Jan 2, 2011
For Christmas, I made embroidered portraits of my nephews and nieces. The project is more time-consuming than the silhouette portraits, but still relatively easy if you are familiar with embroidery. Each 5" x 5" portrait took about an hour and a half to complete, which includes framing the work.
Here is a list of materials and equipment needed to make a 5" x 5" embroidered portrait:
computer with photo editing application
white printer or copy paper
black felt tip pen
10" square of linen fabric
10" x 10" IKEA Ribba frame
black embroidery floss (I used DMC perle cotton 12)
1. Take the mat out of the frame and trace the mat opening onto the white copy paper. Then, choose a photograph on your computer to use as a template. If necessary, resize the picture so that it fits within the 5" x 5" mat opening.
2. Secure the white paper over your monitor with removable tape. Carefully trace the outline of the portrait with a felt tip pen.
3. Take your fabric and line drawing to a bright window. Center the fabric over the portrait and trace the line drawing with a black pen.
4. Secure fabric in an embroidery hoop. Using a backstitch, embroider over the line drawing. (Periodically refer to the actual photograph when working on fine details.)
5. Iron the finished portrait. You'll want to trim the edges of the fabric so that it can be taped to the back side of the mat.
6. Arrange the portrait and mat so that they sit in the back of the frame, like a shadow box. Secure the back of the frame and you're done!
Since the frame is deep, you can add small memorabilia or decorative details to personalize the portraits even more. For my nephews and nieces, I painted small wooden letters (just the first letter of each name) that could be glued to the bottom ledge of each frame. I included the letters with each framed portrait.