It’s the most wonderful time of the year!…or so the song goes. Isn’t it funny how hauling a giant tree into your house doesn’t make it feel crowded? Instead it’s like the room was missing a full-sized tree all along! Christmas magic, I think. Growing up, my mom would decorate a such a glamorous Christmas tree…soft white lights, gold and pearl beaded accents, crystal dangles ornaments, AND leopard print! A Christmas tree just isn’t complete with a little bit of leopard print to me. So this year, I designed a new addition to the Luxe Leopard Collection…the Luxe Leopard Ornament.

The following is a free pattern available for use on my website, if you would like to purchase a detailed, ad-free PDF version of this pattern, please visit my Etsy or Ravelry shop. All rights reserved.

**This site contains affiliate links to products. I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. This is a great way to support my small business AND get the supplies you need for your project!**


About the Ornament

The Luxe Leopard Ornament is a bauble-style ornament. It uses tapestry crochet techniques to create effect of leopard spots. And it showcases a knit-look stitch that gives these ornaments a cozy feel.

This pattern was originally designed with bulky weight yarn to make a 3″ ornament. I love the way they work up with bulky yarn, and they’re so quick to make! But I also included some modifications to make these with worsted weight yarn if you prefer.

If you love leopard print at Christmas-time like me, you might also like the Luxe Leopard Stocking!


Pattern Vault Bonus!

The Luxe Leopard Ornament is the Pattern Vault featured pattern for the month of December! That means if you’re subscribed to my newsletter, you can snag the free PDF this month. Check out the latest emails for the current password. And if you’re not subscribed, you can sign up on the sidebar or on the Welcome Page. You’ll get the password, plus a Ravelry coupon in your welcome email!


What You’ll Need

So first off, you’ll definitely need some yarn. I used Lion Brand Color Made Easy (Wheat & Caviar) for my ornament. I also accented the spots with some Brava Bulky (Brindle) from WeCrochet. This has been one of my go-to yarn selections for the entire Luxe Leopard Collection. So if you’ve made one of the other pieces, you’ll likely have enough scraps around to make one of these!

You’ll also need something to fill your Luxe Leopard Ornament with. I intended to fill mine with the plain plastic ball ornaments that you can find at most craft stores around the holidays. But alas, they were out! But I did find some styrofoam balls, and they worked out great. The only caveat is that you have to create your own loop to hang it from, but don’t worry, that’s easy peasy. I also had a tester who simply stuffed the ornament with poly-fil stuffing and still got a nice bauble shape, so that’s a great option too!


Special Techniques

There are two main techniques that you should be familiar with for this ornament: tapestry crochet and waistcoat stitch.

Tapestry Crochet

If you’ve done color work in crochet before, you can probably just keep scrolling (we’ll be carrying yarn). But if you’re a newbie to tapestry crochet techniques, you’ll need to learn a few things along the way. It can be a little intimidating at first, but a small project like this is a great starting point. I always like to send people to check out this tutorial video from Whistle and Ivy if they’re new to color work. But I’ll also do some quick bullet point explanations here.

  • Changing Colors: Begin stitch with first color. On the last “yarn over and pull through” of the stitch, yarn over with the second color and pull through the loops on your hook.
  • Carrying Yarn: Hold the unused yarn colors along the back of your work at the base of your stitches. Work your stitches around the unused colors are you go.
  • Reading a Graph: This pattern is worked in a continuous round. When you are using the graph, you will start at Column 1 and read right to left. Each square indicates one stitch. The color of the square corresponds to the yarn color of that stitch. At the end of the graph, begin again at Column 1 of the next row.

Waistcoat Stitch

This lovely stitch is what gives the Luxe Leopard Ornament it’s knit-look. In essence, it is just a single crochet. The main difference is that it is worked between the posts of the stitch below. Splitting the posts gives the stitch that classic v-shape found in knitting. The trick to this stitch is loose tension. If your tension is too tight, you’ll have trouble getting your hook between the posts of the stitch below. Try going up a hook size to loosen your stitches if you’re coming across this issue.

If you’re new to this stitch, I like this tutorial video from Make & Do Crew.


Fun Finishes for this Ornament!

As I mentioned before I used a styrofoam ball to fill my ornament. So I finished it off with a little yarn loop to put a hook into. You can also make a series of chain stitches to hang this from as well. And once you’re done, it’s kinda fun to dress it up!

You might consider adding some ribbons or beads to the base of your hook. I used the remnants of a broken ornament to give the Luxe Leopard Ornament some extra pizazz. Another fun option is to make a few of these and use them to adorn a wreath! Mixing a few solid colors with the leopard print could make for a pretty stunning piece.


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Materials Needed

  • 45 yds of Lion Brand Color Made Easy (or similar bulky weight yarn)
    • 25 yds of Main Color (tan)
    • 10 yds of Contrasting Color (black)
    • 10 yds of Accent Color (brown)
  • Size K (6.5mm) crochet hook
  • 3” Ball ornament or 3” styrofoam ball or Polyfil stuffing
  • Tapestry needle 
  • Scissors 
  • Stitch Marker (optional)
  • Optional: Ornament hook

Stitches/Abbreviations Used

Magic Circle
Sl st – Slip Stitch
Sc – Single Crochet
Ch – Chain 
Sc Inc – Single Crochet Increase
Sc Dec – Single Crochet Decrease
Waistcoat Stitch
MC – Main Color
CC – Contrasting Color
AC – Accent Color

Skill Level

Experienced Beginner

Finished Measurements

3” Ball Ornament

Gauge 

Waistcoat Sc: 9 st x 12 rows = 4” square

Notes

  • This leopard ornament is worked in waistcoat stitch in a continuous round. The first round of single crochet stitches will be worked normally. Each subsequent round of single crochets in the pattern should be worked between the posts of the stitch below.  
  • If you are having trouble meeting gauge, I recommend going up a hook size.
  • It may be helpful to mark the first stitch of the round with stitch marker.

Special Stitches


PATTERN

With K Hook and MC.

Magic Circle. 

Round 1: Sc 6 in magic circle. (6)

From this point forward, all sc will be worked using the waistcoat stitch.

Round 2: Sc Inc in each st around. (12)

Round 3: *Sc, Sc Inc*. Repeat from * to * around. (18)

Round 4: *Sc 2, Sc Inc*. Repeat from * to * around. (24)

Round 5-11: Sc in each stitch around following color changes from graph.

Insert ball ornament and begin decrease rounds with MC only around the ornament.

Round 12: *Sc 2, Sc Dec*. Repeat from * to * around. (18)

Round 13: *Sc, Sc Dec*. Repeat from * to * around. (12)

Round 14: Sc Dec in each st around.  Sl st to first sc of round. Tie off leaving tail. (6)

With tapestry needle, weave tail through last row of stitches and cinch around hook attachment. If using styrofoam ball, cinch closed and use tail to create small loop to attach hook. Weave ends. Attach hook and add desired embellishments.



PATTERN

(With Adjustments for Worsted Weight Yarn)

With J Hook and MC.

Magic Circle. 

Round 1: Sc 6 in magic circle. (6)

From this point forward, all sc will be worked using the waistcoat stitch.

Round 2: Sc Inc in each st around. (12)

Round 3: *Sc, Sc Inc*. Repeat from * to * around. (18)

Round 4: *Sc 2, Sc Inc*. Repeat from * to * around. (24)

Round 5: Sc 3, Sc Inc. Sc 11, Sc Inc. Sc 8. (26) 

Round 6-13: Sc in each stitch around following color changes from graph.

Insert ball ornament and begin decrease rounds with MC only around the ornament.

Round 14: *Sc 2, Sc Dec*. Repeat from * to * around. Sc in any remaining stitches.(20)

Round 15: *Sc, Sc Dec*. Repeat from * to * around. (14)

Round 16: Sc Dec in each st around.  Sl st to first sc of round. Tie off leaving tail. (8)

With tapestry needle, weave tail through last row of stitches and cinch around hook attachment. If using styrofoam ball, cinch closed and use tail to create small loop to attach hook. Weave ends. Attach hook and add desired embellishments.


Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoy the Luxe Leopard Ornament! I’d love to see some Christmas trees decked out in leopard print, so be sure to tag me in your ornament makes! Use hashtag #luxeleopardornament and tag @craftingforweeks on Instagram or Facebook or a chance to be featured.

And if you’re looking for some quick makes before Christmas, check out some of these free patterns on my blog!

XOXO Earwarmer
Great Star Beanie
The Buffalo Bonnet

Until next time, Happy Crafting!

Kelsie

Written by

Kelsie

I'm a stay-at-home mom of 3 little ones that loves to create with yarn. I design crochet patterns, and create tutorials for fun crafts.