DIY Embroidery for Beginners

Embroidery is one of my favorite crafty hobbies. It’s simple, it’s calming, and, depending on the design, it can go pretty quickly. I like to watch (or listen to) movies or tv shows while I embroider. Here I’ll teach you some of the basics, like how to stitch the most common stitch and how to stitch the back closed when you’re finished.

I start my designs by looking on the internet for inspiration. Sometimes I alter some clip art I find, but most of the time I just doodle something on paper and trace it with a sharpie. You could also embroider from coloring books.

You’ll need some light-colored fabric and an embroidery hoop. The embroidery hoop I’m using here is 4″ in diameter. Separate the two wooden pieces of the embroidery hoop, place the fabric in between, and tighten the brass screw on top.

Turn the embroidery hoop upside down and place it over whatever you’d like to embroider.

Lightly trace it with a pencil.

Take the fabric out of the embroidery hoop and put what you just traced on the outside.

Now gather all of the colors you want in your embroidery piece. I wanted dark blue for the body of the UFO, green for outer part of the UFO, a pink-red for the lights, yellow for the light beams, and light blue for the glare.

Thread your needle — arguably the hardest part of embroidering — and, from the backside, poke the needle through on one of the pencil lines.

Poke the needle through on the line, 1/8″ next to where you pulled it through the first time.

Pull the thread through. Then poke the needle through (from the backside) 1/8″ next to where your first stitch was.

And this is where you start to back stitch. Poke the needle through the second hole you made in your first stitch.

Keep doing this for awhile. When you need to change colors, or if you run out of thread and need some more of the same color, tie a knot in the back.

Use smaller stitches for smaller items, like these circles.

And it’s that simple.

To finish, thread your needle with some embroidery thread 1.5 times the circumference of your hoop. You can just eyeball it.

Stitch around the outer part of the fabric, starting at the top near the brass screw.

Pull on the strings to gather, and tie them in a knot. Cut off the excess thread.

You can also tie a string around the brass screw so you can hang it up. Alternatively, you can just lean the embroidery hoop against something on a bookshelf to display it.

What are some of your embroidery tips and tricks? Let us know in the comments.