Christmas time is here! Though it may look very different to so many of us this year, we hope this little Grainline tradition will help brighten your holiday. To feel some normality and have some fun, my fiancé and I put up our first real Christmas tree together! I resurrected my box of ornaments from storage and as I was digging through the memories, I discovered one of my childhood favorites-these two little mice snuggled up in a match box bed!
To me, these cuties represent all the coziness, love, and warmth of the holidays and we could all use a little extra this year! I have recreated this adorable duo for this year's ornament pattern so you too can share this sweet sentiment with those you wish you could cuddle up with.
Let's get started by gathering supplies:
- Craft bond glue pen - any craft glue will work but I like the versatility of this dual tip pen and the clear dry finish.
- Hot glue gun and clear glue sticks
- A hand sewing needle and an embroidery needle
- Fabric for the blanket
- Fabric for the pillow
- Felt for the mouse fur
- Felt for the inner ear
- Embroidery scissors - perfect for cutting the tiny felt shapes
- Embroidery floss for the eyes and nose
- Thin lace trim - mine measures about 5/8" wide
- 1/8" wide ribbon for hanging loop
- Marking tool
*Not pictured but also needed: fabric scissors, an ink pen, and the printed ornament pattern. (if you would like to use the "not a creature was stirring" decal be sure to print your pattern out in color, if possible!)
You will also need:
- A gift box or very heavy poster board/card stock in white or festive colors or prints.
- Optional: printed paper for matchbox decoration
- Paper for match strike strip. Here I've used glittery gold paper.
Now that we have everything we need, let's get our pieces cut out:
*For the mouse head pieces, be sure to only mark the notches instead of clipping into them.
Trace and cut each piece following the pattern. If using, cut out the "not a creature was stirring" decal from the pattern print out page (link above). Cut a 3 1/2" long piece of the lace trim.
Trace out the match box and match box lid onto the inside of the gift box. You will need to tear the corners of the gift box so it can lay flat. Transfer all the fold lines from the pattern with an ink pen pressing down firmly as you mark to encourage easier folding later.
Cut out the box and lid. On the match box, clip along all four clip lines as noted on the pattern.
Fold along each of the fold lines on both the box and the lid to create the necessary creases.
Assembling the match box lid:
If using, apply the match box decals to the match box lid with the glue pen, using the folded crease lines as a placement guide. Glue one of the match strike strips to the lid in the center of the the 3/4" wide space. If using the "not a creature was stirring" decal apply this to the right side.
Refold the lid along each fold line. Overlap the two open ends and glue together with the hot glue gun.
Glue the other match strike strip centered onto this side of the lid. The lid is now complete!
Assembling the match box:
Fold the sides of the box up and the small tabs in at a 90 degree angle. With the hot glue gun, apply glue to the two tabs at one end of the box. Quickly fold up the short side of the box and press to the tabs making sure the corners are flush. Apply glue to the outer edge and fold to the inside enclosing the tabs. Repeat for the other side to complete the box.
Assembling the pillow:
With right sides together, align the lace to one of the the longer sides of the pillow and pin in place. Sew the lace to the pillow with a 1/4" seam allowance. Press lace away from pillow.
Fold the pillow in half, right sides together, and pin. Sew around the open edge starting at the short end, pivoting at the corner, and stopping at the lace leaving this edge open. Clip the corners and flip right side out.
Stuff the pillow with the fiberfill and hand sew the pillow closed with a whipstitch or ladder stitch.
Assemble the blanket:
Align the blanket pieces with right sides together and pin. As pictured above, I like to pin the notches with different color pins so I know when to start and stop easily as I'm sewing. Sew together with a 1/4" seam allowance starting at one notch, pivoting at each corner, and ending at the other notch. Clip the corners and turn right side out.
Stuff the blanket with fiberfill and sew closed with a whipstitch or ladder stitch.
Assemble the bed:
Cut a length of ribbon that is 6" long and fold it in half to create the loop. Using the hot glue gun, secure the ribbon to the bottom of the box. It's ok if this isn't very beautiful looking, it will be covered up and it's more important for the ribbon to be secure.
Apply hot glue along the bottom of the pillow and press firmly to the bottom of the box near the end with the ribbon. Lift the pillow away and apply a line of hot glue along the top edge of the box. Press the pillow back into the glue to secure the pillow in place.
Apply hot glue to the backside of the blanket and press into the the bottom of the box. The blanket won't fill the entire box, so be sure to nestle it up by the pillow.
With the craft glue pen, apply a line of glue along to bottom edge of the matchbox. Slide the bottom of the match box into the top of the match box lid stopping once the box edge measures 1 5/8" away from the lid. Set aside for glue to dry.
The match box bed is complete!
Assemble the mice:
If you haven't already, transfer the ear and eye markings onto the mouse head front pieces from the pattern.
With wrong sides together, pin in the head back to the head front at each center point and each notch. As you can see some easing will need to take place but we will address that during sewing.
Starting at one of the side notches and ending at the center notch at the top of the head, whipstitch the head back to the head front with small stitches 1/16-1/8" from the cut edge. As you get to the top of the head you will need to ease the head front to fit into the head back using your needle and pulling with your thread. Secure a knot at the top center notch but do not cut your thread.
Stuff the head with fiberfill using a chopstick or pencil until full and firm. I say this specifically because the opening is so small that using fingers will distort the finished head shape. Stitch the opening closed.
Gather all the cut ear pieces. On the inner ear
pieces, trim away 1/16"-1/8" from the rounded edge. Align the trimmed inner ear
pieces onto the outer ear
Whipstitch the inner ear to the outer ear taking care to stitch between fibers so as not to see stitches on the back of the ear. You can also just hot glue them on if you'd rather. Pinch the bottom of the ear together to create a cupped shape and secure with a stitch or two. Repeat to create all four ears.
Align one ear to the head using the ear placement line as a guide. Whipstitch the ear to the head using small stitches around the back and across the front along the base of the ear. Repeat for the other side and other mouse.
Using an embroidery needle and floss, embroider two "V" shapes following the eye placement marks, transferred from the pattern, to create the sleeping eyes. Repeat for the other mouse. Remove any visible markings.
Embroider two little noses to finish the sleeping mice. You can optionally use beads, paint, or even a floral stamen like they used in the original ornament.
Apply hot glue to the back of the mouse head and press into the bed to secure. Repeat for the other mouse.
Your ornament is now finished and ready to hang on the tree!