Some thoughts on Cross Stitch Block Ornaments


I find that when I stitch small designs I have the impulse to make them into ornaments that have some thickness, ie. into block ornaments. (The one above is a Mary Engelbreit design from a Bucilla ornament kit. The reverse side has a black Scottie dog.)

So far I have made all of my block ornaments with a block of wood as the core. One could just as easily, or probably more easily, use blocks of Styrofoam. Here is one tutorial on how to make a No Sew Cube Finish. (On an ornament sized finish one can use ribbon, instead of fabric strips, to wrap around the top, bottom and sides.)

Here are a couple more of my block finishes.

From a Bernat design for sack ornaments.

From Sam Hawkins' 520 Christmas Cross-stitch Designs.

I've been told that when putting cross stitch over wood it is important to either seal the wood with paint or to cover it with paper or fabric. The fronts and backs on mine have padding. For the sides I lightly glued on strips of fabric.

The disadvantage of the wood, compared to the Styrofoam, is that you can't use pins to get the fabric nice and tight. To get around that you can either use a very quick drying glue, like Fabri-Tac, and give the sides a tug as you fold them over or you can sort of "lace" the front fabric to the back fabric.

I will admit that I found the corners on these block finishes a wee bit of a pain because I didn't want the multiple layers of fabric to show through the ribbon. With foam I think that I could have forced them into (dented) the foam a little.

But for the block finishes below I assembled them so that bulky corners were not an issue.  (Click on the images to visit the blog pages that explains how I assembled these block finishes.

nativity block

birdhouse block

Pinwheel 2009


  1. Hi Pinwheel
    I am Rossana from Italy.
    I am speechless admiring all your blog you made many rafinated and absolutely beautiful ornaments.I adore handmade works, so I was captured from all your projects and also from the instruction to finish all the works.First of all I want to thank you to share all these things and I want send you my best congratulation, I would spend hours looking all these photo.
    I am starting to stitch beads diamond ornaments and I will challenge myself to learn the finishing.
    Thank you again for sharing
    Rossana Italy

  2. Thank you for your kind words Rossana.