Thursday, May 6, 2010

Celebration Ring Tutorial

I would like to acknowledge Monica Smith for this pattern. Monica made these Celebration Rings, many moons ago, with her Steiner playgroup families for use during a child's birthday celebrations.
A decorated candle is placed in the centre of the dancing gnomes and may be used as the meal time candle during the birthday week.
Of course they could be used for any family celebration. We made them at craft group a couple of weeks ago and they were a real hit - it was our biggest turn out so far this year.

Although I haven't changed her pattern I have altered its construction; Monica used hot glue for the head beads and hats. I have securely stitched the heads which I think mades it sturdier and a little safer for when little fingers pull at it...

3 x pipe cleaners
7 x 14mm wooden head beads
7 x 4mm wooden hands beads
clear drying craft glue (or hot glue)
pure wool felt in your choice of colours
embroidery threads to match your felt

Cut seven 5cm diameter (2") circles from your felt for the 'body' pieces and seven matching semicircular  'hat' pieces - roughly half a 4cm diameter (ish) circle. I've made this one rainbow so one body and hat set from each colour.

Thread three of the small 'hand' beads onto one of the pipe cleaners and two each onto the other two

Join the pipe cleaners, overlaping the ends, into a circle with a diameter of about 10cm (4inches). space your beads out to about 4cm between each - your don't need to be exact they can be adjusted later.

Fold the first body piece in half over the pipe cleaner between two hand beads and stitch securely in place at the 'wrist'.
Keeping your needle and thread slip; the needle back in under the 'wrist' to the inside. Then carefully catch just the inside layer of felt and loop your needle over the middle of the pipe cleaner and then take it across to the other side.

Stitch the other 'wrist' as for the first. When it is secure go back in under the wrist and bring your needle out on the right side in the centre of the body.

Get one of the larger 'head' beads and slip it down over your needle then very firmly secure the head bead in place with several strong stitches -NOTE only bring the loops down over the outside (back of the head) so the face is clear. 
to finish off put your needle back in under the neck as close to the centre as you can and bring it out the wrong side; tie a knot in your thread with the needle and cut your threads close to the knot.

Repeat these steps for all bodies and heads.

Fold the matching hat felt in half along the straight edge and try it on the head for size - trim if required then blanket stitch along the short straight edge. Bury your final stitch by bringing the needle down inside from the peak of the cap. Repeat for all hats.

Just to be sure - check your hats for size again and trim if you need to then squeeze a modest amount of quick drying craft glue around the inside of your hat (starting about 0.5cm up from the 'rim' - the open end) and then gently press it down onto your gnomes head. (For extra security you could join the hat to the body by a few tiny stitches at the back of the neck where they meet -  I would do it after your glue has dried).

Repeat for the other six and yay! you are done.

* A 7-8cm diameter pillar candle fits really nicely in the centre; you may like to cut a circular piece of gold card for the gnomes and candle to sit on. I wouldn't recommend a tealight candle because the flame is quite low and if it got bumped the whole lot might go up in smoke! Likewise pure wool felt is fire retardant, the acrylic stuiff is not.


Melissa Luxmoore said...

Super nice tutorial Shan! Will definitely make one of these for the little Mrs before her next birthday...and we both know when that is :)

S said...

Ohh that is right! so lovely to share a birthday..

Nadja said...

I love the look of this! And your photos and instructions are wonderful. I am bookmarking this to make as soon as I can assemble the felt and beads!

Thank you!

twolittleseeds said...

Hi, Have bookmarked this to make. Looks fantastic . xx

Renée M-B. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Renée M-B. said...

These are so cute!

Blue Skies & Dragonflies said...


our lot, myself included, love anything & everything rainbow & will most definitely be making one of these this weekend!

Child of the New Forest said...

Thank you so much Shannon for posting this great tutorial. I made one of these up today following your instructions and it's turned out beautifully. I can't wait till the next birthday in our house (and it's not even mine!). take care, Jolene

Kimara said...

These are just adorable. I'll be linking on Facebook.

Anonymous said...

lovely, we make a variation of these down in Hobart with feet = one of those patterns that has been handed down and adapted many times and didnt know where it came from.

Natalie said...

This is SO CUTE~ thanks for sharing the lovely tutorial!! Natalie @ Woolhalla

Anonymous said...

¡Que belleza!
Gracias por compartirlo

Eleonora said...

The gnomes are so nice - I really fell in love with them. Thank you very much for the tutorial - I made the ring for my daughter's 3rd birthday

Radical Mama said...

This is so lovely! I'm planning to make it this weekend for my family, and I plan to link back to your tutorial - please let me know if there is any problem, I will be giving your blog full credit. I'm so looking forward to this, thank you!

S said...

May your candles burn brightly Radical Mamma - enjoy :)

Juise said...

Looking over your site, I realized it was your tutorial I found on Rhythm of the Home to make the little ring of gnomes we adorned our Spring seasonal table with. I wanted to tell you I love them, and thank you for sharing!

They were picked up off the table and played with so often, my daughter loves them. Though the table was long changed, and is changing again, she still plays with the gnome ring quite a bit. :)

We made ours in Earth colours to go along with our Spring theme, you can see a picture of them here if you'd like:


S said...

Thank you Juise, I'll pop over and take a peek.

Lenka said...

Thank you! This is beautiful!