February 12, 2009

Valentine :: wrapping up - ctd.!!

After I posted my previous post - the braided necklace with portrait - I started thinking there had to be a different, more kid-friendly, way for closing the necklace than a clasp. A button maybe? I immediately went checking my box with little treasures, and yes! There I found, of all things, a red heart-shaped mother-of-pearl button!! Exactly what I needed! It took me five - well, maybe ten - more minutes to finish off the necklace. This completely erased my earlier worries about not having a little mommy-made present for my little girl yet...

So, here's what it finally looks like:

Cute, not?

Want to know how I did it? Keep on reading, then!

Here's what you'll need for this last minute project.

for the braid:

- 3 strips of fabric or ribbon, about 1 yard long (that's a rough guess) and 5mm wide. I've used two strips of left over fabric, each with a different print, and a piece of silk (embroidery) ribbon. When cutting the strips, don't worry too much about cutting it straight or getting a ruler, just cut! You won't see the imperfections once braided.
- a chopstick and something to hold the chopstick into place while braiding (I've used a cutting board with handle; you could also use a ring binder,...) - this is just for practical reasons, i.e. to keep the braid from twisting and slipping away while you go, and it will help you to make a nice and evenly spaced out braid.

for the ornament:
- a template - this could be anything. I've used a flower. A heart would be nice too. It's Valentine's Day after all!
- two small pieces of fabric
- a small amount of batting or fiberfill
- a picture and some colored pencils. (Note: you might as well use stamps for decorating, instead of a picture. Use your imagination and creativity!)
- iron-on transfer paper

for the closure:
- embroidery floss
- button

further decorations (optional): beads, colorful buttons, etc.

1. Make a braid, using the three strips of fabric. I'm convinced this doesn't need any further explanation... Tie a knot at both ends when done, to secure.

2. Prepare the picture. For this step, I refer to this post. I've used the exact same procedure.

3. Cut out your template from both pieces of fabric. Did I say one had to be of a light color if you want to transfer a picture on it?

4. Transfer picture onto light colored fabric

5. Squeezing a small amount of batting or fiberfill in between, with a contrasting color, sew the two pieces together using small stitches.

6. Cut the braid to the desired length, taking into account an extra margin for making a loop at one end later.

7. Sew the ornament into place onto the braid. Do the same for the other decorations you chose.

8. On one end, sew on the button. A useful hint: when sewing on the button put a tooth pick or match between the button and the braid. The little space you'll get, will make sure the loop (see next) will stay put under the button. (I'm not sure I express myself clearly here. If not, let me know!)

9. On the other end: fold over the braid to make a loop. Secure with a couple of stitches using embroidery floss, don't cut off the thread but twist it around the braid a couple of times and then secure by slipping the needle under and back to the beginning. (Again, I'm not sure this is clear. Let me know!) Secure, cut off and ...

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