Free Printable Template: Cardinal Felt Ornament

After unofficially participating in NaNoWriMo this November, I stepped away from my new WIP and took some time this week creating in a different way. A couple of years ago, my sister-in-law made the most beautiful felt ornaments for our family. As we hung those gifts on our tree, I admired her technique and talent. The intricate stitches instantly inspired me to make my own.

Birds play a symbolic role in Pockets of Purpose, Book #2 in The Pocket Quilt Series. The book will be available on June 30, 2021! This gives me plenty of time to make ornaments for future giveaways.

In this post, I provide a FREE printable template along with general descriptions of the steps taken to create this cardinal ornament. Perhaps you will be motivated to make your own.

The Template

I searched for felt ornaments on Pinterest, combined elements from the designs that caught my eye. After tweaking my sketches on scrap paper, I freehanded a template on cardstock.

Click the link below for a FREE printable of this template:

Felt Ornament Template

The Steps

First cut the template pieces for the body, beak, mask, wing, and the background and then cut the pieces from the felt. Remember you’ll need two circles (one for the front and back). One 9×12″ sheet of felt gave me six circles, enough for three ornaments.

Using yellow and black thread, I attached the beak and the mask to the body. I used red embroidery floss to attach his wing and add embellishment to his tail. The eye was created by stitching a French knot with black embroidery floss.

Attempting to keep my stitches straight and evenly spaced, I attached the body to one of the background circles. The beak was tacked down with a stitch or two that only caught the red felt so it didn’t show through the yellow.

The back of the ornament was attached to the front with a blanket stitch. Thanks to this detailed tutorial, I really enjoyed learning how to add this stitch around the edge of the two layers. With about two finger widths from the first stitch still open, I tucked a pinch of Poly-fil between the felt circles and finished the stitching. A seven-inch length of ribbon was secured to the top of the ornament with green embroidery floss.

Possible Variations

The felt and floss for this craft are inexpensive, and coupons can be used to purchase the ribbon and Poly-fil if a current sale is missed. Switch up the FREE template provided above and select various colors of felt to make different birds. Last night I made a sample ornament of the tufted titmouse, my favorite bird.

Though I’m pleased with the final product, I made a rookie mistake and will modify by separating the embroidery floss in the future. Oops. 🙂

When the winter days grow long, grab your sewing supplies, turn on some music or a movie, and make some decorations of your own. I’d love to see them! I hope you have as much fun making these ornaments as I did.

Before you go, please consider subscribing to my newsletter. The December issue will include a sneak peek at the first chapter of Pockets of Purpose, Book #2 in The Pocket Quilt Series.

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!