Domestic Elf Pendant: Fantasy Dye Art Project

On her day off, Santa’s elf is a domestic elf, baking cookies and otherwise enjoying hearth and home. This stardrenched mystic needs a bit of fancy—fantasy jewelry—as she putter about the house or kicks back. (Who gets everything done when no one is looking? The domestic elf: You!)

Upcycle a vintage wooden spool to make a wearable art pendant for yourself and other busy homemakers.

You’ll need:
* thick cardboard, plastic drop cloth
* fabric-painting brush(es)
* Dye-na-Flow: Bright Green
* Pearl Ex colors Duo Red-Blue, Duo Green-Yellow, Bright Yellow
* Jacquard Textile Color 100 Colorless Extender
* white cloth (I used a leftover scrap from a beautiful vintage placemat.)
* iron and ironing board
* wooden spool
* Needle and thread
* beads, safety pin, mother of pearl or other buttons, and/or homey charms (e.g., in the shape of scissors, sewing machines, pots and pans)

1) Put plastic over your work surface. Add the cardboard on top of it.

2) Paint your fabric with the Dye-na-Flow. Let it dry, then fix the dye.

3) Mix each of your Pearl Ex colors with the Colorless Extender, then decorate the cloth. Don’t be fastidious. The final piece doesn’t need the Peal Ex to be detailed, symmetrical, or precise. Let it dry, then set it.

4) Cut your cloth according to the size of the spool. The cloth needs to wrap around the spool, fitting between the spool’s raised ends, and have a hem on three sides. Note the pic of how large the hems should be; they will not be sewn in place, so need to be large enough to stay tucked under. Iron the hems.


5) Sew on beads, a safety pin, buttons, and/or charms. A spool will roll on its cord, exposing its stitched back, unless you place some embellishments so that they rest against your chest, stopping the roll. Also, choose where to place the various add-ons according to how they’ll hang in the final piece. For example, the ones in back against your blouse should hang on the longest threads, so that they aren’t covered up by the add-ons in front.

6) Put the strip of cloth around the center of the spool, and sew along one side.

 7) Wear with pride. You’re a domestic elf! 

For ideas to get creative juices flowing, whether in dye art or other creative expressions, check out Ten Tips for Creative Dyeing 

My fantasy art painting, which I usually do on silk, and my other talismanic art, is available at

Most supplies for this project are Jacquard Products, found at or 800-442-0455.

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