Gingerbread Man Decorations

Learn how to make this scrumptious felt gingerbread man

Who doesn’t love a gingerbread man at Christmas time! I have been baking gingerbread cookies since my babies were babies (yes, they are teenagers now), so these cute felt gingerbread men certainly bring a sense of nostalgia to our household! And they can be used for all sorts of decorations – you can hang them individually on the tree, string them up on a festive garland or even add them to wrapped presents for a little extra decoration.

Two festive gingerbread men.

How to make this gingerbread man

What you’ll need:

  • Felt – brown, white and red
  • Gingerbread man template
  • Embroidery threads – black, white and any colourful threads for the buttons
  • Stuffing
  • Scissors, fabric chalk, needle and pins
  • Glue gun (optional – you can also stitch the santa hat and cane)
  • Small black beads (again, optional – you could also stitch the eyes)

Getting started – preparing the template and felt

Start by printing off the gingerbread man template and cut out the template pieces. If you want to make them bigger or smaller, adjust the printing size as required.

Next pin the template onto your felt and either cut it straight out, or if you prefer you can trace around it with the fabric chalk and then cut out. You’ll need two pieces of each gingerbread man cut from the brown felt. For the Santa hat, cut a red triangle, a white brim (x2) and a pompom (the little circle). For the candy cane, cut a red base and white stripes. When it comes to the white stripes, it’s easier to cut them oversized and trim the edges once you have stitched or glued them in place.

Decorating our gingerbread man

We are going to decorate the front of the gingerbread man before stitching the front and back together. Let’s start with the face.

Stitching the face

I use the fabric chalk to mark out where I want the eyes and mouth to go (and if you muck this up, just turn it over and try again!). Stitch two black beads on the face and then a few short back stitches to make the mouth. Tie off the thread and trim the excess.

Stitching the buttons

Next, we’re going to stitch the buttons. Using the fabric chalk, mark out on the body of the gingerbread man three circles. I stitch on the angle – but you can do straight up and down, or horizontal, if you prefer. Make the first stitch on the edge of the button, it will be small and centred. As you add each stitch, they’ll become a little longer at the top and bottom, until you reach the centre point and then start decreasing them again. They do take a bit of practice to get end up with a circle button, but if you can’t get the hang of it, or don’t want to, just stitch actual buttons on. This is just as cute!

I think the trick is to mark out a good circle to begin with and don’t pull your stitches too tight. And remember, handmade isn’t meant to be perfect!

Stitching and stuffing our gingerbread man

To sew the front and back of the gingerbread man together, use a blanket stitch. For detailed instructions, check out my post on basic stitches for felting. Start the first stitch by bringing the needle through just the top layer so that the knot is hidden between the two pieces. Now carry on with small neat blanket stitches. Once you are about halfway around, start stuffing the head and limbs as they are stitched up.

When you get to the end, pick up the first stitch (to complete the first blanket stitch) and tie a knot. Then simply thread the needle through the foot, and pull the thread through, cutting the excess thread off flush with the foot. This will keep the end nicely hidden also.

Final touches

Now this festive gingerbread man needs a hat! Heat up your glue gun now – or continue stitching with needle and thread if you prefer. Fold the tip of the hat over and fix in place with a spot of glue. Next, glue the pompom on the tip of the hat.

Run a thin line of glue along the front of the hat, along the bottom. Stick the white brim on top of it. Similarly, run a thin line of glue across Mr. Gingerbread Man’s forehead and glue the hat on. Then glue the second white brim onto the back of his head, matching the front one.

Alternative gingerbread man

Everyone needs a friend! For our second gingerbread man, instead of round buttons, stitch a star-shaped pattern (or absolutely any pattern you like!).

And instead of a Santa hat, this cheerful fellow has a candy cane. Simply glue the white stripes on to the cane, trim as necessary and fix the cane to his hand with a spot of glue.

Now these cute gingerbread men can be placed on the mantel piece, hung on the tree or strung up as bunting. They’d even make a great gift! And remember to have fun with the decorating. Just like real gingerbread cookies, the options are endless, and anything goes.

Gingerbread men bunting.

Hanging your gingerbread men on the tree – or anywhere!

It’s easy to hang these wee guys on your tree – or in my case the kitchen cupboards since I don’t actually have my tree up yet. Simply loop a small length of cord through the highest stitch on your gingerbread man’s head and tie the two ends together. Here, I’ve threaded a couple of these super cute wooden Christmas beads on to the cord also.

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