Weekend Workshop : Make Bug Keepers!
This is a really adorable project to make for your favourite kidlet. Make them buggy, like I did, or you could customize and embroider sweet little hearts or geometric shapes or flowers, even. This project uses a magic piece of craft equipment called a Transfer Pencil. A transfer pencil makes any design you draw into an iron on transfer. It’s amazing. You can buy transfer pencils at all good craft stores and you should buy one. Be aware that the pencil won’t wash out of the fabric once it’s ironed on, so you need to draw a fine line or embroider carefully so that your thread covers the lines. Does that make sense?
If you need some embroidery tips, leave a comment and I will hit you up! Now let’s make Bug Keepers! Or cute keepsake boxes. It’s your call!
Embroidered Bug Keepers a la Gerald Durrell
Please note that bugs should only be kept for a short time, for observation. Then you should return them to the spot where you found them. Thank you!
- Calico or Muslin to embroider onto
- Embroidery Hoop
- Transfer Pencil
- Bug Image resized to fit onto face of matchbox
- Embroidery Floss
- Iron and Ironing Board
First trace over your design using the Transfer Pencil
Next flip your tracing over and pin it face down onto your fabric. Make sure it is centred nicely.
Iron with firm presses to transfer design onto fabric. Don’t move the iron backwards and forwards or your design might move too!
Take a peek – without shifting your paper – to see if it’s transferred. If not keep pressing. Once it HAS transferred to the fabric, remove pins and paper and draw in any bits that didn’t transfer properly with a grey lead pencil or embroidery marker if you have one.
Pop the design over an embroidery hoop and stitch over your lines with small stitches. I used two strands of the embroidery floss to keep the details nice and fine.
Once done, trim all your loose threads neatly so they don’t show through your fabric later.
Next make the strip to go around your matchbox. Trim your fabric so that it’s 5″ long and 4″ high. Your embroidered design should be centred in the middle of this piece.
Go slowly so you don’t make any blunders. Head to your ironing board. Now, with right (embroidered) side down, fold each raw LONG fabric edge in to the centre so that the raw edges meet nicely and create neat folded edges at the top and bottom of your strip. Press.
Now fold just one of the short edges of your strip in 1/2″ and press.
Then wrap this whole folded and pressed ensemble around your matchbox outer.
Tuck the raw short edge under the folded short edge.
All your edges will be neat and folded now, with the embroidery centred nicely on the front of the matchbox. Yay!
Staple into place at the back, being sure it’s pulled nice and snug around your matchbox as you staple.
Go look for some critters to study : just be sure to return them to where you found them after you’ve done our investigating!
How did you go?! Do you like embroidery?!