Monday, April 18, 2011

Faux Embroidery Tutorial

Prepare to be amazed...(not only by how great this turned out, but by how fast and easy it is!!)

I think I'm safe to share this, since my mother-in-law doesn't read my if you know her...shhhhhh!!!  Don't tell.  It's for Mother's Day.  It's got every one of her kids and grandkids on it... well as my parents-in-law themselves...

...and it only took a few hours to put together.  (Not bad considering there are 31 adorable doodle people.)  I used Our Family Tree from Twin Stitchers found here.  The doodle people come with lots of different head options to make it easy to personalize.  They're originally designed to be a traditional stitchery pattern...but I did it with what I'm calling "faux embroidery" instead.

If you're a regular reader, you may remember this project I did for my girls.  (The pattern is My Sister My Friend item #OU813 from Twin Stitchers found here.)

I've been doing more experimenting with some faux embroidery over the last month or so and have played around with it enough that I've got a full tutorial for you.

I don't know about you, but it's hard for me to find gifts for my parents and in-laws.  There's nothing that they really instead I try to come up with gifts that are personalized...but with little kids and so many other things pulling at my time, it can be hard to find the time to make as many gifts as I would like.

Well...this is going to save you time...BIG time. I've admired embroidery patterns for a long time (and even know how to use them in a pinch), but I just don't feel like I have the time to do much embroidery.

But I love how quick and easy this faux embroidery is, and it's SO easy to personalize.

Have I convinced you that you need to try one of these?

Good.  I'm going to demonstrate on a simpler pattern.  This one is the Twin Stichers Pattern Bloom #OU872.  This one took me less than half an hour to put together...start to finish.

Here's what you'll need.
Start by ironing your fabric will to get out even the smallest wrinkles.  (If you forgot it's hard to iron it really well once you've used crayon on the fabric.)  Cut it out with plenty of extra on the can always trim it, but you can't add it back later.

Place your fabric over the pattern.

I could see through my fabric well enough to trace.  If your fabric is thicker, you can tape your pattern to a window and tape your fabric over it and trace.

Trace carefully with your permanent pen.

Here's the hardest part...choosing which colors of crayons to use.  I shaded my pieces by tracing right along the inside of the figure.

Then I shaded in the inside lightly.
Then I coloring near colored a little more near where my original lines were to blend them a bit more.

For single lines like grass, I just traced to one side of the line.

For dots, where you would normally do a french knot, I just made a crayon dot right next to it by placing the crayon in one place and twisting. 

And if you're like me...once in a while you might leave your work out where it's gets a little wrinkled before you frame in can iron it a bit when you're done.  You just want to make sure to put a paper towel or two between your work and the iron and just iron lightly.

Then find a frame...or you could make a pillow...or do what you would do with any real embroidery.  
(I finally took down our clovers, but the springy mantel grass remains.)

These just make me smile, and I'm getting addicted.  I've already got a couple other projects started and even more planned.

And now is the perfect time to get started on something with Mothers' Day right around the corner.  Be sure to stop by Twin Stitchers and check out her patterns.  She has a ton of patterns that would be wonderful for Mother's Day.  All the patterns with people come with lots of different heads to make personalizing easy...and even better she's got a sale on this month (April 2011).  If you place an order of $10 or more, you get 50% off your whole order.  (That's $10 worth of patterns for only $5.)

Updated to add...check out these other fun Faux Embroidery Projects:
CTR Faux Embroidery

Teacher Faux Embroidery with Signed Mat

Family Portrait Doodle Faux Embroidery


  1. I love this idea! Even better I have ALL the supplies... I will have to try this with my kids tonight!!

  2. Oh my word, this is adorable! I feel the same way about embroidery... I love it but it's just so darn time consuming!

  3. are AWESOME! Thank you for your kind words! You rock!

  4. I love this.. this is a perfect project for me to help my grandchildren to make for their MOM. It will be hard for me not to embellish with thread.. I have the time and I love to sew ...
    Thank you so much for this project

  5. BOOKMARKED! LOVE this! Thanks for sharing your GREAT idea!

  6. Ha! Ha! Ha! Very simple enough. You've got the embroidered look without the lengthy time of embroidering it. Great job! Thank you for sharing this at the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop :) I hope you'll join us again starting 5 pm this Sunday, PST.

  7. This post inspired me so much that went to Twin Stitchers and purchased two patterns! I'm going to do the Swing Set pattern for my mom for mother's day! Thanks so much for showing us how to do it! I featured this on my friday favorites!

  8. WOW...What a great idea! This is super easy and my mother in law will love this!!

    Thanks...mind if I link up to my blog sometime this week?


  9. What a nice gift! I love gifts that are made with love. Thanks for the tutorial. Found you on Tater Tots and Jello.

  10. Fantastic idea! I love twin stichers patterns, but after spending hours on one tiny one with a bride and groom, I knew I wouldn't get time to make one again.

    Thanks for the great idea!

  11. Just wanted to say thank you again for posting this tutorial! I made the Swing Set Family for my mom for Mother's Day! Here is a link to my post about it (I give you a shout out)

  12. That family tree you did is SO cute! My mom would love one of those! I will dream about having more time to do it next year!


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