I recently made some key tags for a couple of special girls birthdays.
I’ve written a more concise how to at the bottom if you want to skip my waffle ;).
True to many girls at the moment they love unicorns and mermaids. I had bought some cutters from lakeland for my daughters birthday cake, she wanted a merry go round with mermaids, unicorns and a snail! on instead of horses.
Back to the tags;
I had some PVC in the form of a bag that a blanket had arrived in (a wedding present! yes its that old, just shows plastic stuff lasts a long time). I folded a section of it in half and drew round the cutters in biro. I was going to stitch over the lines so wasn’t bothered about the lines showing.
I discovered that by cutting the PVC on the fold and wetting it slightly, the two sides stayed together well enough for cutting. (Trial and error, the unicorn is much better than the mermaid, it was cut second).
I cut the drawings out roughly at this stage.
These were then sewn along the biro line. I decided on areas which would be more densely filled with glitter and areas where the glitter would be sparse. The denser areas needed filling before being completely sealed. For example the unicorns mane, horn and tail and the mermaids hair and tail. I used complementary thread in a straight stitch with a stitch length of 3mm, which seams sufficient to hold the glitter and not so close that the PVC splits. A note on PVC/Vinyl Its sticky- similar to oil cloth, so I used a walking foot. Other options are a teflon foot or masking tape on the bottom of your presser foot. I have used tissue paper to sew with oil cloth its great and you can tear it off afterwards but as these tags are so small and detailed I would avoid it so you can see the line you need to sew clearly.
So the sewing plan for the unicorn was as follows: Up the front leg around the face, horn and mane, down the back, tail and back leg.
I sewed very slowly to follow the biro line and hand turned the foot around the more awkward areas for accuracy. Once the majority of the outline was stitched. I used a paper funnel to pour in some glitter.
The PVC can be sticky so I used a “pokey thing” (aka a loop turner, but a chopstick would probably work very well too) to prod the glitter into the tail and mane area, then stitched them closed.
As you can see the glitter floated around everywhere else too, I stitched the remaining outline, which sealed some of the glitter to the body.
There is some glitter outside the stitching line, don’t worry about that because as you cut round the piece (about 5mm outside the stitching line, with a bigger margin where you would like to attach your rivet) you this will fall out. Well actually do worry, unless you want glitter everywhere, (including in your pants and the freezer, don’t ask me how I know) you might want do do this on a peice of paper that can be used to funnel the excess back in the pot or straight in the bin.
Next I added a 7mm metal rivet, Im not sure where it came from Ive had the kit for ages and lost the packaging but I understand that prym make some good ones.
Finally I added part of a chain and a jump ring to attach the silver glitter unicorn to a keyring. My only advice here is that make sure you open and close the jump ring properly or it may snap. By that I mean do this.
How to in Steps
Cutter or other shape for template
PVC/Vinyl (Upcycle option-old packaging)
Keyring (Upcycle option)
Something to attach the key tag to the keyring (Upcycle option-I used an old necklace chain)
- Choose your cutters or print/draw a shape you would like to sew. Hint: try and keep it quite simple, the unicorn was easier than the mermaid for example.
- Cut two pieces of PVC/Vinyl a bit bigger than your shape.
- Sandwich together, a bit of water between pieces helps hold them still as you don’t want to be using pins, clips or masking tape would work too.
- Draw around your cutters or print/draw a shape you would like to sew. Hint: try and keep it quite simple, the unicorn was easier than the mermaid for example.
- At this stage I roughly cut around the shape, but as long as you can manoeuvre it under your sewing machine its not entirely necessary.
- Stitch* the outline (I used a sewing machine with 3mm stitch length, but you could do this by hand) remembering to leave gaps for filling with glitter. The fabric is quite sticky so the gaps I left were quite large (compared to say if I was stuffing the shape) this was to enable me to get the PVC pieces to seperate and allow the glitter to go where I needed it.(*I believe Ive mentioned before -Its sticky- similar to oil cloth, so I used a walking foot. Other options are a teflon foot or masking tape on the bottom of your presser foot. I have used tissue paper to sew with oil cloth its great and you can tear it off afterwards but as these tags are so small and detailed I would avoid it so you can see the line you need to sew clearly.)
- Add your glitter. I used a scrap piece of paper as a funnel.
- Manipulate the glitter to areas you would like to be densely filled, use a suitable blunt pokey thing, (of course that is the technical term) for this.
- Sew up the areas that you have densely filled.
- Check you are happy with the amount of glitter in the rest of the shape, add more or not and sew up.
10.Cut a margin around the shape leaving a big enough area where you would like to attach your rivet and dispense of the excess glitter.
11.Add a rivet, chain and ring.
12.Give to a sparkle loving person and enjoy your accomplishment.
The cake…..Just before she was one I discovered this book, Birthday Cakes for Kidsin my local library, I bought a copy and have used it every birthday since. She is now 9. Everyone enjoys the taste of the cakes and they are so simple but always look effective wether the girls have had a hand in the decorations or not. They did in this one