Friday, November 24, 2017

Humong Star Medallion Choker and Elegant Sari Trim Gift Box

Here's a gift duo that's very eye-catching, yet surprising easy to make: a handmade choker medallion necklace inside a handmade, glitzy gift box!

The minute I opened my first box of supplies from Gwen Lafluer Studios, I fell in love with a small red medallion that was stitched to a piece of black velvet. I had no idea what the red starburst design symbolized, but I immediately envisioned it as a choker necklace, and sketched the design in my "Idea Journal." I only had one medallion, so I ordered a couple more, then got to work. I learned that they are vintage embroidered star patches, made by the Hmong tribes in Thailand.The question was, what should I pair with the star medallions? Flat pearls? Red buttons? Swarovski crystals?

Using small, sharp scissors, excess fabric was trimmed from the Humong Star Medallion
 I rummaged through my boxes of buttons and jewelry components, and finally settled on some black and white rubber beads that were in my stash. I had taken apart a bracelet and used some of the black and white harlequin beads years ago for an Alice in Wonderland project. The rubber beads were a little strange, but somehow worked with the medallions.

The medallions and beads were "auditioned" for spacing and arrangement before being stitched to the velvet ribbon
After the medallions were hand stitched to the ribbon, the rubber beads were pinned in place
Close-up of beads being sewn on to ribbon
The necklace is nearly complete
I pinned everything into place on a piece of black velvet ribbon that had a little white edging, then hand stitched the necklace. Last, I added a sticky-backed velcro closure. The velcro makes the choker not only easy to put on and take off, but makes it adjustable so it will fit on anyone's neck.

The finished necklace, adjustable to any neck size
It occurred to me that I had the perfect place to keep the necklace--inside a little gift box I had recently made!

I had been saving a small brown cardboard box for a few months. One of the people that I trade small art with had sent me some ATCs and ephemera in the box. I had been storing some Irresistible India gold trim with black squares and pearls in the box, along with some other supplies, and realized that somehow the color of the cardboard went beautifully with Gwen's sheer trim.

I had some black velvet ribbon that went nicely with the fancy trim, and decided to use both the fancy trim and velvet ribbon on the box, and to paint the rest of the box black. I carefully measured, and taped off the area that would show through the trim, revealing the beige color of the unpainted box.

The area under the sari trim would be left natural, and the rest of the box painted black
 I used black gesso to cover most of the box top and bottom, and when dry, gave it a shine with a coat of clear gloss medium. Next, I carefully adhered the sheer trim to the box top with heavy gel medium and used clips to secure it. When dry, I added the velvet ribbon trim.

Clips held the sari trim in place until the heavy matte gel dried

When the ribbon and trim had dried and the box was almost done, I added the finishing touch: flat bottomed pearls. I attached them to the velvet ribbon with a glue gun.


Top view of the finished gift box
Top and side view of the finished sari trim gift box
 The finished box is elegant and striking...perfect for any occasion...and who would think it was really easy to make?

Like the trim and medallions I used? The good news is that there will be a big Cyber Monday Sale on the Gwen Lafleur Studios website...just in time to create some special items for holiday gift-giving! Or, take a look at Gwen's original mixed media and jewelry creations, they are just gorgeous! You may also want to check out what the other Artist Tribe members have created by going to Gwen's blog, or click here to see all the Artist Tribe projects.


Jill McDowell said...

Linda, I can’t get enough of your textile work. You nailed this challenge! You’re choker is lovely and the box is stunning. (And your stenciled background paper made me do a double take. It’s so pretty.). This would make an awesome gift. Hugs,

SandeeNC said...

WOW!!!! Both are stunning!

Kate Yetter said...

Amazing! I am loving that gorgeous trim! Your choker and gift box is unique and definitely something that I would love to receive.

Jackie PN said...

Another absolutely amazing and perfectly exquisite box Linda!! And OMGosh- I would love one of those chokers...hint hint!
You are a gal after my own heart- I swear the trims you pick, the pieces you create are all pieces I love and covet! Truly fabulous makes Linda, as always!
Jackie xo

Lynda Shoup said...

Linda, what a wonderful duo! The choker is such a great item and to think it is adjustable. Great idea to add the velcro. I love the elegance of both the choker and the box. Both are treasures.

Gwen Lafleur said...

I love this Linda! The idea to make a choker out of those patches was super creative, and it turned out beautifully! I love the gift box too - they go together perfectly!