Congratulations, you're engaged! And now comes the fun part - creating your dream wedding. There are loads of accessories to think about - from your veil and shoes to your headpiece and earrings. If you'd like to keep costs down and bring a beautiful handcrafted element to your bridal attire, you can make your own bridal sash. It could become a family heirloom in years to come! In this tutorial, you will learn how to create your own crystallized bridal sash that will be "the perfect one" for your wedding day.
- Satin double-faced ribbon. We used an ivory colour, but you could use any other colour like peach, white, blush pink or taupe. A contrasting colour ribbon can look amazing on a wedding gown. You may use any width that suits your gown, but just remember that the crystallized applique we create should be slightly larger than your ribbon. We used 38mm width for our ribbon, and 2.75 metres in length.
- 10mm x 5mm Navette Rhinestone with Setting - Crystal/Silver (12 pieces).
- 12mm Round Sew-on Rhinestone - Crystal.
- 6mm Round Loch Rosen Rhinestone - Crystal (3 packs of 36 pieces).
- SS19 Pointed Back RS with Setting - The colour I used (Crystal) is not available online, so you can either look elsewhere for it, or find something similar at your local craft store.
- 3mm Resin Pearls - colour No. 152 (ivory), 1 strand, which is approximately 200 beads.
- Kunin felt - I bought my white felt from M&J Trimming in New York, however the felt is not available for purchase online. You can buy it from the website I have linked to, or you can find something similar at your local craft store. Just make sure the weight isn't too heavy.
- E6000 Glue.
- Ultra fine felt-tipped pen.
- Circle template.
- Sewing needle - make sure your beads fit over your needle before starting.
- Coloured thread in oyster.
Step 1: Creating Your Circles
Our pattern is composed of three linked circles. It is one large 50.8mm circle in the centre, and two 44.45mm circles on each side. You will need your pen and your circle template to trace these circles onto your white felt. First, hold your felt down, and place the circle template on top of the felt. Trace the large centre circle first, using the 50.8mm circle on the template.
Next, trace the smaller 44.45mm circle on the right side of the centre circle. Make sure the smaller circle slightly overlaps the centre circle. Now do the same on the left side.
Step 2: Cutting the Pattern
Next, cut your pattern out of the felt with your scissors. Cut closely inside of the pen marks you have made to trace the pattern. You don't want any pen marks showing on your white felt. If you happen to have a couple of light pen marks you should be able to cover them with beads and crystals, but try your best to avoid it. The base of your pattern should look like this.
Step 3: Cutting and Knotting the Thread
We will be hand-stitching all crystals and pearls onto our felt pattern, working our way around the felt in rows. We will begin with our first row, alternating with crystals and pearls. You will need to thread your needle in order to begin adding the crystals. Cut a long piece of thread from the spool. It doesn't matter how much you use since you will eventually run out of thread, and will need to begin a new thread. This will be explained later on in step 5.
Once you have your thread cut, poke one end through the eye of the needle, and then slide your needle to the centre of your thread. The thread should now be folded in half, and look like two strands of thread.
To make the knot, move to the end of your thread and wrap the two ends around your pointer finger. The thread should wrap all the way around the tip of your finger.
Now slide your finger back and forth against the thread. Once you feel that your thread is twisted, roll the loop off of your fingertip, grasp the top of the loop you made, and pinch the top, pulling it all the way down. This should create a messy knot.
Now that your thread is knotted, insert the needle through the bottom of your circle pattern, and pull the thread all the way through. The knot will stop you from pulling any further.
Step 4: Stitching the First Row of Crystals and Pearls
We will be alternating the crystals and pearls on the first row of the pattern. To get started, pick up one SS19 Pointed Back Crystal, which is the small round one. You will notice that the bottom of this crystal has four holes in the setting. Put the needle through two of the holes to string the crystal on the thread. Now slide the crystal all the way down to meet the felt pattern.
Once it is tight, poke the needle downwards, into the felt to secure the bead with a hand stitch. Make sure your stitch is very close and tight to the crystal. Try to keep all of the beads and crystals tightly placed together, so we cannot see the white felt underneath. Our stitches will be continuous, until we run out of thread.
Now, your needle should be in the back of the felt, after we added our first crystal. Poke the needle through the back of the felt and pull it tight. The needle should be in front of the felt now.
Add a pearl bead, and slide it down to the felt.
Now poke the needle right next to the pearl, bringing the needle to the back of the felt. This secures the pearl, and completes your second stitch.
Continue to alternate, one crystal, then one pearl, all the way around the edge of your circle pattern.
Step 5: Finishing the Thread
We have worked our way around the pattern with our beads, and now we have run out of thread. Knot the thread off, and cut it. Make sure the length of your thread doesn't get too short, or you will not be able to cut it. The needle should be in the back of the felt. Poke the tip of the needle through a stitch that already exists. It's OK if this is a little messy, since we will eventually glue the felt piece to the satin ribbon. No one will see the stitches on the back of the felt.
Once you slip the point of the needle under the stitch, pull it enough that it creates a loop.
Now stick the point of the needle through the loop, and pull the thread tight.
Repeat this step once more, and you should have a secure knot. Now use scissors to snip your thread. Make sure you cut the thread fairly short.
Cut a new piece of thread. Knot it, just as you learned earlier in step 3. Poke the needle through the back of the felt, and continue adding your beads, until you have worked all the way around the edge of the pattern.
Step 6: Adding the Second Row of Pearls
Once you have completed the first row of beads, it's time to add the second row. The second row will be all pearls. If you have not finished your thread, you can use it until you run out. Begin adding the pearls, hand stitching them underneath the first row of beads.
As we mentioned, make sure these beads are close together.
Continue around the pattern adding the rest of the pearls, to complete your second row.
Step 7: Adding the Third Row of Crystals
Now pick up the 6mm Round Loch Rosen Crystal, which is the round, flat crystal with the hole in the centre. Starting the third row, add the crystal right underneath the second row of pearls. Sew on this bead in the same way you added the others, poking the needle through the centre hole.
Once the crystal is lying on the felt, poke your needle to the right side of the crystal, into the felt. This secures one side of the crystal.
Your needle is now in the back of the felt. Poke it back through, to the front of the felt and through the centre of the needle again.
Now poke your needle into the left side of the felt, next to the crystal. You have secured both sides of the crystal.
Continue this process until you have added the flat crystals to each of the circles in our pattern. Remember that each flat crystal should be secured with stitches on both sides. Cut your thread and begin a new thread. You will need it for the next step.
Step 8: Adding the Centre Crystal
Now we will add the 12mm crystal. It is your largest stone. We will be adding this crystal to the centre of our centre circle. Sew on the crystal in the same way you added the smaller flat crystals in the third row. Place the crystal in the centre of the middle of the circle to make sure it is centered where you want it.
Holding the crystal in place, poke the needle through the back of the felt and directly through one hole in the crystal. Please note, this crystal has two holes, one on each side. You will need to secure both sides of the crystal.
Now that the needle is through one hole, poke the needle back through the front side of the felt, directly next to the crystal.
The needle is now in the back of the felt. Poke it through the back of the felt, and next it will go through the second hole in the crystal.
Step 9: Adding the Almond-Shaped Crystals to the Centre Circle
Next we will add the 10x5 Navette Crystals, which are the almond shaped crystals. We will be adding six of these, around our largest crystal, staying in the centre circle. You will notice that each of the Navette crystals have four holes in the setting, which means you will put the needle through each of the holes to secure it on both sides.
The needle should be in the back of the felt. Poke it through to the front of the felt, then go through two holes of the crystal, then through the front of the felt, to the back of the felt. Do the same once more with the second set of holes. Now the crystal is secure. Do the same with the rest of the six crystals, forming a circle around the large centre stone. Leave a little room between the centre stone and the Navette crystals.
Step 10: Adding the Almond-Shaped Crystals to the Side Circles
We will now add three Navette (almond-shaped) crystals, the same way we did in Step 9. Add two crystals with the ends at an angle, which come to a point in the centre. The third crystal fits right between the other two. It should make the shape of an arrow. One side is complete.
Now add the crystals, in the same way, to the other side.
Fill the extra space in the pattern with pearls. We added the pearls around the Navette crystals, as well as around the large crystal in the centre circle. Now our pattern is complete! The piece you have made is called a crystal applique.
Step 11: Attaching the Crystal Applique to the Ribbon
Take your satin ribbon, and fold it in half. The centre of the ribbon marks where the Crystal Applique will be attached. Set your scissors down in the centre, so you know where to glue your applique.
Add your E6000 glue to the back of the crystal applique. Don't forget to properly ventilate your work area. The fumes of the glue are strong.
Flip the applique over and place carefully on the ribbon.
Press down on the applique for a few minutes to set the glue.
Now the applique is in place.
Step 12: Angle the Ribbon Ends
One the glue is dry, you can angle the edges of the ribbon, so they look neat. Take your scissors (use fabric scissors if you have them, if not the ones you have will work fine), and cut the ribbon on a slight angle. Do the first end of the ribbon, and then the second.
Your beautiful bridal sash is complete! Tie the sash around your waist, with the crystal applique in the front, and then tie into a bow in the back. Remember, if the hand stitching seems overwhelming, you can always simplify by purchasing a completed crystal applique from the craft store, and gluing it to the ribbon. You could choose silk or chiffon flowers and attach them as well. This project could work for any other sash you would like to create. Choose black satin ribbon, jet black and silver crystals to create a gorgeous belt to wear to your next party. There are so many great options!
Are you planning your wedding right now? How many things are you making yourself? Tell us in the comments below.