by J Peggy Taylor @ OakTreesStudio.wordpress.com
Handmade cards are always extra-special, aren’t they. Here’s an idea for an easy crochet winter holiday greetings card design.
When you’ve crafted the basic snowman shape, you can choose your own styling and finishing touches. I added a snowy base and a few crocheted accessories – a hat and scarf, a broom and two brown stick arms. You could simplify the finishing-off by just adding the traditional ‘coal’ buttons down his front and maybe a felt or crochet hat.
Note on crochet terms used: I have written this tutorial using UK crochet terms but I have also added the appropriate US crochet terms under the abbreviations at the beginning of the pattern.
Crocheting the basic snowman shape
Materials for basic head and body shape: one standard 8 metre skein of white 6-stranded embroidery cotton; 1.5 mm crochet hook. You will need a sewing needle suitable for embroidery thread and other small lengths of embroidery cotton or fine yarn to complete your snowman.
Materials to make card: A4 sheet of thin dark blue card (approx. 11 inches x 8 inches), sewing needle and white sewing thread, A4 sheet of cream or white paper, glue stick (glue suitable for paper).
Abbreviations: ch = chain; dc = double crochet (USA = single crochet); ss = slip stitch; htr = half treble (USA = half double crochet); tr = treble (USA = double crochet), st = stitch, sts = stitches, rep = repeat.
MAKE THE SNOWMAN’S BODY
To begin: Using the white embroidery thread and 1.5mm crochet hook, start with your usual slip knot and make 8 chain.
Row 1: dc into second ch from hook, dc into each of next 5 ch, 3 dc into end ch, work one dc into lower loop of base chain for next 6 ch, 2 dc into end ch, ss to ch at beginning of Row 1. [Do not turn work]
Row 2: ch 1, 1 htr into first st of Row 1, 1 tr into each of next 4 dc, 1 htr into next st, 2 dc into each of next 2 dc, 1 htr into next dc, 1 tr into next 4 dc, 1 htr into next dc, 2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next dc, 2 dc into next dc, ss to first ch at beginning of Row 2. [Do not turn work]
Row 3: ch 1, 1 htr into first htr of Row 2, 1 tr into each of next 5 sts, 1 htr into next st, 2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into next dc, 2 dc into next dc, 1 htr into next st, 1 tr into each of next 5 tr, 1 htr into each of next st, 2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into each of next 2 dc, 2 dc into next dc, ss to first ch of Row 3. [Do not turn work]
Row 4: ch 1, 1 htr into each of first 8 sts, 2 dc into next st, 1 dc into next 2 sts, 2 dc into next dc, 1 htr into next 8 sts, 2 dc into next dc, 1 dc into each of next 2 dc, 2 dc into next dc, dc into next st, ss to first ch of Row 4. Work one final chain and pull up tightly to finish. Break off the thread.
That’s the body finished, now let’s make the head …
MAKE THE SNOWMAN’S HEAD
To begin: Using the white embroidery thread and 1.5mm crochet hook, start with your usual slip knot and make 4 chain. Join to first chain with a ss to make a ring.
Row 1: ch 1, work 8 dc into centre of ring, ss to first ch to complete the round.
Row 2: ch 1, 2 htr into each dc of Row 1, ss to first ch to complete the round.
Row 3: ch 1, *2 htr into first htr, 1 htr into next htr*, rep * to * 6 more times, 1 htr into next htr. STOP! … don’t complete this round.
To complete the head: By leaving this third row unfinished we have a flat edge for the neck edge of the head. This is where we will attach it to the body. Do not break off the thread.
Attaching the head: Take the head piece with the thread and crochet hook in place and make one chain. Hold the head piece in place, slightly overlapping the top of the body. [The oval shaped body piece could be used either way up – I found one end was slightly straighter than the other so I chose that for my ‘head end’.]
Hold or pin the head piece in place. Make sure the thread falls down behind your crochet pieces. Now, using the crochet hook, slip stitch the head onto the body, working in a straight line across the neck. Finish at the edge with an extra chain and draw the thread up tightly. Break off the thread.
Finishing your snowman: Now you can create your snowman’s features. I worked a tiny orange crochet circle for the nose, using a single strand of orange yarn and the 1.5mm hook. For the eyes and the ‘coals’ of the mouth, I embroidered French knots using black 6-stranded embroidery cotton. You could embroider all of the features using embroidery cotton or fine yarn. Now you’ve completed the basic snowman, you can let your creativity run riot and create a whole little snowy scene for him.
I added a snowy base, crocheting it directly onto the bottom of the snowman’s body. I then crocheted a little grey hat with a brim, a purple scarf, two stick arms and a broom. I find it is easier to then attach the crocheted pieces together in their correct places, as far possible, before attempting to mount the crochet design onto the card itself. I joined everything together except the broom.
Attaching the snowman to the card: This part is probably the most difficult stage of this craft project – sewing the crochet pieces onto the card.
Take a length of white sewing thread and thread it into your sewing needle. I find it’s best to try and cut a long enough piece to use only one piece of thread for this part of the project.
Lay down the piece of card and carefully arrange your snowman pieces ready to sew them in place. Think about where you want the snowman to be on the card so that the picture will be on the front of your card when you fold it in half. On dark paper or card you can make small pencil marks to use as a guide for the arrangement of your pieces, if you wish. You can’t pin your pieces in place on card, as you would with fabric.
TIP: If you find it is too difficult to keep the pieces in the right places on the card, you could always pin and sew your snowman scene onto a piece of felt and then glue this onto the front of the card.
Start your stitching off on the inside of the card. I generally start with a knot, but you can also just leave a long end and then trim it and glue it down afterwards. I use a stab stitch to attach pieces to a card, carefully pushing the needle through the card close to the edges of the pieces and gradually working my way around the crochet shape. The stitches don’t need to be really small, but small enough to hold the pieces in their correct places. I usually tie off the end of my thread when I’ve finished sewing on my crochet design.
TIP: It can be difficult with smaller shapes to make sure when you bring the needle back up through the card that you have caught the edge of the crochet shape in just the right place. If you do accidentally make a needle hole in the wrong place, card will usually be forgiving if you gently burnish it on each side over the hole – rub gently with a finger nail or the ‘wrong end’ of a pencil.
To complete the card: When you have carefully sewn all of the snowman (and any scene accessories) in place, it’s time to finish the card. Lay the card snowman-side down on a clean surface and carefully fold the card in half, lining up the corners and edges for a neat finish.
Next, take the sheet of cream or white paper ready to make the card lining. Fold this piece of paper neatly in half to fit inside the card. If you slip it inside your card you will see it sticks out a little. Either trim the edges freehand, if you have a steady eye and steady hand, or take a ruler and pencil and draw a guide line along which to cut. When you’re happy with the size and shape of the card liner, glue this neatly on the inside of the card.
You can also do something creative with the lining paper before trimming, folding or gluing it in place:
- print or write a greeting on it (remember to check that your greeting will appear correctly in your card!)
- cut the paper in two pieces before gluing it in – you could leave a small dark blue border of card around each side.
I like blank cards, so I decided to just trim slightly more from the cream paper and leave a small blue border around the edges.
Now you only need to write your card to its intended recipient and make a slim-line gift bag to use in place of an envelope ~ another tutorial on gift bags I see may be needed 🙂
J Peggy Taylor