Sometimes inspiration strikes and strikes hard! Like a flash, I knew my cross stitched square of four hearts should be a necklace charm! I quickly trimmed the piece down, leaving one row of fabric bordering it and rushed to my closet for one of my best crafting friends, acrylic felt. Now I know acrylic anything is often highly maligned, but I have to admit to loving it. I love that it's cheap and easy to come by and, frankly, when I'm not sure if a project is going to work out or I think it won't be used a lot, cheap and accessible are both excellent guidelines for the materials.
I will admit that this was not a difficult project to construct. Of course first was just tracing out the square of felt:
Just me and a dream. And a pen. And a piece of felt. And....
Next, I sewed a 6mm split ring to the top center of the felt.
After that was secured, I glued it to the back of the cross stitch, This time, the choice was not laziness at all, but a desire to ensure that the thread and fabric were extra secure and the glue would help stiffen the piece some (but not too much).
I hadn't thought much about the card layout, but as I worked I decided I wanted it to resemble what it would be doing, so I grabbed a big square punch and centered it along the top. Next, I took some thread and ran it back to front through a small hole, through the ring, and back through the same hole (front to back this time) so I could tie it off.
Thread turned out to be a mistake. It allowed the charm to twist too much and I couldn't rely on it for delivering the sort of presentation I wanted when the recipient took it out of the envelope. I switched it out for 24 gauge wire. It's think enough to be cut with scissors, but has all the awesomeness of wire!
Looking at the front of the card, I knew I wanted to do more than I did with my last card. Looking at it later, I felt that it was a little too plain. I decided to frame the square with some dry embossing. Dry embossing is really quite simple to do. Take a stencil and put your card face down on top. If you have a light box, this is the time to use it. If you do not, a window works quite well. Take a stylus (available at any craft store) and trace the border of the stencil (do not rub around the areas to try to fill it in more (just trace the edge of the design). After I finished that step, I decided to ink it. Inking an embossing is the part that makes me nervous. If you're doing it right on the card, as I was, there's pretty much no going back. Use a light hand and let the ink pad just graze the top of it. As you get used to it, you can apply more pressure. If you are working with a bigger stencil, you place it over the surface to mask the paper. My stencil was small, so I couldn't get away with that. I did have some luck with the ink I was using: I was able to erase many of the areas that I didn't like, or at least lighten them. I then went back and inked the edges for this total look:
Now al that remained was that pesky bottom empty space. I wanted to veer away from a sentiment and finally decided on some thin satin ribbon. It's really easy to apply this! I just ran some glue tape along the back. The tape was wider than the ribbon, so it just didn't adhere along the sides. If there was any errant glue, it could be rubbed off easily once the ribbon was put down. I cut my segments of ribbon, pulled very tightly to keep each one straight and pressed them right down! Easy peasy!
Of course all the materials were already in my stash so I'm keeping up with my Just Stash January Challenge! If you have somehow missed me rambling on about this challenge, I tell you all about it in this post. If you want to participate, leave a comment and I'll add you to the blog roll. Don't have a blog? E-mail me pictures and I'll be happy to share them! I'd love to track it on Twitter and Instagram too! Just throw in a #juststashjanuary so I can see your amazing progress!
Tomorrow, updates from Jen and Ragan who have also taken on the challenge with me!