2017 Ornament Exchange and Tutorial Blog Hop

How to make a Drum Ornament for Christmas

Welcome to the 2017 Ornament Exchange & Blog Hop! This year, there are 47 amazing bloggers participating in the exchange. The rules of the challenge were simple: be partnered with a fellow blogger, create a handmade ornament for $15 or under, create a tutorial, and ship the ornament off to a new home!

Introducing my Ornament Exchange Partner

My 2017 Ornament Exchange partner is the amazing Evija Roberts of From Evija with Love. Evija has a wonderful DIY, crafts & furniture up-cycling blog, where she shares all the creative things she and her cute pug Coco get up to. 

Evija’s preferred style of ornament for this exchange is traditional, in silver and white. Luckily for me,  I also got bonus intel…. last year Evija did a post about her new Christmas tree and some of her family traditions, so I was able to see exactly what I was aiming for! 🙂

Evija's Christmas tree
Evija’s beautiful Christmas tree

How the Drum Ornament came to be

When I signed up for this blog hop, I had a stack of ornament ideas in my head. But none of them were conceived with the simple elegance of silver and white in mind. And since I’d used up all my silver fabric scraps on several projects last Christmas, I was effectively handed a clean slate to try something different, and an excuse to go craft shopping. Actually, that’s pretty much my definition of Christmas!! Whoop!

I went my local craft store not having a clue what I might make., but assuming colours would be no big deal. But when I got there I discovered all sorts of fun Christmasy fabrics in stock, but nothing in just silver, or in silver and white, or even predominately silver.  So, I bought pieces of the two most silver textiles I could see and went home to invent “something”.

Insul-fleece and hexagon fabric
What did I buy? Insul-fleece batting (top of photo)  and a sparkly silver and gold hexagon-print cotton fabric. 

Soon I was happily humming “Pa rum pa pum pum, rum pa pum pum, rum pa pum pum…”. My supplies had spoken. After tinkering for a while, I realised I had serendipitously purchased exactly the right things to make a drum ornament!

Drum Christmas Ornament for the 2017 Ornament Exchange

PA RUM PA PUM PUM! ….. Go on, hum along as you take a look at my tutorial. 🙂 If you do not yet have the Drummer Boy carol firmly stuck in your head, either you are made of very ear-worm resistant stuff, or your education is lacking somewhere and you should google it…… Enjoy!

Oh yes! And because today feels a lot like Christmas, and because I don’t need the remainder of my supplies to make any more of these ornaments (I really think 6 is enough….) I am going to give away two drum ornament kits. Two of you will be able to make this ornament with these exact fabrics! You will find the giveaway opportunity at the bottom of this post.

2017 Ornament Exchange and Blog Hop

Meet the 2017 Ornament Exchange Hosts

Erlene ⋅ My Pinterventures Kim · Made In A Day Amanda ·Domestically Creative

Shirley · Intelligent Domesticatons Michelle · Our Crafty Mom

Beverly · Across the Blvd. Christene · Key to Inspiration Pili ⋅ My Sweet Things

Nicki · Sweet Parrish Place Megan · C’mon Get Crafty

Hilary · Raising Fairies and Knights Emily · Two Purple Couches

Tina · One Crafty Mess Marie · The Inspiration Vault Debra · Shoppe No. 5

Trisha · Rosewood and Grace Jeanie · Create and Babble Katrin ⋅ Kreativ K

Terri · Christmas Tree Lane Maureen · Red Cottage Chronicles

Toni ⋅ Small Home Soul Ula ⋅ Lulu & Celeste Sue ⋅ A Purdy Little House

Pamela · Home On The Corner Lorelai Life with Lorelai Cindy ⋅ DIY Beautify

Debbie ⋅ Tweak and Style Stephanie ⋅ Swoodson Says Chelc ⋅ Inside the Fox Den

Susan ⋅ Super Mom – No Cape! Molly ⋅ Just a Little Creativity

Roseann ⋅ This Autoimmune Life Angela ⋅ Simply Beautiful by Angela

Vicki and Jenn ⋅ 2 Bees in a Pod Joanne ⋅ Our Unschooling Journey

Tylynn ⋅ Bitterroot DIY Sam ⋅ Raggedy Bits Mary ⋅ The Boondocks Blog

Cyn ⋅ Creative Cynchronicity Dione ⋅ Clever Chameleon Quilting

Erica ⋅ Erica Ever After Chelsea ⋅ Love Paper Crafts Evija ⋅ From Evija with Love

Samantha ⋅ Little Bits of Home Hope ⋅ Hopes Crafty Niche Anne ⋅ Orange Bettie

Pam · P.S. I Love You Crafts

Make your own Drum Christmas Tree Ornament – Full Tutorial

Drum ornament supplies

You will need the following supplies:

  • a feature fabric – sufficient size for 6 hexagons (downloadable pdf template for 3 different hexagon sizes found in this link)
  • fabric scraps for the top and base of the drum
  • paper-backed iron-on adhesive or glue stick
  • Insul-fleece, ordinary fleece or other heavy non-fraying material such as quality felt – You will need a slightly larger piece than that of the feature fabric
Insul-fleece has a shiny silver side and a soft white fluffy side.
  • 6 small beads ( I chose 4mm clear rainbow pearl beads that I had on hand)
  • 6-8″ scrap of thin ribbon to match your project (I used white ribbon snipped from new clothing… you know, that ribbon added to clothes for display hanging purposes….. why waste it?)
  • cardboard tube (the cardboard tube insert from a hand towel roll or similar)
  • thread to match or complement your feature fabric and beads
  • hot glue and gun (or ordinary glue and some patience!)
  • 2 bamboo skewers (large drum) or 2 wooden toothpicks (small drum)
  • a very small amount of air-drying polymer clay (steal it from your kids/grandkids if you can)
  • hand-sewing needle, scissors, masking tape or other strong sticky tape, pencil

Optional supplies:

  • glitter
  • sewing machine and iron (for sewn version as pictured)
  • your favourite non-permanent fabric marking method (such as chalk, wash-out marker, freezer paper) for marking hexagon shapes
  • glue stick (for people who do not like to sew)

Drum decoration for Ornament Exchange

Notes on my specific supplies:

The feature fabric I used is called X17 Sparkle Xmas Hexagons (cream) from the Spotlight Apparel Fabric range. It was the hexagon print that directly triggered my idea for the drum ornament. However, there is no need to actually have a hexagon print for this project. Your favourite yardage or scraps cut into hexagons will do equally well.

I also chose to use Insul-fleece (by Legacy) for the main body of the drum purely because it has an Aluminized Polyethylene coating on the back that is shiny silver.  …….ooooooh, shiny…… 🙂 . If you don’t need the silver effect, feel free to substitute felt or fleece in your favourite colour instead.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1

Trace out 6 hexagon shapes onto the paper-backed adhesive and iron onto the reverse side of your feature fabric. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for ironing on your brand of adhesive. Cut out your hexagons and remove the paper backing. Note: If you are using a fabric printed with suitable sized hexagons like I did, you can just iron on the adhesive without pre-marking the hexagon shapes.

Cut hexagon fabric pieces
Enough adhesive-backed hexagons for two Drum Ornaments.

Alternative method: If you want to do a no-sew version of this ornament, simply mark out 6 hexagons on your fabric and cut them out. You don’t need to use the iron-on adhesive.

Step 2

Lay your hexagons onto the soft white side of the Insul-fleece, (or on your felt). If you would like to see borders of the backing fabric around your hexagons on the finished ornament, space your hexagons out accordingly.

Fabric hexagons adhered to Insul-fleece
Fabric hexagons adhered to Insul-fleece with no spaces.
fabric hexagons adhered to Insul-fleece
Fabric hexagons adhered to Insul-fleece with space to accomodate borders on cut hexies.

Adhere your feature hexagons to the Insul-fleece or felt with a hot iron. 

No-sew method: Use the glue stick to adhere your fabric hexagons to your chosen backing textile and skip step 3. Please do not use a glue stick if you intend to machine sew your hexagons!  It will be no fun if you gum up your machine!

Step 3

Sew around the edge of your hexagons to permanently fix them to the backing textile. Use a thread colour that blends with or adds to your design as you wish, keeping in mind that the sewing will be visible once the ornament is completed. Do this step before you cut the hexagons out of the backing fabric – because sewing around individually cut hexagons is too fiddly….. ask me how I know…… 🙂

No-sew method: Skip Step 3

Step 4

Cut out your 6 hexagons. You can either cut the hexagons flush with the boundaries of the feature fabric or if you have allowed for it, with a border of fleece/felt.

Cut hexies for Drum ornament
Cut hexies for Drum Ornament – no border.
Marked hexies for drum with borders
Marked borders on hexies.
Cut hexies for Drum Ornament - with borders
Cut hexies for Drum Ornament – with border.

Step 5

Place two hexagons reverse-sides together. Join them together by sewing a few stitches on the spot to create an anchor point in one top corner and then the bottom corner directly below. This can be done either by hand or machine.

Position of sewing
Join two hexies together by stitching a few stitches at the position of each “x”.
Sewing two hexies together
Sewing two hexies together with a few stitches in one top corner.

Step 6

Open up your work so that you can lay the third hexagon behind the second hexagon. Join these two hexagons with a few stitches in the free top and bottom corners of the second hexagon. Repeat this step until you have a chain of 6 hexagons.

Sewing a hexagon chain
Add hexagons one by one to form a chain of hexies attached to each other at the top and bottom corners.

Step 7

Form your hexagon chain into a circle and sew the top and bottom corners of hexagon 6 to hexagon 1. Quietly trim any corners that haven’t quite lined up to get a  nice straight top for your drum. Your feature fabric should be on the outside of the circle and your drum should now look like this…..

Hexagon circle
Hexagons sewn into a circle, ready for the cardboard tube insert

Step 8

If you are making a drum that is thinner than your cardboard tube, cut the cardboard tube lengthwise.

cardboard tube

Now, overlap the cut edges to create a narrower tube that fits snuggly inside your hexagon circle. 

cardboard tube sizing
Slide the tube into the hexagon circle and allow it to fill the space snugly

Secure the tube at the correct diameter with tape.

cardboard tube secured with tape

Note: If you are using the largest size hexagons from my template, a standard (Australian) paper towel roll insert should fit inside your hexagon circle unaltered, so you can skip this step.

Step 9

Shorten your cardboard roll to a few mm less than the height of your hexagon circle.

Recessed cardboard tube
Cut your cardboard tube so that it is flush with the bottom of your drum but recessed slightly at the top.

Next, cut two fabric scraps into rough circles somewhat larger than the ends of your cardboard tubes.

cut a top and bottom for your drum

Snip the overhanging fabric from the edge in towards the tube so that the fabric bends easily over the tube. Secure one circle of fabric to the top of the tube with tape or glue to form the top of your drum. 

Fabric top secured onto cardboard tube.
Secure the fabric top onto your cardboard tube. Now repeat for the bottom.

Repeat this process with the second circle of fabric to form the bottom of your drum. I used Insul-fleece for the top of my drum and a white fabric scrap for the base.

Step 10

Fold your ribbon in half and secure both ends to the tube (with glue or tape) so that the loop will emerge from the top of the drum for hanging.

drum insert
Your cardboard tube should now be covered with fabric top and bottom, and have a ribbon loop attached

Slide the completed tube assembly into your hexagon circle. Secure with a little glue inserted between the tube and the hexagon circle.

Drum with insert
Slide the fabric covered tube into your hexagon circle and secure in place with glue.

Step 11

Each hexagon should have two corners poking out from the circle. Join these two loose corners to each other with a few hand-stitches so that they come together in front of their own hexagon.

hand stitch the drum details
Join the loose corners of each hexagon together so they meet in front.

Once each corner is secure, stitch a bead onto the point for decoration.

Adding beads to the drum
Add a bead to each point for decoration.
completed drum ornament for Christmas
Your Drum Ornament is now complete. You can hang it as is, or add drumsticks.

Step 12

Create two drumsticks by trimming two toothpicks or bamboo skewers to size (for small drums use toothpicks, for larger drums use skewers).

cut skewers
Trim your toothpicks and skewers to approximately 4 – 6.5cm (1.5 – 2.5″) long

Add a small ball of polymer clay to the end of each stick. Optional: Knead glitter into the polymer clay for a little more sparkle on your drumsticks.

Make drumsticks by adding a ball of polymer clay to the end of your trimmed skewer or toothpicks.

Attach the drumsticks to the drum with a few hand-stitches or a little glue.

two completed drum ornaments

Step 13

Send a picture of your fabulous creation to dione @ cleverchameleon.com.au so I can share it with everyone and we can see how clever you are! Then enjoy your new Christmas ornament and have  a safe, magical Christmas!

Here’s a couple of variations of the drum ornament that I made: with borders around the hexagons – one with a simple solid purple feature fabric.

Don’t forget to scroll past the linky party to get to the giveaway!

bigger drum ornaments

FIND ALL 47 HANDMADE ORNAMENT TUTORIALS BELOW AND SHARE YOURS TOO! Use Hashtag #2017OrnamentExchange so we can see your creations on social media.


For a chance to win one of two sets of sparkly fabric hexagons (with adhesive already attached), a sufficient piece of Insul-fleece, a piece of ribbon and 6 pearl beads subscribe to Clever Chameleon blog post notifications by email and leave a comment on this post, telling me about your favourite tree ornament that you already own. Want extra entries? Follow Clever Chameleon on Bloglovin’ and Pinterest or share this post publicly on Facebook, and then leave an extra comment (using the same follower email address as above) letting me know which you did. Entries close 9am South Australian time 29 Nov 2017. Interstate and international entries welcome unless your local law prohibits. Please note that kits will not include materials to make the drumsticks. Good luck!

P.S. Don’t forget to check out the other 46 other ornaments on the blog hop today!

P.P.S. Please make sure you drop by Erlene’s blog at My Pinterventures and thank her for running this massive blog hop!

P.P.P.S Sharing the Christmas joy on my favourite linky parties: Quilting Room with Mel, Quilt Fabrication, Sew Fresh Quilts, My Quilt Infatuation, Confessions of a Quilt Addict, Busy Hands Quilts, 

33 Replies to “2017 Ornament Exchange and Tutorial Blog Hop”

  1. Dione, the ornament is absolutely beautiful!!! Of course I had a sneak peek because I am so impatient.. You put so much thought and hard work into this beauitful ornament, I cannot wait to receive it and decorate our tree with it! Thank you so much!!!

    1. You’re very welcome, and it’s been lovely to “meet” you and get to know you a little through this exchange. Thanks for being a great swap partner.

    1. It is indeed. I don’t know how it works. Nothing was coming to me until I just got started… and then at some point it was suddenly crystal clear. I wish I could bottle that moment!

    1. Thanks Erlene, I had an amazing time and you matched me with a fantastic partner. Thanks for getting the hop to run so well, I know it must have been a massive amount of work. The outcome is a credit to you.

  2. Wow! That is a really nice ornament – thank you for sharing the tutorial! And all the participants have beautiful ornaments to share too. Christmas here we come!

    1. Isn’t the collection of tutorials amazing?!! I am going to have to choose wisely what I make now and then space the others I’d like to do out over next year!

  3. What a beautiful ornament you designed! Now I have a new project to make with hexies. I love that you used the insulating fleece to get the silver you needed!

    And yes I have The Little Drummer Boy song going through my head… lol But that’s okay, it’s one of my favorite Christmas carols. 🙂

    1. Lol. The Little Drummer Boy was my mother’s favourite carol and I have a soft spot for it too. It certainly sticks in my head! The spare ornaments that I have kept for our tree will be well loved, partly in honour of Mum. I hope you do make one (or more!)

  4. A lot of work went into these but they are so special. They look like tiny works of art to me. Each one so unique and so full of details. Evija is one lucky lady.

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