Thursday, November 29, 2012

Creating Easy Embroidery Patterns

I love embroidery, but easily accessible embroidery patterns are often kind of corny. I don't want to embroider geese. But it is incredibly easy to create your own modern embroidery patterns! And the best part? They'll be free!

Most embroidery patterns available at the big box craft stores are...not my style. And probably not so much yours either. Sublime Stitching (I know, I talk about the amazing Jenny constantly) is a fantastic resource for great, modern needlework patterns. I can't recommend them enough for the beginner stitcher.

However, it's super easy to make your own. Here's a little project I whipped together using royalty free clip art.

It was a great little project, because I spent less than two hours total on it. I wanted to make something Navy related for J for our in progress gallery wall and make him a little present to celebrate a personal milestone.

How to whip up your own free, easy embroidery project?

Google for a free stock image. I wanted an anchor. Luckily, the blogosphere is full of awesome women who have provided great free printables. Craft Ideas designed this as a coloring sheet. Coloring sheets work well as embroidery patterns!

Anchor Courtesy of Craft Ideas
I needed an anchor that had room to put "USN" (which is what J preferred to "Navy"). I saved the image to my computer and opened in Picasa (which if you are to cheap or poor to buy Photoshop is an awesome alternative). I clicked on text and found a simple font (simple fonts are key for embroidery novices) and typed in USN.

Now I printed out my US Navy anchor pattern, laid it on the table and put a scrap of white fabric over it and carefully traced it onto the fabric with a narrow pointed marker. This is an embroidery no-no. You are supposed to use a special transfer pen. Eh. You could totally do this and it would make you a better person than I am. I am cheap. This works. I wouldn't do it on a project that would have to be laundered (like a baby onesie or shirt), but for this? It's fine.

I stitched the anchor out in backstitch and it looked fine. But I decided to kick the project up to the next level and do some freehand shadowing, also in backstitch. That's the cool thing about embroidery, it's very open to interpretation and improvisation.

It's currently hanging in the hoop I stitched it in. The light wood is bugging me, so I foresee a date with spray paint in the hoop's future.

Does anyone else use free printables in unexpected ways? Or have other ways of acquiring free embroidery patterns?

( I’m sharing this at the Dare to DIY party hosted by Decor and the DogMaybe MatildaNewly Woodwards, and Two Twenty One!)
Check out this post at  Liz Marie's blog, Savvy Southern Style, Be Different Act Normal, Sweet Boutique, and House of Hepworths!)


  1. You are talented. I like "quick" projects. I don't have patience to sit down and stitch. But it looks great. We know all about the Navy in our house. Aaron's dad was 27 years in the Navy. He was a CB.

  2. Very cute and thoughtful idea!! Thanks for joining the Dare to DIY this week!

  3. I want to try an embroidery project. That looks really cute. I just started doing some felt crafts and this looks like it would be easy and fun too.

  4. This is very cute! And I love that it's a little more modern than most embroidery patterns. I really love embroidery, and find it's something fun to work on in the winter while snuggled on the couch. You are making me want to go find my supplies and get stitching.

    Thanks so much for linking up to Dare to DIY!

  5. I love this! I have an affinity for anchors since my granddad was a Navy man...Thanks for the pattern! I need to start this soon!


  6. Thanks, everyone! This is a super easy project, and I fully believe embroidery is one of those things anyone can do!

  7. Thanks for sharing at Submarine Sunday! I love anchors!

    Submarine Sunday Link Party


Thanks for commenting (it makes me feel less like I am just over here, talking to myself!). Comments are approved as quickly as possible. Seriously, I am trying to teach Emily to approve comments.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Follow Me!

 photo 6_zps494de5b6.jpg  photo 2_zps2ba59d0e.jpg