Tutorial: Upcycle Christmas baubles with crochet

Upcycle Christmas baubles with crochet #crafternoontreats completed baubles

Welcome to a Crafternoon Treats tutorial on how to upcycle Christmas baubles with crochet covers to give them a new lease of life. Its a perfect project: quick, ecofriendly, hand made and it uses up scraps of yarn that wouldn’t be much use for anything else.

If you are an experienced crocheter you can just use the pattern, which is basically the start of my crochet Blandala circular blanket. Its nothing fancy at all and you can check out other free patterns from other blogs here. Once you get the idea of how to cover the bauble, you can probably try out your own variations.

If you are a fairly new hooker, or you just want some clarification, the photo tutorial shows each round, step-by-step. Its also mobile friendly so you can keep it handy on your phone for bauble making in odd moments 🙂

What you need to upcycle Christmas baubles

  • Oddments of brightly coloured yarn. I used Stylecraft Special DK in different colour palettes to create colour coordinated baubles for my tree.
  • Baubles: I bought ten in different sizes from a charity shop but you may have some already in your Christmas boxes in the attic. They were a bit sad, made of plastic rather than glass but they still had a perfect hanging loop. (Discard any that have broken loops.)
  • The usual notions: scissors, darning needle for the ends.

Colour coordinate your CHristmas crochet baubles

Upcycled Christmas baubles: the written pattern

Pattern notes

The bauble cover is made in two halves. Make two identical cupped circles and then seam together around the bauble.

This cover first a bauble with a circumference of about 27 cm (11 inches). To cover a slightly smaller bauble, miss out round 5 and go straight to round 6. For an even smaller bauble, miss out rounds 4 and 5 and repeat round 3 twice before completing round 6.

If your bauble is larger, add rounds before completing the final border round of UK dc (US sc stitches). The rule of thumb is to keep to a flat circle until your bauble cover is about 75% of the size of your bauble, then stop increasing so that the cover forms a shallow cup.

When the two halves are finished, they should fit around the bauble with a gap of about 1cm (half an inch) for a snug fit. The last thing you want is baggy baubles!

Abbreviations

  • Ch = chain
  • St(s) = stitch(es)
  • UK Tr = UK treble (US double crochet, US dc)
  • Slst = slip stitch
  • UK dc = UK double crochet (US single crochet, US sc)

Instructions for one cupped circle (make 2).

Round 1

  • Start with colour A. I used Stylecraft Special DK in Mustard.
  • Make a slip knot. Ch4, slst into first ch to form a ring.
  • Ch3 (counts as a stitch here and in all rounds that follow), 11 UK tr (11 US dc) into the ring, crocheting over the tail end. Slst into top of ch3 to close. Pull first end taut to close central ring. Fasten off and weave in ends.

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Round 2

  • Change to colour B. I used Stylecraft Special DK in Kelly green.
  • Join into any stitch from round 1 with a standing UK tr (standing US dc). See tutorial below within instructions for round 2.
  • UK tr (US dc) into same stitch, working over tail end.
  • 2 UK tr (US dc) into next 11 sts. Work over tail end for first few sts.
  • Slst into top of standing st to join. Fasten off and weave in ends.

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Round 3

  • Change to colour C. I used Stylecraft Special DK in Matador.
  • Join into any space between pairs of sts from round 2 with a standing UK tr (standing US dc). See tutorial below within instructions for round 2.
  • 2UK tr (US dc) into same stitch, working over tail end.
  • 3 UK tr (US dc) into next 11 spaces between pairs of sts.
  • Slst into top of standing st to join. Fasten off and weave in ends.

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Round 4

  • Change to colour D. I used Stylecraft Special DK in Bottle.
  • Join into any space between triplets of sts from round 3 with a standing UK tr (standing US dc). See tutorial below within instructions for round 2.
  • 3UK tr (US dc) into same stitch, working over tail end.
  • 4 UK tr (US dc) into next 11 spaces between triplets of sts.
  • Slst into top of standing st to join. Fasten off and weave in ends.

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Round 5

  • Change to colour E. I used Stylecraft Special DK in Claret.
  • Join into any space between quads of sts from round 4 with a standing UK tr (standing US dc). See tutorial below within instructions for round 2.
  • UK tr (US dc) into same stitch, working over tail end.
  • *2 UK tr (US dc) into space in the middle of the quad of sts from round 4. 2 UK tr (US dc) into space next quad of sts.**
  • Repeat from * to **. 2 UK tr (US dc) into space in the middle of final quad of sts from round 4
  • Slst into top of standing st to join. Fasten off and weave in ends.

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Round 6

  • Change to colour C (I used Matador)
  • Join into any stitch with a standing UK dc (standing US sc). See tutorial below within instructions for round 6.
  • UK dc (US sc) into every stitch around circle. Join to the standing stitch with a slst.
  • Fasten off but leave one long tail end for sewing the two halves of your bauble cover together. Sew the two halves together with mattress stitch, fasten off and weave in the final end. Add a tie to hang the bauble.

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Upcycled Christmas baubles: the tutorial

Instructions on how to make the cupped circlet that forms half of the bauble cover. After the first is finished, make a second in exactly the same way.

Round 1

R1 step 1: Make a slip knot

Upcycle Christmas baubles with crochet #crafternoontreats step 1 slip knot

R1 step 2: Make 4 chains then slip stitch into first chain (shown with arrow) to form a ring.

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R1 step 3: Ch3 (counts as a stitch here and in all rounds that follow). 11 UK tr (11 US dc) into the ring (see arrow), crocheting over the tail end.

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R1 step 4: Slst into top of ch3 to close. Pull first end taut to close central ring (as shown by direction of arrow).

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R1 step 5: Fasten off and weave in ends.

Round 2

R2 step 1: Change to colour B. I used Stylecraft Special DK Kelly green.

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R2 step 2: Join into any stitch from round 1 with a standing UK tr (standing US dc). If you’ve not done this before study the tutorial below. If you have, make the stitch and scroll down to continue the tutorial for round 2 at R2 step 3.

Standing UK tr (US dc) tutorial

Standing tr step 1: Hold colour B behind the round 1 circle, just behind any stitch.

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Standing tr step 2: Yarn over hook twice.

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Standing tr step 3: Insert hook into stitch.

Standing tr step 4: Yarn over and pull through a loop. You have 3 loops on your hook.

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Standing tr step 5: Yarn over and pull through 2 loops, then yarn over and pull through final 2 loops as you would when working an ordinary UK treble (US dc). Hold the tail tend to the left of the stitch; you will crochet over it with the next stitch.

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Round 2… continued

R2 step 3: UK tr (US dc) into same stitch, working over tail end.

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R2 step 4: 2 UK tr (US dc) into next 11 sts. Work over tail end for first few sts.

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R2 step 5: Make a slip stitch into top of standing st to join. Fasten off and weave in ends.

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Round 3

R3 step 1: Change to colour C (I used Stylecraft Special DK in Matador).

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R3 step 2: Join new colour into any space between the pairs of sts from round 2 with a standing UK tr (standing US dc). See tutorial  above. The photo below highlights where to insert your hook.

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R3 step 3: 2UK tr (US dc) into same stitch, working over tail end.

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R3 step 4: 3 UK tr (US dc) into next 11 spaces between pairs of sts.

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R3 step 5: Slst into top of standing st to join. Fasten off and weave in ends.

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At this point your circle is still flat – not bauble shaped. This is OK!

Round 4

R4 step 1: Change to colour D. I used Stylecraft Special DK in Bottle. This is a deep rich green which is a perfect contrast to the brightness of Matador.

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R4 step 2: Join into any space between triplets of sts from round 3 with a standing UK tr (standing US dc). See tutorial above. 3UK tr (US dc) into same stitch, working over tail end. The photo below shows where to insert your hook.

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R4 step 3: 4 UK tr (US dc) into next 11 spaces between triplets of sts. Slst into top of standing st to join. Fasten off and weave in ends.

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Round 5

R5 step 1: Change to colour E. I used Stylecraft Special DK in Claret.

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R5 step 2: Join into any space between quads of sts from round 4 with a standing UK tr (standing US dc). See tutorial above. The photo below shows where to insert your hook.

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R5 step 3: Once you have made your standing stitch, work one UK tr (US dc) into same stitch, working over tail end.

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R5 step 4: Now work 2 UK tr (US dc) into space in the middle of the quad of sts from round 4. Your hook should go between the posts of stitches 2 and 3 of the quad.

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R5 step 5: Work 2 UK tr (US dc) into the space between the next two quads of sts. Carry on around the circle, working 2 UK tr (US dc) into the middle of the quads and between the quads.

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R5 step 6: Slst into top of standing st to join. Fasten off and weave in ends.

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At this point your circle should look slightly cupped as you have the same number of stitches in round 5 as in round 4. In round 6, you also make the same number of stitches, so the cup effect should get more pronounced.

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Round 6

R6 step 1: Change to colour C (I used Matador again). Join into any stitch (see photo below for where to insert your hook) with a standing UK dc (standing US sc).

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Make this in exactly the same way as you did a standing UK tr (US dc) but wrap your yarn around the hook only once at the start. Insert your hook into the stitch shown above, yarn over and pull through a loop. You will have 2 loops on your hook.

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Yarn over and pull through both loops to complete your standing UK dc (US sc). Hold the tail end to the left so that you can crochet over it with the next few stitches.

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R6 step 2: UK dc (US sc) into every stitch around circle. Join to the standing stitch with a slst. You have finished the first half of your bauble cover.

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Fasten off but leave one long tail end for sewing the two halves of your bauble cover together.

Joining tutorial for your upcycled Christmas bauble

Joining step 1: Thread the long tail end onto your darning needle and get your bauble.

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Joining step 2: Put the two covers on either side of the bauble. They should cup the bauble but should not meet in the middle. A gap of about 1cm (half an inch) is good for a snug fit.

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Joining step 3: Start joining at the base of the bauble, at the end opposite the hanging loop.

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Joining step 3: Insert your needle into a stitch in the bauble cover opposite (the one at the top in the photos). Then work back into the first bauble cover (the one at the bottom in the photos), inserting your needle into the next stitch. Then work into the next stitch of the top bauble cover, then the next stitch of the bottom cover, and so on. Your stitching should always go from wrong side to right side each time. This is known as mattress stitch.

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After a few stitches, your join should look very neat, like this…

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Joining step 4: Carry on until you are  half way round. You now have to go around the hanging hook on the bauble. Insert you needle into the next stitch in the top bauble cover and pull the thread through.

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Joining step 5: Stay on the same side, skip a stitch, then insert the hook from right side to wrong side and pull through. This will take you past the hanging hook.

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Joining step 6: Skip a stitch on the bottom bauble cover and insert your needle from wrong side to right side into the next stitch along.

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Joining step 7: Continue with your mattress stitch as before, working from wrong side to right side, alternating between the two bauble covers.

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There will be a gap at first, but as you work the next few stitches, it will close up as you pull gently on the working yarn.

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Joining step 8: When you reach the end and the bauble is completely enclosed within the two covers, weave in the end by going one way, then the other, then diagonally across as shown by the arrows. Pull gently on the working yarn and snip off so that the final tail end is within the bauble cover.

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That’s it!! You can now upcycle Christmas baubles. All that remains to do is to add a tie to hang your bauble. Some thin ribbon works well,  or you could use a crocheted chain.Upcycle Christmas baubles with crochet #crafternoontreats step 48

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