Today I’m excited to share with you a project inspired by my recent trip to Norway, this Tomte Christmas Gnome Pillow! If you like this project then you may also enjoy this patchwork Christmas pillow sewing pattern.
If you prefer a printable version, you can now purchase a printable version of this pattern along with 2 other of our most popular Christmas Pillow Sewing Patterns in our shop!
Visting Bergen, Norway
Last summer while we were in Norway, we spent one day in Bergen (if you’d like to read a bit more about our experiences in Norway you can CLICK HERE, the Bergen installment is HERE). While in Bergen we stumbled onto the cutest little Christmas shop that was housed in one of the historic buildings that make up the Bryggen wharf area.
Not only was the store ADORABLE, it had the craziest, crookedest staircase that I have ever climbed in my life! We all got a little bit disoriented on our way up.
Inside the store, there were a gazillion, completely adorable Christmas gnomes, or Tomte as they are called in Norway (on a side note, I’ve seen them called both tomte, and tomten, I’m guessing tomten is plural, but if anyone knows for sure, let me know).
As usual, when I’m shopping and surrounded by a plethora of CUTE, I get overwhelmed and can’t decide what to buy. After spending way too much time wandering the store, I picked up a set of wood tomte to add to our Christmas decor at home.
Norwegian Inspired Christmas Projects:
Now that I’m home, and it’s Christmas-time, I’ve been thinking a lot about those adorable Tomten and my trip to Norway. I have a million ideas swirling through my head and decided that I’d start working through them by creating a pillow inspired by the tomten and my trip to Bergen.
I’ve written up a pattern for the pillow if you’d like to make one here are the instructions and a few more photos of the pillow!
(yep, the dog managed to get in the photos AGAIN!)
Christmas Gnome Pattern & Pillow Tutorial:
To make the pillow you need (I’ve linked to the supplies on Amazon, they are affiliate links):
- Two 20″ x 20″ squares of fabric
- 20″ x 20″ pillow form
- Package of bias piping
- Large square of green wool felt
- Large square of white wool felt
- Small scrap of flesh colored felt
- White embroidery thread
- 1 package Heat N Bond Lite
- Optional: Embroidery Machine or Snowflake Applique or Iron On
- Piping Foot for Sewing Machine
- Tear Away Stabilizer or Lightweight Interfacing
- Tomte Applique Pattern, download for free on the SEWING TEMPLATES PAGE – CLICK HERE (make sure you READ the instructions)
If you have an embroidery machine, embroider a snowflake (or another nordic inspired image) onto a piece of uncut green felt. Before you embroider, make sure your felt piece is large enough to cut out the hat from the template.
If you do not have an embroidery machine, just leave off the snowflake applique (it will still be cute I promise). You can also hand cut a snowflake out of felt and applique it to the hat if you like. I have a BERNINA 770QE sewing machine. The snowflake I used is one that came with the machine, reduced in size by 50%. I used rayon embroidery thread on the design.
After you have embroidered your snowflake, cut out your hat piece using the enclosed template. Make sure the snowflake is at the bottom of the hat.
Cut out a piece of Heat n Bond lite the same size as your cut hat piece. Iron to the wrong side of the hat piece.
Trace the remaining applique pattern pieces onto the paper side of the heat n bond lite. Cut out loosely. Iron onto the wrong side of the felt. Cut out more precisely.
Arrange the pieces so that they make the tomte on the front of the 20″ x 20″ pillow piece. You may need to overlap a few pieces of felt, or trim others to reduce bulk.
When you get the felt pieces in the correct spots, remove the paper backing and using a pressing cloth, iron onto the top of the pillow.
With the embroidery thread still in your machine, stitch a simple applique stitch around the edge of all of the felt pieces.
Using your piping foot, stitch the piping to the front of the pillow piece. If you need help attaching piping CLICK here for a tutorial.
Pin the pillow back piece to the pillow front piece, right sides facing. Stitch together along the stitching line you used to attach the piping. Leave a 10″ opening in one side of the pillow.
Turn right side out, slip pillow form in and slip stitch opening closed.
More Christmas Sewing Projects: