Monday, February 4, 2013

Scrapbook Paper Embroidery DIY

I remember one summer at a family picnic hearing the story about how when one of my uncles was dating my aunt, he carved their initials into a tree at the park we were at. Of course, my cousins and I HAD to go searching for it...but no luck...the initials were no where to be found. Although, now that I'm an adult with my own kid, I have my suspisions that they told us the story to send us off on a wild goose chase. Either way, it's a fun memory of good times spend with my cousins, and this project stems from that.

The day I thought of this project, I went and looked for wood grain paper to match the "initials carved into a tree" thing. Alas, it was not meant to be that day, and as I have no patience when the creative bug hits, I went with a wood fencing design that reminded me of the pier in my hometown where LOTS of name and initials (and other unsavory phrases) are written.

No trees or piers were harmed in the making of this "carving"

Want to make your own? Here's how!

Scrapbook paper - wood grain, fencing, burlap (really, anything you like)
Cardstock - in case your scrapbook paper is the thing kind like mine was
Embroidery Thread
Straight Pin
Picture Frame

Step 1:
Cut your scrapbook paper to the size you want it - I did 4x6.

Step 2 (optional):
Cut a piece of cardstock the same size and glue it to the back of the scrapbook paper. Let dry. I stuck mine between two books on a bookshelf so it would dry flat.

Step 3:
Draw your design on the paper lightly in pencil. I usually print off the imagine that I want, scribble over the back of it in pencil, and then trace the image onto my scrapbook paper so that the lead on the back of the image transfers onto the paper.
 2-layer scrapbook paper and printed design
Back of printed design
 After tracing
Ready for stitching
Step 4:
Using two strands of your embroidery thread, back stitch around your entire design. I have found it's easier to punch holes around the design with the straight pin and then go back and back stitch.
Punching holes with straight pin
Held up to a window
Halfway done
Embroidery complete!
Note: While I like the peach embroidery thread up close, because it really does more closely remember carved wood, I don't recommend it - it's hard to see from more than 5 inches or so away :) Normally, I would use white, but when making this tutorial, I had peach on hand so that's what the impatient me used :)

Step 5:
Put your paper into the frame of your choice, stand back and admire your handiwork. Then give it your your significant other for Valentine's Day...or to friends as a wedding gift...change the design and the possiblities are endless.

Our "wood carving's" new home on one of the bookshelves in the studio/office
See, you can barely see what it says...oh well, live and learn!

Obviously, my husband and I now share the same last initial, but it seemed like more fun to use my maiden James is not my husband's legal,'s a lie no matter how you look at it :)

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