I really love embroidery, and luckily it's really fashionable at the moment. But aside from embroidering your clothes, you can also embroider your own jewellery! All you need is a few simple, affordable supplies and a whole lotta patience to sit and stitch!
You will need:
(For the pendant)
- A base fabric (I used felt)
- Iron-on interfacing
- Embroidery thread in your desired colours
- A bezel pendant setting
- An embroidery hoop
- Embroidery needles (or any needle with a big enough eye)
- PVA glue
(For the rest of the necklace)
- Chain or cord
- Jump rings
- A clasp
Step 1: Preparing Your Fabric
Start by ironing a piece of interfacing onto your felt, and then place the fabric into your embroidery hoop, felt-side up. Mark out the shape of the bezel setting on the fabric. For me, this was a 2cmx2cm square.
Step 2: Plan Your Design
I wanted there to be a thin black border around the edge when the embroidery was complete, so I used plain thread to do a tacking stitch around the edge of my work area, which was 17mmx17mm.
Once I'd tacked this border, I used a gel pen to quickly mark out where my different elements would go so I could stitch over them. I wanted to create an image inspired by Van Gogh's "Starry Night", so I drew out where I wanted the moon to be, as well as the various swirls in the sky etc.
Step 3: Start Embroidering
Start stitching your image. I started with the main elements, which in my design was the moon. I recommend watching series or something else while doing this, as it is very repetitive, but can also be very relaxing!
If you don't know how to embroider, just do a back stitch, over and over, like colouring in. I promise it's enjoyable!
Keep stitching and then fill in any gaps between main elements. Don't be afraid to change thread colours - use of more colours really adds dimension to an embroidery, and makes the individual threads stand out in a way they wouldn't if you only used one colour.
Step 4: Finishing the Embroidery
Once your embroidery is complete, make sure you've knotted and trimmed all your threads (do this as you finish working with each colour). Carefully pull out the tacking threads that marked out the border. Iron the embroidery, as the stitching will cause the fabric to pull, and ironing it flat will make the embroidery lie better in the pendant.
Flip the embroidery over so that the back is facing up, and then mark out the shape and size of the bezel pendant setting, with the embroidered area centred. Because you stitched through the fabric, the exact embroidered area will be visible on the back. Very, very carefully cut out the embroidered area, ensuring that your border is even on all sides. Check that it fits into the pendant.
Take the bezel pendant setting and smear some craft glue in the base. Coat the base, but don't work the glue all the way up to the edges, or it will inevitably SQUISH OUT AND RUIN EVERYTHING, the way glue so often does. Leave the glue for a minute or two to get a bit tacky, and then carefully place the embroidery into the bezel setting, making sure that it's facing the right way up (since the hoop for hanging the pendant is only on one side of the bezel setting).
Leave the pendant to dry for as long as your glue specifies (overnight is a good guess for most glues to avoid the risk of messing it up).
Step 5: Adding the Chain
Decide how long you want the chain to be (just holding it around your neck is the quickest way to give you a good idea of where the pendant will hang). Cut the chain, and thread it through the hole at the top of your pendant.
At each end of the chain, attach the two pieces of your clasp using jump rings. When opening your jump rings, use two pairs of pliers and turn the sides away from each other, rather than opening them up by simply pulling the ring open, as this can distort and damage the ring.
And now, your necklace is complete!