I have stacks of old photos in my basement from before the digital age. A couple of years ago our basement flooded and some of the pictures got wet. Luckily there are other copies floating around in the family but I just couldn't bring myself to throw these out. I scanned them into my computer and printed them on photo matte paper. I love experimenting with mixed media and embroidery so I decided to have a little fun. Maybe this will inspire a little creative mixed media project of your own. It is a great way to bring new life to an old keepsake. This would also make a fantastic and meaningful gift idea for the upcoming holidays.
I started out with several old 8 x 10 photos. Some were torn and damaged but I just scanned them into my computer and printed them out on high quality photo matte paper. It makes a nice print and the paper is the ideal consistency for embroidery. If you have color photos, you may want to consider printing them in black and white. It really makes the embroidery stand out.
I have a huge stash of ribbon bits so I searched through there to see what might look pleasing paired with my photos. You can search around for bits of ribbon or twine you may have in your stash of present wrapping supplies. There are bins and bins of these at the craft store if you don't have anything at home you are satisfied with.
I loved how this ric-rac ribbon paired so nicely with the ric-rac on the dress.
This lacy ribbon complements the lace of the wedding dress, bringing it to life.
I really enjoy playing with the different patterns and colors of ribbons and seeing how they pair with the photos. I find myself trying to imagine the real fabrics in the photo or what it felt like in the moment that the photo was snapped.
I used my sewing machine to sew the ribbons onto the border of the photos to add some texture and interest.
I got out some of my books for embroidery shape inspiration. Luckily, with the internet, there is so much visual inspiration. I take a quick browse, close the book, then start sketching with pencil on my photo.
The ripped and damaged borders added fantastic interest to the piece and were perfect for adding my embroidery design element. Use the damage and flawed parts as inspiration!
Once I was satisfied with my sketch, I picked my embroidery thread and a sharp needle with a large eye. You can use your needle to pre-poke the holes along your sketch as you go.
Embroidery thread comes in six strands. For finer detail, I split the thread in half and use three strands but for this I used all six. That is why you want a needle with a large eye. It will make the threading process a lot easier.
You can add different colors and highlight areas you like in the photo. As a little girl, I would stare at that bouquet and its delicate little buds. I especially loved the ribbons hanging down.
Once I felt satisfied with the embroidered part, I sewed a pattern down the right side of the photo for some more interest. I put it in the frame to see if it felt done. It did! Someone once said to stop when you feel 85 percent finished. That little mantra really works for me since I tend towards overdoing it.
I went a little minimalist with this piece. I love the black and white-ness of it so I added some stripes to highlight the stripes in the tie and pinstripes on the suit. I added some stars down the left side. I bet it was a dark night with twinkly stars out.
Even a little goes a long way.
Well, I hope you feel inspired to start a little project of your own. It is a really fun way to stretch your imagination, hold your loved ones dear, and create a sweet piece of art in the process.
Thanks for stopping by!