Monday, February 11, 2013

Valentine Art: Raised Embroidery

I know Valentine’s Day is almost here, but it’s not too late for some pink and red craftiness! 

Usually my decorations for Valentine’s Day consist of putting out old Vday cards as a subtle reminder to my husband that it is time to get me another Vday card and with it, chocolate (the real goal).  This year I wanted to make an actual decoration, but I wanted to keep it simple.  Behold, cute and simple Valentine art:

I made these by gluing a rope to a canvas and stitching around it.  (Inspired by a pin I’ve seen floating around on Pinterest that links to a little more complicated stitch.  You can check that out here.) 

For the heart I decided to be trendy and made it ombre in shades of pink.

Clean, simple, and a nice way to perk up the mantle.

Want to make your own?  It really is easy to make, but it is a little time consuming.  But don’t let that stop you!  I had myself a mini Jane Austen movie marathon while making these; Emma, Pride and Prejudice, and Clueless!  

So, let’s get started!  Here’s what you need:

Art Canvas:  For the ‘Be Mine’ I used a 9”x12” canvas and a 10”x10” for the heart.  I got both of these at Michaels.  Just make sure that the back of the canvas is open enough for you to get your design at the size you like.

Rope Cord:  I got my rope cord at JoAnns.  I used 1 ½ yards of rope total for both pieces, but buy extra in case you need it.

Embroidery Floss:  For the ‘Be Mine’ sign I used 4 skeins of floss, for the heart I used four different shades of pink and used less than 1 skein of each color.

Other:  Glue gun; sharp, sturdy embroidery needles; lamp, paper, and pencil.

First step, designing your sign.  Measure the back of the canvas to determine how big your design can be.

Cut out a piece of paper the right size to use as a template, and make your design.  I wanted the ‘Be Mine’ to be somewhat cursive.  Draw out your design and make sure you like how it looks and that it fits.

To trace the design to the front I just taped the paper to the back of the canvas, propped it up against a lamp, and traced the design in pencil.

Now it’s time to start cutting the rope.  Just match up your rope to your design and cut the pieces to the sizes you need.  I recommend cutting all the pieces first, so as you are gluing you don’t have to stop to cut.

Once your pieces are cut, fire up that glue gun and start gluing the rope down.  Go one letter at a time and quickly lay the rope pieces down on the glue.

Repeat the process for the heart and let the glue dry.  Now it’s time for embroidery!

I used all six strands of embroidery floss to make sure that the color was full and there were no white spots showing through.  Keep your stitches close together and close to the rope for a nice tight look. 

Here is a close up of how I worked the cross over on the letter ‘e’.

Just keep stitching away until you’re done.  The ‘Be Mine’ sign took more time to do because of all the curves, but I also got much faster as I went on.  The heart was much quicker to do.  Before starting mark off on the heart where you want the color changes.

And you’re done!  Now you just have to find the perfect spot to put your awesome artwork. 

By the way, did you notice that ugly stain on the heart canvas?

The stain was hidden under the label of the canvas, so I didn’t know until I opened it up!  Grr, I tried to get it off but neither bleach nor Oxy Clean worked.  I debated painting it white, but I found another solution:

Cue the strategically placed candle, and all is well.

I really like how these turned out.  If I look at it too hard, the ‘Be Mine’ sign kind of looks like it says ‘Be Mire’, but I can live with that.  I may have to make some art like this for every holiday!

This could also be done on regular embroidery fabric, which would be easier to stitch through than the canvas.  But I like how the canvas gives it more of an art look, plus it is sturdier for this heavy embroidery.  A light fabric might sag or pull funny from the weight.

I hope this inspires you to try out this technique in your own awesome artiness!

Thanks for reading!

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