Easy 1-2-3 No-Sew Ornament
(Actually, 1 ½-2-3, but, that doesn’t sound as catchy.)
By Diane Worden
The Lookout Mountain Quilter, LLC ©2018
Choose three different fabrics (Fat quarters work well for this project.)
3” Styrofoam ball (the kind with a rough exterior, not the smooth, hard kind)
Dressmaker Pins 1 1/16” long. 200 -220 pins per ball
1/8”wide satin ribbon (a color to blend with the fabrics; or cream colored) (appx. 3’, cut into three 12” sections) (For this tutorial, I'm using black ribbon, just so you can see it better.)
½” – ¾” wide ribbon, appx. 11”
Choose which fabric will be used for the center (A), the middle (B), and the outside (C) rows. (In this tutorial, Fabric A is gold, Fabric B is a cream print, and Fabric C is a blue print.)
Cutting: (If using strips.)
From fabric A, cut one 1 ½”strip. Sub-cut into eight 1 ½” squares.
From fabric B, cut one 2” strip. Sub-cut into sixteen 2” squares.
From fabric C, cut two 3” strips. Sub-cut into sixteen 3” squares.
(If using fat quarters.)
From fabric A, cut one strip 1 ½” x 18”. Sub-cut into eight 1 ½” squares.
From fabric B, cut two strips 2” x 18”. Sub-cut each into 2” squares. Total 16 squares.
From fabric C, cut three strips 3” x 18”. Sub-cut each into 3” squares. Total 16 squares.
Preparing the supplies:
Stack all fabric A squares exactly on top of one another. Wrong side up.
Stack all fabric B squares exactly on top of one another. Wrong side up.
Stack all fabric C squares exactly on top of one another. Wrong side up.
1. Pin one 12” section of the 1/8” ribbon around the center of the Styrofoam ball. Overlap the ends appx. 1/2". Trim and pin in place.
2. Lay another 12” piece of 1/8” ribbon cross-wise to the first ribbon and pin it around the center of the ball. Do not place the pins in the center of the crossed ribbons, but, rather off-set them as shown below, right.
This makes a ribbon X on opposite ends of the ball. Make sure the ribbons are spaced evenly apart on the sides.
3. To find the center of the squares, take the top square of the C fabric and fold it in half. Finger-press the center.
Open the square and fold it in half in the opposite direction. Finger-press the center.
Open the square and notice the folded X in the center. Lay it, wrong-side up, on the C stack.
4. Place a pin in the center X, straight down through all of the squares.
Move the pin around to make the pin-hole a little larger in each square in the stack.
Leave the pin in the stack. (This eliminates the need to fold and find the center of each individual square.) Set the pinned stack aside.
Repeat Steps 3 and 4 with stack A and stack B. With a pin through the center of each stack, set these stacks aside.
- Take a pin from the box and remove one square of fabric A from the pinned A stack.
- From the wrong side of the fabric, immediately put a pin in the pinhole left by the pin in the stack. (For dark fabric, place a sheet of white paper or fabric behind the square. The pinhole will be more visible. The opposite is true for light fabrics.) If you still don’t see the pinhole, just fold the square in half twice, like you did before, and insert the pin.
2. Insert the pin (with the square attached) into the Styrofoam ball at the center where the ribbons cross.
2. Fold the square in half. It’s okay if the fold is not exactly centered. Just Align the raw edges evenly.
Not like this.
3. Fold down the right corner. Finger-press the fold.
4. Fold down the left corner. Finger-press the fold.
5. Align the newly formed triangle inside the crossed ribbons as shown. Center the top of the triangle at the crossed ribbons. The bottom tips will slightly overlap the ribbons. Pin as in the photo above.
6. Repeat steps 1 – 5 opposite the triangle you just made.
7. Folding and pinning squares as instructed in steps 1 – 5, add a triangle to the left and right sides of the ribbon X.
(The black ribbon showing between the gold triangles are noticeable in this close-up photo, but don't worry, we'll fix that in a later step.)
8. Take a square from the fabric B stack and insert a pin in the center hole. Insert the pin (with the fabric attached) ½” down from the center, and in the center fold of one of the previously pinned triangles.
9. Fold in half as in step 2 . Fold the top folded edges down to the center. Align the triangle inside the ribbons. As before, a little of the triangle will overlap the ribbon on each side.
10. Repeat steps 8 and 9, opposite the triangle you just pinned, and using another fabric B square and placing the center pin ½” down from the center.
11. Repeat steps 8 and 9, placing a fabric B triangle ½” down from center, and folding it into a triangle on the right and left sides. You will now see a large X of fabric A. This is the first B triangle layer.
12. Take another fabric B square and place a pin in the center hole. Insert the pin ½” down from center along the fold line where two fabric A triangles meet. Fold the top edges down to form a triangle as before. Pinch the edges of the two gold triangles together to close the gap, and push the center pin in snuggly to hold them in place. Use the line where two A triangles were joined, and the ribbon to keep it aligned and centered. Pin as shown.
13. Continue placing and folding fabric B squares on the other three legs of the fabric A layer until the ball looks like the photo below. This is the last layer of B triangles. See how those little gaps are closed nicely?
14. Take a square from the fabric C stack and insert a pin through the center hole. Beginning at the center fold of one of the first layer of fabric B triangles, place the pin ½” down from the fabric B triangle’s point. Fold into a triangle as before.
15. Add fabric C squares as you did the fabric B squares. First opposites. Then, right and left sides. The bottom triangle corners will overlap the ribbons. Just line them up so that they overlap the same amount on each side.
16. Then, pin and fold triangles, lining up the center pin ½” below the point of each of the last row of fabric B triangles.
17. By now, the side of your ball will look something like this...
18. Repeat Assembly steps 1 – 16 on the other side of the styrofoam ball.
The side of your ornament should look something like this.
19. Trim the corners of the last row of triangles slightly so that they do not go past the center (vertical equator) of the ornament.
20. Take the ½” or ¾” wide ribbon, and, beginning appx. 1/4” past the center of one triangle, pin the end in place. (I made my own "ribbon" by cutting a 1" by 10" strip of fabric and folding the sides into the center and pressing.)
21. Snugly wrap the ribbon around the center of the ball, covering all of the exposed fabric edges and pins. Cut the ribbon appx. 1/4” - 3/8" past center. Fold under the raw edge and pin in place. I put two pins in the ribbon on the opposite side of the "equator" to hold the ribbon in place.
22. Take the last 12” section of 1/8” wide ribbon, and make a loop for hanging by tying the cut ends in a knot. Pin the loop in place.