I found a roll of window screen in my basement a while back. It wasn’t leftover from window screen repair, though we need such repairs in several places, but from something I was crafting for Family Fun (I don’t remember what it was). I took one look at it and thought what a great beginner’s sewing material it would be- all the holes are already made! I also like the way it looks in that roll and started dreaming up all sorts of ways I could use it. It turns out that it is a lousy material for children to use because the aluminum type it very pokey if you aren’t careful. Maybe one day I will get my hands on some leftover screen made from something different, like vinyl or whatever the non-metal variety is. That one I’d even send through my sewing machine with glee!
Despite the pokey quality, I think it is a super cool material to hand sew with. I created a jewelry holder for my daughter – you can see the tutorial here, if you are interested. But today, I have made an embroidered vase sleeve for some autumn flowers that deserve a little showcasing. I like the sweet stitches on the hard gray metal. This would make a great votive candle holder too – either way.
What you’ll need:
– a piece of window screen big enough to wrap around your vessel
– a glass vessel of any sort – mason jar, candle jar, water glass
– old scissors
– embroidery thread and blunt needle
1) Cut a piece of screen with some old scissors (not your fabric scissors!) so it is large enough to wrap around your vessel with a couple inches of overlap. It can be the same height as your jar or not – you decide what you want the finished piece to look like.
2)Fold the raw edges over once, pressing flat (be careful for loose wires that want to poke you). Fold over again to enclose that raw edge. Do this to all 4 sides.
3) Sew a running stitch along the bottom and top edges. Knot the end and start at the backside of the screen (the side where the folded edges are turned towards). Knot at far end on backside to secure.
4) Embellish with embroidered starbursts. This is a very simple design if you are new to embroidery. You start at the center of your starburst and count the number of holes to keep the north, south, east, and west arms even. The arms in between those I made 2 holes shorter. Again, knot your thread and start on the backside of the screen, pull though the front and insert needle where you want your first arm to go. Then copy that stitch on the backside, coming back out through the original hole. I like to do the north, south, east, and west ones first so I can evenly space my other ones that go between. When finished, end in the center on the backside and knot with the original tail and cut the thread ends short.
4) Sew up your cylinder shape.
Wrap the decorated screen around the vessel and mark where the overlap will be. Tie a knot at the end of an arm’s length of embroidery thread and start at the very bottom. I sewed a whip stitch around where the bottom parts met a few times.
Then I ran a stitch up the entire seam – in and out. I ended at the top with a little “x” and made a knot to secure on the backside.
The design possibilities are pretty much endless. I almost stitched some vintage fabric to it, but changed my mind. Maybe next time.