Mary Corbet

writer and founder


I learned to embroider when I was a kid, when everyone was really into cross stitch (remember the '80s?). Eventually, I migrated to surface embroidery, teaching myself with whatever I could get my hands on...read more

Contact Mary

Connect with Mary



2024 (62) 2023 (125) 2022 (136) 2021 (130) 2020 (132) 2019 (147) 2018 (146) 2017 (169) 2016 (147) 2015 (246) 2014 (294) 2013 (294) 2012 (305) 2011 (306) 2010 (316) 2009 (367) 2008 (352) 2007 (225) 2006 (139)

Embroidery Embellishment: The Charm of Charms, Buttons, and Beads


Amazon Books

Have you noticed that there’s a proliferation of embroidery kits and designs around that make use of little embellishments? Those special little touches that add “something” to the work – sometimes that something is zing, sometimes it’s elegance, sometimes it’s just a splash of fun – are pretty popular! I try not to be too narrow-minded in my view of embroidery, but I must be, because I never noticed the abundance of embellishments in the embroidery world until just this past summer.

But now I’m hooked. Really. I like these little extra baubles and buttons, beads and charms. Oh, they’ve been around a while – goldwork, sequins, beaded embroidery, charms, buttons… they’re nothing new! But it seems to me that they are enjoying a resurgence in popularity.

This is what sold me on the fun of these little items and that opened up my eyes to noticing them around more and more:

It was these little Sweetheart Tree kits. They’re small kits – counted thread techniques – with little extra embellishments to the kits. I don’t generally work counted thread techniques, except in dabbling in a bit o’ blackwork here and there, and – very rarely – some canvas work… and hardanger now and then, too. Ok, fine – I take it back, I do “do” counted thread stuff – but it’s not usually cross stitch.

Normally, these would not be something that would catch my eye. But they did. Why? I think it’s the little embellishments! Both kits make use of little tiny beads and one has little heart-shaped white buttons in it. I like them! It takes them “above ordinary.”

I admit I’m SLOW – I’m sure little embellishments have been prevailant for a while in needlework – or perhaps they never lost their charm! Maybe I just haven’t noticed them….

But NOW… check this out:

I do believe I could become an embroidery embellishment junkie!

Here’s a sweet little seashell made by Susan Clarke Originals.

And a pretty little iris by the same company… Irises are among my favorite flowers, and I’m in the middle of embroidering one right now. So I just love this little thing!

A very pretty snowflake – perfect for…. well, earrings came to mind at first, but this is about embroidery, so I chased that thought away, and voila! a better one crept in – what about building a simple embroidered card around this for a Christmas card?

This is largish – quite large, compared to the other pieces here. At first, I thought “What in the world would I ever…..?!” and then the same thing happened. In crept a little thought. A “formal” garden border – maybe even in blackwork or a similar style – built around it. Why not? For a framed piece… I could see it!

Cherries! Who doesn’t like cherries?! They remind me of summer – and this is another perfect little something for a crazy quilt square, for the center of an embroidered motif, or for the center of an embroidered card.

And here’s a whole little group of “under the sea” embellishments.

OH – so many ideas, so little time!

This bunch of stuff above came in the embellishments Treasure Box I ordered last week from Twining Thread, as part of their close-out. Along with them came ribbons – glorious, beautiful ribbons – and all kinds of neat stuff. What a deal!

Well, if YOU have any ideas for my new embellishment stash, I’m all ears!

In the meantime, I need to go find some storage space….

PS – I’m going to full feeds for a bit on Feedburner. What think you? Do you prefer partial or full feeds?


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


(6) Comments

  1. I’ve done a couple projects with embellishments, and it really does add a little extra zing and make things pop!

    I really like the full feeds, I read them on my LiveJournal friends page, and it makes it handy not to navigate away to read things!

  2. Thanks for letting me know about the feeds, Kim! I appreciate it. I’m going to do the full feeds for at least a month, to test the response.

    I’m absolutely sold on embellishments. It’s so much fun to add just a touch of something here or there on a project. I notice, too, that when I give a little embroidered something as a gift, an accent like a button or charm is such a “sell point.” People like that extra touch!

    Thanks again!


  3. As a long time lurker on your blog, I confess that my eyes lit up with the embellishments, but then I am as much a surfce texture person as a (modest embroiderer)! Yes, a touch of ‘bling’, a little glimmer or just a little something visually for the recipient of a card or gift to find and go “oooh’ makes a difference 🙂

    Oh, by all means go to the full feed, I would appreciate it as sometimes, if time is short, I don’t get to read a whole entry if it isn’t on the feed (just lack of time). Having it there is convenient and I can click through to the blog if I am enjoying ‘the read’ and mark it for later use.

    Thanks you for a hugely interesting and enjoyable blog, even to a low level embroiderer like myself,


  4. Mary, I like the full feed too.

    I have seen beads used as an embellishment in the place of French knots and other tiny stitches.

More Comments