a straight stitch as close to the pattern as possible. If your machine has the setting to end with the needle in the fabric, this will help with turning the corners. Sew all the way around, then using the scissors cut about 1/8th an inch away from the stitching all the way around, being careful of the ribbon!

Step 3: My mom picked up some super sweet mini-rick-rack, so I decided to sew them together to make them more colorful. Use a zig-zag stitch, and offset the rick-rack so that the valleys of one fit into the peaks of the other. You could also sew mini-r-r on top of
regular r-r. Or not. It's up to you.

Step 4: Cut out a lace element (or felt) that looks sort of saddlish, and pin a r-r harness and tummy strap under the saddle, hand stitch it all down.
Step 5: Using a decorative stitch, make the harness on the horse, using white thread. You could also use r-r for this step and hand sew it on. I used a very simplified version of the harness, just three little lines.

Step 6: Hand sew on a little lace for the mane, and you're done!

1 comment:

Mari-Ann said...

These look awesome! "Can't swing a lutefisk..." you slay me.