I made the spell pouch that hangs over my door in 2014. I was going through a rough time on all fronts. I turned to cross stitch as a way to deal with all the pressures that were taking a toll on me. The limited number of stitches, the structure provided by sticking to a pattern, and the repetition of stitching were all comforting.
I hadn’t set out to make a protective talisman. I was just stitching a design that pleased me. When I finished, I immediately thought of the book Making Handbags & Purses by Carol Parks which presents a bag design meant to showcase embroidery designs. It was a bag that I had adjusted to make hard covered pouches that I sold at various anime and gaming conventions. It didn’t take much finagling to create a new design that fit my Celtic triskele.
Once the pouch was finished, I filled it with protective items, herbs and crystals. It hung over the front door of my home, and when I was homeless it hung from the rearview mirror of my Jeep. Twice a year I take it down, cleanse it, refresh the herbs and consecrate it anew to protecting my home. If ever we had to evacuate our house, I would spend the thirty seconds it would take to fetch it.
This tutorial guides you through making a spell pouch of your own. An embroidery design is provided but feel free to make your own. The design features five circles cut from three different, but coordinating fabrics and a simple stem stitch for the swirling flourishes.
This is your personal pouch. Decorating it to suit your personal tastes and spellcraft path will attune you to it. You can even skip the embroidery and decoration and instead use a piece of fabric that speaks to your magickal intentions. The pouch can be used for any kind of spell work. Mine is a protective talisman, but yours could be used to help aid in dreamwork, healing, luck and money spells, etc. If you make a pouch, please post pictures in the comments. I’d love to see how yours turn out.
Spell Pouch Tutorial
Spell pouches are a powerful, versatile and nearly ubiquitous tool in the witch’s arsenal. They can be as simple as a piece of cloth tied up around spell components, or highly decorated pieces of art. This tutorial skews more towards the latter than the former. This spell pouch is suited for magick that is meant to hang around, for dreamwork, protection, healing, etc. You can embroider the pouch with the design provided, or choose your own decoration. You can eschew decoration all together and simply use a fabric with a print that suits your spellwork.
Cotton, linen or silk are recommended for this pouch, due to the use of the fusible craft interfacing. If you use a synthetic fabric, make sure to use a press cloth when ironing the cover.
The design consists of five circles which are three different sizes. Circles are a shape that symbolizes the whole and completion, two energies I like to include in my magick workings.Five is a number of change and spirit and in this case are used to amplify the spellwork contained in the pouch. The flourishes act both as antennae, broadcasting the spell’s energies out into the world, and as sigils of success in that their shape is reminiscent of flowering plants.
- 2 pieces of fusible heavy weight craft interfacing measuring 4” x 5 ½”
- 2 pieces of cotton fabric for the pouch cover measuring 5” x 12”
- 1 piece of fabric for the inner pouch measuring 5” x 12”
- 27” of satin rattail cording
- Embroidery thread
- Fabric scraps in three different, coordinating patterns and colors
- Print out of Spell Pouch Embroidery Design, if using
- Embroidery hoop & needle
- Sewing machine & needle
- Tapestry needle
- Transfer the markings for the embroidery design onto one of your pouch cover fabric. Situate the design as shown in the diagram above. You can use transfer paper, or if your fabric is thin enough you can lay it over the design and trace it onto the fabric with a pencil.
- Cut out five circles from your fabric scraps that match the size of the circles in the design. The largest circle will be cut from one piece of fabric, the middle sized circle from another piece, and the smallest circle from yet another.
- Arrange the circles on the fabric, matching the placement in the design and stitch down. I use a small stitch along the outer edge of the circle.
- Stitch the rest flourish design with a coordinating embroidery floss. I like to use one strand from two or more different colored floss so as to mix color correspondences into my witchcrafting. For example: using one strand of blue and one of green to imbue the design with both protective and healing energies.
Making the Spell Pouch
- On the wrong side of the pouch cover fabric mark a line ½” in from the long edge. Also mark the halfway point.
- Align one piece of craft interfacing along the lines you marked. Fold fabric in half, right side out, to sandwich the interfacing.
- Repeat for the other pouch cover fabric and interfacing.
- Press both interfacing “sandwiches” with an iron to fuse the fabric to the interfacing.
- Sew the pouch cover pieces together on both long sides using a ½” seam allowance. Sew unfinished short edge, leaving a 1/8″ gap between the side and top seams. Tip: use a zipper or piping foot.
- Trim seams and corners.
- Turn the pouch cover right side out. Tip: Use the steam setting on your iron to make the craft interfacing malleable. Work slowly and gently when you are turning it right side out.
- Fold down the short sides of the inner pouch ½” and then ½” again. Topstitch the hem close to the first fold.
- Fold the inner pouch fabric in half, right sides facing and sew a ½” seam along both long sides.
- Turn the inner pouch right side out.
- Thread the cording onto the tapestry needle. Run the cording through the two gaps in the pouch cover so that the cord ends hang down from the inside of the cover.
- Stitch the cord ends to the inner pouch at the top of the seam allowance. Stitch back and forth several times to secure the cording.
To close the pouch, take hold of the cover in one hand while pulling up on the cording with the other, thus drawing the inner pouch into the cover. If necessary, you can give the cover a squeeze to create a larger opening. To open the pouch, take hold of the cover in one hand and pull the bottom of the inner pouch.