If you are new to embroidery, you might be curious as to what kinds of things you can do with it besides hanging it on a wall. Today I am going to show you a list of ways you can use and experiment with embroidery. These are only just the tip of the iceberg. The sky is the limit. People are constantly coming up with all kinds of unique and wonderful mash-ups of different mediums. Today I am going to present you with a few that will hopefully inspire your creativity and reassure you that there is so much you can do with this lovely and relaxing skill.
1. TURN A CHILD'S ARTWORK INTO AN EMBROIDERED KEEPSAKE
I think kid's artwork is so pure, raw and from the heart. I loved this portrait my son made of me so I decided to take the pencil drawing and turn it into a small keepsake. It is so easy to make and it is a great way of practicing different stitches. You can pick your own color palette or you could have the child use colored pencils and let him/her choose the colors. You can make this as simple as you want using all backstitch or you could get fancy and experiment with more complicated stitch work. Either way, it is such a nice thing to have or to give as a gift. (A great teacher gift for the end of the year!) Simply tape the drawing to a bright window, tape cotton fabric over it, and trace the design onto the fabric. Place the fabric in a hoop and stitch as desired. When you are done, frame it to be displayed on a wall, in an easel, on a desk or counter top, or as an ornament. HERE is the tutorial in more detail if you would like to give it a whirl!
2. MAKE A PIN.
Make a pin to accessorize a your clothing, a jacket lapel, bag, or backpack. Sew the embroidered piece onto a round piece of felt using the WHIPSTITCH. Sew onto a felt backing with a pin attached to the back using the RUNNING STITCH. A satisfying little afternoon project! Click HERE to see the tutorial.
3. MAKE A WRIST CUFF.
Since we are already on the topic of wearable art, how about some an adornment for your wrist? Add a one-of-a-kind accessory to your outfit by making an elegant embroidered wrist cuff. It's just a matter of very simple sewing. Cut two rectangles of fabric, sew together right sides facing leaving a small opening for turning inside out. Sew the opening shut and add a sew on snap closure.
If you want to try it, see the full tutorial HERE.
4. MAKE A NECKLACE.
If you would rather have a necklace, how about this adorable mini pendant? You can get these small wood pendants online or at the embroidery section of your local craft store. Simply glue the fabric on the backing then place the tiny hoop on top. Glue the rest of the overlapping fabric to the back and apply a ribbon to turn it into a pendant.
The project above is available at my shop HERE. All it requires is a backstitch and is available as a kit:)
If you are feeling extra un-motivated, there are pre-made necklaces available at my etsy shop for purchase! Click HERE to peruse the necklace selection. They combine my watercolors printed on fabric and highlighted with some delicate embroidery.
5. MAKE A LAVENDER SACHET.
With Mother's Day coming up, these little lavender sachets make great gifts! I love to put them in closets and drawers. They are so easy and fun to make. Cut two squares of cotton fabric. Embroider a small design on the center one of the squares. Sew the squares right sides facing leaving an opening for turning. Turn inside out and fill with dried lavender buds. Sew the opening closed and Viola! Really easy little project. Click HERE to see the full tutorial.
6. UP-CYCLE SOME CLOTHING.
The lotus pattern above can be found HERE.
Embroidered clothing is so popular right now. Add a simple pattern to all different types of clothes and accessories to make it uniquely your own!
This baseball cap (above) and the jeans pocket (below) have been embroidered with lips from THIS pattern.
You don't even need a pattern to add a little unique flavor. Try free-handing some of your favorite stitches on an old pair of jeans.
7. USE EMBROIDERY TO MEND A TEAR IN YOUR FAVORITE OLD JEANS.
Embroidery is also a great way to mend a tear in jeans or socks. See the full tutorial for details on how to repair your favorite old jeans HERE.
8. CREATE UNIQUE RE-USEABLE GIFT TAGS.
Make your own gift tags. Cut out small scraps of fabric and practice embroidering over your handwriting to make personalized re-usable gift tags. This is such a fun way to use up scraps and practice stitches. You can view the full tutorial HERE.
9. THINK OUT OF THE BOX AND EMBROIDER ON OTHER THINGS BESIDES FABRIC, LIKE PAPER!
You don't have to limited to fabric for embroidery. Try experimenting with paper. In the example above, I took one of my favorite old photos and added some delicate stitch work to create a new piece of art with elements of old and new blended together. See the full tutorial HERE. Below I used the RUNNING STITCH and this free bunny printable to create a card with a hand made touch.
In the picture above, I took fabric scraps and did some spontaneous freehand embroidery on it. I sewed the embroidered fabric onto postcards using some decorative stitches on my sewing machine. If you don't have a sewing machine, use the running stitch to hand sew them!
There are so many ways to use embroidery. I have seen it on screens doors (dying to try that), metal strainers, and even tennis rackets!
Well, I hope this has sparked up your imagination and creativity to think out of the box and try this new fun skill in some different and exciting ways!