Tutorial: make a gingerbread man Christmas decoration

I absolutely adore the beautiful iced gingerbread biscuits you see people posting on Instagram this time of year, and dream that one day my kitchen will be a haven of such gorgeous edible treats. Alas, my baking skills are not quite up to it yet, but as I’m far happier with needle and thread than I am with piping bags and icing, I’ve created these sewn versions instead. Read on if you fancy having a go at sewing your own gingerbread men, perfect decorations for the festive season.

Gingerbread man tutorial

You will need:

  • Brown felt
  • White buttons (approx. 9mm)
  • Black beads (approx. 4mm)
  • Thin white ric rac (approx. 5mm)
  • Narrow red ribbon
  • White, black and brown embroidery floss
  • Toy stuffing
  • Needle
  • Scissors
  • Pins

Download the pattern pieces here. Cut out two ginderbread shapes for each ornament you want to make (a front piece and a back piece). Cut approx. 13cm of red ribbon, twist in a loop and stitch to the back piece using brown thread. Make sure the knot sits on the same side as the raw ends of the ribbon as follows:

Back gingerbread

Take the front piece of gingerbread, and using two strands of black embroidery floss sew two beads onto the face for eyes. Now change your thread to two strands of white embroidery floss. Make 5 small back-stitches under the eyes, curving them slightly to make a smile. Finish by sewing on 3 white buttons to the body.

Front gingerbread

Cut 4 pieces of ric rac, approx. 4cm in length. These will sit on the arms and legs. Sew each one in place using small tacking stitches, tucking each raw end to the underside of the felt as you go.

Ric rac

Pin the back and front felt pieces together. Use a small blanket stitch to sew them together, starting half way down one leg and sewing all the way round to the other leg, leaving a gap in between.

Blanket stitch

Un-thread your needle, and use small amounts of stuffing to fill the gingerbread man until he is firm but not too full (you don’t want him looking too chunky). Take your time to tease the stuffing into all the nooks and crannies so that it sits evenly all over. Re-thread your needle and continue with the blanket stitches until you have closed the gap.

Finished gingerbread man

And then you are all done! Make a selection of these lovely little chaps to hang on the Christmas tree, or thread them onto some ribbon to make a festive garland.

Gingerbread man tutorial

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