Fabric Origami Christmas Ornaments

Dana Hinders

Fabric origami ornaments are a beautiful addition to your holiday décor, as well as a fun project to help take your origami skills to the next level. Fabric ornaments can be given as simple handmade gifts, distributed as holiday party favors, or used to creatively decorate the packages under your Christmas tree.

Square Christmas Ornament

This ornament is based on the folded paper disks used to play a traditional Korean game known as ddakji. By using fabric and ribbon, the disks are transformed into a unique decoration for your Christmas tree.

To make this ornament, you'll need two squares of fabric with coordinating colors. A thin or medium weight cotton fabric is suitable for this fabric origami project. If possible, look for fabric labeled 100% cotton broadcloth. If you want to add a bit of shimmer to your project, look for metallic threads woven into natural fiber. It is possible to use other fabrics such as taffeta, silk, pin striped worsted wool, English lawn, metallic madras, batik, or brocade, but many people often find these more difficult to work with.

The size of fabric you need depends upon how large you want your ornament to be. This example uses 5-inch fabric squares to make ornaments for a 3-foot tall Christmas tree. The fabric should be sprayed with a product such as Aleene's Stiffen Quik and ironed so it's easier to fold.

Materials Needed:

  • Two squares of fabric in the same size
  • Iron
  • Upholstery needle
  • Ribbon
  • Embellishments (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Fold the first square into thirds. Fold the left corner up and the right corner down. Press all of these creases with your iron.
  2. Repeat this process with the second fabric square to make two identical units.
  3. Place your folded units in the formation shown below
    square ornament
    .
  4. Fold the left and right flaps in.
  5. Tuck the top and bottom flaps in to keep the fabric closed.
  6. Thread a thin ribbon through the top of the ornament for hanging. You will need to use a needle designed for stitching through thick fabrics, such an upholstery needle.
    square fabric ornament
  7. If desired, add beads, buttons, or bits of ribbon to embellish your ornament.

Leaf Ornament

This simple fabric origami Christmas ornament requires only a few folds.

To make your own leaf ornament, you'll need one square of fabric. This ornament uses the same dimensions as the square ornament, and the fabric should be sprayed with Stiffen Quik or a similar product before you begin folding.

Materials Needed:

  • One square of fabric
  • Iron
  • Fabric glue
  • Upholstery needle
  • Ribbon

Instructions:

  1. Fold the fabric about 1/3 inch in on all four corners. Press these creases with your iron. (If your fabric is already hemmed on the edges, you can skip this step.)
  2. Fold the fabric square in half along the diagonal to make a triangle. Press the crease with your iron so it lays flat.
  3. Accordion fold the fabric at 1/2 inch intervals. Press the creases with your iron to make them hold their shape.
  4. Fold the fabric in half so the two longest ends are touching each other. This should form a leaf shape. Add a small amount of fabric glue to keep this part of the project closed.
    leaf ornament
  5. Stitch a ribbon through the top of the leaf to hang the ornament. You will need to use a needle designed for stitching through thick fabrics, such an upholstery needle.
    leaf ornament

More Free Fabric Origami Patterns

Create plenty of fabric ornaments for your holiday tree or to use on the top of a wrapped gift. Using complementary fabrics for all of your ornaments will give your tree a cohesive appearance. Try some of these other origami patterns to make ornaments from.

  • This fabric lily design would be lovely on a Christmas tree if the lily was folded from white fabric.
  • Zen Fabric has a free tutorial explaining how to make an origami star from several scraps of coordinating fabric. While these are obviously a pretty choice for Christmas tree decorations, keep in mind that you could also use the pattern to make decorations for a July 4th celebration or for a child's birthday party.
  • Sew Love Live has a tutorial for an ornament that is made from three squares of fabric. It involves a modest amount of hand sewing to complete, however.

Starting a Holiday Tradition

Origami fabric ornaments last much longer than ornaments made from paper. They have no breakable or dangerous components, making them a good decorating choice for homes with children or pets. If you enjoy origami, try starting a tradition of making one new fabric ornament for your tree each year. Eventually, you'll have a whole tree full of special holiday memories.

Fabric Origami Christmas Ornaments