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Cross-stitch pattern in photoshop (with symbols!)

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This is how to make a cross-stitch pattern with symbols representing colors in photoshop!

First we will prepare your original image by lowering the resolution, so that one pixel represents one cross, and lower the number of colors so that you can use a limited number of yarns.

Next we apply the grid.

After that I will show you how to replace individual colors with symbols.

This is good because you can print the pattern in black and white, and also because you can see the difference between similar colors.

This technique can of course be used to make decorations and gifts for the holidays, and other occasions!

Update: Here are two examples. The mario image has 5x5px square size and my complete bird montage pattern has 20x20px square size ( full size color, full size symbols)
 
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Step 1: Resize the image

First, of course, you crop the image so that you have an original that you want to use. Auto-levels and auto-contrast is always nice as well, and best to do before downsampling.

One way to lower the resolution is to use the filter "Mosaic". This is fine, but I don't really like it because it limits my control over the size of the final pattern. A much better way is to just resize the image to the desired number of stiches you want the final result to be (that way you also limit the number of total resizes to the image).

So,
Measure the fabric and count the number of stitches you want the result to be.
Resize the image to that number of pixels
Then, resize it up again with 500% (I use 5px per square). Remember to use the "Nearest Neighbour" setting to preserve the edges. We want those!

Update: When resizing down the image, the only thing you are interested in is how many stiches wide and high your final product should be. Just insert those numbers in the "Pixel dimensions" (if it's greyed out, check the "Resample image" box). The resolution and document size makes no difference here.
Kjata1013 made it!2 months ago

I just wanted to thank you. Because of this Instructable, I was able to make this tote for my Mom. My grandpa made a rug hooking for her in 1976 and she's cherished it. He passed away a couple of years ago, and she's been taking it hard. I wanted to duplicate his work on something portable to take with her while she's at chemo. Your structable helped me do just that. Thank you so, SO much!

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Anykey2 years ago
Thank you for this instructable

But i've got one question : how do you convert RGB to thread color ?
johanronstrom (author)  Anykey2 years ago
There are a few different types of thread color codes.. here are some ways:
http://www.google.se/search?q=rgb+to+thread+colors

When doing 8-bit stuff (often 8-16-32 colors) I just write down "bright red, dark blue" etc. and go to the store and select one that I like. Or print on color printer and ask at the store.
I created a color swatch with the DMC thread colors: 
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/24998092/dmc-threads.aco

Hope it's helpful :-)
nita7972 years ago
when you are resizing your photo before adding the grid what resolution should it be set to? right now I have my resolution set to 100pixels per inch is this correct?
johanronstrom (author)  nita7972 years ago
I just updated the instructuble to clear that out. Basicly, the resolution does not matter.
Fafnir9563 years ago
How do you make one of these patterns? What tools do you have to use? I'm a bit of a novice, but am determined to make this cross-stitch pattern for my friend's wedding gift!
johanronstrom (author)  Fafnir9562 years ago
First I use photoshop, as in the steps provided, then I use thread and a needle on cross stitch fabric :-)

Good luck with your gift!
victimssun5 years ago
After I change it to Indexed Color, I can not do any more to it (such as add layers). I have to change it back to RGB to go to the next step, but then I loss my 100% indexed image. How do you do this?
johanronstrom (author)  victimssun5 years ago
You'll have to change back to RGB color to do the next changes. That is no problem though, since the "unwanted" extra colors have already been discarded. I will add that to the step!
Dev59945 years ago
you have a very nice typo there at the start of this step... you forgot to erase "Give a general description of the Step"
johanronstrom (author)  Dev59945 years ago
Thx! That's what happens when you're too fast to copy-paste.
iPodGuy5 years ago
My wife loves cross-stitch. Sometimes I make patterns for her, so this will help! Fav'd
marc.cryan5 years ago
that's really neat. Very clever. I love it when technology and old time crafts come together. I want to see a finished cross-stitch picture. This would work well for quilting patterns, knitting, crochet, etc.
8bit5 years ago
impressive!
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