18 December 2015

Christmas Crafternoon: Stitcher's Necklace

Well stitchers, here we are. Friday already. I hope y'all have enjoyed the week, and I hope y'all are settled in because this is the Grand Finale of my Christmas Open House 2015 and it's gonna be looooong! 

Just like all of the other projects I've shared this week, this one isn't difficult, but it is a bit more involved and requires more stuff. And just like my other projects, this one can be adapted in so many ways... colors, themes, occasions, seasons, holidays.

I've had the idea in my head for at least a year, and finally got around to translating it into a real object. The concept behind the Stitcher's Necklace is an accessory that allows me to have my main tools attached to me so that I can move around, get up, etc. without having to find a place to put things where they won't go missing. Now for stitching at home in your favorite chair, this is probably not much of an issue. But when traveling--in a car, at a hotel, at a friend's house--or sitting at the hospital, or even at a stitcher's retreat, it's nice to be able to wear your scissors and stick your needle to yourself, safely! And if that accessory is cute, cute, CUTE... well, so much the better! Let's get started!

Stitcher's Necklace

What you'll need:

*spacers with relatively large holes (the silver things in the baggie in the pic below)
*beading nylon
*bead board (not absolutely necessary, but a big help)
*plastic floss bobbins
*measuring tape
*retractable badge reel (office supply store)

The first thing you need to do is unstring all your beads and design your necklace. Honestly, this is really the most time-consuming part of making this necklace. A bead board is very helpful for this step. Mine is just flocked plastic and was very inexpensive. 

The top part of the necklace is formed by a length of measuring tape with small holes punched in each end. I did this for a few reasons: 1) it's handy to have a measuring tape! 2) it makes the necklace lighter since it requires fewer beads, and 3) it also makes it a bit less expensive to make (again, fewer beads). If you keep a look out, you'll frequently be able to find beads on sale for half-price at any of the large craft store chains. I used a 12" length of measuring tape for my necklace, but you could certainly make yours longer if you like. I wouldn't go any shorter, though. It needs to slip comfortably over your head. Position a plastic floss bobbin just below the measuring tape on both sides. Make sure the spacer is at the bottom center of your necklace.

Once you have your necklace the way you want it, string the beads, making sure to leave plenty of nylon on both ends to work with. It's better to have too much than too little.

Cut a strip of felt about 3/4" wide, or to fit the bobbins you're using. Set aside.

Thread the nylon through the hole in the top of the bobbin. Making sure the nylon is centered on the bobbin, and making sure the bobbin is snug against the bead below it, secure the nylon on the back with a small piece of tape. This is just to hold the bobbin in place while you finish working with it.

Hot glue the strip of felt to the bobbin, wrap it around a couple of times, and hot glue the end of the felt to the back of the bobbin. 

With the excess nylon, make a little knot at the top of the bobbin. They should be nice and secure now. Add a couple of small beads above each bobbin. You'll need them when attaching the measuring tape.

To attach the measuring tape, thread the nylon up through the back of the measuring tape and out the front. Then thread the nylon down through the top bead, then down through the top bead again, and then down through the bottom bead. Tie off the nylon below the bottom bead, at the back of the bobbin.

The front should look something like this:

Attach the badge reel to the spacer at the bottom center of the necklace. You want to make sure when purchasing your spacers and your badge reel that the badge reel clasp will fit through the spacer. Also, you don't have to decorate the badge reel, but I just happened to find a snowflake charm that fit perfectly. Badge reels can be a bit pricey, so I designed the necklace so that if you make more than one necklace, you can transfer the badge reel from necklace to necklace. That would be a good reason not to decorate the badge reel, so that it will go with more than one necklace.

In this close-up, you can see how the clasp of the badge reel fits through the spacer, and can be easily removed from the necklace.

And here's the finished necklace!

For the last recipe of my Christmas Open House 2015, I'm sharing my Grandmother's recipe for pound cake, because it just wouldn't be Christmas without pound cake!

Pound Cake

3 c. sugar

1 c. butter
1/2 c. Crisco
5 eggs, beaten
3 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. lemon extract

Cream butter, Crisco, and sugar until sugar dissolves. Add beaten eggs and mix well. Sift flour with baking powder. Add flour and milk alternately to creamed mixture. Add flavorings. Spray pan with Baker's Joy. Place in a cold oven and heat to 325. Bake about 1 1/2 hours or until done.


Thanks for visiting my Open House! 

Tiger Lily, Mr. Wonderful and I all wish you a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!


  1. I have been amazed at your creativity this week and pleased that these are projects that even I can do. Thanks for sharing all your clever ideas with us! Merry Christmas!

  2. Thank you for sharing your creativity, Honeybee. I tried the recipe for the Broccoli & Chicken recipe, it was delicious, thank you. Missed showing elsewhere my ODO piece, have been very sad, do hold Tiger Lily, very close. Just wanted to wish you, your Mr Wonderful & Tiger Lily a Very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year. K.

  3. Adorable! I love the necklace and that shade of blue is my absolute fav color.