Let’s Talk Embellishments

By Corinne Munger – 2 Comments
To embellish an item is to bring attention to it – to give another level of life to it. A plain pair of mittens become a lady’s hand adornment. A plain scarf becomes a “lovely” scarf, and a plain handbag becomes a statement piece – all with embellishments. The choices are endless. You can use flowers, buttons, lace, ribbons, bows, and beads. You can even embellish with jewelry, leather and fabrics – your imagination is your limit.

A small variety of embellishments


Embellishments help tell the story about a person. The plain, unadorned bag can be worn by virtually everyone.

The plain handbag

Add a little ruffle at the bottom and it says “demure”

With a little bottom ruffle

Add a few flowers on top of that, and it says “Adorable, but no longer for just anyone”

Remove the ruffles and flowers and add a large plain button and it says “Conservative”. Add buckles, straps, and it’s all “Business”. The same piece can be made for multiple people and say something different with just a little change.

When you’re creating a piece, whether it’s for you or someone else, keep in mind the type of personality you want conveyed in your item, because that’s what you’re infusing in your art – “personality” – and this is what makes your items different from those purchased from a store. You can personalize each item for the recipient and tailor it to who they are.

I partake in the current scrapbooking madness. Not because I want to put my memories in a book (which I never do), but because of the ENORMOUS amount of embellishments available. I made a neck warmer recently and needed that one “special” item to complete the look:

Completed Neck Warmer

I thought the buttons were perfect for this – know what they really are???

Cloe up of buttons on Neck Warmer

PAPER scrapbooking buttons that I sewed on! (they are coated in a plastic vinyl so should be ok in the wash). They had tiny writing on them (so cute!) and I thought they were perfect to make my neck warmer “sophisticated”. I think I achieved that, don’t you?

One of the best things about crocheting is you can make ANY item in a solid color and make it beautiful. By incorporating a unique stitch, by adding a stripe of color, sewing on a bow or crocheting a ruffle, you change the item just enough to make it unique and recognizable for whomever it was made for. And here’s a hint for sellers…… this is what buyers look for – that one unique “thingy” that says “Hey! That was made for ME!”.

Experiment with different embellishments and I’m pretty sure you’re going to be keeping more than you give away or sell. It’s your opportunity to turn your craft into a piece of art!

I hope this inspired you to try something different. Please feel free to share your ideas with the rest of us – I LOVE hearing new ideas!!!

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2 Comments

  1. Carol Keskeny says:

    I am wondering if there is a pattern for the purse above? Thank you, this is the best website for crochet out there!

  2. Jenelle says:

    Thanks for all the helpful hints on embellishments, I think you addressed the subject very well…and it will help me with some of my projects. Thanks you again. :D

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