Picture of Create Your Own Embroidery Designs
If you’re like me, you have a particular look you are going for when it comes to embroidery. I can admire many of the patterns I’ve seen out there, and I even love a good vintage pattern, but sometimes I just can’t find what I am looking for in terms of images. With the recent push in pattern design towards a more modern feel there are certainly more styles out there to choose from than before, but even that doesn’t always cover what I want my pieces to look like. Especially if I am doing custom work. I wanted to embellish my crochet hook organizers with a little embroidery but I couldn’t find a design out there that fit what I needed, so I made my own.

1. A sketch (Use something you’ve either sketched or created in Illustrator or Inkscape for your project. If you can’t draw find a friend you can commission a drawing from!)
2. Pencil
3. Tracing paper (I use the lightest weight tracing paper I can find; makes for easier tearing later)
4. Embroidery Floss
5. Pins
6. Needle
7. Fabric
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Step 1:

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Trace your design onto your tracing paper. Make sure to be as neat as possible to make embroidering later easy. Once you trace it you can choose to cut the paper down as small as you need. Make sure to leave enough paper on the edges for pins to pin it to the fabric.

Step 2:

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Poke holes into your design along the traced lines. Here you can play with stitch length, by either keeping the holes evenly spaced, or spreading them out in places and scrunching them up in others. Since I used backstitch for my design I evenly spaced my holes along straight lines but made them closer together along curves. This will help you get more definition in your end result if you use this type of stitch as well.

Step 3:

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With your holes all punched, center your image over your piece of fabric and pin down.
I love this method! I normally do a lightbox transfer, but this is perfect for fabrics that are too dark or too thick to see through. :D
thistleandleaves (author)  jessyratfink2 years ago
Oooo! A lightbox would be a great way to do a transfer. This is just another reason why I want one. Thanks for stopping by!
Light table -
Keep your eyes open for a discarded scanner or look at the thrift store, Craig's List, Free-cycle etc.

Have fun dissembling it till you are left with the glass and in my experience a 2 - 3" deep plastic frame.

Get a 8" florcenent light and place it under the glass. Result, a usable light-table.

thistleandleaves (author)  Shiseiji2 years ago
Wow! Thanks! That is a great idea and I just happen to have an old scanner I can gut for this project. I appreciate the advice! :D
And if you know anyone who plays with automata, robots, CNC, etc., you can give them the metal rods, motors, belts, pullys, and gears. The rods are high quality steel. I'm thinking through what surface embrodery designs I want to do that I "can" do in the time available . . . and get the transfer done :-)
Awesome!!! Love this
Thank you!
That is great! I didn't know you could use tracing paper like that!
Thank you :)
scoochmaroo2 years ago
Gorgeous project! What brought you to Instructables? I'm excited to see more of your work! You definitely need to enter this here:
thistleandleaves (author)  scoochmaroo2 years ago
Thanks! I actually heard about Instructables from people in an organization I am part of called The Dallas Makerspace. Several members use it frequently and everyone there is really big in DIY and Open Source. Thanks for the suggestion, I will certainly check it out!