There are very few things that aren’t improved by glitter, beading, rhinestones, and other shiny things. Unicorns know this. Taylor Swift knows this. Strippers know this. Really, the rest of us just need to get on the bus (dibs on naming the bus, though! I’m thinking the Swift Unicorn Stripper Bus!)
I, of course, have a very strong grasp on this concept since I have my own personal internal magpie. This means the moment I took a good long look at the awesome embroidered version of the felt cup cozy, I immediately thought, "White! Red beads! Heart-Shaped! Shiny!" The result was pretty glorious, if I do say so myself!
If you'd like your own version, here's what you'll need:
- the downloadable pattern available in this post
- small embroidery hoop (optional)
- glass seed beads, silver-lined if you want
- needle small enough to fit through seed beads
- sewing thread
- Hot glue gun and glue
After you've traced out and cut your basic felt cozy shape, draw your design lightly on the felt. Then you can center it in the hoop and start sewing on the beads.
Here's where it gets a little bit time consuming and a little bit tricky. First of all, picking the seed beads out. You see, you can buy seed bead packs that are all the same color, but I had plenty left over from an abandoned project so I figured it wouldn't be so hard to pick the red out of the assortment of colors. And it wasn't, per say. Just time-consuming. To pick them out, I just stuck my needle point into a red one and sort of lifted it out. Sometimes it stayed on the needle, sometimes not. Sometimes others came with it. When I make another beaded one (it's almost inevitable), I think I will take the little bit of extra time right at the beginning and sort out the color I want. The next thing that was tricky was working around my delusions. I figured since the sides of the heart are basically straight lines I could thread a bunch of beads on the string and then occasionally just stitch down into the fabric. That plan did not work. Ok, maybe a couple of beads? No. If you look at my work up there, I was suffering from that delusion for a short span and the beads are a bit wonky. I ended up sewing every single bead on individually. Now this really develops into a rhythm pretty quickly, so it's not quite as daunting as it sounds, but you should be prepared for that fact.
So how exactly do you sew every single bead on? Well, there's the obvious of you start by knotting the end of your thread or do as I do and pull an extra long length, double it, and leave the loop as the long end. When you make your first stitch through the bead and pull the needle back through the fabric, you catch the loop and pull it tight. No knot! Anyway, get your first bead on the fabric. Then push the needle back up so it comes out along the line but a seed bead's width away from the first bead. Put a bead on and bring the needle back down right next to your first seed bead. Now bring the needle up a seed bead's width away from the second bead, put a bead on, and bring the needle back down through the fabric right next to the second bead. This is called a backstitch in embroidery, so if you already know how to do that, the only difference is adding a bead onto the stitch. If you don't, here is a direct link to the tutorial available on the Sublime Stitching website. Continue on in this manner until you have worked the entire design this way. If you feel that your beads look wonky still, you can do what I did, which is run the needle and thread through all the beads once around so everything is one one "track" of thread. When you have completed that, just secure your thread with a knot or two on the back of the fabric. Match up the short edges of the felt and hot glue the sleeve into a loop.
I will never again question the price tag on a fancy beaded dress.
Let me know in the comments what design you'll be beading (or if this just sounds like too much work). And don't forget, if you're participating in Felt February, let me know in the comments so I can add you to a special blog roll. On Twitter and Instagram, be sure to add #feltfeb to your description so I can see your creations!