Tuesday, September 4, 2012

diy: embroidered photo art

did you all have a great labor day? we had a little family cook out at my in-law's place and the weather actually turned out pretty nice too.

i know i still owe a t-shirt makeover tutorial for last week but i really wanted to share a little bit of a different project first. 
i've had this idea in my head for quite a while now, 9 months to be exact, and i just now finally got around to actually making these embroidered photos, ironed onto fabric and stretched in embroidery hoops. 

this is a fairly easy project that can be adapted whichever way you'd like. the embroidery part is definitely what takes the most time here but even that depends on how quickly you work and how intricate your design is.

to make one frame you will need:

full page, light fabric transfer paper for ink jet printers (i used avery brand item number 327, 6 sheets per package)
a embroidery hoop (make sure you don't go bigger than what you can print on a sheet of transfer paper, 8.5"x 11" and remember your printer can't print all the way to the edge of the paper)
white cotton muslin fabric
embroidery thread and needle
paint in case you want to paint your frames/hoops a different color
a photograph of your choice turned to black and white

first measure the diameter of your frame and size your picture accordingly using either photoshop or another photo editing program of your choice. most programs should be able to let you turn your image into a circular image. you also need to turn the image black and white

next check to see if your printer will automatically print the image in reverse (mirror image) when you select "print on photo transfer paper" in your print menu. mine did this after i had manually created a mirror image in photoshop and it really threw me off at first ;) make sure to print the trial image on regular paper first! 
if your printer doesn't automatically create a mirror image (maybe because you don't have the "print on photo transfer paper" option, make sure to create a mirror image before you print onto the transfer paper. once ironed onto the fabric your image will be right side up again. does that make sense? 
if you are using photoshop you can do this by going into the image drop down menu, selecting rotate canvas and then flip canvas horizontal

if you can't seem to get your picture round, you can always use a rectangular embroidery frame as well.

once you have printed your mirror image onto the transfer paper simply iron it onto the fabric according to the package directions. let the fabric cool completely before removing the backing paper. 
then stretch the fabric with the image in the embroidery hoop and tighten it well. 

now you are ready to embroider a design of your own or use the following ideas:

speech bubbles 

it is also fun to go with something that is already present in your image. maybe someone is holding something you embroidered into their hand. you could even take your image with that purpose. 
you don't have to use a picture of your child, anything is possible. just be creative with it. you can of course use a cross stitch or a straight stitch like i did, the possibilities are endless.

now all you have to do is make sure your fabric is stretched tightly (it may have given a little during embroidering) and trim the excess on the back. 
find the perfect spot to show off your work and hang them on the wall. 
mine balances fairly easily even though the hardware makes them heavier to one side. you can always use a little weight on the inside of the frame if you can't seem to get them to hang straight. 

let me know if you gave this a go and what embroidery ideas you came up with, i'd love to add them to this post. 
like to see more craft ideas? go here

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  1. LOVE this idea! so cute! the hearts is my fav!

  2. New follower from the GFC Blog Hop! Wow, I LOVE this! So clever and creative. I love the black and white with the pop of color in the embroidery...awesome blog, too!

  3. What a great idea! This is so adorable and creative, thanks for sharing :)

  4. Hi! I'm a new follower from the blog hop! Come visit me whenever you get a chance! :)

    xoxo ♥ Shar

  5. These are stinkin cute!!! I am excited to be your newest follower! Nice to meet ya! Found you on GFC. Please follow back when ya get a chance :).

  6. This is really cool and would make a great mommy gift!!! Newest follower from the GFC blog hop.Would love it if you could visit my humorous blog site and follow back. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Aw! How cute!

    Stopping by from GFC hop. Love for you to stop by and return the follow when you can. I am hosting Like Me on Facebook tomorrow. Love to have you!!!


  8. what an amazing idea!

    I would like to let you know about a new Craft Party,

    I would love to see your creations linked up with Crafty Tuesday

    Every week I will choose few tutorials and they will be featured on my blog and my facebook, twitter and pinterest page

    I hope to see you link up


  9. This turned out so cool! I love decorating with personal pictures, in general, but this is a very unique way of using pictures for decor. Great job!

  10. Oh my gosh I love this idea! So awesome. I found you on the GFC blog hop. New follower, whoop!

    Follow me @ www.thedreamymeadow.com

  11. What a cute idea! I'm a new follower from the GFC hop. I'd love a follow back at http://www.two-in-diapers.blogspot.com when you get the chance! :)

  12. this is such a great project! Im a sucker for an embroidery hoop! thanks so much for sharing :-)

  13. This is a great idea! I love the embroidery. Thanks for sharing on Marvelous Mondays! :)


  14. I'll be featuring YOU tomorrow morning at 7 am central time. Thank you so much for linking up to {wow me} wednesday at GingerSnapCrafts.com

    Ginger :)

  15. OMG! My head is spinning with ideas! I love this so much...can't WAIT to try this out!

    Come and visit us over at www.thesitsgirls.com - lots to love there, too!


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