How to Make a Stuffed Buche de Noel (Part 1)

comments (13) December 25th, 2015     

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erika_kern Erika Kern, contributor
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Joyeux Noel! This Buche de Noel may not be tasty, but it sure is cute.
The finished log is ready to decorate!
Measure 2-1/2 inches down the side of the small piece of felt. Make a mark. Fold the felt in half, and cut from the mark to the fold.
Joyeux Noel! This Buche de Noel may not be tasty, but it sure is cute.

Joyeux Noel! This Buche de Noel may not be tasty, but it sure is cute.

Photo: Erika Kern
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Christmas is my favorite time of year. I love the decorations, the food, and the music. Seriously, I love the music, I own 60 different Christmas albums (I know, it's a sickness). Anyway, back to the topic at hand-the decorations and the food, I love 'em! This project combines both into a fun stuffed centerpiece that will last you years and years.

Don't miss part 2 of this project where we embellish the log with mushrooms and holly berries.

Supplies needed:

• Wool felt (You can find felt by the yard at most fabric stores. I'll be using the names of National Nonwoven's felt line since it's the brand I've found in most stores.)

1/3 yard of Oakwood (Dark Copper Brown)

1/3 yard of Chocolate (Dark Brown)

1/4 yard of Oatmeal (Light Heathered Brown)

• 2 to 4 skeins of brown embroidery floss (I used DMC 838)

• Size 20 or 21 chenille hand needle

• Rotary cutting tool

• Self-healing cutting mat

• Scissors

• Fabric glue

• Embroidery needle (optional)

• Sewing machine (optional)

• Stuffing

• Quilt batting (optional)

Make the log:

Cut two pieces of the Oakwood felt: one 12 inches by 18 inches for the body of the log and one 10-1/4 inches by 4 inches for the stump.

Make a Stuffed Buche de Noel
Measure 2-1/2 inches down the side of the small piece of felt. Make a mark. Fold the felt in half and cut from the mark to the fold.
Make a Stuffed Buche de Noel
Use a compass to make the circles for your log. The circle for the log's ends is 5-1/2 inches in diameter. The circle for the stump is 3-1/4 inches in diameter.

Use your circle pattern to cut two large circles and one small out of both the Oatmeal and the Chocolate brown felt. So you will have six circles, four large and two small.

Make a Stuffed Buche de Noel
Cut spirals out of the chocolate brown felt. They should measure about 3/4 inch in thickness, but they don't have to be exact since it's supposed to look like filling.
Make a Stuffed Buche de Noel
Trim the excess spiral. Make sure your large spirals are going in opposite directions so that they match up when you put your log together.

This is where you'll have to decide whether you are going to glue, hand-stitch, or machine-stitch your appliqués onto your log. Me . . . I'm kinda crazy so I hand-stitched them. Even if you do decide to sew, you'll want to tack your appliqués down with fabric glue. Trust me, it makes life soooooo much easier. If you are gluing, slowly and neatly glue the spiral down, making sure to get a firm and even hold. If you are sewing, let glue tacks dry completely before you sew.

Now, for the fun part-let's make some bark!

Make a Stuffed Buche de Noel
Use your rotary cutter and scissors to cut out shapes for your bark from the chocolate brown felt. Have fun! There's no wrong way to do this.

You can also use the extra felt from the spiral shapes to make fun curves.

Lay out your dark felt pieces onto your log felt to create barky goodness.

If you're gluing, glue down your appliqués now. If you are sewing, glue-tack the pieces and allow to dry. I used a whipstitch to sew the appliqués to the felt, but you can use whatever stitch you like best. A running stitch on a machine can give the log a cool, deconstructed look. Whatever you choose to do, attach all of the appliqués in the same fashion. Wait for the glue to dry before sewing your log together if you glue your appliqué down.

To sew up the log, we'll be using our friend the blanket stitch but in a slightly cockeyed way. The blanket stitch usually runs right to left, but in this case it's less awkward to stitch the log using a blanket stitch that goes left to right. Before you start stitching, you'll want to pin the body of the log to the first end. Don't pin the last few inches down, though, since you'll want your fabric to overlap a bit for the body seam.

Make a Stuffed Buche de Noel  

Sew the first end onto your log using a left to right blanket stitch.


Make a Stuffed Buche de Noel
Trim the excess fabric and sew the log tube up using the left to right blanket stitch.

Once your log is all sewn up, stuff it. To make sure my log is smooth, I use a piece of quilt batting rolled up into a tube and then I stuff that with stuffing to give it bulk. If you don't have any batting, just stuff it like crazy with your favorite stuffing material.

Now that the body of the log is all sewn and stuffed, sew up the stump using the same blanket stitch. Leave about 1/2 inch at the bottom of the stump's side seam.

Make a Stuffed Buche de Noel
After you stuff the log body, stuff the stump.
Make a Stuffed Buche de Noel
Pin the stuffed stump onto the log body.
Make a Stuffed Buche de Noel
Attach the stump to the log. The stitch looks like the beloved blanket stitch but is made differently. Instead of going diagonally, go across and then up.


Pull the floss through the loop made by the stitch, pull tight, and repeat.


Make a Stuffed Buche de Noel
Another shot of the stitch that binds the stump to the log.

Through the loop and down finishes the stitch.

Your log is all finished now and ready for next week's holiday decorations!

Make a Stuffed Buche de Noel
A detailed shot of the finished log.

Such a beauty!

Check out Part 2 here.


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posted in: embroidery, felt, christmas, decorations

Comments (13)

Ashtonjames writes: great
Posted: 10:15 am on October 1st
EchoLin writes: seems difficult, i guess i can't do that well.
Posted: 5:08 am on March 19th
klwheeler writes: I want to try this soon.
Posted: 2:35 am on November 6th
happyquilter54 writes: i9m, love tis. will have to make one too
Posted: 4:56 pm on December 2nd
happyquilter54 writes:
Posted: 4:55 pm on December 2nd
erika_kern writes: Yeah. . . I'm a BIG felt fan. I love how forgiving it is and I also love how people have this expectation of it and how easy it is to do something unexpected with it because those expectations are so low.

I love the idea of this as a mother daughter project. Warms the heart!

Posted: 5:18 pm on October 4th
Jen1964 writes: Love it! When my daughter was 8 and wanted to learn to sew, I found she couldn't handle the skinny material easily. The practice kits were too simple and unrealistic, so we decided to start her on felt, and a needle big enough she could thread herself without getting frustrated. Felt is so forgiving, and your hands don't cramp when you hold it... and it stays put while you get used to the thimble. Everyone loved the applique pillows she made.
We never thought of anything like this though. I'd love to try this as a mother - daughter project, fit for any first timer or expert who just wants to have fun. There's something about the hugability of felt, too.
Posted: 10:42 am on October 4th
JennlovesSteve writes: This is so cute, I am going to make them for everyone this year!
Posted: 5:26 pm on October 2nd
erika_kern writes: Thanks! Oh! I loved your log too Kayte, I remember seeing it and swooning.
Posted: 2:39 pm on October 1st
Jen_W writes: I really cannot stand how cute this is. Oh my goodness.
Posted: 2:31 pm on October 1st
susanstars writes: beautiful, Erika! I loved yours too, Kayte!
Posted: 2:05 pm on October 1st
mscraftypants writes: I love the swirly ends and the layered wood grain gives a lovely depth. I can't wait to see the mushrooms. Hooray for Buche de Noel! I have to go buy some felt now; thanks Erika. :)
Posted: 1:14 pm on October 1st
kaytet writes: cute! i love yule logs! i made one for the holidays last year!
Posted: 12:01 pm on October 1st
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