Monday, July 29, 2013

The StencilGirl Marrakech Express

Hi. My name is Janet Joehlin
and I am so excited to be a member of the StencilGirl Team!

From my first introduction to StencilGirl Products,
I have been enamored with the Marrakech Mix Stencil L177
designed by Michelle Ward.
The shape is so classic and this stencil offers several sizes. 

I have been wanting to jump into a beading project
and this shape was perfect!
First I traced the shape with a permanent pen onto a base fabric.
In this case, a Pigma Micron pen onto plain muslin.
I dug out my beads, some heavy duty thread
and a fine needle and got busy. 

I found it easiest to outline first and fill in second.
Only take one or two beads at most on your thread
and make the stitches secure.
Once in awhile I would backstitch through a bead for extra security.
It was fun picking out color combinations.
I used a vintage button on one...
and a metal hand stamped BELIEVE on another. 
Different sized seed beads and bugle beads
give the design texture and depth.
When I was satisfied with my beaded design
I trimmed the fabric to about 3/8's of an inch
(enough to handle it and fold it over).
If it is too short it gets frustrating to work with,
and no one will see the back anyways.
Any sewer knows you need to clip the inside corners and curves.
Get in tight to the corners without snipping your bead thread.

Then pull out your tacky glue.
Yes. Tacky Glue!
I found the best sequence was to glue the pointy point first
and work your way in. 
Small inside curves next to that point.....
Then the little squared off corner.....
That was the hardest part to glue..... 
Then the biggest and easiest curve.....

But you are not done yet.... 
Spreading glue over the whole back of your piece is extra security.

And then.... 
This is a pretty important finishing step.
As you are sewing this little gem,
it wants to curl up into a shape of its own. 
Gluing the back and pressing it on your teflon craft sheet to dry
will make it lay flat and straight.
Be patient. It takes several hours to dry.

Now you are ready
to use your beautiful creation wherever you want.

My daughter picked her favorite
and hot glued an alligator clip onto the back.
She clipped it to a headband last weekend 
and wore it to her town's Jazz RibFest.

So Beautiful!
Here is an idea my talented friend Lisa and I collaborated on.....
I did the beadwork...
Lisa made the leather cuff...
She loves doing that kind of thing.... 
She attached velcro to both pieces and....
I camouflaged the white velcro edge with a brown copic marker...

We then have a versatile bracelet! 
I can't wait to add more artwork to this fabulous cuff!
Need more ideas of what to do with these? 
I glued one onto a purse pocket....
I may attach one to a Journal cover....
Or hot glue a pin back onto it and give it as a gift....
Or make it into a necklace pendant....
Or alligator clip it onto the strap of your dress....
Or sew one into a dramatic neckline on a one-of-a-kind dress!
The possibilities are endless
when you have a classic stencil shape like Marrakech to work with!
Thanks for letting me share my project with you.
I am in love with using these stencils.
Come visit me over on my Blog
and see what else I do.


  1. Wow, wow, wow, and did I say WOW!!! xox

    1. Thank you, for showing your beautiful gems as well as the turorial! The variation of use is fantastic! Love it! Michelle Wards design is one of my favourites.

  2. Wow - these are just gorgeous and your instructions are so clear. Thank you for this brilliant tutorial.

  3. Wow! These are brilliant, Janet!
    Very stunning!

  4. This is beautiful !!
    Love from the Netherlands ♥RINI♥

  5. Wow, I love your bead work, it's beautiful. Who would have thought it started with a stencil? And I love how you have shown the versatility of your creations, it's great that your daughter appreciates your efforts.

    Jan x

    1. Thanks Jan. My kids are some of my greatest admirers! And they have inherited the creative genes in the family! Thanks!

  6. I make hand embroidered jewelry too but use a thick interfacing for my base. Never thought you could just use muslin....wouldn't have thought it would be stiff enough in the end...and I never would have thought to use a stencil! Thanks for sharing...I'll have to give your process a try.

    1. Yes Melissa, I debated over what my base should be. The cotton worked out great but I considered wool too. I look at stencils a whole new way now! The marrakech is a great one! Thanks!

  7. What a brilliant idea! Do you participate in the Bead Journal Project? I could see doing a different piece each month and then with the velcro idea you'd have so many wonderful possibilities for that cool bracelet!

    1. Hi Linda! I already have too many irons in the art fire! I really enjoy looking at beading projects and totally admire the endeavor... but my love is art journals with a bunch of extra stuff thrown in! Love ya!

    2. Linda--tell us more about the Bead Journal have sparked my interest :)

  8. Janet.. I am in AWE of this... really. I bow down to beaders. Just breath taking a lot of work.

  9. WOW! Just Wow! I don't even have words. Such a cool project, I adore this. Not to mention I want one of those cuffs. Genius.

  10. These are splendid! Now I need to go root around in my beads and make something, you have really inspired me! Fun tutorial, thanks so much.

  11. Yes, this week hunting for beads. They are amazing, so well done and beautiful.

    1. There are some awesome beads out there! Happy Hunting! And thank you!

  12. Stunning! Amazing! Incredible! You have given me another way to look at stencils and made me feel like I can do this with such a clear tutorial! Wow!!!! Wow!!! Did I mention WOW? Time to find beads!

  13. This project is awesome! Love the idea! Love the beads! THANK YOU JANET!

  14. wow! gorgeous. great tutorial and fabulous idea. thanks!

  15. Janet, these are GORGEOUS! What a great tutorial, too. Thanks for sharing!

  16. omg! stencil girl has been doing so much to drive me crazy and now this! i am a jeweler by heart and this is just what i needed to see to get inspired, tx for sharing and inspiring, aloha, angi in hana

  17. Janet, these are truly works of art (with emphasis on work!). You have created exquisite pieces of jewelry from a stencil. How amazing is that? Kudos to you and that great stencil!

  18. Stunning!
    Thank you for sharing!

  19. That is just soooooo cool. I love them.

  20. OMG - these are AMAZING! I am in awe!

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  22. Wow, my truly are amazing!!!

  23. This is such gorgeous work! My mind is blown!

  24. I love it! This appeals to me in so many ways - I love Michelle's stencils and I am also a beader! Thanks for sharing the brilliant idea and the marvelous samples. Normally when I bead a cabochon, I use a thin, soft leather backing to finish, Also glued on.

  25. Such gorgeous work: you exemplify "there is no box" thinking with stencils.

  26. Such gorgeous work: you exemplify "there is no box" thinking with stencils.

  27. Just found this...these are so amazing and intricate! I don't know if I'd have the patience to do all of that beading but I sure like looking at your finished work.

  28. I’m glad I got to see this! I’m itching to have a go at making some very soon 😍😍😍


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