Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Embroidered Halloween Headbands

ohmygoodness, halloween is SOON!

i was originally thinking that i was going to try to post a halloween idea every day, or at least every second day, up until halloween, but that has sadly fallen to the wayside. i'm working on projects, but getting them photographed and posted is a whole other story!

this week in particular is really overwhelming - thursday night is the next meeting of the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild, and then this weekend i'm taking a 3 day encaustics class with Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch, which i am hella excited about!

but! i took some pics last night, so i have a few projects to share. the first is a really simple and easy halloween project that doesn't have to be for halloween at all - i just love halloween!

Embroidered Headbands!

it's been no secret that i really love embroidering on non-fabric surfaces (paper, speculums, safety glasses), and this idea has been rolling around in my head for close to a year, waiting patiently for me to find the time to get started on it.

the first thing you'll want to do is find some plain, solid, fairly wide, plastic headbands. these were trickier to find than i'd expected, there are so many fancy headbands out there! however, dollar stores prevailed, and i managed to find a variety of them.

take your headband and trace it out onto a piece of scrap paper. you might need to tape two pieces together, headbands are usually longer than 11".


cut out the strip, and make sure it fits your headband


now play! think up some designs, and sketch them out, using your cutout piece as a pattern. these headbands have a fun outline that felt kind of gothy to me, and seemed to lend itself perfectly to a spiderweb design. after you've drawn your designs and you're happy with them, go back with a marker and draw dots where you want to drill holes. make sure they aren't too close together, and that you have holes at corners and places where the embroidery floss will join. once you've finished your pattern, tape it onto your headband with invisible tape.


now, i cut a styrofoam head in half for this. you don't have to, but it makes it a lot easier, because you have something to put the headband on while drilling it that will keep it from bending oddly or possibly breaking. i had to cut the head shorter, because it was too tall to fit in my drill press! if you're using a hand drill, that won't be an issue at all. the styrofoam head i used had been rolling around in the trunk of my car forever, and was pretty beat up anyway!

put the headband on the head, and get ready to start drilling. i used a 1.5mm drill bit, which i bought on


drill! slow and steady wins the race.


you can see how the pattern was taped on, and the bits of styrofoam that stick to the inside of the headband. they'll blow away, it's all good.


when you remove the pattern, remove it carefully, because depending on how fancy your pattern was, you might need to refer to it when stitching. this is kind of like connect the dots embroidery, but without the numbers!


now start stitching! i LOVE these dental floss threaders for stuff like this (they also work fabulously for mending holes in sweaters, and for stringing beads onto yarn), but if you don't have any, or can't remember where the hell you put the pack of them, you can also use a piece of wire folded over.


rather than knotting your embroidery floss, when you begin and end a piece, use a little bit of the invisible tape to secure the ends. once you've embroidered the entire thing, go back in with a clear glue (i use glossy accents, because it doesn't seem to affect the plastic the same way crazy glue does) and glue the floss to the headband. once the glue is dry, you can go in and remove the tape, and trim the floss right down to the glue.


and here are the finished headbands!

(i've been waiting for a good hair day to take action shots, but i've accepted the fact that i'm not going to have a good hair day until i get around to dying my roots, so you'll just have to settle for pics taken over my awesome pink formica table instead.)

the spiderweb headband, which i stitched in grey floss with a silver metallic thread.

web band1

web band2
(see how neat and tidy the back looks?)

the bat headband, stitched with embroidery floss and two strands of guttermann metallic machine embroidery thread.

bat band1

bat band3

bat band2

bat band4

and the star band, with just embroidery floss, no metallic. i don't like how the tortoise shell is slightly see through, and you can see where i carried the floss from star to star. i'd go in and fix that, but i'm never gonna wear it anyway - i don't really like tortoiseshell anyway!

star band1


so! what do you think?


kelly said...

Super-amazing-fantastic, Amy! Once again, you've wowed me with your amazing creative skills -- this project ROCKS.

amy dame said...

thanks kelly! i'm just so glad i finally finished them...

i have another project with embroidery on plastic that i need to post in the next couple of days, hopefully you'll like it just as much!

Mollie said...

I, too, love stitching on crazy things, and this is such a great idea! Can't wait to try it...thanks!

amy dame said...

thanks molly! link back when you try it, i wanna see!

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