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Make a Brown Scapular





We offer below instructions to make an inexpensive version
of the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel,
more commonly known as the Brown Scapular.

This type is most used by the Missions, and can easily be produced
in large quantity for bulk distribution.  

If you will be making Scapulars for a particular organization,
such as The Scapular Guild, or The Fatima Crusaders,
you will be instructed by them to make the style of Scapular
which they require.
The colors of the cord used may vary; brown or white.

While images and words are not required by Church regulation,
most Scapulars you find are made with both.

Sometimes the images in the supplies you receive
from your organization will vary.
Sometimes the wording is different. 

Brown color 100% Wool is absolutely required for the
Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.


To gain the graces attached to the Brown Scapular,
it must be worn over the shoulders.
Catholics must be "invested" in the Brown Scapular
by a priest, a special blessing and enrollment
as a child of Mary.





A kit you may receive from your organization will most likely
resemble the supplies shown below.

Some organizations provide brown wool already cut into strips;
most will send a volume of fabric which first must be cut into strips
as shown in the picture below.
Some will supply Cord wound as a bolt which you must cut
into specified lengths. With others, the Cord is pre-cut.
You will also receive a "page" of images which must also be cut into strips, 8 images wide.
The images are made of adhesive-backed material which melts and bonds to the wool when heat is applied.



The methods shown through our directions
have been developed throughout the years
by experienced Scapular Makers.
You are free to adjust them according to your preference.

A pair of sharp scissors, or rotary cutter, clean cutting surface,
an iron and clean ironing surface, a ruler, and a sewing machine
are necessary to make Brown Scapulars.
Scapulars may also be hand-sewn: adjust steps accordingly.

We will reference the prints as Face and Word images:


Iron the wool if wrinkled, with a cool iron.

Warm the iron to wool or silk setting, no steam.
Test heat first on scrap image and wool.  

TIMESAVER: Using quilters tools such as a "self-healing" cutting board, large quilters rulers/straight edge, and a rotary cutter saves time and ensures precise measurements and cuts so your scapulars are always uniform.


Lay the wool out on your cutting surface.
Measure to cut your first strip 1  3/4 inches wide,
using the image strip as a guide,
or measuring with a straight edge (quilter's) ruler.


Above we have highlighted the wool with dotted lines
to show the method of cutting each of your wool strips.
Using sharp scissors or a rotary cutter
ensures a precise cut with little fraying.
Cutting the wool strips slightly larger than the scapular image
allows room for error and the placement of the cords in later steps.

Cut as many strips as needed for each sewing session.
Stack strips for later use.




Some organizations supply pre-cut Cord;
it is not necessary to make sure that each are exactly the same length. But if a bolt of cord is supplied, you must lay the cord out and cut into strips 21 inches in length.
Some organizations require only an 18 inch cord,
such as for children's scapulars.
Our Brown Scapular Starter Kits indicate cord cut to 19 inches.

To cut cord in bulk, lay a number of loops of cord over on itself
on a flat cutting surface to 22 inches wide.
Use inch guide on cutting mat or yard stick to mark out 21 inches.
Place tape over cord., then wrap as shown.
 (Painters Blue Mask tape works very well.)
Secure the loops with tape at both ends, marking the cutting position.
Cut at the taped edges.

Leave one end taped for easy handling of cords while you work.

Cord may be ironed if needed, with or without steam.


To apply images, warm the iron to wool or silk setting,
no steam. Test heat first on scrap image and wool.
PRACTICE FIRST on a scrap image to make sure the heat
is set to keep from overly melting the image.
The sticky bonding agent of the image patch
will ooze out around the edges if the Iron is too hot.
Adjust heat and test again. 

            SET A 


Lay a strip of wool on your ironing surface.
Lay a strip of images on the wool as shown.
Tuck the ends of cords in under the top edge of the images,
making sure they go in and under at least 1/2 inch,
far enough to "catch" when you sew the images
onto the wool.
Center the cords properly between
the outer edges of the images before ironing.
Keep cords perpendicular,as straight as possible to the edge
of the scapular image.

Place the image strip approximately 1/8" from the top of the wool strip.
Apply the iron lightly. The image will melt onto the wool.

To avoid dark marks created by the iron, use a piece of transparent material as an ironing cloth.

PELLON works well for this step.

Iron over one image at a time to affix cord and image to the wool.

Avoid touching the next image with the iron.

Pray while ironing:

 "Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us!
Saint Simon Stock, pray for us!"
(about 5 to 6 seconds)

This is just the right amount of time it takes
to melt the images into the wool at the proper adhesion.
And it transforms your work into a prayer!

Proceed to add cord to each face and word image.

After all the cords have been affixed, iron again over the whole strip

checking corners and edges for a firm adhesion. 

We recommend ironing over only 8 images at one time
so you can check for proper adhesion.
When those 8 are set and cool you will repeat the same steps to complete the other side of your scapulars.


                SET B          

Above we show finished SET A laid out on our cutting surface
with SET B positioned ready to add cord to each image.

Draw two cords from SET A first Word Image through your fingers
to keep cords flat and spaced about 1/4" apart,
and position them under the first Face Image on SET B.

              Make sure each two lengths of cord from one image on SET A
lead to the correct image on SET B. 
An image of Our Lady on one side,
scapular promise words on the other. 

Make sure the cords lie flat between the two SETS.

Affix cords as usual to face and word images of SET B.


When both sides of your sets are completed they should look like the picture above.


Load your machine with dark brown cotton thread for the bobbin,
white thread for the top.
Use a Sharp, size 14 needle.
Smaller sized needles won't work well with the wool.


Place your strip set under the needle to sew the top edge.
Keep the excess of cords flat and to the left of your work.

Sew a straight line between the edge of the scapular image
and the brown line imprinted on the image.

Sew a straight line between the top edge of the scapular image
and the brown line imprinted on the image.

Sew straight across the top of all the images. 


Repeat for the bottom edge of the image strip.

Turn your work around and sew SET B in the same manner;
sew in a straight line across the top and bottom of Scapulars.



Lay your straightedge alongside the bottom of the scapulars in SET A. 
A rotary cutter works best for this step,
but a steady hand and sharp scissors work as well.
Leave a little wool showing at the bottom of the scapular and cut off the excess

in a straight line.

Cut sides of image strip in a nice finished straight line.

Do the same for SET B.

Cut sides of image strip in a nice finished straight line.

Do the same for SET B.



Cut the Sets into individual Scapulars

Sharp Scissors work best for this final step.
Cut to separate both sets into individual scapulars.
Brush off any wool lint that may have adhered to the images.
Trim stray threads.





For first time Scapular Makers only:
Hold scapulars up and admire your beautiful work!


Bundling for The Missions:

Tie each scapular's cords with a "shoe-lace" bow as shown.
Your organization may request
that you bundle the scapulars into dozens,
securing the images with string or elastic band.





The most common mistake made by beginner scapular makers is the incorrect placement of the iron-on patch images. The top of the patches should be facing each other, with the length of cord between them.

See the proper placement shown in the picture below:

When first starting out, you may make the mistake of reversing the direction of your strips so that they are both "looking" in the same direction, as shown below:

 Make sure those Cords are in the middle!

We think you will agree that sloppy work, uneven edges,
poor cuts, and off-center cords are unbecoming
of Our Lady's Scapular Makers.

Keep your work as neat and precise as possible.
It is a reflection of your love for Our Lady !

Thank you for becoming

a  Scapular Maker for Our Lady!








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We offer a Beginner Scapular Makers Kit for the Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel,

which includes materials enough to make 8 Mission Style Brown Scapulars.



For our full line of finished rosaries, scapulars, chaplets, candles, booklets and specialty rosary kits visit our