Tuesday, October 18, 2011

DIY: Medallion Brooch!

A lot of you really seemed to like the dapper frog brooch that I wore in this OOTD. Some of you also left comments saying that you wanted to see a tutorial. Here it is! The process of figuring out how to make these brooches was harder than it should have been. Mama CP would have been horrified by some of the words that were flying out of my mouth over the course of my first attempt. The dapper frog brooch was sewn, but for the purposes of this tutorial I decided to use fabric glue instead. I figured it might be easier for those of you who don't have access to, or dislike working with sewing machines and/or needles and thread! 

Step One: Assemble Supplies

For this project, you will need:
  • Fabric glue
  • Ribbon (the thickness of the ribbon is really up to you!)
  • Decorative element (you can use anything from pendants to charms to recycled earrings. I chose to use a vintage pin. I simply used a wire cutter to remove the pin back, and filed down the sharp edges.)
  • Scissors
  • Flat-nosed pliers
  • Jump ring
  • Pin back
  • Awl
  • Iron

Step Two: Cut the ribbon!

I don't have any photographs of this step. I just cut length of ribbon that I thought would complement the decorative element. 

Step Three: Iron the ribbon!

Part 1: Fold both ends of the ribbon over a bit, and iron them flat. Fold them over one more time, and iron them again. This will prevent any pesky strings from showing when you're wearing your new brooch. (Image 1)

Part 2: Fold the ribbon in half, bringing the ironed ends together to form a small rectangle. Iron again so that you have a nice, crisp crease. (Image 2)

Part 3: Glue the edges together!

Again, I don't have photos of this part. Because I tend towards the air-headed end of the spectrum, I got preoccupied and forgot to take pictures. Using your fabric glue, glue the two edges of the ribbon together. The glue that I used needs 24 hours to completely set. I left it alone for about 10 minutes before I finished up the rest of the project, and didn't have any problems, though. Just don't wear it until it's had the full 24 hours to set.

Part 4: Fold (for lack of a better term)!

This part is a bit tricky to explain. For this step, you're going to be working with the folded edge of the ribbon -- so not the edges you just glued together. Working one corner at a time, fold the corners in towards the center of the ribbon, and iron them into place once you've achieved the look and shape you're going for. There's really no trick to this... it just requires trial and error, and patience. If you iron both the corners and find that they are uneven, you can always iron the ribbon flat again. This took me a few tries on my first attempt, but I've vaguely gotten the hang out it now. You just kind of have to work with the ribbon, and again, be patient. =) You'll get it!

Part Five: Punch a hole, add a jump ring, and attach your decorative element! 

Part One: Use an awl to punch a hole through the folds of the ribbon. You can see in the top photo precisely where to place your awl. Gently rotate the awl until you have punched appropriately sized holes on both sides of the ribbon. Be gentle with the awl. It's sharp enough that it will do the work for you.

Part Two: Thread the smallest jump ring that will fit through the holes. You can find a more detailed explanation of how to open and close jump rings here. Since you're probably going to be using a fairly small jump ring it will be a tight fit, but that's okay. Just gently work it through the holes you punched with the awl.

Part Three: Using another small jump ring, attach your decorative element to the jump ring you just threaded through the ribbon.

Part Six: Glue on the pin back!

Place two small dots of fabric glue where you'd like you're pin back to go. You're going to want it fairly close to the top of the ribbon. Place your pin back on the glue, and press gently. Again, it will take 24 hours for the glue to cure, so you can't quite wear it yet. What you can do, however, is...

Marvel at your beautiful new bauble!

I think it's important to let the people -- and, sometimes, favored inanimate objects -- know how much you love them, and how special they are. I spent a bit of time telling my new brooch how pretty she is. It turns out that her name is Gladys, she likes kittens, cotton candy, and rainbows, and she loves nothing more than adorning cardigans. I think she and I are a match made in Heaven.

I would love to see photos if you decide to give this project a try! As usual, let me know if anything is unclear. I'd be more than happy to clarify!

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