Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fun with embroidery floss!

Over the past few weeks I've done a couple of projects with embroidery floss, a medium I haven't used in a while. One was an embroidery project, and the other was a little different — I wrapped my earbuds with embroidery floss, camp-style.

I was inspired by a post on Pinterest, my latest obsession (and the new darling of social media fans). I wrapped mine in rainbow colors, and I tried to get muted colors. This way I can pretend to be an adult while still having a rainbow on me while I listen to NPR.

I'm not quite sure if I'm done yet — I think I want to wrap it all the way up to the top of the cord. While I was doing this one of my roommate got into it and wrapped her own earbud cords. Cos she's super cute, here's a picture of her using them:
She was rather bemused by my silly picture-taking attempts.
I know, you're all excited. I'll show you how to do this for yourself later in this entry. But first, I want to show off a project I made for my dear friend Autumn and her hubby Rob:
Rob is quite tall... Autumn, not so much. :)
For the embroidery I just used a standard embroidery hoop and two colors of embroidery floss. The fabric is plain muslin (much like our current president!). And those cute little crane scissors? My mom got them for me. They're great for sewing projects like this because they're sharp and I can get them close to what I want to cut.

I put the fabric in the hoop and drew what I was going to embroider with a pencil — my standard procedure. (Don't use a mechanical pencil, they're too pointed and will just punch through the fabric.)

I used a back stitch all along the lines and letters, did a French knot for the eyes, and modified the back stitch to fill in the heart.

When I was done, I trimmed the edges and glued them down to the back of the hoop so the fabric wouldn't slip over time. I also brushed glue on top, hoping to sort of decoupage the fabric to the hoop for the same purpose.

Now for the earbuds! I started just tying an overhand knot and adding a little bit of tacky glue to hold the embroidery floss in place. (I did this periodically along the cord. I don't know if it helps keep everything down, but it certainly reassured me.) I continued to tie overhand knots going one direction to make a spiral.

1. Forming a backward P, place the thread across the cord.
2. Run the thread under the cord and through the loop from step 1.
3. Turn the loop by pulling on the free end.
4. Pull tight on the free end and cinch the knot to complete the step.
5. Start from step 1!

When I ran out of embroidery floss I just started with a new piece, tucking the remnants of the old thread under the knots so there were no loose ends. With every new piece there was about a half an inch from the other side of the knot, and I just tucked that under along with the remnant of the previous thread.

To finish off, I tied a very tight surgeon's knot and trimmed the end as close to the cord as I could get it. I coated the last half inch or so of the cord in tacky glue before I tied my overhand knots so the embroidery floss would have something to hold onto without getting glue all over the outside of my newly-wrapped earbud cords.

I was inspired to make these by a user named ada(: (again, on Pinterest). I hope these two projects inspire you as well! It felt good to use embroidery floss again.

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