Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Child's drawing to embroidery

My lovely friend, Emma, recently posted this amazing picture of an elephant that her little boy drew:

He has only just turned three, so pretty impressive. And crying out, I thought, to convert into an embroidery.

I think you can get special embroidery transfer pens that you can use for this type of thing - you use them to trace the design onto tracing paper, then you can iron this on to the fabric you're using and it leaves a faint outline. If you do it this way then you have to remember to reverse your image before tracing or you'll end up with a mirror image of the design on your finished piece. And I think the marks you iron on are permanent so you have to be sure that your embroidery covers them completely.

Personally, I prefer to just trace the design directly on to my fabric with my water soluble pen. I find it works well to have a photo of the image on your computer, zoom in to get it to the size you want...

And then hang your piece of fabric over the screen, the light from the screen makes the tracing much easier.

My fabric was quite thin, once I'd traced on the drawing I just doubled it up to sew it.

Since I much prefer the speed and easy stitch control of machine embroidery (my hand embroidery stitch control is rubbish!), that's what I did. But you could easily put your fabric in a hoop and hand embroider it at this point.

I think this kind of embroidery is lovely for all sorts of projects. Perhaps as a picture to keep, either in a frame or hung in an embroidery hoop, or maybe on a tee shirt or other item of clothing. On a tea towel could make a lovely present, possibly for a Grandparent. Or in this case, I turned it into a cushion:

It's been too long since I did anything like this with my little ones, they grow up so fast, I must look out for opportunities for this more before my house is no longer littered with their drawings and doodling!



  1. It is just lovely. I made a pillow out of my little man's hand embroidery...sits on his bed and makes me smile every time I walk by it.

  2. That is such a great idea. When I was a kid my mom got me to draw with some special crayons and she transferred the drawing to fabric with crayons, and made it into a pillow for my kindergarten teacher. She cried when I gave it to her, it was so sweet. You are too right, they grow up so fast!

  3. Fun stitches that connect with our inner child!

  4. What an absolutely wonderful idea. You're right, they don't stay young for long and this is such a nice way to keep the memories alive.

  5. What an awesome idea! I have a drawing that I really should do this with. Love it!

  6. Love your clever idea of tracing right off the computer screen!!! I would have NEVER thought of that! I began a quilt made of embroidered versions of Diane's drawings when she was very young. Sadly, I never finished it nor saved the work. And maybe for some - like me - a quilt would be too big a project. But certainly oneor two lovely framed embroideries would be lovely keepsakes.


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