Valentine’s Day is coming up, and even if you don’t have a romantic partner to share it with, you can always use Galentine’s Day as an excuse to celebrate your lady friends (and eat lots of chocolate). If you do want to whip up a sweet little DIY Valentine’s Day gift, this one doesn’t hit you over the head with the holiday, and would be appropriate to keep up year-round. At least that’s my plan.
Read on to learn how to make your own.
Even if you’ve never embroidered before, you can make this XO embroidery over the course of a couple of your favorite shows. If you do want to eventually tackle more complicated embroidery, it’s a great way to get started and practice your stitching on a low-pressure piece.
As a relative beginner myself, I learned the hard way that I definitely should have started with something easy like this. Last year I started a much more complicated freestyle embroidery piece that I got kind of stuck on because it wasn’t looking how I had pictured it in my head. I haven’t made much progress on the piece I shared in this post about inspiring embroidery from 10 months ago, but since I finished the XO, I’ve picked it up again. Maybe finishing it before it’s been a year since I started it should be my goal, ha!
What do you think, do you want to give embroidery a try with this project? If it’s not your cup of tea, I have lots of other DIY Valentine’s Day gift ideas in my archives. I might have to make another batch of these vegan chocolate mousse tarts with salted oat crusts, yuuuum!
Materials and Tools
Embroidery thread – 2 skeins will be plenty
Hand sewing/embroidery needle
Optional materials for framing
Small terrycloth towel
Print out the template, then place it behind your fabric, and lightly trace the lines with a pencil. If your fabric is too thick, or too dark in color, you may instead need to use carbon transfer paper like this or this or this. Or you could use an iron-on transfer pencil like this one.
Then fill in the outlines with simple lines of embroidery. You could get fancy, but I did it all with the easiest stitch of all, satin stitch. Here’s a tutorial with simple diagrams if you’re not sure how it works. Be sure to cover the pencil/transfer marks of the design, so you don’t see them in the final piece.
Once you’re done, remove the piece from the hoop. Flip it right-side down, onto a terrycloth towel, and iron it really well to get out any wrinkles or creases.
Then place the embroidery on a piece of foam board you’ve cut to fit your frame (slightly smaller than 8×10 in my case). Use a ruler to center the XO on the board, and hold it tautly in place with sewing pins that go into the edges of the foam.
Fold the fabric to the back, and use thread to stitch back and forth between the edges, removing the pins as you go. (I only used the bright red thread to make it easier to see in photos.)
The front should look nice and neat and taut when you’re done.
Then just slip it into your frame and close up the back.