Embroidery is an ancient art with a rich heritage. What was used in medieval times to decorate clothing is also seen today on many types of modern clothing. Embroidery is easy to do, but you can’t just jump into any project without getting the basics down first! Here are some fun embroidery projects for beginners that will get your creative juices flowing.
Before jumping directly into the cool embroidery ideas, let’s sharpen your basic embroidery knowledge a bit more. In this blog article, I will give you some good basic knowledge of what is embroidery, types of embroidery, how to start an embroidery project, and what to do with embroidery projects when finished.
What Is Embroidery?
In simple terms, embroidery is the embellishment of fabric with thread sew on in some pattern.
My Modern Met defines embroidery in this way- “embroidery is the art of applying decorative designs onto fabric using a needle. These motifs are traditionally rendered in thread and are composed of different kinds of stitches.”
Needlepoint Vs Embroidery
You may then be wondering if there is any difference between needlepoint in embroidery. Well, Crafty Sewing Sew explains it this way, “Needlepoint is a specific form of embroidery that uses stiff, open weave canvas as its main template for use.” In other words, embroidery is the more general term an is often used to describe embellished clothing or other personal items. Whereas, needle point is a more specific term, and often uses a greater variety of stitches to create a decorated canvas.
Types Of Embroidery
Hand embroidery starts when the fabric is stretched over the hoop, made of plastic or wood. The size of the hoop is dependent on what the sewer feels comfortable with. The dimensions of the hand embroidery needle and the choice of thread will depend on the embroidery pattern chosen for the task. Hand embroidery can involve various stitch options. Beginners should start projects with basic stitches. Those who are more experienced at handwork can chose projects with more types of stitches because you can learn one or two new ones comfortably as you go. These advanced embroidery projects are skillful and often more laborious in details.
Hand embroidery is based on stitching, so if you are a beginner, you must learn different stitches. My daughter got a simple embroidery project kit for her birthday when she was 12. It came with everything she needed to complete her first embroidery project which was a simple cat and it taught her a few basic stitches.
Machine Embroidery is computer generated. Pre-designed patterns are incorporated into a computer program which determines the stitching process on the machine. The designs are all identical in their stitching, and every project appears identical. It is impossible to replicate the passion for stitching that is the art of hand embroidery. However, machine embroidery is faster and easier.
Which is best for the beginner? Hand embroidery projects or machine embroidery projects?
Hand embroidery is for hobbyists and creative persons who want to showcase their passion for handwork. These hand made projects will always be more detailed and more beautiful. Machine embroidery is fun for those that know how to operate a sewing machine and enjoy personalization but not as an art form.
How to start embroidery projects?
You know that feeling when you see someone wearing a beautifully embellished dress, sweater, or any piece of clothing, and you think to yourself, “I want that!” Well, learning to embroider can give you that talent. Embroidery is a great hobby to have, but it can be overwhelming when you first start. There are so many stitches and supplies out there that it’s easy to get lost in the details. But don’t worry, just start with an easy project and progress from there. Like everything else, it is OK to learn as you go and you will get better the more you do it!
Beginner Embroidery Supplies
Best Fabric For Embroidery
Select a light-colored fabric with an even weave, like linen, when starting your first project.
Select a few different colors of cotton embroidery floss. A suggestion for the best hand embroidery thread is the DMC brand as it is easily found, affordable, and of high quality.
A Quick Note On Embroidery Floss Vs Thread
Embroidery floss is the way it is sold, almost like tiny yarn packs. Then you can separate the floss into the threads as required by the project you are doing.
There are numerous embroidery hoops to choose from, and all you need to begin with is a simple wooden or plastic hoop. A 6-inch traditional hoops can handle various tasks and is often a good one to start with.
Best Embroidery Needles
There’s a myriad of types of embroidery needles available. Any needle with an eye that is large enough for threading embroidery thread through can be used. Many embroidery projects will tell you exactly what needle is best suited to the project so you can pick the perfect embroidery needle for your project.
Based on the project you’re working on, there are many methods to transfer a design to fabric, but drawing is the easiest. The regular pencil is sufficient; however, you may want to use a water-soluble pen to ensure that your work doesn’t create marks.
There are special scissors designed to be used for various tasks in embroidery. But before you invest in something expensive, you can use any sharp scissors that you already have. They just need to be able to cut the floss with precision and ensure its ends aren’t broken.
You may also want to consider purchasing embroidery kits. They generally include everything you will need from the hand embroidery patterns to the supplies.
Basic Embroidery Stitches
- Running stitch
- Split stitch
- Stem stitch
- French knot
- Chain stitch
- Lazy daisy
- Feather stitch
- Seed stitch
- Satin stitch
Remember it is ok to learn as you go! Additionally, if you purchase a beginners embroidery kit, they will include all of the supplies and all of the instructions you will need to learn how to do those basic stitches. I included a few affiliate links to cute kits on amazon at the bottom of this post.
Cool Embroidery Ideas
I think you will love these embroidery projects for beginners. They are all super cute and fun to display when they are complete.
First, I will share two of the best starter embroidery machine ideas. Then I will proceed to ten more cool embroidery projects that are intended for hand stitching.
Machine Embroidery Projects
Word Art Embroidery
You can get the pattern for this word art machine embroidery project here->Word Art Embroidery Design
This type of pattern will help you to learn how to create word embroidery. Like “do it NOW” or “You can DO it”. If you are looking for an embroidery sewing machine you may go with the bestofsewing. They have a comparison with pros and cons of several different embroidery machines.
State Art Embroidery
You can get the pattern for this state art machine embroidery project here-> State Art Embroidery Design (Satin Stitch)
Oh, this one is fun! You can use a state embroidery design to decorate tea towels. Let your heart shine for your state by completing this fun embroidery project. These fun embroidery designs for kitchen towels make great DIY gifts too!
Hand Made Embroidery Projects
Tree Rings Embroidery Art
I love this adorable beginners embroidery project. So cute and it is totally doable for anyone. This won’t take too long and it is a great embroidery project to start on. You can visit Happiness is Homemade for the full Tree Rings Embroidery Art Tutorial.
Felt Embroidered Bookmark
This embroidery project is fairly simple and makes a super cute useful item. These also make very meaningful gifts. You can visit Colorful Craft Corner for the full Felt Embroidered Bookmark Tutorial.
DIY Fruit Patterns
Fruit, like an apple, a lemon slice, a banana, or cherries can all make great patterns. This cherry embroidery pattern is super cute and though it looks like a lot of work at first, it is actually a great beginner’s embroidery project. She has used different color fabrics to reduce the amount of stitching needed and still get a great pop! Very cute wall art. Visit Today’s Creative Life for the full Embroidery Hoop Art Tutorial.
This embroidery project uses 3 basic stitches to embellish the neckline. It is a great way to upcycle or improve the fashion value of any top! You can visit Colorful Craft Corner to get the full tutorial for how to make a sweatshirt look cute.
These embroidered ornaments are surprisingly simple to make and only require a basic stitch. You can visit Pillar Box Blue to get the full Handmade Felt Christmas Ornaments tutorial.
Single Stitch Embroidery Project
A single stitch embroidery project requires only a running stitch as is the case for this project and the single word, “bloom”. This particular embroidery project is mixed media. If you know how to do crochet, you can make the flower yourself. If not use can use any faux flower you may have on hand or purchase one at your craft store. So simple, so cute, and such a cheerful message! You can visit Julie Measures for this bloom embroidery hoop crochet flower tutorial.
Turn Artwork Into Embroidery
This idea is so special. You can preserve some woderful memories by turning your child’s artwork into embroidery. Visit Pillar Box Blue for the step by step instructions on how to make embroidered memories from artwork.
Animal Embroidery Pattern
Simple animal patterns can give you a great way to practice a couple of simple stitches. You can start with your pet like a dog or cat. Sketch a simple line drawing and fill it with stem stitch and back stitch for ground cover. Or use a simple beginner’s kit from amazon like the affiliate one above.
Cactus is one of the best patterns to embroider as a beginner. Just a few stitches like running, stem, and backstitch make up the cactus design. You can do this on t-shirt or bag also!
Heart Shape Embroidery Pattern
When you start your embroidery project, you may wish to create a heart-shaped design in your embroidery for your favorite person. It’s so easy to do an excellent heart-shaped design. Trust me; you do not need any pattern either. Just draw a shape, then you go. Start backstitch or a running stitch. You can apply any of your favorite stitches and color in this design, and sure that you can create a nice design.
What To Do With Embroidery Projects
There are lots of ways to display your finished embroidery projects! Depending on the project, some of the below ideas will be more appropriate than others.
- leave in hoop and hang on wall
- mat and frame embroidery
- make it into a throw pillow
- wear it
- use as a table runner
- give it as gifts
Embroidery Project Ideas Conclusion
Well, there you have 2 machine embroidery projects and 10 more hand embroidery projects. I think they are all super fun and cute! From bath towels to beautiful wall art, your hand embroidery designs will be fun to display.
When starting something, you need to practice and practice to become more professional. The process is part of the enjoyment as is seeing your projects become ever more challenging. Embroidery is an easy but very creative way to do so many things. Furthermore, learning a new stitch and combination of colors takes your skill of embroidery to the next level. Have fun!