This group of embellishment ideas is for all the times when you don’t feel like sewing stuff. There’s irons and glue and pokey things, oh my!
45. Hot fix crystals: There’s so many varieties of iron-on crystals in craft stores! They usually come on sheets, and you can add them anywhere to a garment. Sometimes you’ll see them as iron-on appliques. If you like bling but don’t want to sew on 80,000 beads, this is it!
46. Iron-on patches: iron-on patches are so easy to add to a project! I love those denim coats with patches on patches.
47. Safety pins: What? You can make really cool patterns by just pinning on plain old safety pins. Just like with buttons, they can be functional or totally decorative. There was a designer cardigan I saw once that had hundreds of tiny safety pins all over the front edges along with some tiny charms. It was the kind of thing that was absolutely refreshing, and I kick myself for not saving that picture!!!
48. Vintage brooches or enamel pins: Make groupings of vintage brooches on a sweater or a dress for an easy, removable embellishment.
49. Bedazzle!: Adding rhinestones is always a great thing, and if you have a bedazzler, it’ll be a quick thing to do.
50. Vinyl transfers: If you have a Cricut machine, you can quickly design and create your own heat-transfer vinyl cutouts. People do really really amazing things with those machines! I’ve seen so many fun t-shirts with custom transfers.
51. Googly eyes: This one is totally for the kids. I’ve had a few t-shirts my boys had with plastic googly eyes on the faces of the characters. When they fell off in the wash, I reattached them with a washable fabric glue like Aleene’s Fabric Fusion. You could even glue googly eyes all over a shirt for a nice no-sew Halloween project.
Elizabeth Farr is the writer behind the Elizabeth Made This blog where she shares helpful sewing tips, step by step sewing tutorials and videos to help you explore your creativity through sewing. She has written sewing Eguides and patterns, been a featured teacher at Rebecca Page’s Sewing Summit and Jennifer Maker’s Holiday Maker Fest and her work has appeared in Seamwork and Altered Couture magazines. She also created a line of refashioned garments for SEWN Denver. When her sewing machine isn’t humming, she’s playing and teaching violin, and hanging around a good strategic board game with her husband and 4 kids.