Embroidery is an easy and fun way to add 3D elements to any 2D image — whether it be photographs, store-bought cards or even your own paintings. For this tutorial, we’ll be painting Christmas trees, then bringing them to life with simple embroidery stitches. Grab your brush and thread your needle!
Embroidered Holiday Cards
What You Need
1. Craft Your Scene
Pick a winter scene to paint — we chose evergreens in the snow, but you can paint anything you want. Use a pencil to draw the card on your paper. Make sure to press very lightly so your pencil marks won’t show through your ink later.
Good to Know We’re making our image on a piece of paper that will be taped to the front of a blank card later. Keep the size of your drawing in mind — how big do you want it to be in relation to your card?
2. Add the Ink
We used the loose wet-on-wet technique to add color to our sketch, but you can color yours in any way you like.
To paint wet-on-wet, brush water over an area of your paper, then drop in the pigment. The color instantly spreads on its own and creates lovely, diffused edges.
3. Sketch Your Stitches
Once your image has dried, place a piece of tracing paper over it and sketch where you want to embroider. Embroidery on paper is unforgiving, so mark exactly where you want to poke your holes and have your floss rest. You don’t want any mistakes later!
When you have a design you love, use it as a guide and being poking holes in your paper with an unthreaded needle. Make sure your holes aren’t too close together, or you’ll create a large hole and your thread won’t stay in place.
4. Break Out Your Floss
Thread your needle with the floss color of your choice and tie a knot at the end. Working from the back to the front, begin stitching through your holes.
Keep stitching until you finish your design.
5. Attach the Image to a Card
When you’re done embroidering, secure the image to a blank card using a strong paper adhesive. Our painting measured 4” x 6” and we used a 5” x 7” card, so there’s a nice, crisp ½” border all around it.
Once secured, your card is ready for gifting!