Under the Mistletoe

Kissing under the mistletoe at Christmas is a time-honored tradition ... and with the plant's magical history, it's little wonder!

The mistletoe plant lives in the air, planting its roots in the trunks and branches of trees, a welcome flash of bright green in a sea of winter white. The Druids viewed the plant as a powerful symbol of vitality and fertility, and the ancient Greeks and Romans believed it could cure all manner of illnesses with its life-giving properties. In the Middle Ages, people hung sprigs of mistletoe to bring good luck and ward off evil spirits. The association with kissing dates back to the ancient Roman midwinter festival of Saturnalia, the Victorians popularized the tradition as we know it today.

This holiday season, dress up your doorway with a unique twist on the Christmas classic: a full sprig of mistletoe, all stitched in freestanding lace! It's simple to put together, and oh so sweet. We'll show you how!

To craft your lace mistletoe decoration, you will need:

  • Merry Mistletoe (Lace) embroidery design
  • Heavy duty water-soluble stabilizer, such as Vilene or Sulky Ultra Solvy
  • Rayon thread (40wt.)
  • String or twine
  • Optional: ribbon


Begin by stitching the pieces of freestanding lace onto heavy duty water-soluble stabilizer using 40 wt. rayon thread for best results. How many pieces you choose to make is entirely up to you!

The most stitches a single piece has is approximately 13,218 stitches. Here are the pieces we started with.

Once you're done stitching, rinse and dry each piece completely. (Here's more on stitching freestanding lace).

Cut at least a foot of twine, keeping in mind where you would like to hang your final piece so you have enough slack. Knot one end tight, then begin feeding your pieces down to the knot in random order.

TIP: If you are using twine or a thicker string, it may help to dab and twist the end of your string in Fabric-Tac, then let it dry. This will make it easier to feed your string through the eyelets of the lace.



Keep feeding your pieces down and around in varying order. If you want a more permanent hold, use dabs of glue at the base of each eyelet after you've placed each piece.

Finish your piece off with a ribbon! I used a foot of ribbon, tied in a bow at the top of my lace.



Here is my completed mistletoe!

Pull the white berries to the top of your stack, and your finished mistletoe is ready to hang! Place in doorways, on the tree, or as a present topper for someone special.


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Suggested designs for this tutorial: 
Merry Mistletoe (Lace)_image
Merry Mistletoe (Lace) $5.99
1 Available Size:
Machine Embroidery: 3.27"w x 3.90"h