“Surprisingly Okay” Eyeball Cross Stitch Bottle Cap Pendant

If any of you make it to Gen Con in August, you will find all types of things sorting through the tables in open crafting room. That first year, I found a vintage petit point brooch and necklace kit circa 1960. The Aida cloth was yellowed, the clasp on the chain was broken and the frame was missing but I thought it was a lovely idea. Andrea DeHart’s cross stitch pendant tutorial revived the idea and, per usual, my brain took it to a surreal place.

Graph paper
Pringles lid
Bottle cap
Tapestry needle
Sewing needles
7mm aluminum jump ring
Emory board
Craft glue
Clothes pins
Red Cotton embroidery floss
Black Cotton embroidery floss
Dark pink Cotton embroidery floss
Medium Garnet Cotton embroidery floss
Electric Blue Cotton embroidery floss
White Cotton embroidery floss
Cream Cotton embroidery floss
Golden orange Cotton embroidery floss
Dove grey Cotton embroidery floss
Jewelry pliers
16-count cross stitch cloth

–Photo courtesy of kovalris, 221beemine.

If this project worked, I knew I wanted to make a few of them. When I was brainstorming for ideas for the first design, I kept getting drawn back to the bloody heart cross stitch I recently completed and some of the other anatomy-based designs I’d spotted on Etsy. Re-watching series 3 of Sherlock (including a key visual callback to the Russian film series), the disembodied eye just seemed like a logical choice.

Having made bottle cap pendants in the past, I knew the size of the design needed to fit within a space approximately the size of an American quarter. I swapped my usual 14-count Aida cloth for 16-count to accommodate smaller stitches and, therefore, more detail. For the outline of the eyeball, I traced a penny inside the larger frame of the quarter’s outline. I sketched the design for the iris and pupil on graph paper.

For the outline of the eye, I opted for a slightly layered effect (3-count cream, 3-count garnet, 2-count red) to illustrate dimension (and bloody detritus). I used 3-count gray to outline the iris, 4-count black for the pupil (switching to white for the final stitch), then filled in the negative space with half-stitches of electric blue and quarter-stitches of golden orange. I liked the effect the negative space of the interior of the eyeball itself and, rather than fill it with white, I decided to freehand some bloodshot stitches in dark pink.

Once the design was finished, I used the quarter and my scissors to trace and cut away a size-appropriate piece of plastic backing from the Pringles can lid. I then used the scissors to trim the Aida cloth, leaving 1/2″ around the design and backing. I then folded the cloth over the backing, using craft glue to secure it and a set of (quite fabulous) clothes pins to keep the cloth in place until the glue dried.

Finally, I applied craft glue to the inside of the bottle cap (hand-drilled hole and jump ring already in place) and fitted the completed design inside and left it to dry overnight.

I’m beyond ecstatic with how this turned out! What do you think? Should I make more? Should I do a brooch next?

~ by blackmoodcraft on March 29, 2014.

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