Embroidery may sound like the hobby of a 19th century lady, but it’s not. Whether it’s on a tote, t-shirt or baseball cap, it’s totally in style right now and you can learn to do it at home. There’s no limit to what you can create and the process is both fun and relaxing so if you’re looking for a place to begin, we’ve got the inspo pics that will make you want to make embroidery your new hobby.
1. Starting off with something floral…
Floral designs are one of the best ways to use embroidery. They look elegant and feminine and can be added to your clothes as a simple detail or bigger design. You can also interpret them anyway that you want, making them bright and colourful with lots of leaves and texture or more subtle like these daisies on grey denim that give off humble, farm house vibes.
2. A cosy little koala
Embroidery isn’t just about creating more traditional designs, it can be used to make something more fun too! There are so many funky animal patterns out there, from pigeons eating ice cream and penguins eating ice lollies to this cute, little koala toasting marshmallows on a campfire.
3. A busy bumble bee
Insects work really well with embroidery because of their symmetry and fluffy bumble bees are even better. To make it more interesting, this embroiderer has created a tessellating honeycomb design as a background that proves embroidery can do geometrical designs as well. Using a coloured background is also a really cool idea that you could use to make any piece of art stand out more.
4. This actual masterpiece
You can pretty much embroider anything, that includes making a needle and thread version of beautiful artworks. Van Gogh’s style is perfect and, by recreating the brushstrokes with stitches, this embroiderer has made a stunning version of his painting.
5. A simple skull design
Embroidery can be super intricate and detailed, but it doesn’t have to be. This simple skull design is not only easy to embroider but also makes for the perfect t-shirt decoration. Using a plain white or grey t-shirt, you can create your own outfit that gives embroidery a more edgy look.
6. A bear who just wants his morning coffee
Sticking with keeping it simple, this big, adorable bear is the perfect example of a basic design that looks really effective. Not only does he seem like a loveable character, but his tea cup balancing skills are pretty impressive. He’s the perfect gift for any coffee loving friend or you can edit the design to make him balance anything. Maybe he should be balancing a jar of Nutella? Maybe an even smaller bear? It’s totally up to you.
7. Something super tiny
Embroidery can be pretty fiddly, so we are really impressed by these miniature designs. Creating a tiny universe on a necklace and a pair of earrings isn’t just a cool way to use this craft, but it’s also a funny idea. Space is big, this embroidery is tiny, get it? Again this could be a really great gift idea for a friend, or maybe you just fancy wearing some home-made earrings. Either way, why not give it a go?
8. A dandelion on tulle
Embroidery isn’t just for canvas or clothes, some people have gotten really creative with what they do. Tulle may be a very complicated material to embroider onto (with it being see-through there is nowhere to hide your mistakes) so it’s probably not going to be your first project. But we all need something to aspire to, right? And this design is stunning. The delicate material is perfect for making this dandelion clock look as though it is floating and adds depth to the overall image.
9. More stunning tulle designs
This leaf pattern also uses tulle to create the appearance of weightlessness, this time to build the appearance of falling leaves. There are plenty of tutorials for embroidering leaves online and some of them can be pretty simple. So this design just goes to show that by using different materials and experimenting with texture, you can create something even more impressive.
10. These delightful, dancing cats
When it comes to playing around with different textures, these adorable kitties are another great example. Not only do they look really cute, but the overall image itself is pretty interesting. The cats have 3D tutus, little blue beads for eyes and there are even sequins dotted about like confetti falling across their dancefloor.
11. Night time fish
There’s something about these sleepy fish that makes us think of night time. The deep blue gradient and white tails look super elegant and we could imagine having these hung next to our bed. There’s also the use of shiny thread to create gold stars that adds a bit of magic to these fish and makes the simple design look more impressive. You can also see some of the process behind making these fish at the bottom. All it takes is an outline. Not too difficult right?
12. Some tumbling ocean waves
If you like the fish then you’ll love this breath-taking ocean design. The different shades of blue will look really good if your room is decorated in a beachy style though it may be a bit complicated for a beginner to achieve something like this. You can see the sketched out lines that the embroiderer is using to create this pattern, though it’s clear that some serious skill is required to get from A to B.
13. A more simple nautical design
This lighthouse design is another example of simple embroidery that still manages to look very effective. The design is just a line drawing and yet it manages to capture the lighthouse, clouds and sky in a charming and story book-like way. It would be the perfect decoration for a seaside themed room or a nice gift for a fan of the ocean.
14. A cute canary family
This little row of canaries is our absolute favourite animal design. Not only is it really colourful but the canaries themselves are just adorable. Each seems to have its own personality and is so beautifully executed that we can only hope to be this good at embroidery one day. We especially love the little green guy on the right who seems to have found a way to fly off of the fabric.
15. This beautiful butterfly
To finish this list we just had to show you this beautiful butterfly. From afar it looks super realistic and we’d love to have this adorning a shirt or baseball cap. It could also make for some pretty impressive wall art if you kept adding more and more winged friends for this little guy.