Do you need a little sewing inspiration to complete your Christmas decorating? What could be better than a colorful string of lights with felt light bulbs?
The best part is that, even if the pre-Christmas period is stressful and time is short due to shopping and Christmas baking, this colorful string of lights is very quick and easy to sew. Of course, these light strings are also great to give as a gift, and bring joy all year round.
With these sewing instructions, you have already reached the tenth window of the BERNINA Blog Advent Calendar 2022!
Sewing instructions for a colorful string of lights
Material – all you need is
- a sewing machine,
- fabric scissors or a rotary cutter,
- some colored felt,
- gray felt,
- sewing thread (ideally in matching colors, for example Seralon from Mettler),
- an LED light string (I purchased mine for less than two euros at the Action store) or even just cord for threading
String of lights sewing pattern
You will also need a template for the shape of the light string. I am providing it for you here as a free PDF template to download and print:
Christmas string of lights template (PDF)
…and then you can start sewing your colorful string of lights with felt light bulbs.
Design considerations for the felt light bulbs
Depending on how many bulbs are on your string of lights, you can decide which colors to use. For each light, you will need two (colorful) oval bulb pieces and a gray strip measuring 2 x 5 cm.It is particularly attractive when the light bulbs are mixed in a colorful way. Of course, you can also make a single-colored string of lights if you prefer or if it fits better with your decorations.
Another tip: you can use felts with different thicknesses. The thinner the felt, the more translucent. This allows you to achieve great effects with different thicknesses. Another unique touch would be to embroider individual felt pieces or add decorative stitching to your project.
Before you start sewing, reduce the presser foot pressure a little so that the felt is not distorted under the sewing machine. With my BERNINA 740 , I set the presser foot pressure to 25, which worked wonderfully. In addition, I would set the stitch length of the straight stitch to 2 so that you can easily guide the foot over the felt on the narrow curves.
Sewing your string of Christmas lights
Let’s start sewing. First, sew the gray felt strip onto the flatter side of a bulb cut-out. On the other side of the gray strip, sew the second bulb cut out in the same color.
As shown in the photo, the piece is now opened up in front of you with the gray strip in the middle. Now simply fold the gray strip in the middle and position the two bulb pieces exactly on top of each other. The seam is then sewn to the left of the gray strip, once around the felt light bulb, to the right of the gray strip. At the top there is an opening through which the light will be threaded later on. If the light bulbs have shifted a little, you can rework them with the scissors.
Now make all the felt light bulbs in exactly the same way. My string of lights had 20 bulbs, so the whole thing took some time, but it was therapeutic. I didn’t change the thread for every color, but I always made sure that it matched the color scheme. For example, I sewed pink, bright pink and purple with one thread color. If you want to put in a lot of effort, you can change the thread for each color gradation of the light bulbs.
Threading onto the light string
When all the light bulbs are ready, they can be threaded onto the light string. The individual lights are placed into the openings that we left at the top. In no time at all, the colorful string of lights with felt light bulbs is ready. As a little hack, you can also add a little wadding into the light bulbs, so the light is spread more evenly.
In this spirit, I wish you a peaceful holiday season, a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year :).