Craft Rocks: Don’t panic and get festive, part one!

Craft enthusiast Jo Burgess explores the world of needlecraft in this exclusive column for Mr X Stitch!

It’s officially party season! Mr X Stitch has unveiled the bauble tree at Standen House and I’m having my first Christmas party on Friday night. My sewing buddies are coming to visit. Christmas crackers with their bad jokes, paper hats, fortune fish – it makes the festive season fun, but I also like a quirky table.

The one thing I never have is napkin rings. Most of them are too boring to buy, so I thought I’d have a go at making my own – they are really quick to make so they are part one of my two part “Don’t panic” festive season guide.

First of all I took eight 8mm glass beads from my bead stash, threaded a special beading needle (it’s long, flimsy and really hard to thread…)and threaded all eight beads onto the thread. I then formed the beads into a circle and tied the short end of the thread to the long end in a knot to keep the beads securely in a loop like a little Christmas wreath.

A little loop of beautiful beads

I didn’t cut the thread. I used it to keep on adding beads. I threaded 10 red size 11 seed beads onto the thread, passed them over the top of the adjacent 8mm bead and passed the thread through the next bead. Doing this you naturally miss every other bead out. I continued doing this until four of the eight large beads had a red line of beads along the top of them.

Craft Rocks: Don’t panic and get festive, part one!
Every other bead now has a little red hat (like Santa, ho ho ho)

I then did the same with 10 silver seed beads on each of the bare 8mm beads until all of the 8mm beads had either a red or silver row of seed beads above them. I then tied the thread in a knot and cut the ends.

Craft Rocks: Don’t panic and get festive, part one!
Now every bead has a hat, red or silver

To make the fabric part I cut some fabric 7 inches by 5 inches, folded it in half along the short side and stitched the sides together, leaving a gap to turn it round the right way. I then turned it around the right way and folded in the open edge. I decided to use a snowflake (well it looks like snowflakes to me…) setting on my machine to sew it together.

Craft Rocks: Don’t panic and get festive, part one!
Number 48 is a snowflake, right?
Craft Rocks: Don’t panic and get festive, part one!
A lovely row of stitched snowflakes

I then hand sewed the napkin ring closed, and hand sewed the beaded wreath onto the napkin ring. Disaster over. Napkin rings ready for my sewing buddies to arrive – or maybe I’ll get them to make their own, they like a challenge, hee hee 😉

Craft Rocks: Don’t panic and get festive, part one!
The finished napkin ring complete with fancy pants Christmas napkin

Next time: You’ve been invited to the New Year’s Eve bash you’ve always wanted to go to? You don’t have a handbag? Don’t panic! I’ll show you how to make a last minute clutch bag everyone will want!

8mm beads: 80p
Size 11 seed beads (two packets): £2
Thread: £1
Beading needles: £1
Fabric: 50p scrap
Total: £5.30 and you’ll have loads left over to make more

Best song to stitch napkin rings to: Pressure by Muse (latest tune from my favourite band)
Best cake to eat: Christmas cake

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