Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Craft a Belznickle Head, Patchwork Stocking Ornament

      For many years I have designed little stockings to hang from my children's Christmas trees. These are extra special because of the time and care it took to handcraft the faces. The old patchwork came from a damaged quilt remnant that I hadn't the heart to toss out.
I have yet to add the loops to the top of these stockings but they are finished enough for you to see how these stockings will look hanging from our Christmas tree.
Supply List:
  • Fur trim
  • patchwork scraps to sew the small stocking with
  • grey felt for the hood
  • embroidery floss for the stitching and braided cord
  • Acrylic paints: black, blue, red, gold, white, and two variations of flesh toned paint, if you are intending to paint a mask.
  • Flesh toned oven bake clay for the mask. (optional)
  • white paper clay if you plan to paint your mask
  • A face push mold (sold in hobby shops)
  • white tacky glue
  • acrylic gel sealer to preserve the face
  • embroidery needle
  • scissors
  • The pattern included with this project for the stocking and the "hood" of my Belznickle.

Step-by-Step Directions:
  1. First you will need to acquire patchwork scraps, sew them or purchase patchwork fabric from the sewing shop. These little stockings are sewn from old patchwork scraps that I already had on hand. Patchwork is also sometimes sold for the constructing of baby blankets, however, some of you my enjoy making your own patchwork. Visit Carolyn Wainscott to see how she she sews a patchwork Christmas stocking.
  2. Below is a pattern that you may download and print to use for a stocking similar to the one pictured here.
  3. I used a blanket stitch to sew together the two sides of my stockings. You may wish to craft the Belznickle's head and attach it to the stocking prior to this step. I did not do this because I made the small Christmas stockings prior to deciding to add the Belznickle head. 
  4. Slip a piece of wax paper between the two stocking halves before gluing the Belznickle mask on top of the front side of your stocking. This will prevent the glue from seeping through the fabric and sticking the two sides together while the mask dries.
  5. I made my mask by pressing paper clay into a half press mold. The mold that I used was purchased from a hobby supply store. The mask measures roughly 1 1/2 inches both up and down.
  6. The paper clay dries relatively fast, but I waited for the mask to dry overnight before gluing it on to the stocking.
  7. Below you can see the colors of acrylic that I used to paint the mask with: black, blue, red, gold, white, and two variations of flesh toned paint. I am aware that some of you do not have the confidence yet to paint ornaments. If this be the case, I recommend that you use a flesh toned low firing oven clay for the mask. Then add suggest a few facial features with fewer colors. Let your acrylic paints dry for an hour.
  8. Next, you will need to use tacky white glue to paste on the fur beard. You can use any kind of fur that you prefer for this procedure. I cut out a small "u" shape of fur to attach to the chin of my Belznickle and then added strips of fur to the inside of the felt hood attachment after sewing it to the stocking. (see photo process below)
  9. The felt hood is constructed by sewing together two end pieces and then attaching this strip to the stocking over the top of the Belznickle's head. Leave a bit of room above the head approximately one inch so that the Belznickle will look as though his head is inside his hood.
  10. stuff between his furry hair and the felt hood a bit of cotton batting and then glue with tacky glue a few strips of fur to the inside of the hood. (pictured)
  11. Now you are ready to trim out the rest of the hood with a few blanket stitches and a cord for the ties on his hood.
  12. Coat the mask with acrylic gel to protect the face from general wear.
  13. Add a cord made of extra scrap fabric or calico to hang the stocking from the tree.
Left, the paperclay mask is dry and glued to the patchwork stocking. Center, you can see the variety of paints that I used to paint my small masks with. Right, the masks have been painted and now I am ready to glue the fur onto my Belznickles faces.
Left, the fur trim beards have been glue both to the mask and the stocking material. Next, the felt hood brim is sewn to the patchwork stocking with a strong straight stitch. Center, I then glue down my Santa's bangs and tuck inside a bit of cotton batting to keep the hood stiff. Right, glue in the final grey fur strips to the upper, inside edge of the hood.
stocking pattern by Kathy Grimm

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