Thursday, April 13, 2017

DIY: Cross-stitch Kits

We are especially excited about cross-stitching this season (have you seen our spring window displays??). We have several new textile and cross-stitch kits at the stores, with patterns to make things like: keepsake vegan leather bracelets, bookmarks, pillows, metal cuffs, and more. 

These kits are a great project to travel with on vacation, or to use as pre-teen party favors (we like how they remind us of making friendship bracelets at summer camp). This is a project that is low-cost and simple, but will easily keep you occupied for hours!

See our finished project and some helpful hints, below.

All supplies are available at collage!

* 1 cross-stitch kit; we chose to make a white vegan bracelet.
* embroidery needle (a small tapestry needle will also work)
* DMC embroidery floss, in your favorite colors
* scissors

1) Decide on a pattern to create. Most of the cross-stitch kits come with at least 3 different pattern options. You can also create your own design. For instance, cross-stitching is great for showcasing old video game imagery; simple pixel art translates well to geeky stitching patterns (check out this site for examples).

2) Cut one arm's length of embroidery floss. Split the floss so that you are working with only three strands. 

3) Begin at the top of the project. If you are having trouble following the pattern, you can use a pencil to lightly sketch and map out where the embroidery floss will go on your project. Leave a tail of about 2 inches long in the back of your work; instead of knotting the end of the floss, catch the tail on the backside of your stitches, so it becomes essentially woven in. Carefully work your way down the pattern, one color at a time. Keep track of your rows on the pattern book, checking them off as you go. 

4) Try to begin your stitches in the same direction every time. See the bottom bright green color, below. At the left is the first round of diagonal stitches, and on the right you can see the second stitch was added consistently in the opposite direction. 

5) When you start to run out of embroidery floss (with only approximately 3-4 inches left), or whenever you need to switch colors, weave the end into the stitches in the backside. This quick video demonstrates this technique.

6) Enjoy your finished cross-stitch! Consider trying other patterns and creating your own designs!