How to Turn Fabric into a Sparkly Embellishment

comments (5) September 14th, 2008     

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susanstars Susan Beal, contributor
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This sparkly floral piece is ready to become the centerpiece of a necklace or decoration on a handbag.
Choose a fun print with places to highlight within the design—I added sparkles to the flower centers.
This sparkly floral piece is ready to become the centerpiece of a necklace or decoration on a handbag.

This sparkly floral piece is ready to become the centerpiece of a necklace or decoration on a handbag.

Photo: Susan Beal

Making fabric stiff and durable enough to become the centerpiece of a necklace, a haircomb embellishment, or a shiny appliqué is a snap with a few simple crafting tools! Add a few rhinestones or other fun decorations to spotlight the fabric design.

You'll need:

  • Fabric of your choice—patterned quilting cotton works well (I used a print from Denyse Schmidt's Flea Market Fancy collection)
  • Sharp scissors
  • Decoupage medium, like Mod Podge—I used glossy instead of matte for shine
  • Paintbrush
  • Craft glue, like Aleene's Original Tacky Glue
  • Rhinestones or other flat-backed embellishments
  • Optional: jump rings, pliers, chain, and a clasp to make a necklace; blank comb and hot glue or industrial-strength glue to make a haircomb; or a plain bag and glue or needle and thread to embellish a handbag

1. Choose your fabric. I like to use prints with interesting shapes and add rhinestones to highlight the design here and there. I chose a floral Denyse Schmidt print that had a nice repeat—perfect for cutting out one section of the design to play with.

2. Cut out a shape of your choice for working with. You can cut out a geometric shape or follow the pattern, as I did. Keep your project in mind when you choose how large or how small to cut your shape; for example, you could use a large, wide piece for the center of a graphic necklace or add pop to a plain handbag. Try a smaller, more symmetrical one for a pendant or small haircomb embellishment.

3. Turn the fabric face down and apply an even coat of decoupage medium to it. Let it dry completely. Now turn it over and add a coat to the front. Continue adding decoupage medium, letting it dry between each coat, until you like the weight and feel of your fabric—it will be durable and flexible after two coats on each side and will stiffen as you add more and more layers.

4. Now choose the spots you'd like to embellish—I spotlighted the flower centers with small rhinestones. Add a drop of craft glue at each spot and gently press your rhinestones onto them. Let them dry completely.

5. After you finish the embellishments, you can turn the piece into whatever you like!

To make it the center of a necklace, use your scissors, an awl, or a tiny hole punch to make small holes, one on each side. Open two jump rings and slip one through each hole. Now cut two pieces of chain, the length of your choice, and join one piece to each jump ring, closing them securely. Last, add a clasp using two more jump rings.

To fancy up a haircomb, simply use a hot-glue gun or industrial-strength glue to join the piece to a blank comb. Let it dry completely before wearing it.

To embellish a handbag, glue or hand-stitch it to the surface of a plain bag.

For more fabric-jewelry ideas like lovely hairpins and a sleek ribbon choker, check out Torie Nguyen's excellent "Pretty Fabric and Paper Jewelry" tutorial in our book Super Crafty: Over 75 Amazing How-To Projects.


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posted in: fabric, embellishment, rhinestones, fabric jewelry, shine

Comments (5)

Craig27Jannie writes: Don't have enough cash to buy a car? Don't worry, because it's achievable to take the home loans to work out such kind of problems. Therefore take a car loan to buy all you want.
Posted: 11:38 pm on August 14th
ArtByMAR writes: What a great and inventive idea! I many times see such great fabric and think "what can I do with that?", now I know. Thanks for sharing.
Posted: 10:43 am on September 15th
ErinMichelle writes: I just love this. Thanks for this tutorial.
Posted: 9:35 am on September 15th
Newfs writes: What a very cool idea. Thanks for sharing that......
Posted: 1:13 pm on September 14th
Sister_Diane writes: Now, THAT's super-cool! *Adding to my To Craft List*
Posted: 9:52 am on September 14th
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