I find it refreshing to take a break from my primary skill set and try something new. Exploring something unfamiliar allows me to turn off my internal judge and just have fun. If you are feeling stuck in your current art medium, I encourage you to give this a try.
Look for ways to play with art rather than focusing on making art to sell. It is really relaxing to let go of commercial concerns and just make things because you want to try out an idea. My bonus discovery? Embroidering vintage images on paper is an easy way to create frame worthy decor pieces!
My inspiration: I found some beautiful unused vintage seed packets at a local flea market. The lithographed color was exceptionally bright and lovely. You can find similar images for free on TheGraphicsFairy.com website.
Using my inkjet printer, I copied my packets and printed them on ordinary copy paper. You could print them on thin fabric if your printer does that but I found copy paper worked just fine for this project. The paper gets slightly bumpy but it is pressed almost flat by the glass in the frame. I like the shadow effect the tiny stitches create.
To make a similar artwork you will need the following items:
A vintage seed packet or flower image
Copier (if using a real seed packet) and/or printer to print color copies of your image
Embroidery needle and embroidery floss in colors that work with your image
Scrapbook paper in coordinating colors
Small frame if you want to turn your art into wall decor
Print and cut out your seed packet image at a usable size. My images are 4 1/2 " x 3 1/4" ( 11.43 x 8 .25 cm), the size of the original packets.
Choose embroidery floss that matches parts of your flowers. I like DMC embroidery floss. I used three strands from a 6 strand skein to embroider with. Thread your needle with one color of thread and start with the focal point of your image. This is where you will embroider the heaviest. The biggest flower in my images became my focal point.
Front and back of my zinnia packet copy, before framing.
A simple way to start is to poke a few holes in the paper with your embroidery needle. Poke holes at the top and bottom of some of the petals on your focal flower. Match your embroidery thread to the petals you are stitching. Satin stitch (sew straight across) from hole to hole with your thread heading in the same direction as the petals. Add additional holes as needed to cover the flower with stitches.
I concentrated most of my embroidery on the biggest flower. Each subsequent flower had less embroidery so it wouldn't compete. I covered the biggest flower about three quarters full with stitches. The second largest flower was embroidered half full. I then highlighted smaller areas with a few stitches on the leaves and edge flowers.
From packet (lower left corner) to copy (topmost image) to embroidered art in a frame!
Once the packet is embroidered to your taste you can choose a frame. The green frames pictured above are from the thrift store and had small prints in them that I removed. I cut a piece of scrapbook paper to fit the frame and used double stick tape to attach the embroidered art to the scrapbook paper. The art was then sandwiched between the glass and the frame back, ready to hang up.
For the bigger seed packet (above and first image in this post) I taped the embroidered art to a rectangular piece of scrapbook paper, layered that over a piece of light blue card stock and popped it into a vintage frame spray painted a teal blue. Thrift stores are a cheap source of small and medium sized frames you can spray paint any color you like.
I hope you enjoyed this project post and will give it a try. Its a fun project to do while watching your favorite movie or TV show. Poke holes in your paper and thread a few needles with colored thread ahead of time so the actual embroidery becomes as easy as using kid's sewing cards.
I'd love to see how your project turns out. Leave a comment or DM me on Instagram with your project link.
Have a fun weekend!