I love embroidery. I got into it about 3 years ago when I was pregnant with Abbey and I saw my friend Kellie embroidering adorable things for her soon to be born, son. I loved it and had to learn! I went home and spent a ton of money on supplies, bought books and dove into the world of needle crafting. She’s still way better than me, but I can hold my own.
Over the years I have created a lot of fun and adorable items, not only for myself, but as gifts too. Embroidery makes a great gift because it’s totally customizable, handmade and it looks like you spent forever on it. But in actuality, embroidery is really easy, a decently inexpensive craft, fun and incredibly addicting.
I made this with my friend Kellie in mind. I bought this fabric years ago to make pajama pants for her son, and used the leftover scraps to make this wall art. She and I have a very large affinity for fake mustaches. I have no idea why, but it’s been this way for years and years.
These little mustaches were begging to be framed and stitched on. I used a very small embroidery hoop, because I wanted to highlight the small details.
I choose the mustache I felt fit the best inside the space I had, and centered it on my hoop, tightening and stretching it taut. You don’t want it to be so tight that it warps the image, but snug enough that you can easily stitch on it.
Choose your embroidery floss color, I picked Light Seagreen from DMC floss, #964.
I like to use a rather thick and firm needle. Sewing needles don’t cut it here, so make sure you pick out some good embroidery needles. Separate your 6 thread floss in half, into a more workable 3 thread bunch, tying a small knot at the end to keep it from coming through. Some people like to keep the backside all clean and nice, but since no one will ever see it, I don’t care. The backside of my embroidery projects have lots of knots and thread tails, and it’s OK.
Using the image on the fabric as your pattern, stitch along the lines to create texture and visual focus. I used a basic back stitch, but you are free to use your favorite embroidery stitch. Trace along the lines, color inside of them, add more colors, whatever you want! It’s like coloring for the grown up artsy fartsy crowd. Just make it fun, and make sure you’re enjoying yourself.
You can do this with scrap fabric, like I did, or embroider effects onto your clothing, cloth napkins, dish cloths, aprons, paper cards, whatever you want! Though you won’t need an embroidery hoop for paper, and if you’re stitching onto clothing or items, you won’t need to do much to secure except adding a bit of fusible interfacing onto the back to protect your stitches.
I find needle crafts to be very relaxing and incredibly rewarding. Watch a movie you’ve seen 100 times while you do it and just have a good time!
When you’re finished, trim the edges, tuck them inside the hoop and glue them down. Optional, but it’s nice, you can also add a circle of fabric to the back to secure and hide your stitches. You can now hang this on a wall, give as a gift, or just admire it’s glory from your desk.
If embroidery is something you’d like to seriously get into, Jenny Hart of Sublime Stitching has some great books out there! I recommend Sublime Stitching and Embroidered Effects, two great books that I own, that will help you get into the world of modern embroidery.
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