Thursday, 4 October 2012

Removable Shoulder Embellishments

Following my intention to do more stash-busting, rather than buying new things to craft with, I made these removable shoulder embellishments to add to my accessories collection.

This is actually a project I’ve been thinking about for ages, but it took me a while to gather together enough buttons!

Originally I was inspired by a picture on the cover of a record in a friend’s collection. I forgot about the project until I saw a little customisation feature in Company magazine (October ’12 edition - said feature involved embellishing the neckline of a t-shirt. It looked good!)

I’m pretty pleased with the outcome, which can be fixed onto the shoulders of just about any garment.

It’s really simple to make these, so here is a tutorial.

You’ll need:
1 pair shoulder pads
Lots of buttons of assorted sizes.
Trim (optional)
Decorative cord
Thread to match shoulder pads
Thread to match trim and cord
Safety pins (for removable embellishments)
DVD or Radio to keep you company--it's a time-consuming project! :)

1. Sew a strip of trim along the bottom of the deeper end of each shoulder pad.
I was working with what I had, so my trim was just a leftover. Fringe trim or wider trim would look good too!

2. Starting at the centre of the shallow/flat end of each shoulder pad, sew the cord all the way around the edge.

This cord can look great, but also has a habit of unravelling. I managed to stop this by putting several stitches through the ends to hold it to the shoulder pad.
For storing what you have left, I suggest wrapping a piece of tape around the ends.

Your shoulder pad will probably look a bit like this underneath

3. Sew on your buttons.  
I wanted a pair of embellishments that looked vaguely similar, so I divided the buttons up as evenly as possible. However, there were still several ‘odd’ buttons, resulting in a number of differences between the two.

4. After much positioning and sewing of buttons, you’re all set to jazz up that coat, jacket, cardi or t-shirt that needs an extra bit of oomph. Either stitch or safety pin the finished embellishments to your chosen garment.

I chose to use safety pins, partly so I can use these on different garments and partly so I don’t have to hand wash anything!

These could be made in any colour, or a combination of colours! I think black and gold would be cool.

This project used up nearly all of my collection of gold buttons. I only have three left now!

The buttons used are a mixture of plastic and metal, modern and vintage. Most of them came from my Nanny. After I told her I wanted some gold buttons, she visited with a bag full of them! She had taken them from her own collection and asked among her friends.
God bless grandparents! :)

Will be linking up at the parties listed below :)


  1. Well done on busting your stash!!

    Have you tried melting the end of the cord or maybe dipping it in some melted wax to stop the fraying? I'm not sure how well it'll work but I do it for ribbons :) x

  2. Wow you sure have a big stash if you could come up with enough to fill theses. Maybe use glue the ends so they don't become undone. I have used Fray Check with good results. Thanks for sharing your inspiration with Sunday’s Best – you helped make the party a success!


Reading all your sweet comments makes me happy! :) I appreciate each and every one and try to reply to all that I can!

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