subscription box

Craft Box Club – Bargello Tea Lights

I’m still playing catch up with all my subscription boxes, but I feel like I’m getting there at last! I’ve just finished the latest from Craft Box Club; another eco-friendly project creating Bargello tea light holders. 

Included in the box was:

  • Glass jars x3
  • Jute ribbons x3
  • Soy tea lights x3
  • Blue yarn
  • Green yarn
  • Yellow yarn
  • Needle
  • Needle threader

I really like the use of the jute ribbon as the canvas. It’s loose weave is perfect for doing the long stitches of Bargello to create a uniform pattern. At the link for the video guide there was also a step-by-step picture process included with written instructions, plus the stitch pattern for the triangle shapes. The video was well paced and showed how to do both the stitches used clearly. I liked that it showed how to use the needle threader at the beginning as well. For this project I did prefer the photos to follow rather than the video.

The only deviation I made from the instructions was sewing the ends of the jute ribbon together. In the video the ends were sewn together around the jar to ensure the correct fit, but I found this a bit tricky so instead I measured the ribbon around the jar and folded it to mark where I needed to place my stitches.

This was such a great project to have on the go if you don’t have the time to dedicate to a sit-down-for-hours project. Although it looks like quite a simple craft it does take longer than you think it will. I completed mine in several sessions over the course of a week. I just left it on the table and picked it up whenever I had a spare half hour, which I think was a good way to do it as the Bargello stitch can be a bit repetitive. The end result is another lovely eco-friendly piece of home décor! 

craft kit

Taken by the Wind

I started following Hello Bargello! (hellobargello.com) on Instagram last year and really liked the vintage designs they were producing for their craft kits. Bargello is a type of needlepoint embroidery using geometric designs made with upright stitches. The patterns have a very 70s feel to them and Brett Bara, the founder of Hello Bargello!, started modernising the patterns and creating her kits after falling in love with the technique when she found several vintage books on the subject.

‘Taken by the Wind’ is the latest kit and it included:

  • Skeins of tapestry wool x 11
  • Needlepoint canvas
  • Tapestry needle

I found the instruction book very well laid out with a double page spread of how to do the basic Bargello stitch and other tips and tricks, followed by the instructions and pattern chart to complete the kit. The instructions were very thorough including measurements for where to start the design from the edge of the canvas and which section to start with. The pattern was divided into squares like the canvas, but all the lines started to make my eyes go funny and it was quite tricky to read at times, especially where two similar colours met. I found it much easier to follow once I started using a ruler to mark my place and moving it across as I completed each stitch.

Although there were a couple of places where I went wrong, it didn’t really matter as it’s an abstract piece and could easily be sorted out along the way by adjusting the length of other stitches. I really love the design of this piece as it reminds of visiting the Grand Canyon and I can totally understand why it was named ‘Taken by the Wind’. 

As I mentioned, I have been following Hello Bargello! online for a while but haven’t purchased anything from them before now as I’ve been a little put off by the price. This kit costs $48 (around £37 at the current exchange rate) and considering the minimal materials involved it seems like a lot to me. In addition to this is the shipping cost, which is obviously higher as it’s coming from America, plus I also had to pay a customs fee on it too. I actually used a $5 discount code that they were promoting on Instagram, but even with this I paid a total of £59.72 for this kit. If Bargello looks like something you want to get into I would recommend sourcing the materials yourself from UK suppliers as Hello Bargello! has their patterns for sale as downloadable PDFs for $12-$18 (approx £9-£14) depending on the size and complexity of the design. There are also plenty of videos on the website demonstrating how to do Bargello. 

Aside from the cost I found this a very enjoyable kit. As it’s divided up into sections its easy to put down and pick up again whenever you have a moment to craft, but I actually sat and finished the majority of it in one day because I was enjoying myself so much and only stopped because my back and arms were aching! It seems pretty addictive once you get started!