Felt is synonymous with folk style and the addition of simple embroidery stitches transforms a simple shape into something very luxurious (and sellable if you’re after a side hustle!). This chunky keyring makes an attractive embellishment hanging from the front door key but really comes into its own when displayed as a trendy bag charm. The embroidered felt heart is quick to make, but if you want to start with an easier shape, then try making a pillow with two sides instead.
A simple bird is another option that will work well and allow you to expand your range for wider appeal. Tiny pom-poms, tassels and beads complete the design, which takes just a couple of hours to make. Here’s a top tip: use scraps of wool and embroidery cotton instead of polyester stuffing to keep making costs down.
How to make a bag charm
You Will Need
- Felt (Small scraps of felt in red, pale blue and lemon)
- Embroidery Thread (Embroidery cotton in light brown, red, pale blue and lemon)
- Polyester toy stuffing
- Ribbon (4mm wide satin ribbon in 40cm (15¾in) lengths of orange, pale blue and lemon)
- Yarn (Red cotton or wool yarn, fine DK or 4ply)
- Round beads (9 x 5mm round beads in bright colours)
- Wooden beads (3 x 15mm wooden beads, red, brown and orange)
- Brass beads (16 x 6mm brass beads)
- Brass swivel hook
- Tapestry needle
Use the how to make a bag charm – heart template to cut three large hearts from red felt, three small hearts from pale blue felt and three circles from lemon felt. Sew around the edge of the lemon and pale blue pieces with buttonhole stitch, then add embroidery using basic stitches such as lazy daisy and French knots.
Hold two of the finished hearts together with right sides facing outwards. Work buttonhole stitch around half of the heart shape starting at the pointy bit at the bottom and working up to the ‘v’. Open the unstitched sides and slot in the third heart. Sew around half of the heart, as before.
On the third edge of the heart shape, only work buttonhole stitch around the top rounded edge. Fill the heart with stuffing using a chopstick or similar tool to push the stuffing in until the shape is quite firm. Sew the last seam closed with a buttonhole stitch.
Use a fine tapestry needle to thread a brass bead, round bead, then brass bead onto two different lengths of ribbon, then tie a knot in the end. Wrap embroidery cotton around three fingers 20 times and then cut one end. Lay the bundle under the ribbon and tie a length of matching colour thread around the middle.
Make sure the knot is in the middle of the bundle and then let the top threads drop down to create the tassel. Wrap another piece of matching colour embroidery thread around the top of the tassel to create the neck. Use a tapestry needle to sew the ends under the wrapping in opposite directions. Trim the ends neatly.
Make two mini pom-poms: wrap red yarn around three fingers approximately 70 times. Tie a length of embroidery cotton very tightly around the middle of the bundle and then cut both ends to create the fringed bundle. Trim each side into a slight curve to take the strands to about 1cm (½in). Fluff up and trim slightly to make a round shape.
Use the bodkin to thread the remaining length of ribbon through the heart shape, then add beads as shown, tying a knot underneath. Use the bodkin to sew through the middle of the pom-pom and add a round bead, then a brass bead. Tie a knot at the end and trim neatly. Thread all three ribbons through a large wooden bead, through the keyring loop and back through the bead.
Adjust the lengths of the ribbons and then tie one ribbon around the others to secure them under the top wooden bead. Add a variety of beads and the second pom-pom to the tails as shown. Once you are happy with the lengths, then trim the ends of the ribbon, to finish.