Holiday Ornaments | Can of Sardines
We're back today sharing our second free holiday ornament pattern with you - a can of sardines! As we mentioned in the pickle post the ideas for these ornaments came from two Christmas traditions I love to celebrate with my family every year, the Christmas pickle and the feast of seven fishes.
The “feast of seven fishes” is an Italian-American tradition my family celebrates every Christmas Eve. We all get together at my brother's house, they have a huge kitchen island, which we completely cover with several different kinds of fishes, sardines included. We then gather 'round the island to feast and laugh and catch up. The number of seven fishes for the feast is another Christmas mystery with many theories you can read about here. However, my family never sticks to just 7 and some ambitious years we’ve had as many as 18! No matter the number of fish, we always end with my Nonie's tuna gravy and spaghetti. Yummmmm... Anyway back to the ornament!
To get started gather your supplies.
- Gold felt or inside of can color (fabric A)
- Red felt or can label color (fabric B)
- Green felt or can decal color (fabric C)
- Grey felt or color for fish body and tail
- Fusible Interfacing
- Fusible webbing
- Paper towels, dish towel, or fabric scraps to get wet for applying the fusible webbing
- Matching thread
- Hand sewing needles
- Floral wire
- Wire cutters
- Embellishing supplies
- Beading needle
- Puffy Paint (optional)
- Embroidery floss (optional)
- Embroidery needle
Trace and cut your pieces. Cut two lengths of floral wire one 11 1/2" long and one 3 3/4" long.
TO ASSEMBLE THE CAN:
Place the longer cut of wire down the center of the inner can side piece. Lay the strip of interfacing over the wire and felt. Press well to fuse everything together.
Next we will finish the side of the can using the fusible webbing. When using fusible webbing you will need to sandwich your pieces between two wet paper towels, wet dish towels, or wet fabric scraps. Lay a wet paper towel down onto the ironing board. Next lay the fused wired piece from the last step with interfacing up. Place the strip of webbing on top of that-then the outer can side strip down onto the webbing, and finally another wet paper towel to complete the sandwich. Press well to fuse all layers together.
To create the labeled can lid and can bottom we will use the same sandwich method as we did in the previous step. Rewet your paper towels if needed and lay one down at the ironing board again. Lay the can lid and can bottom down followed by the webbing, and then the can label on top of that. Cover with the other paper towel and press well to fuse layers together.
Topstitch 1/16"-1/8" away from the can label edge on both the can lid and can bottom to secure the layers. This step is optional but will help your sardines hold up year after year.
For the last time, bring your wet paper towels to the ironing board. Using the sandwich method from previous steps- fuse the can decal to the can lid 3/4" from the bottom edge. Optional: topstitch 1/16"-1/8" along the sides on the label to secure the layers.
Embellish the can decal with embroidery floss, puffy paint, or whatever method you choose.
Bend the can side to follow the shape of the can bottom. The ends should meet to seam at the bottom edge but we will sew them together later.
Attach the can side to the can bottom by hand sewing around the outside. I just used a simple whipstitch starting and ending at the bottom.
Seam the can side edges together by hand. Trim away any excess so the edges lay flush with each other.
Lay the can lid on top and attach to the can side by hand sewing around the outside starting and ending at the middle of the can leaving the top half free.
Wrap the key strip around the shorter cut of wire and hand sew the edges together to encase the wire in felt.
Using the key template included with the pattern, bend the encased wire to mimic the key shape. Tack end in place.
Place key onto can lid 1/2" down from the top. Whipstitch the key to the can lid.
Roll the can lid down tightly over the key. Tack in place at sides and across the front. The can is now finished and we can begin the fish!
TO ASSEMBLE THE FISH:
First decide how you would like to embellish your fish. Here I am machine embroidering but you can embroider, bead, or paint your fish by hand after the fish are sewn up.
If machine embroidering, do so now. Here I used a scallop stitch setting and a piece of stabilizer to help easily feed it through the machine.
Lay two fish body pieces together with wrong sides together. Hand stitch around the edge leaving the bottom open for stuffing and tail.
Stuff each fish. I like using a chopstick because the splintery texture really grabs and moves the stuffing well for a more even fill.
Lay two fish tail pieces wrong sides together. Top stitch fin lines by machine or by hand.
Place tail into the opening and hand sew to body while sewing the body closed at the same time.
Put two fish head pieces wrong sides together and hand sew around the outside edge leaving the bottom open.
Put the fish head onto the fish body and pull as far as it will go. Tack in place at seams.
Embellish fish as you like if you haven't machine embroidered. Here I have the machine embroidered, painted with puffy paint, and a very fancy sequined version for a few inspiration ideas!
Add eyes onto both sides of the head with two sequins and a bead anchor.
Add the mouth with a line of embroidery floss and an anchoring stitch at the center of the face. The fish are finished and ready to be tucked into bed!
Nestle the three sardines into the can. You can leave them loose or tack them into the can to keep them securely in place.
Thread a length of embroidery floss through the top of the can and knot the ends to make a hanging loop.
That's it you're done and you can hang your can of sardines on the tree!
Happy holidays from Grainline Studio!
We'd love to hear your families' special holiday traditions- share in the comments below!
Download the Pattern Here!