We can take embroidery inspiration from a limitless number of sources from fellow embroidery fanatics online to friends’ and family members’ wish lists.We may think we don’t have the creativity a professional artist has, but we have a love for embroidery and needlepoint, have access to millions of embroidery ideas online, and have great detail-minded research skills.
Most likely, you have a collection of embroidery designs in individual patterns and books, have amassed a healthy array of colours and canvases, and have your finger on the pulse of holiday gift-giving. You have an appreciation for the many possible colourways. You love the process of shopping for canvases, fabrics, patterns and iron-on embroidery designs, or even those wonderful monthly embroidery magazines.
As well, you have friends who appreciate hand-made gifts, personalised gifts, and the time and love you put into pieces for them. So, really, you are two thirds of the way there. All you need is embroidery inspiration that reaches beyond the usual, right? That is, all you need is an idea for embroidery designs that forego the standard wall hanging or that are ostentatious “I love cats” sweatshirts.
Here are some embroidery design ideas, outlined below. Hopefully you take inspiration from at least one:
Pre-Packaged Embroidery Inspiration
So there are embroidery kits, with the fabric, work chart, and requisite floss colours, which are fun, fun, fun to do but result in a most typical square or rectangle that pretty much is limited to being framed and hung on a wall.
There are the pre-stamped pillowcases, tablecloths, and towels with ironed-on designs and accompanying chart. These are lovely, but are again things that have been done to death.
Then there are the straight-up patterns (no kit, no floss, just a chart), which you can work onto a blank Aida or other weave or onto a specially made household item with a weave section for you to embroider.
But way up high (or way down low) on the shelves of the crafts supply store is special embroidery inspiration–many unfinished, do-it-yourself items just waiting to be adorned with embroidery:
- Photo Mugs – embroider a piece sized to fit and slide the finished embroidery in the way you would a photo.
- Coasters – embroider and insert into clear plastic disks, which look like miniature translucent frames, attach the adhesive-sided cork disk. Voila. An inexpensive but nice little anniversary gift of their signature flowers.
- Fridge Magnets – slide a piece of embroidery into a 4” x 6” magnetised, clear plastic and borderless frame for a lovely souvenir.
- Personalised Bookmarks – Embroider a name, logo, favourite pastime, or even personal faith onto a strip of Aida, then laminate the piece if you want.
Look further; stretch the boundaries of imagination or already existing embroidery ideas, though, and you have even more unique options.
Piggybacking an Embroidery Idea
- Go with the pillowcases with the pre-ironed-on patterns, but instead of following the traditional colourway, make one set all in shades of blue, one set all in shades and hues of red, one in yellows and golds.
- Embroider a graduation cap with a graduate’s initials and year; glue the piece to a mini photo album.
- Embroider a retiree’s name with an ornate border; glue it to a memory box, cigar box, or photo box.
- Embroider a friend’s favourite slogan and glue it to a blank book.
The trick is to find a characteristic, pastime, or passion of your friend or family member, and go from there.