Making Cute Halloween Plush Brooches: Part 2

Part 2: Ribbon Embroidery

Did you miss Part 1?  Making Cute Halloween Plush Brooches: A Tutorial!


EEK! How Ghoulishly Giirlish...

In the last tutorial, I showed how to make little Halloween brooches.  I made a little skull with a floral fabric to show the basic steps.  But that little skull needed something… something that would make it cuter.  How about a little rose?  For this, I used ribbon embroidery which makes great flowers and adds an extra element of dimension to embroidering. In Part 2, we will embellish our small creations with ribbon.

Materials You’ll Need

  • The pin you want to embroider on
  • 3mm or thinner ribbon (although even some 3mm ribbons seem a bit wider than others and don’t work for this… to check to see if it will work for this, measure it to make sure it is at 1/8 inch and no more than that)
  • Possibly some all-purpose sewing thread that matches the color of the ribbon

Tools You’ll be Using

  • A large chenille needle
  • Possibly a smaller crewel needle
  • Pins
  • Scissors

Threading the Ribbon on a Needle

Ribbon threaded onto a large chenille needle.So, threading a needle with ribbon is different.  You probably recall in the previous tutorial how I threaded the needle so that I could make this subtle sort of knot that anchored to the surface of the fabric.  That’s not really doable with ribbon though.  Ribbon is just too thick to work with more than one strand of it at a time.

Cut about 12 inches of ribbon.  To thread ribbon securely onto a needle (specifically, a big chenille needle), slip the ribbon through the eye of the needle, then pierce the ribbon with the needle and pull it through.  At the other end of the ribbon, tie an overhand knot.

Beginning the Embroidery

In the last tutorial, I would finish off embroidering the features by making an overhand knot and pulling the knot into the brooch with a *pop*.  Here, I’m going to do the same basic thing to start the embroidering.

I used a pin to mark where I want the center of the rose to be.  Insert the needle into the back of the pin and bring it out where the pin is.  Pull on the ribbon enough to pull the knot into the brooch, but be careful not to pull it so hard it pops back out on the other side!  Go ahead and remove the pin once you’ve done this.

Making a Bradford Rose

There’s a lot of different ways to embroider roses.  For the little brooches, I decided that the Bradford Rose would work well, as it looks pretty good at a small scale.

Start the rose’s center by making a French knot or a colonial knot.  To do this, wrap the ribbon around the needle in a coil (French knot) or a figure 8 (colonial knot) and pick up a few threads of the fabric and pull it through.  Next, start a curved whip stitch by making a stitch that lies beside the center of the rose.  Take the ribbon and start wrapping around this stitch.  After the ribbon is wrapped all the way around the stitch, bring the ribbon around the center of the curved whip stitch and start the next curved whip stitch.

For this rose it only took two curved whip stitches, but you could keep making the rose bigger by adding more curved whip stitches.

Finishing Off

Here I did the usual overhand knot pulled into the brooch… except the knot didn’t go into the brooch.  Ribbon sure is tricky like that.  So, if this happens to you, you can secure the end by stitching it in place with some regular thread.

That’s it for this tutorial!  Now you know how to embroider a Bradford Rose onto a plush brooch.  And if you do some research, you can learn all kinds of neat stitches and put flowers on all sorts of stuffies.

If you have questions, feel free to leave a comment.