These fun felt Topper the Penguin ornaments are a great craft to work on while watching your favorite Christmas movie!
One of my favorite things about the Christmas season is curling up in the evenings and watching holiday movies. Ever since I was a little kid my favorite Christmas movie has been Rankin – Bass’ Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town.
It’s a fun story about the origins of Santa Claus. It has elves, magic, catchy music, and a villain with the greatest name, Burgermeister Meisterburger.
In the movie, Santa was an orphan that was lost in the woods and was found by the Kringles, a family of toy-making elves. He is friends with animals, including a little penguin named Topper. He helps Santa deliver the toys and sports a little black and yellow scarf. I love the quirky little stop-motion penguin that honks like a goose, so I wanted to make little Topper the Penguin ornaments.
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I decided to applique the ornaments using felt. An applique is a form of needlework where you layer various pieces of fabric together to make a picture or pattern. I was inspired by these appliqued Bucilla stockings. My grandmother made me one when I was a kid, so I’ve made one for each of my girls. I guess appliqueing has become a holiday tradition in itself for me.
The result is an adorable handstitched creation. I love the way the applique turns out. It doesn’t hide that it’s handmade but is still stunning.
Supplies for Creating Topper the Penguin Ornaments
- Topper the Penguin pattern
- Black felt
- Yellow felt
- Gold felt
- White felt
- Black thread (or embroidery floss)
- White thread (or embroidery floss)
- Yellow thread (or embroidery floss)
- Yellow pom-poms
- Small googly eyes
- Poly-fil (or other pillow stuffing)
- Hot glue gun
- Fabric scissors
Penguin Ornament Pattern
I created the pattern for the Topper the Penguin felt ornaments using my Microsoft Surface Pro. Then I printed the patterns out, traced them onto the felt and cut them out using Fiscar Fabric Scissors.
How to Create a Felt Penguin Ornament
Once everything is cut out applique the pieces together using a blanket stitch by hand. Start at the back of the piece and thread the needle through both layers of felt near the edge of the belly. Then, thread it back through the body only. Continue this all the way around the belly.
Attach Topper’s white belly to the black body first. Then attach the black stripes to the yellow scarf using the same blanket stitch. Once the scarf is finished attach it to the body (using the blanket stitch) so that it overlaps the white belly. Then attach the pom poms using hot glue.
Topper’s beak is a little more tricky. He has kind of a big honker, so I really wanted there to be a 3D effect. To achieve this I attached one side of the beak using a blanket stitch. Then, I folded the beak up at the top and stitched it through the fold. This created more of a three-dimensional appearance. Then I continued the blanket stitch around the other side of the beak. Leave the bottom of the beak unstitched so that it can poke further out.
Once all of the pieces have been added to the body, attach the back piece. Leave a few inches at the bottom opened so that Poly-fil can be stuffed inside, then stitch it closed. The final piece is hot gluing on the googly eyes. I considered appliqueing the eyes out of felt, but one of my favorite parts about the stop-motion character of Topper is how his eyes get a little crazy sometimes. I felt like having eyes that moved and looked a little wonky were necessary for Topper the Penguin felt ornaments.
This craft was fun to put together and was a pretty mindless task. Perfect for working on while watching a Christmas movie! It can be a little tricky to get the hang of appliqueing, especially if needlepoint isn’t your thing, but once you learn it’s a breeze. The possibilities for other ornaments or projects are pretty endless too.