Every year during my ritual spring cleaning extravaganza, I come across old family photos and postcards from vacations past. This year, instead of putting them back in the box where they belong, I had a thought: Why not give them new life and add a little inspired personalization instead? After a bit of brainstorming, I decided to update my postcard collection by embroidering photocopies of the originals, which proved simple, inexpensive and stunning. Read on to learn how to make one of your own.
At a glance
Time: 1 hour or less
You will need:
- A photocopy of a photo or postcard
- Embroidery floss
- A large-eyed needle
- Thick cardboard
- Masking tape
Step 1: Copy your image and print on regular printing paper.
Tape the back of the image with masking tape.
Cut around the outline of your image.
Step 2: Place the image on top of your thick piece of cardboard. Using your needle, poke holes in the areas that you’d like to embroider first, keeping in mind that you can add more holes once you’ve started embroidering. If you like, you can make another copy of your image beforehand and draw out the design you’d like to embroider to use as a guide for the hole placement.
Step 3: Thread your needle and tie a double knot at the end. Starting from the back of your image, guide your needle through the first hole and pull gently until the knot is up against the hole.
Guide the needle back through the second hole from front to back and pull the floss gently until your stitch is taut.
Move on through the back of the third hole and repeat until you’ve finished your stitch. If needed, you can add more holes as you embroider.
Step 4: Once you’re done with your design, cut the excess floss so that it sticks out two inches from the back of your image.
Tape off the back of your image with another layer of masking tape to seal in the ends of your floss.
Feel free to glue on some extra embellishments (sequins and glitter, anyone?) to complete the design. And there you have it: a beautiful, embroidered memory to display in your home!
All photographs by Clare McGibbon.