Yule Ornament Idea: A Bonnie Wee Mousie

Damn, I can be quite crafty!

This mouse represents approximately 95% of what I did in preparation of this holiday season, and I’ve been working on them since before Samhain.

It all started out as a joke.  See, my housemates and I have been battling various waves of rats and mice in our house since the summer when the city tore up all the streets and sewer lines that flank both sides of the corner where our home is.  Unfortunately, the rats got to be a point of contention.  One group of housemates wanted to call in exterminators immediately, one group thought we could do it ourselves, and another refused to even consider anything that involved killing the mice.  We ended up doing a lot of exclusion and using snap traps, but things got pretty heated.

Just before Samhain, I came across an Etsy store, The House of Mouse, and kind of fell a little in love with their adorable felt mouse creations.  I decided that I would try to make a basic mouse, and the prototype came out pretty cute, so I ended up making a mouse-turned-into-ornament for each of my housemates.  And my covenmates.  And my family.  And all my close friends.  In all, I made 38 mice.

There’s nothing inherently Yule-y about a mouse, but the ornaments are awfully cute and very easy to make.  Should this little guy tickle your fancy, you will need the following materials:

  • This Felt Mouse Pattern, which is a printable .pdf file created by yours truly.
  • A goodly scrap of gray felt
  • A small scrap of pink felt
  • A tiny dot of black felt
  • Small scraps of green and red felt if you’d like to make him hold a bit of holly
  • Gray thread
  • Pink thread
  • Black thread
  • Pink embroidery floss
  • Two large black seed beads
  • Silver-colored bead stringing wire
  • Fiberfill, cotton balls, wool, or something “plush” with which to stuff the mouse
  • Thin holiday ribbon
  • Sewing needle
  • A large, sharp-tipped tapestry needle
  • Fabri-Tac adhesive (optional, but really handy)
  • Scissors
  • Wire snips
  • Sharpie marker

To begin, print out the pattern and cut out the different shapes.  Trace the shapes onto the scraps of felt with the Sharpie marker, then cut out the pieces from the felt.

Place the left and right sides of the mouse together so that the “good” side of the gray felt is faced in.  Thread the needle with the gray thread and sew up the “backbone” of the mouse (the curved side) using a whip stitch.  Turn the two pieces “inside out” so that the seam is now facing what will be the mouse’s interior.

Thread the needle with pink thread.  Take up one of the ear pieces and fold it in half.  Starting about 1/4 inch from the point, sew the two halves of the ear together and travel down until you reach the point.  Find a good placement for the ear on the mouse’s head, then sew the ear to the head.  Repeat with the other ear on the other side of the mouse.

Thread the needle with black thread.  Sew a bead to the mouse’s head under the ear to represent an eye.  Repeat with the second bead on the other side of the mouse.  When done, flip the mouse back “inside out” so that the ears and eyes are now back on the mouse’s interior.

Thread the needle with grey thread and take up the mouse’s bottom side.  Attach it to the mouse’s sewn side parts with pins, then use a whip stitch to sew the edges of all three pieces together.  Once completed, turn the mouse “inside out” so that the ears and eyes are back on the outside.

Pin each of the felt feet to the “front” of the mouse so that each foot rests in the middle of a belly seam.  Take an 18-inch length of pink embroidery floss and double it over.  Twist the floss until it has a great deal of spiral tension.  Holding the tension in place, double the length again, then let go of one end of the floss.  It should automatically curl together to form a cord.  (Confused?  Follow this slide show.)  Knot the “free” end of the cord to permanently secure the twist, then sew the knot to the inside of the mouse’s “backbone” seam.

Stuff the mouse with fiberfill, then sew the mouse’s bottom to the sides and belly using a whipstitch.  Of course, you will need to switch to a running stitch to sandwich the mouse’s feet between the sides and the bottom.

At this point, the mouse should essentially look done, just missing his hands, nose, whiskers, and accessories.  You can attach these by sewing them on, but the pieces are so small that using Fabri-tac adhesive will be much, much easier.  Simply spread a little Fabri-tack on the back of the mouse’s arms, and glue them into place.  Next, snip three or four lengths of the beading wire to serve as whiskers.  Tie them together in the middle using black thread, then attach them to the end of the mouse’s nose with a quick stitch or two.  Cover the back of the black fabric dot with Fabri-tac, then stick the dot over the whiskers and hold it in place until the black nose is firmly attached.  The basic mouse is essentially finished.

To attach the holly, you must first make it.  I ironed a strip of green felt down the middle, then cut it to resemble half a holly leaf (which would of course be a full leaf once unfolded).  I made a second, then glued them to the mouse’s body so that it looked as if he was holding them in one hand.  I then cut two small strips of red felt and tightly coiled them up, using dots of Fabri-tac to secure the coil.  This made a holly berry.  I then put more Fabri-tac at the bottom of a coil and secured it to the points of the two leaves and repeated the process to make a second berry.

To make the mouse a hanging ornament, I took a length of seasonal ribbon and threaded it onto a sharp tapestry needle.  I forced the needle through the back of the mouse so that the ribbon ran perpendicular to the backbone seam.  (It did take some force to pull the needle through), then knotted the two ends of the ribbon together.

Voila!  A felt mouse!

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