Yo-Yo Ornaments


I enjoy making Yo-Yos, so I thought I would “whip up” some Yo-Yo ornaments I saw in a recent issue of Quilter’s World called Quilting for the Holidays. I decided to make two of each while I was at it so I could share some as gifts.

Being an avid home cook as well as quilter, I spend a lot of time visiting recipe websites and cooking blogs. The reader’s comments consistently include the modifications, additions, and substitutions they made to the recipe. In the same vein, I will share with you how I altered the Yo-Yo ornament instructions based on what I had available and my whims. For example, instead of regular 100% cotton prints used in the magazine article, I chose batik fabrics from the Batik Paradise collection. My apologies – I did not take my usual step-by-step photos this time. I was on a mission to finish the ornaments!

Making the Yo-Yos
The magazine instructions called for using Clover Yo-Yo Makers in the following sizes:

Extra-Small – 3/4″ finished size
Small – 1-1/4″ finished size
Large – 1-3/4″ finished size
Extra-Large – 2-3/8″ finished size


Since I had all the sizes and like to make Yo-Yos with Yo-Yo Makers, I made mine that way. I started with squares for the Yo-Yo Makers and trimmed them once the fabric was inserted in the plastic discs.

Yo-Yos can easily be made without Yo-Yo Makers. It is necessary to start with circles of fabric to make them by hand without the Yo-Yo Makers. Bigger Perfect Circles, which go up to 4-1/2″ in size, help with drawing circles to be cut for the three smaller sizes (the Extra-Large needs a 5-1/4″ circle). Alternately, two choices for cutting the circles for Yo-Yos are the Olfa Rotary Circle Cutter and TrueCut 360° Precision Circle Cutter.

To view a helpful Connecting Threads tutorial video on making Yo-Yos with and without a Clover Yo-Yo Maker, click here .

Regardless of the method, the formula for cutting the circle for a Yo-Yo is:
The finished Yo-Yo size x 2, plus 1/2″ = size circle to cut
For example, if the finished size of your Yo-Yo is 1 3/4″ –> 1 3/4″ x 2 = 3 1/2″.
Add 1/2″ to this number, 3 1/2″ + 1/2″ = 4″

The Christmas Tree Ornament
The Christmas Tree ornament is made of ten Small Yo-Yos for the tree in a pyramid arrangement and one Small Yo-Yo at the base for the trunk. I chose five green batik fabrics and made two of each for the tree and a brown batik for the trunk. The Yo-Yos are joined with a whip stitch on the adjoining edges.


For my gold star, I drew a star on the paper of some fusible web, ironed it to the back of a gold felted wool scrap, cut it out, fused a cotton print on the other side, and tacked it to the top of the tree. Though no embellishment other than the star was called for in the pattern, I found some red sequins and white beads in my crazy quilting supplies to add to the tree, securing them by sewing and a touch of fabric glue.

The Candy Cane Ornament
The Candy Canes require six red Small Yo-Yos and five white Small Yo-Yos. The Yo-Yos are overlapped and joined with a whip stitch. I tied a bow in some narrow red ric-rac and tacked it to the top of the Candy Cane for hanging.


The Snowman Ornament
The Snowman requires three sizes of Yo-Yos – Extra-Small (hat decoration), Large (head), and Extra-Large (body). 6947 Plumage Pearl batik worked well for the head and body. These ornaments were the most time-intensive due the embellishments.

The first step in assembling the Snowman was to whip stitch the head to the body. For the scarf, I found some 7mm red silk ribbon in my crazy quilting supplies. For the hat, I folded a rectangle of black felted wool in half with fusible web in the center, cut the edges to mimic a hat and brim, and whip stitched around the outer edges. I left the non-folded edge open so I could insert the top of the Snowman’s head inside.

After gluing and tacking the hat to the head, the green felted wool leaf was adhered to the hat with fusible web. The red Yo-Yo was tacked down with thread. The pattern suggests using a small piece of upholstery foam for inside the carrot nose. I used a triangle of orange felted wool with the corners rolled toward the center to fill it and a whip stitch to close the bottom edge. Sewing on the nose did not work well for me, so I glued it on with a drop of permanent fabric glue. I decided to hang the ornament with embroidery floss sewn through the top of the hat because I forgot to insert ribbon in the top earlier.


It took longer than expected to make two of each ornament; I was ready to be finished! The Snowman pattern called for the eyes and buttons to be made with black wool roving and a felting needle. Using small black buttons sped things up for me.  I managed to sew on all the buttons without any threads or knots on the back. I was too tired – or just forgot – to make mouths, so they have none. Black French knots would be cute but would be difficult at this stage. Maybe I will glue on a felt mouth later like the pattern shows… or not.


I am so glad I persevered! Not sure which is my favorite but the Snowman’s nose seems so long I am tempted to call him Pinocchio!

If you are interested in other ornament ideas, check my blog for Christmas Candy Ornaments


and Jennifer’s Spritz Cookie Ornaments.

Hope this inspires you to whip up some ornaments too!

Happy Holidays!



  1. Marilyn Lessner - December 17, 2014

    Love your yo-yo ornaments Ann! I made quite a few new fabric ornaments this year, but not with yo-yo’s. I’m putting them on my list for next years holiday crafting! Thanks for the ideas!

  2. Ann - December 17, 2014

    Thanks Marilyn! As a designer who likes Yo-Yos, these ornaments are one of those – “Wish I would have thought of that!” projects. Fabric ornaments are a quick, fun project. Be sure to check back Friday – I have one more ornament blog.

  3. Linda Christianson - December 17, 2014

    I too love your yo yo idea. I whipped up 7 pillow cases for three families in shelters, last night after working a full day. Stayed extra hour at school after work today, so yo yo ? Not tonight. Still have four gifts to give on Friday. Probably raid the closet for something I quilted in the past. Is that why we give ready made food? It is hard to give up our hand work?