Im2keys profile image

How to Embroider Your Own Handwriting

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My search for a relaxing and satisfying hobby.

Years of loving arts and crafts and anything do-it-yourself has resulted in my current hobby and business, embroidery. I've enjoyed scrapbooking, stamping, photography, cross-stitch and even refinishing furniture. But embroidery has become my favorite for relaxing and creating my own original works of art.

If you can write and if you can thread a needle, you can do it too.

(Really!)

Here's how to create your own handwritten embroidered designs.

embroidery hoop collection
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embroidery hoop collection

Embroidery hoops as home decor

Why this hobby will beautify your home!

Embroidery hoops are really fun to collect and display all together- I love to arrange them in groups with vintage fabrics and sweet sayings framed within.

They lend a retro flair to any room and can become a great conversation piece. They are inexpensive as well, making it easy to collect a bunch. If you create your own special pieces, you'll have treasures to pass down for generations.

sewing essentials
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sewing essentials

Embroidery supplies

Only a few items you'll need:

Embroidery is a relatively inexpensive hobby, since all you really need is fabric, an embroidery hoop, and a needle and thread. But it is time consuming!

For my handwritten designs, I like to use white cotton fabric, a wooden hoop and DMC embroidery floss. I prefer a small needle, and use a needle threader to make it easy to get that thread through the eye.

As with everything, you can get really involved with supplies. You can find an abundance of patterns that call for specific colors and weights of fabric with certain thread counts. For our purpose here though, I'm using a good quality, plain white cotton fabric. And you can pick whatever color you want for stitching your design because it is totally your design.

Wooden embroidery hoops in all different shapes: - Stock up because once you make the first one, you'll want to make more!

Darice Wood Embroidery Hoops, 4-Inch
Darice Wood Embroidery Hoops, 4-Inch

This is a perfect size for little words and monograms.

 
Darice Wood Embroidery Hoop 5"x 9" Oval
Darice Wood Embroidery Hoop 5"x 9" Oval

I love how oval hoops look when they're grouped together with other embroidery hoops and photos on the wall.

 
Wood Embroidery Hoop 6"-
Wood Embroidery Hoop 6"-

Unique, square design.

 
Darice Wood Embroidery Hoop 10"
Darice Wood Embroidery Hoop 10"

Large size great for quotes and longer words.

 

Plastic embroidery hoops - For a colorful, kitschy look

Dimensions Needlecrafts Hoop
Dimensions Needlecrafts Hoop

This black hoop is perfect for grouping together with black and white photos and makes a great addition for a modern look!

 
Bulk Buy: Susan Bates Hoop-La Plastic Embroidery Hoops 6"-1 Each Of 6 Bright Colors 14401006 (6-Pack)
Bulk Buy: Susan Bates Hoop-La Plastic Embroidery Hoops 6"-1 Each Of 6 Bright Colors 14401006 (6-Pack)

Variety set so you've got several to choose from when your creativity strikes!

 
embroidery detail
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embroidery detail

How to embroider your own handwriting

Here's the fun part

So the first thing to do is frame the fabric within the wooden hoop. Simply lay the fabric on top of the inner hoop and layer the outer hoop on top. Pull the fabric nice and taught so it doesn't buckle or move around and tighten the screw on the hoop to secure it.

Now for your design.

Let's use the quote, "You make me happy when skies are gray."

Practice writing out your words and play around with word placement. Don't worry about perfection, your handwriting has a lot of character and should be embraced.

Yes, it should.

There are a lot of ways to get your design onto the fabric so you can stitch it, but my favorite way is simply to leap in and use a pen and write directly on the fabric. Once I've practiced how I want it to look, I can write with a ball point pen quite smoothly on cotton and it makes for a unique, one of a kind work of art. If that is too frightening, you can also purchase transfer paper, so you can trace your design onto the fabric, or you can even use your computer printer to print on fabric. But I highly recommend the more daring approach. You'll need to practice with a few pens to find one that works well, but any high quality ball point pen will work perfectly.

The following video is quite helpful if you go the transfer paper route.

Three ways to transfer embroidery patterns - This is a very helpful video with an adorable soundtrack.

Transfer paper - So you can trace your design onto fabric

Keep it simple.

Detailed embroidery is very beautiful, but don't discount basic stitches.

A simple design with a straight stitch can be wonderful!

you make me happy when skies are gray
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you make me happy when skies are gray

Common embroidery stitches

Achieve beautiful results with the basics.

I mostly use the stem stitch to embroider my handwriting.

(Check out the video below to see how its done.)

But there are moments when I sort of improvise, sewing with a straight stitch or a combination of stitches, to get the look I want.

As long as you follow your writing, you'll be delighted with the look of sewing over your handwriting.

How to sew a stem stitch - Perfect for outlining:

Completed "You make me happy when skies are gray" embroidery hoop

Completed "You make me happy when skies are gray" embroidery hoop
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Completed "You make me happy when skies are gray" embroidery hoop
you are my favorite
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you are my favorite

How to finish the hoop

To frame, or not to frame?

If you prefer, you can remove your work from the embroidery hoop and mount the fabric in a frame. I love how this looks! It is great for a more formal room, set among family photos or other collectibles. Its also a great gift.

Leaving your work in the hoop is very charming and goes very well in a casual, retro setting. A collection of embroidery hoops all grouped together looks sweet!

All you have to do in order to finish the hoop is trim the excess fabric and tack it down to the underside of the inner hoop with an archival quality fabric glue.

After all the time you take to embroider a design like this, you definitely want to enjoy seeing it displayed. That is the last step for this hobby- enjoy your creation!

How the back of your finished hoop will look:

How the back of your finished hoop will look:
See all 16 photos
How the back of your finished hoop will look:

My favorite DMC thread colors: - Keep in mind there are 6 strands here-

Be sure to separate out the strands, two strands is perfect for embroidering handwriting. All 6 strands can look bunchy.

DMC Satin Embroidery Floss S798 Cornflower Blue
DMC Satin Embroidery Floss S798 Cornflower Blue

This blue is bright, but not too bright, and it shows up beautifully on white fabric.

 

Organizing embroidery floss - DMC thread holders

More ideas:

Click thumbnail to view full-size
You are my sunshineI love youOh happy day!Go out there and be remarkableEarth laughs in flowersNot all who wander are lost - oval hoop with green wool felt.chase your wildest dreams.
You are my sunshine
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You are my sunshine
I love you
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I love you
Oh happy day!
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Oh happy day!
Go out there and be remarkable
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Go out there and be remarkable
Earth laughs in flowers
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Earth laughs in flowers
Not all who wander are lost - oval hoop with green wool felt.
See all 16 photos
Not all who wander are lost - oval hoop with green wool felt.
chase your wildest dreams.
See all 16 photos
chase your wildest dreams.
decide to be happy
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decide to be happy

Find a quote that suits you

"I have decided to be happy because it is good for my health." Whatever speaks to you will be perfect for your hand embroidered work of art!


 Last updated on April 8, 2014

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Hello there and thank you for stopping here! - Feel free to leave a few words... 49 comments

norma-holt profile image

norma-holt 18 months ago Level 4 Commenter

Beautiful lens and well constructed information.


Erin Mellor profile image

Erin Mellor 17 months ago from Europe Level 3 Commenter

What a lovely idea for a keepsake


Stephanie36 profile image

Stephanie36 12 months ago from Canada Level 3 Commenter

This is a really cool idea :)


Melissa Miotke profile image

Melissa Miotke 12 months ago from Arizona Level 1 Commenter

This is a cute idea. It would be a nice way to memorialize it for your children.


takkhisa profile image

takkhisa 9 months ago Level 5 Commenter

My mother loves doing this :)


Charito1962 profile image

Charito1962 9 months ago from Manila, Philippines Level 6 Commenter

How interesting! Let me try to embroider my handwriting.


Craftymarie profile image

Craftymarie 8 months ago Level 5 Commenter

I like this idea. I do like embroidery though I've never tried embroidering quotes - these would make cute gifts.


favored profile image

favored 8 months ago from USA Level 7 Commenter

What a nice gift this would make of someone's special sayings or even their writing. Booking this for sure. I have to try it. Thanks for the videos as well.


tonyleather 8 months ago

I have to say that I think this is a wonderful idea, and can easily imagine what a treasured gift it would make for a loved one. Nice Lens!


Jerzimom profile image

Jerzimom 7 months ago from Ladysmith, WI Level 5 Commenter

Oh I love this idea. Will have to try that out! Nice lens!


Wednesday-Elf profile image

Wednesday-Elf 7 months ago from Savannah, Georgia Level 6 Commenter

I used to do quite a lot of embroidery, but now pretty much concentrate on crochet and needlework on plastic canvas. But several years ago, the last thing I remember embroidering, I collected the hand prints of all the grandchildren in the family and embroidered them with each child's name underneath onto a pillow case for a gift for my mother (the grandmother). She was absolutely delighted with it.


Brite-Ideas profile image

Brite-Ideas 7 months ago from Toronto, Canada Level 7 Commenter

this is a great idea - great way to feature art work, or even sign it


Elsie Hagley profile image

Elsie Hagley 7 months ago from New Zealand Level 7 Commenter

Very nice article. I used to do a lot of this back in the early 1950's before they brought the the tape and writing your name on your clothes. I alway embroidered my name on my clothes and even hankies in those days, thanks for the nice memories.


Heidi Vincent profile image

Heidi Vincent 7 months ago from GRENADA Level 7 Commenter

Your own handwriting gives it a nice personal touch!


kimberlyschimmel profile image

kimberlyschimmel 6 months ago from Greensboro, NC Level 2 Commenter

If only my handwriting were pretty enough to preserve in thread!


GrammieOlivia profile image

GrammieOlivia 6 months ago from Toronto Level 7 Commenter

What a lovely idea! I really like this and I bet I could do something like this too! Thanks for the ideas!


Faye Rutledge profile image

Faye Rutledge 6 months ago from Concord VA Level 4 Commenter

What a beautiful idea for a keepsake gift. Thanks for the tips. Congratulations on LotD!


SusanDeppner profile image

SusanDeppner 6 months ago from Arkansas USA Level 7 Commenter

Love this craft! I used to do embroidery years ago and loved the finished look. A quote like this would be a wonderful Mother's Day gift. Thanks for sharing and congratulations on your well-deserved Lens of the Day!


Diana Wenzel profile image

Diana Wenzel 6 months ago from Colorado Level 6 Commenter

I love personalized gifts and this would be awesome. Just wish my handwriting looked that good. Thanks for the lovely ideas and congrats on Lens of the Day!


Im2keys profile image

Im2keys 6 months ago Hub Author

@kimberlyschimmel: You must embrace your handwriting, no matter how you think it looks- you may be surprised at how wonderful it looks to others! :o)


PAINTDRIPS profile image

PAINTDRIPS 6 months ago from Fresno CA Level 5 Commenter

Congrats on LOTD. This is awesome. I love embroidery. Very unique and simple gift ideas. Thanks.


delia-delia profile image

delia-delia 6 months ago Level 5 Commenter

Congratulations on LOTD! As a child in Germany 'back in the day' we learned embroidery in 1st grade ...it was a sewing needle holder, I still have it and it still amazes me a child did it...


Ruthi 6 months ago

It has been years since I've been inspired to take on an embroidery project but your idea of embroidering my own handwriting is splendid and I just may have to embroider a few of my own poems for myself and for gifts. Thanks for the inspiration!


Gypzeerose profile image

Gypzeerose 6 months ago Level 4 Commenter

This would be a relaxing and beautiful hobby. I love to analyze handwriting, and it definitely would be nice to have a project like this from each of my children.


Merrci profile image

Merrci 6 months ago from Oregon's Southern Coast Level 7 Commenter

Congratulation on Lens of the Day! And what a sweet subject. That looks like so much fun, and not so hard to do (with practice. I'm sure it's not that easy). To pick whatever saying you want would make it so special.


Mellithorpe profile image

Mellithorpe 6 months ago

Great lens. I love dong this kind of work, although it's been a while.


inkedwriter lm profile image

inkedwriter lm 6 months ago

Great info, and a very cool idea.


anonymous 6 months ago

Very creative, well executed. Congratulations on getting LotD!


junecampbell profile image

junecampbell 6 months ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada Level 5 Commenter

I know how to embroider. My mom taught me as a kid. I have never thought of doing my own handwriting, though. I probably wouldn't, because I don't like my handwriting. I have seen samples of other people's writing that would be perfect, though.


ChocolateLily 6 months ago

I love this idea! It seems like a great way to get into embroidery.


MariaMontgomery profile image

MariaMontgomery 6 months ago from Central Florida, USA Level 5 Commenter

Love, love, love this idea, and this lens. Congrats on LOTD.


nicenet profile image

nicenet 6 months ago

I love it. You're a genius, I'll start tomorrow to make one for myself then I'll teach my students.

Thanks for sharing.


Seasons Greetings profile image

Seasons Greetings 6 months ago from Ontario, Canada Level 4 Commenter

I've embroidered notes for people before. Sometimes on some clothing I mended, hemmed or put buttons back on again. I like to sew Seasons Greetings and the date on the back of Xmas ornaments I make too. I always use my own handwriting.


Joanne Reid profile image

Joanne Reid 6 months ago from Prince Edward Island/Arizona Level 2 Commenter

What a wonderful lens!!!! Thank you for this information. I am going to give it a try.


NuttSoRuff profile image

NuttSoRuff 6 months ago

What a great (and cute) idea!


nobleknits profile image

nobleknits 6 months ago

Such a great idea - I'm going to make some of these embroidered with my writing.


sumrfox 6 months ago

Amazing idea!! I grew up learning to embroidery pillow cases. glad to see the art is still alive. Can't wait to try this! I'm already imagining creating an heirloom to pass down to my grandchildren crafted in ,my own handwriting~


thegembank 6 months ago

this looks fun indeed


costumesngifts profile image

costumesngifts 6 months ago

I've always loved the art of embroidery! I constantly gravitate towards embroidered shirts and the like. These embroidered quotes look really good!


Im2keys profile image

Im2keys 6 months ago Hub Author

@nicenet: Thanks so much! I'd love to see your creations, and I'm sure your students will enjoy it :o)


GiftsByDiana profile image

GiftsByDiana 6 months ago from Hubbard, Ohio, USA Level 1 Commenter

I have sewn and embroidered by hand since I was very young. Two of my favorite things !

I use my first name as my brand/logo and hand embroider it after I write it on many of my hand-sewn one-of-a-kind items that I sell in my gift shop and in my online stores. I have even made pretty hand towels... and hand embroidered my gift shop theme and name/address on them as a way of advertizing and trying to get my shop noticed in my hometown.


Butterfly9 6 months ago

This is beautiful, I would love to learn embroidery. Keep up your skills.


Alschaner profile image

Alschaner 6 months ago

This is so cool! I am (sadly) not very crafty, but i would like to try this.


yogameditation33 profile image

yogameditation33 6 months ago

NICE LENS!


ClearInsightProds profile image

ClearInsightProds 6 months ago

Good tip! Very clear and simple.


emmajowebster profile image

emmajowebster 6 months ago

being a textile artist myself - I thought this was ingenious! great article!


2envelopparadox 6 months ago

nice lens


LMWhip profile image

LMWhip 5 months ago

Oh no. Another craft idea that I love and can imagine looking so lovely in my house that I'll probably not get around to. Sigh. At least I can dream.


Im2keys profile image

Im2keys 5 months ago Hub Author

@LMWhip: Thanks for the comment, I am the same way with all the projects I want to do- not enough time! :o)

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