By Andrea DeHart
Needle crafts such as cross stitch and embroidery are wildly popular, and the techniques are quick and easy. Make this cross-stitch pendant as a special handmade holiday gift for a friend or family member. Whether you prefer simple graphics or abstract designs, the possibilities are endless for this project. Duplicate the simple geometric motif I’ve demonstrated here, or create your own design.
Frame pendant & chain
Embroidery floss in assorted colors
Small embroidery hoop
Stiff backing material such as a thin plastic sheet (try yogurt lids) or medium-weight paper
Water-soluble marking pen optional
Step 1: Trace around the outside of frame pendant directly onto the cross stitch fabric using a water-soluble marking pen. Masking tape can also be used to mark the dimensions of the pendant. Count the horizontal and vertical rows to be able to make an accurate template for the design. Use graph paper or a computer drawing program to plot out your design.
Step 2: Separate the embroidery floss to use only 3 strands at a time. This will eliminate bulk while giving adequate coverage on the fabric. Put the fabric on the embroidery hoop with the frame guide centered. Begin cross stitching the design based on your template. It’s much easier to stitch one color at a time until it’s complete rather than rotate between colors in a row. At the completion of each color, simply knot the tail to the next color of floss and continue.
Step 3: Remove the fabric from the hoop, and carefully trim around the design, leaving a 1/2″ allowance on each side. It helps to clean up the back side of your piece by trimming excess floss to eliminate extra bulk. Cut a piece of thin plastic or medium-weight paper slightly smaller than the pendant (to be used as a backing). Place the backing on the back side of the design, making sure that it is centered.
Step 4: Carefully wrap the 1/2″ allowance around the backing and reinforce with a small amount of craft glue. Use clothespins to hold the folded corners in place while the glue dries.
Step 5: Now it’s time to pop the design into pendant frame! Use a good amount of craft glue in the base and inside walls of the frame to make it secure. Let the glue set overnight then put the finished piece on a sturdy chain and it’s good to go.
About the Author:
Andrea DeHart is a self-proclaimed Craft-o-holic living with Portland, OR. She enjoys frequent craft nights with her 2 kids and scraps rarely go to waste. You can follow her crafty creations at www.craftybitch.com.