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Make It : Embroidered Halloween Badges Tutorial

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Today's guest project is brought to us by Stephanie Housley from Coral & Tusk. What originally started as a handmade baby gift has since turned into a business of embroidered goods (and other delights) with a little help from our very own magazine!

"I decided to create my own version of the game "Memory." I wanted to make it nautically themed, and a card for each letter of the alphabet. One can imagine that this became quite an undertaking—not only to create ONE card for 26 characters, but TWO! I was nearly done with the first set, when I was looking at Martha Stewart Living (this was around November of 2007) and came across a dreamy photo of her sewing room and all of her machines...figuring out that I can get a machine to make multiples was amazing! I did extensive research on the machines in Martha's room...It was only after I had the machine at home and trained myself on the software that I realized how much potential this machine had. There were so many other things I could make with this machine and even possibly sell. And that is when Coral & Tusk began."

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Stephanie may sell machine-embroidered things now (with her trusty Husqvarna Designer SE), but she definitely hasn't lost her touch for handiwork:

"I've designed a few simple line drawings for Halloween Badges for hand-embroidery. There are three designs:

  1. 'turtle-dove'—a dove with a turtle shell costume on
  2. 'bat-cat'—an ornery bat who painted cat eyes and whiskers on the insides of his wings and who's wearing cat nose underwear!
  3. 'nar-wal-rus'—a funny walrus wearing a narwhal tusk on his head"
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Here is the template that you can download and print out on photo transfer paper. The images have already been mirrored, so you can directly print them out.

1 Here is the template that you can download and print out on photo transfer paper. The images have already been mirrored, so you can directly print them out.

Obviously you can use whatever color [felt] you prefer. Generally lighter colors or neutral grounds provide a better canvas for the colors to show properly.

2 Obviously you can use whatever color [felt] you prefer. Generally lighter colors or neutral grounds provide a better canvas for the colors to show properly.

Place the design face down onto the felt. Make sure to leave yourself plenty of space to hold the design while you are embroidering, as well as for whatever decorative edging you plan to do.

3 Place the design face down onto the felt. Make sure to leave yourself plenty of space to hold the design while you are embroidering, as well as for whatever decorative edging you plan to do.

Follow the directions on the package for ironing the design onto your selected ground. If you choose not to do a felt badge, you can opt for a nice linen or cotton canvas and frame it!

4 Follow the directions on the package for ironing the design onto your selected ground. If you choose not to do a felt badge, you can opt for a nice linen or cotton canvas and frame it!

This is how the turtle-dove will look once you've ironed the transfer on and removed the backing paper.

5 This is how the turtle-dove will look once you've ironed the transfer on and removed the backing paper.

And this is how the bat-cat will look. I decided to give this proper badge

6 And this is how the bat-cat will look. I decided to give this proper badge "tails," so I made sure to leave plenty of room at the bottom.

It is smart to select all of the colors you plan to use. Lay them out first to make sure all of the values look good together. You can closely follow the colors in the print out I've suggested, or select your own palette.

7 It is smart to select all of the colors you plan to use. Lay them out first to make sure all of the values look good together. You can closely follow the colors in the print out I've suggested, or select your own palette.

I use standard embroidery floss. Generally there are 6 strands. I use 2 strands at a time, but sometimes when the areas are very small and detailed, I switch to single strand so that I can get as much detail as possible.

8 I use standard embroidery floss. Generally there are 6 strands. I use 2 strands at a time, but sometimes when the areas are very small and detailed, I switch to single strand so that I can get as much detail as possible.

This is the walrus mid-stitch. You can completely fill in the areas with stitching, or opt to keep them linear.

9 This is the walrus mid-stitch. You can completely fill in the areas with stitching, or opt to keep them linear.

Here are all of the completed embroidered badges alongside the transfer sheet for a before and after comparison.

10 Here are all of the completed embroidered badges alongside the transfer sheet for a before and after comparison.

You can glue a pin on the back side, or simply safety pin the badge to your garment!

11 You can glue a pin on the back side, or simply safety pin the badge to your garment!

Click here for templates to sew your own Halloween hybrids. Thanks, Stephanie!

p.s.

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