DIY Cross-Stitch Family Portrait | Bringing Design Home

DIY: Cross-Stitch Family Portrait

I can’t tell you how excited I have been to share my latest homemade gift with you all! To be honest I was a bit overambitious last Christmas, and didn’t complete any of the FOUR projects I started (surly I’m not the only one… !?). :( This year I was determined to complete ALL my projects from last year, and I’m happy to announce that I reached my goal just in time for Christmas! :)

Tis true, me and Martha Stewart became besties this holiday season, and I couldn’t be any more happier with the results!

Once you plan out your portrait the cross-stitching isn’t that hard, but it does take time. Personally, I enjoyed spending my evenings with the tv off, bundled under a blanket, working away while Cale studied for his latest Architecture Exam. You might think of cross-stitching as an old lady sport, but it was really fun giving an old craft an updated design.

SUPPLIES:

  • Embroidery Hoop
  • Embroidery Thread (Just ask around and borrow some from your crafty friends if you don’t want to buy a bunch–thanks Courtney!) :)
  • Embroidery Needle
  • Embroidery Aida Cloth (I started with 22 count and the stitches were way to small and close together. Definitely aim for 11-14 count squares, or even 8 if you would like a bigger design.)
  • Scissors
  • Graph Paper (I just stole a few pages from Cale’s Moleskine Journal, shhh… don’t tell!) ;)
  • Colored Pencils
  • Scotch Tape

HELPFUL TIPS:

  • Select a Wider (smaller) Embroidery Aida Cloth Count: I started my first portrait with a 22 count and hated the whole process. The wider squares (11-14 count) show off fun details better, and you won’t be cussing as much as you try and poke your thread through tiny, TINY, little holes! :)
  • General Size/Scale Chart: 8 stitches across for adult heads, 7 stitches across for teen/kids heads, and 3 stitches across for babies.
  • Plan it Out: Use graph paper and colored pencils to plan out every detail. Having a solid plan creates a smooth transition once you start cross-stitching.
  • Customize each family member: I found the inspiration for this project sifting through an old subscription of Martha Stewart Living. Visit her page for ideas and suggestions on how to each person in your portrait their own unique style. Think about the person’s hair, the type of clothes they wear, and even fun accessories.
  • Use Back Stitching for Small Details: This simple technique allows you to create fine details like glasses, baby eye’s and mouth’s, letters, and numbers.

This was my first cross-stitch project so don’t feel intimidated if you have never done this before. I stitched two full portraits of the same family until I got the style, layout, and the scale just right.

You can do it! Old ladies unite! ;)

What new Christmas projects did you take on this year? How did they turn out?

From the Farm

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About meg:

I like curly lines, and the simple joys of life. Good coffee and the perfect souffle.

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High class design in overalls. It's the simple life of a farm through the eyes of a couple of crazy designers. We call ourselves Green Couch Design and we are Bringing Design Home.

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