Introduction: Abstract Embroidered Pendants

I've always adored punch needle embroidery for its texture and tactility. I was inspired to make these bead embroidered medallion pendants with an intended likeness to punch needle embroidery, but much, much smaller in scale and in gold!

Gold metallic threads are stunning and come in so many variations. I feel that modern embroidery needs to bring back much of that gold typically found in old fashioned designs. Gold threads create a sophisticated look to all designs and can surely bring an abstract and modern touch.

These medallion pendants are made using the simplest bead embroidery with a variety of gold metallic threads and gold glass beads. While quite easily made, the results are striking.


Apart from glass seed beads and metallic threads, the center of this project is the mini "gold embroidery hoop", which I fashioned out of two 32 mm key rings (yes, those used in key chains), and gold lame fabric.

I also used fusible bonding tape, super glue, felt, and a pinch bail to complete the pendants.

Step 1: Layer Lame

Lame is quite a challenging fabric to work with, however, you can embroider on layers of fused lame pieces.

To stiffen lame for embroidery:

1. Cut 4 square pieces just slightly larger than the key ring. Cut fusible bonding tape to the same length as the lame squares.

2. Place the first square of lame on a piece of parchment paper, then place fusible bonding tape to cover the surface of the lame. Add another square of lame in the opposite grain and cover with bonding tape.

3. Continue to layer lame and bonding tape, alternating the grain of the lame to provide more structural integrity.

4. Place another piece of parchment paper on the layers of lame. Iron on med-low heat (rayon setting) without steam, for about 5 seconds and check to see if the layers have fused. Because lame is made of metal fibers, it melts very quickly.

5. Remove from parchment paper and you now have a stiff piece of lame to embroider on.

Step 2: Mini Gold Embroidery Hoop

Time to create a mini gold embroidery hoop by sandwiching the stiffened lame between 2 key rings.

1. Apply super glue around the circumference of the first key ring and place on the center of the lame square.

2. Using a sharp craft knife, cut right along the outer edge of the key ring.

3. Glue the second key ring on the opposite side of the lame, making sure the notches match.

Step 3: Design

Time to plan your design and outline each space.

Step 4: Stitch

It's best to have multiple threads in your needle. I used 3 lengths of thread to provide a nice width to my stitches.

A simple satin stitch provides a nice sheen to the pendants. Stitches running in different directions in the other spaces also create a lot of overall contrast.

Step 5: Bead

Fill in the spaces that were allocated for beads, starting with outlines first. For the spaces that are meant to be completely filled in, I suggest having two to three sizes of beads to create an interesting texture and depth.

Step 6: Backing & Bail

To make a backing to cover the back side of the fabric:

1. Cut a square of felt slightly larger than the pendant. Place fusible bonding tape to cover the felt square.

2. Add a square piece of lame.

3. Place in between two sheets of parchment paper. Iron on medium-low (rayon setting) for 5 seconds and check to see if layers have fused.

4. Place a key ring on the felt side and trace the inner edge of the ring.

5. Cut the circle out.

6. With lame side up, glue to the back of the pendant.

Add a pinch bail to the notch of the key ring and your pendant is done!

Step 7: Ready to Wear

Enjoy wearing your very own bead embroidered medallion necklace and make other variations to give as gifts!

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