Leather-Backed Hand-Drawn Fabric Ornaments

Owl with Candy Cane Ornament

I’ve been wanting to try my hand at drawing on fabric with Sharpie for a while to create some fabric with an unique print to sew into clothing for Eli. I just kept assuming the ink would bleed and I wouldn’t be able to get any crisp lines and so I never really have gotten around to actually experimenting. While using a pair of my old khakis to sew him some new trousers though I looked into the waste basket and realized I was throwing away small scraps that would be perfect for trying out my idea.  I sketched a few things and then realized I could put my little experiments to use making Christmas ornaments!

These are quick, fun and easy. As for subject matter you are limited only by what you can draw within a little circle. I made some owl themed ornaments just because… what’s not to like about owls?! Then I made some ornaments for my nieces based on their personal interests.

Step 1

Trace a circle on cloth

Choose some scrap fabric. A tight weave works best. Trace a circle in pencil onto the fabric. I used a biscuit cutter and that seemed about the perfect size for the ornaments I wanted to make.

Step 2

Draw on fabric with your Sharpie

Draw the designs you want onto the fabric with your thin point Sharpie. I’m embarrassed to say that most of these owls I copied from a search I did on Pinterest. I went back to find the sources to give credit where credit is due, but a couple of weeks have passed and the old search results aren’t coming up. Shame… If you recognize your design here or know the source please let me know! The candy cane owl was  holding a little bouquet of flowers in the original source.

Step 3

If you wish you can add a little bit of acrylic or fabric paint.

Paint the ornament design if desired

painted ballerina slipper

Step 4

Here is the point where I forgot to take pictures, so bear with me! I cut identically sized circles from scrap leather for the back of the ornament. You could use fabric and sew right sides together, then turn right side out before stuffing if you want. I liked using the leather because it is thicker and I wanted my sewing lines to become part of the design. I put a doubled length of ribbon in the seam at the top of the ornament before sewing it and started sewing nearer to the bottom of the ornament. I went almost all the way around the circle with a 1/4″ margin and stopped.

Step 5

Stuff the ornament through the gap you left in your stitching.

Stuff the ornament

Step 6

Owl with Candy Cane Ornament

After the ornament is stuffed I sew around and around the outer edge making a line that looks a bit like you scribble-doodled a circle. On this ornament I then went back in and embroidered the candy cane stripes and a thicker red dashed line around the outside as well.

Here are some of the other ornaments I’ve made in this style so far.

Assorted stuffed ornaments

Here’s where I’m linking up:

Fall Into The Holidays


I {heart} Naptime,  Flamingo Toesjembellish clothes upcycling page,

Blissful and Domestic,


Get Outta My Head PleaseSkip to My LouThe Gunny SackSew Can Do,

A Round Tuit,  C.R.A.F.T.,  diy home sweet home,

Craft-O Maniac, Sew Chatty, Sarahndipities The Cure for the Common Monday


Not Just a HousewifeHope StudiosFunky Polkadot GiraffeKammy’s Korner,

Home Stories A to Z,  Crafty Confessions, Homemade Tuesday,  Today’s Assignment,

Antiprocrastination TuesdayTake-a-Look Tuesday,  Nifty Thrifty Tuesday,

The Creative Itch BoutiqueSchwin and SchwinHeart and Soul Blog Hop


Sew Much AdoFrugally Sustainable,  Lil’ LunaSomeday CraftsWhimsy

WednesdayWhatcha Work Up Wednesday


Mom On TimeoutThrifty DecoratingBear Rabbit BearThriving on Thursdays

The Crafty BlogstalkerThe Shabby Creek CottageHouse of Hepworths,

Sorta Crunchy, Delightful OrderAnything Goes Linky Party,


Simply DesigningWhipperberry,  Happy Hour Projects

Joyful StamperMaking Lemonade BlogThirty Handmade Days,

Naptime CraftersRomantic HomeFinding Fabulous,

Shabby NestFrench Country Cottage, The Charm of HomeThe Grant Life,

At the Picket FenceFingerprints on the Fridge, One Artsy Mama,


The Gingerbread BlogToo Much Time On My HandsHello Weekend,

Six Sisters StuffSerenity YouBe Different Act Normal



  1. December 12, 2012 at 9:17 am

    I absolutely LOVE these!!! 🙂

  2. December 12, 2012 at 10:05 am

    oh my gosh, what a great way to use what you’ve got and create something super cute.

    • December 12, 2012 at 11:22 am

      Thanks a lot… I just love it when I can get something for nothing but a little time investment, especially if that time is just really fun as well. 🙂

  3. December 12, 2012 at 10:14 am

    great idea! the owl ornament is beautiful.

    • December 12, 2012 at 11:20 am

      Thank you very much! There’s just something about owls, isn’t there. I usually don’t get into things that are trendy, but owls… who could resist!?

  4. Annie said,

    December 12, 2012 at 11:40 am

    Those are so pretty! Your tree must look so beautiful!

    • December 12, 2012 at 11:43 am

      Thank you! Actually this year the tree is mostly preschooler decorated and re-decorated, so it has a beauty all it’s own (hehe)!

  5. Misa said,

    December 12, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Oh my sister is so creative! I’m glad that you’re doing well. I’m doing some crochet too 🙂

  6. Angie said,

    December 12, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    Just beautiful! I’m stopping by from Blog Stalker blog hop.

  7. Virginia said,

    December 13, 2012 at 5:42 am

    I love this ornament. Very unique! I haven’t seen anything like it!

  8. Kat&Zefi said,

    December 13, 2012 at 6:02 am

    These look lovely! they should look lovely on the tree, or around the house!

  9. December 13, 2012 at 7:56 am

    SO cute!

  10. dianaramblesdotcom said,

    December 13, 2012 at 9:17 am

    Cute! I would love you to come join my Pin Me Linky Party that starts Friday morning at 8am CST.

  11. bellalullo said,

    December 14, 2012 at 9:15 am

    Love your amazing work!
    Ciao dall’Italia

  12. December 14, 2012 at 9:39 am

    These are really cute! I forget that sharpie is awesome for things that don’t go through the wash!
    P.S. I’m coming over from Simply Designing’s link party.

    • December 17, 2012 at 7:18 am

      Thank you! I’ve been so frustrated by clothing ruined by Sharpie over the years my next thing will be to draw on fabric and send it through the wash a few times before sewing with it. I think I’ll be able to use it to sew clothes for my son with images of whatever is striking his fancy at the moment. We’ll see how the images hold up!

  13. December 15, 2012 at 8:26 am

    These are just gorgeous! Thanks so much for sharing!

  14. December 15, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Wow, I could never hand draw anything like that … and I love the leather back detail!! Very, very crafty!

  15. chesha said,

    December 15, 2012 at 11:41 pm

    So cool. Must give this a try.

  16. Maysem said,

    December 16, 2012 at 11:42 am

    Wow Karen, these ornaments are spectacular!! Another Anthro looking ornament… you should be selling your stuff to them! I wish I had drawing talents… I guess I’ll just have to cheat and use a stencil. 😛

  17. December 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    they are gorgeous…a fab idea, its always nice when an idea thats been brewing for a while comes to fruition and actually works out! Joining you vis sewcando link up. 🙂

  18. December 19, 2012 at 11:28 am

    So pretty! I love how they turned out. Visiting from DearCreatives.com

  19. December 19, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    Gorgeous ornaments!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

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