Vintage Embroidery Christmas Tree Decoration

Updated: Nov 7, 2019

TUTORIAL & PHOTOGRAPHY BY EMMA COLLETT | SPLENDID LOVE


These vintage embroidered Christmas trees are destined to become much loved ornaments, and the skillful work of the women who made the doilies can be treasured for many years to come.

I have collected vintage embroidered doilies and hankies for decades, and although I love them, I don’t use them. They have always been hidden away in a drawer and I realised they deserved better than that! I decided to get creative.


Cutting up the first doily to make an ornament was difficult, but since then, that ornament has hung in my house where I can admire the beautiful embroidery work every day.


These vintage embroidered Christmas trees are destined to become much-loved ornaments, and the

skilful work of the women who made these doilies can be treasured for many years to come.


you will need:

+ a piece of cardboard, about 25cm x 25cm

+ a cinnamon stick

+ stuffing (fibre fill)

+ fabric glue

+ silk cord or thin ribbon, aprox 35cm

+ a ruler, pencil and scissors

+ a chopstick,

+ needle and thread,

+ sewing machine, and

+ a beautiful vintage doily


getting started...

Make a triangle template/viewfinder. Measure and draw a triangle that is 15cm high and

13cm across the bottom onto your piece of cardboard. Cut out triangle and discard the

inside triangle piece.



1. Use the viewfinder triangle to choose the most suitable part of the embroidery

for the front of the tree. I usually choose a fabulously decorative piece for

the front and then a part of the doilie with less embroidery for the back, but

you can choose any parts you want - as long as the fabric isn’t smaller than

the triangle. Mark 2 triangles, take a deep breath and cut the doilie.


2. Fold the cord or ribbon in half to create the hanging loop, lay down on the middle of one of your triangles with the cut ends at the tip, and secure with a pin. Stitch the cord ends to the tip of the triangle with a couple of little hand stitches.



3. Place the two triangles right sides together, pin and stitch them together. Start close to

the middle (but not in the middle - that’s where the tree trunk goes!) of the bottom,

stitch around the sides and finish at the bottom leaving about an inch gap.


4. Remove the pin holding the cord, and turn the tree right side out, using your chopstick

to poke out the corners. Fill with stuffing, ensuring you have a ‘hollow’ in the stuffing to

stick the trunk into.


5. Put a dab of glue on one end of your cinnamon stick tree trunk and insert into the stuffing.


6. Hand stitch the opening at the bottom of the treeclosed - hang the tree and admire your handwork!


For a delicious Christmas fragrance, add a few drops of cinnamon oil and clove oil to the

cinnamon stick. The stick itself doesn’t smell unless you crush it, which you really don’t want to do.

tickle the imagination aims to inspire creativity, showcasing talented designers & makers, discovering emerging talent and sharing real-life stories and diy projects. Be inspired by gorgeous images, take a peek into the lives of designers and makers and discover ways to include creativity & handmade into your everyday living. 

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