Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Embroidered Locket Tutorial ~

Lockets have always appealed to me, ever since I received my first locket as a gift when I was a young child.  It was a tiny locket on a pretty gold chain and I knew exactly whose picture I wanted to be in that locket.  It was our family dog, Cha Cha.  With the help (and approval) of my mother I found the perfect picture of Cha Cha and cut out her face and glued it into my locket.  I can still remember how much I loved seeing her furry face peering out at me whenever I opened that locket.  To this day when I think about Cha Cha it's that image of her face that I have captured forever in my heart.  And that's why I think lockets are special.  They are a tangible way to always carry with you the memory of a special someone.

And since peak of Summer is a perfect time to take a break from knitting, I'm going to share with you a favorite quick project of mine which is  making an embroidered locket.  The lockets I like to use have two sides (one side for a picture and one side to decorate with embroidery).

How to make a free-style embroidered locket ~

This is a very easy project but a basic understanding of embroidery is necessary (and assumed) such as how to use an embroidery hoop, etc.

Step 1:  Gather your materials (linen fabric, embroidery floss, empty locket, etc.).  I have listed below the links and/or sources to all the materials I used to make the lockets shown in this post.

Step 2:  Find a coin or other small object to measure the area you want to cover in your locket to use as a template.  Whatever design you want to embroider it will have to fit within this area.  Using a pencil or marker trace lightly around the coin onto your linen fabric to give yourself a visual guide to the area your embroidery design can not exceed.

Step 3.  These lockets are made using free style embroidery, which simply means that I didn't use a pre-printed design.  Instead I visualized a picture of what I wanted to embroider and made a few rough sketches on the linen fabric and then began filling in the picture with embroidery stitches.  For example, the top locket is a cluster of foxglove flowers.  I used a combination of straight stitches and french knots in this design.  I used the straight stitch to make the grasses and flower stems and french knots to create the flowers.  You can be as inventive or elaborate as you wish in your design, but the small size of a lockets probably works best with a simple design and stitches.

Step 4.  This is important!  After you finish with your embroidery you will cut out the circle of fabric you drew INCREASED by an additional 1/4 inch edge.  You will then apply a small amount of basting glue to this additional 1/4 inch of fabric and fold it over over to make a "hem."  This "hem" is to prevent fraying of the fabric edge which could happen if you simply cut out the circle of fabric in the size you need.

Step 5.  Apply a small amount of basting glue to the entire back surface of your fabric circle and quickly place it into the locket holding it firm until the glue sets.  I use a blunt knitting needle to press and ease the fabric into place being careful not to crush the embroidery stitches as much as possible.

Step 6.  Attach a piece of linen string for a necklace and begin the hunt for the perfect picture to add to your locket!  These are nice to have on hand when you want to include a little something handmade into a gift.

Supplies/Materials: a small piece of linen fabric (I purchase my linen squares from Lorna Bateman's etsy shop); an embroidery hoop; several colors of embroidery floss (I like to use DMC floss (available at most craft stores) and chameleon hand-dyed threads from South Africa (I purchase mine from Loran Bateman's etsy shop) both types of embroidery floss are used in these lockets; an embroidery needle; an empty locket (the lockets used in this post are a combination of brass and copper; 1.5" diameter; and were purchased in bulk on Etsy under "supplies"); basting glue (I like both Jillily Studio Appli-Glue and Glue-Baste-It); a coin or similar object that can be used to trace the inner circle of your locket; a small piece of linen string to use as a necklace cord (mine is 26 inches long and hangs 13 inches down); and ~ inspiration ~ you can see from my lockets I am inspired by flowers and nature.  Embroidery is very easy to learn with lots of free resources online.  If you are new to embroidery I think the following link is a helpful resource to explain the stitches along with helpful diagrams: embroidery stitch dictionary.

The MisAdventures of Simcha

Simcha has been remarkably well behaved these past few months.  Well, except for those dress shoes of Steve's he destroyed and the rolls of toilet paper he chewed up and the ear of corn he stole and the ceaseless barking at coyotes.  But all in all we are seeing improvements!

Until next time, be well and love well and may you always hold in your heart the memory of those you love.  In closing here's a picture of me holding Cha Cha, our family dog, who was a gift to me and my sister as well as my parents.  We all loved her very much.


Monika said...

Those lockets are very cute!
Oh Simcha, it's good to hear that he's been good, except a few slip ups. :o) Sounds like Denny, who is going through toilet paper rolls like candy, killed one of my sandals with one bite, found a nest of bunny babies, but thank god he showed me, before he could do any damage. He too has improved, but is still not fully trustworthy. :o)
That picture of you and Cha Cha is lovely. I like the doll bed in the background too. You looked very happy in the photo. :o)

missyinedmonds said...

What a nice post Claudia, I like reading about your locket creating process. They are so dainty and pretty. Simcha is quite the character, he sounds like a good watchdog!

SissySees said...

Cha Cha appears rather JRT-ish. Simcha looks far too stately to have done what you accuse him of doing. (Smart boy. If you can't be good, at least LOOK good!)

I too love lockets. I think I need to shrink and copy a photo or three and fill some of mine up. Can you believe I've never put a photo in a locket?

Tracy said...

LOVELY lockets, Claudia! What a different and pretty project shared. These would make sweet gifts. And love the color you've used for working the designs. I've always liked lockets too. I have tiny cameo locket on a gold chain my Mom gave me, and love it. LOVE that picture of you and Cha Cha--too cute! Simcha looks such the gentleman in that photo... hard to believe all those mis-adventures. ;o) LOL...Happy Days, my friend ((HUGS)) P.S. I made the peanut butter cookies you shared at Flickr last week... they were sooo GOOD! Even my hubby, who's not a peanut butter fan, enjoyed them. :o)

gMarie said...

is barking at coyotes bad or doing his job? Simcha is quite lovely. I'm glad he's settling in. g

Willow said...

Cute lockets :) I have one that belonged to my grandma.

Wow, Simcha is certainly a resourceful dog--always finding new things to chew.

Gail said...

The lockets are darling Claudia, I think I should make them for my daughters as a keepsake. You do such beautiful dainty work. Hope you are enjoying your summer!

betty said...

The lockets are cute. I don't think I've ever seen embroidered ones, but I think I've seen some with tiny needlepoint work.

Simcha looks very regal. Barking at coyotes doesn't sound too bad - he's just protecting the household.

Renee said...

Such lovely lockets! So much beauty in the hand crafting.
Good to hear Simcha is mostly behaving. Hopefully they weren't favourite dress shoes of Steve's!
Adore the family photo of you and Cha Cha, such a treasure.
Hugs to you and be well (we need to catch up, I've been so disconnected this summer)