These embroidered pins are kind of addictive – it’s so much fun to pick the color combinations and stitch patterns that it’s easy to make a bunch. I made them as pins for two reasons – one, I rarely make pins, and two, they’re a little 80’s looking and it’s hard to rock an 80’s look without a few solid badges. That said, it would be easy to finish them as parts for necklaces or bracelets by using the method from the crystal flower tutorial. The technique for making these is a bit like a spirograph, and they’re actually really easy and quick to make.
– cotton fabric (some of the fabric I used was painted using this tutorial)
– embroidery floss
– wood circles – 1 1/2 inches to match this template
– sewing pins
– sewing needle with a large-ish eye (enough for embroidery floss)
– pin backs
– E6000 or other fabric friendly glue
– sewing thread
– fray check
– embroidery hoop
– fusible interfacing
– template – Download Template Here
Set up your fabric the same way as I did in the crystal flowers necklace project, skip the part with marking the center and the 6 points around the edge.
Cut out the template and notch it to the end of each line.
Set it over a circle on your fabric, then place a pin at the end of each line.
Use the notches to ease the template away without removing the pins.
Cut a piece of embroidery floss long enough to stitch the 8 long stitches shown on the template plus extra for tying knots and such. Separate your embroidery floss so that you are using 3 strands of it. Thread it onto the needle and tie the end.
Remove one of the pins and stitch through were it was.
Skip 7 pins and stitch down where the 8th pin was – straight across the circle.
Stitch up where the next pin over is. Stitch down at the next pin from where you started.
To make sure your knot doesn’t pull through the fabric loop the needle between the strands.
Pull it up as shown and continue to sew. Relatively taut stitches are best for this project, this way you won’t have to worry about your knot.
Move another clockwise (or counterclockwise, if you’re going that way – it doesn’t matter as long as you’re consistent.)
Work your way around until all 8 long stitches are filled. Tie the floss off securely.
Tying your working thread around a previous stitch makes it easier to secure.
Thread the needle again, but this time with at least 2x as much thread as last time.
Stitch up at the end of one of the stitches from the first circle. Start off figuring out where straight across would be.
Then move it one stitch clockwise and stitch down at the end of that stitch.
Move one stitch clockwise and stitch up. Stitch down one clockwise from the last.
Continue moving 1 stitch clockwise.
Each point of the first row will end up with two stitches in this layer.
Just continue the pattern as established, moving one stitch clockwise until all of the points have two stitches.
Tie off your floss, this piece is done.
Another alternative is to line up your second layer as shown…
Then move 2 stitches clockwise instead of just one.
Continue stepping one stitch clockwise as before.
Moving two stitches results in a more open center area. You can move three or more, but I found that three was enough to make my stitches fall off the edge of the wooden piece.
Cut your circles out leaving whatever margin you can.
Trace the wooden piece onto some extra fabric. Apply fray check or clear glue over the line and allow to dry. Once dry, cut the circles out.
Thread your needle with sewing thread and stitch around the edge as shown.
Pull it up to gather the circle around the wood disc.
Take some extra zig-zag stitches across to back for security and tie off your sewing thread.
A little planning will result in a more secure pin. You want to be sure to orient it so that the open side is down, as shown.
This way you’ll use gravity to help keep the pin closed. If it were flipped over from how it’s shown the pin would be more likely to open and fall off because of gravity.
Plan where the pin finding will be on the back of the pin. Above center is best so that the pin doesn’t tip out at the top. Mark it on the circle.
Apply fray check at the ends.
Cut slits where the pin will end and gently work it through.
Cover the back of the wooden piece with glue.
Carefully place the fabric circle/pin back over it. Make sure the edge of the backing circle is a little back from the edge so it doesn’t show from the front and that the pin finding is secure (but not glued closed!)
Then make a bunch more because they’re fun. Doing three layers of stitching with different colors (the black and green version) worked well, but the version with three layers of black stitching was fairly disappointing. It might have been better with one strand of floss instead of three.