04 December 2010

TUTORIAL: Pinecone & Pineapple "quilted" Ornaments

I'm sorry to be getting this posted so late. My sweetie at @AdventureTykes has been patiently waiting, thank you Melissa :-)

First let me just say I found really tiny pineapples made this way at a quilt store in Maui this past September. The pineapple was 3 inches tall. They were selling for $22 ea and of course I wanted every single one. But I knew I could make them...and then the owner was kind enough to tell me how she made them.  There are other tutorials out there for similar ornamets, but to me these look like they are covered in pointed quilt binding and I just love that look.  I made one pinecone in a traditional fabric and one pineapple in a Batik so you all could see how different you can make these and it's okay to go a little nuts with your fabric choices.  I'm also thinking of using 3 different coordinating fabrics, but don't hold your breath! Doubt you will see it before Christmas!

Pinecone Ornament
For this traditional look I used an all over victorian floral print in red on white, and white ribbon. I also placed my sewn points loosely together. The pineapple is packed in tighter, but it is also slightly smaller - you will use almost all of a FQ. Don't be afraid to make the points as close together or far apart as you like, as long as the unfinished edge isn't showing.

You will need:
 One fat quarter (FQ) of fabric
 One round styrofoam ball (baseball sized)
Coordinating ribbon
Sewing machine (or needle and thread)

Iron, ruler, rotary cutter or scissors
Styrofoam glue
Green or white narrow florist's tape

As always, iron your fabric first before you start measuring and cutting.

 Cut your FQ into 2" wide strips.
Fold each strip in half and iron so it's nice and crisp.
Then cut the folded in half strips into 2" long pieces.

So this is what you should be working with... SET ONE 2"x2" PIECE ASIDE.  You will need it for the "bottom" of the ornament.

Here is the detail on ironing each point. Sorry if this seems rudimentary to you, but some of my followers are new to sewing/crafting so I'm really trying to break this down.
Step One, lay on ironing board

Step two, fold in on side to form point

Step three, fold in other side of point

Step four iron the point (don't be like me and burn tip of your finger!)

Step five (and the pain) run the unfinshed long edge through your sewing machine 1/8" inch from edge


OKAY! I know that was time consuming (lucky for me, Mom did all of the sewing of the points!). Now take a break because you now can't stand all these little points.  We had a picnic lunch and then I was ready to start gluing.  I HIGHLY recommend you use only styrofoam glue.  It really gets in there and starts drying and you can push the point into the ball firmly with your thumb as you glue each one.  Don't be afraid of the glue getting on the fabric above the glue line on the front of the point.  This glue dries clear and you will need to use a lot to get a nice tight fit, so be generous.

Unfortunately, I started at the middle line as I was following a similar ornament's tutorial.

Instead, make your ribbon hole FIRST:

Go ahead and make the hole in the ball (this will be your top, where you put your ribbon).  I took a stuffing tool and drilled down about 2 inches.  This is where you will "plant" your ribbon.  Jumping ahead to show you what I'm talking about.  Once you have have done this you can start by gluing 3 or 4 points around the hole, pointing in toward it.  We'll call this your first row.

So, ignoring that I started in the middle, start gluing your points starting from the "top" where the hole is and going aroung the ball, one layer at a time. You will be putting your points off-center with each row, so that the points cover up the raw edge of the row above them.  You will do this all the way down and around the ball until you get to the "bottom".  Here are some pictures of the process, and then I'll tell you how to finish the bottom off.

Here I'm starting my second row -

Here is my completed third row. Every point covers the raw edge of the point above it.

Getting close to the end (try to imagine that the top is done! I had to "fit in" the rows going toward the top. Very awkward, so please start at the top!).

 Ok, it's done, but what about the bottom? You need to cover those raw edges. Take that one piece of 2"x 2" fabric you set aside at the beginning. Now cut it into a circle and glue it onto the bottom, covering all of the raw edges.  Don't worry about the circle fraying, the glue will seal it in nice and tight.  If you do not want to use matching fabric for the bottom circle, cut out a small circle of felt (that's what we will use on the pineaple ornament).

Now let's make the ribbon loops.  Take your ribbon and make loops length appropriate, with one a bit bigger than others to use to hang onto your tree.  I made four loops, the center one is longer.  I then took the "tails" of the ribbon and wrapped them tightly with florist's tape.  I love using this tape in crafts - it's sticky but forgiving.  Wrap enough to make the tail firm enough to push down into the hole at the top. 

So, now we are back to that infamous image of making your hole first! Except now you are putting a little glue down inside the hole and pushing your ribbon stem down inside! You are sooooooooooooooo DONE! (Well, it has to dry, but you can go have a drink now!)

Could it be any cuter?!!  Seriously, these look so elegant.  I'd love to have them all over my tree...but this took me almost 4 hours to make! The pineapple was 2 hours. After the first one I think each one will get much faster, and again starting in the middle on this one really mesed me up.  Below I'm giving you a sneak peek at the pineapple...I will do a second installment of this turorial covering the pineapple.

Batik Pineapple Ornament Preview!


  1. omg, love the batik one! thanks so much for sharing your tute! xx

  2. the detail goes a long way. so pretty for the season. great tutorial, thanks for sharing

  3. I have been looking for a tutorial on making this pineapple ornament EVERYWHERE! Thank you for sharing! I saw the same ornaments in Maui two years ago and did not buy any and have been regretting it ever since. I make my boyfriend a handmade ornament every year and I think this year this one will be it. I hope you post pics/tutorial on the batik one soon! I have my fabric already picked out in anticipation!