the making of festive brooches

Whoa! It’s Decem­ber already! Friends are say­ing that their hol­i­day dec­o­rat­ing / bak­ing / shop­ping are well under­way, but since I’ve spent the past month trav­el­ling I’m bare­ly feel­ing the Christ­mas excite­ment at this point. A fes­tive craft might help fix that!

Actu­al­ly, I need­ed to find sim­ple yet fes­tive craft ideas for an upcom­ing project. I spent last night search­ing on dif­fer­ent blogs and craft sites for projects that involved the least amount of sewing and use of hot glue. This idea came about as I was twid­dling around with some rib­bons. I thought they’d make nice last-minute gifts so I made a bit of a tuto­r­i­al to share :D

Apolo­gies for the hor­rid dis­coloured pic­tures and the funky back­grounds — I was in a bit of a rush and did­n’t get around to set­ting up a nice pho­to-shoot. But I hope you get the idea. As always if there’s any question/comment feel free to drop me a note! :D

To make one fes­tive brooch, I used:

30 — 40 inch­es of 3/4‑inch ribbon

assort­ment of buttons

a push pin

some kind of thick padding, like a sponge, or thick piece of Styrofoam

sewing nee­dle, threaded

a pin back

a hot glue gun

felt (option­al)

Step 1: Wrap rib­bon around 4 fin­gers secure­ly but not so tight that it can’t be slipped off the hand after, and ensure that the loops are stacked neat­ly on top of one anoth­er, like so…

Step 2: Slip loops of rib­bon off the hand, hold­ing it in the cen­ter, like so…

Step 3: With the push pin, pin the stack of rib­bon to the piece of padding (I used a new kitchen sponge) in the cen­ter-ish point of the rib­bon (does­n’t need to be per­fect, just make sure that the pin goes through all the lay­ers), like so…

Step 4: Fan out the rib­bon loops by gen­tly tug­ging on the loops, like so… (it helps to begin by tug­ging the top half and bot­tom half toward oppo­site direc­tions a bit at a time. And yes, it’s much more effi­cient to do this with two hands. I only pho­tographed one hand because one hand need­ed to hold the camera.)

Step 5: When sat­is­fied with the shape, hold it togeth­er in the cen­ter and take it out of the sponge/foam with the pin still in it, like so…

Step 6: Remove pin, still hold­ing it togeth­er in the cen­ter, take the thread­ed sewing nee­dle and make a small cross stitch through all the lay­ers in the cen­tre, like so…

Step 7: With same thread, sew but­ton in the cen­ter. I like to top it with anoth­er small­er but­ton in con­trast­ing colour.

Step 8: Sew through but­tons twice and tie off at the back (it helps to line up the but­ton holes).

Step 9: Attach pin back to the back with a big glob of hot glue (apply glue to the rib­bon, NOT to the pin. Hot glue + met­al pin = burnt fingers!)

And there you have it, a brooch to put any out­fit into fes­tive mode! :D Here’s one made with a sheer kind of rib­bon, which I prefer.

Now, if one has more time beads can be sewn in the cen­ter instead of buttons.

I ini­tial­ly made the bead­ed pin as a sam­ple for pho­tos and thought I would put it in the shop after, but after tak­ing pic­tures of it this morn­ing with this par­tic­u­lar sweater I’ve decid­ed that I’m keep­ing it :P The shop will have to wait.

For bead­ed brooches I would rec­om­mend sewing the pin back to a piece of felt and then hot-glu­ing the felt to the rib­bon flower, so it’s more stur­dy, like so…

With the mul­ti-steps I think I made it look more com­pli­cat­ed than it actu­al­ly is. It’s actu­al­ly quite straight­for­ward, and took me an hour to make the two but­toned brooches, and that’s with me being inde­ci­sive about the colour com­bi­na­tion of the but­tons.  It would be fun to play around with dif­fer­ent tex­tures and length of ribbons.

Hope you enjoy this and thank you for visiting!