Monday, March 21, 2016

Embroidered Easter Egg Tags

I used to love decorating Easter eggs with my daughters. They're grown and gone now, so making a mess by myself just isn't as much fun. This year, I came up with a little needlework project to satisfy my Easter egg craving--and bring some much-needed spring color into the house.

These embroidered Easter egg tags can be used as Easter basket labels, ornaments, or cards. They're easy to make from scraps of pretty fabric, embroidery floss, and a few basic craft supplies.

To begin, choose a piece of fabric from your stash and a few colors of coordinating embroidery floss. Cut a 6-inch square from the fabric and iron a piece of extra-firm fusible interfacing to the back. It will stabilize the fabric and minimize fraying on the edges. Lightly trace an egg shape (mine is 3 1/4 inches tall) on the fabric and pop it in a small embroidery hoop.

Thread a large-eyed needle with four strands of floss and back-stitch over the designs on the fabric. Add French knots or other decorative stitches to create extra texture. Be sure to keep your stitching about 1/8 inch from the pencil lines that mark your egg outline.

When your embroidery is finished, cut out the egg with a sharp scissors and cut away any excess threads on the back.

Cut a tag from a piece of heavyweight colored paper and use a piece of double-stick tape to hold the embroidered egg in place on the front. Sew the egg to the tag with running stitch. Work carefully; paper is less forgiving than fabric.

After you sew the embroidered egg to the tag, cut a larger egg shape from card stock. (It should be large enough to cover the stitching on the back of the card.) Use hand-lettering or a rubber stamp to add an Easter sentiment to the paper egg, and then fasten it to the tag with double-stick tape.

Add a metal eyelet and ribbon and your tag is ready for Easter gift-giving or decorating.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Shamrock & Thistle Cross-Stitch Pins

St. Patrick's Day is just days away, so it's time to celebrate your Celtic pride. These pretty shamrock and thistle cross-stitch pins feature floral symbols and Ireland and Scotland. They use just four colors of DMC embroidery floss--209 dark lavender, 520 dark fern green, 522 fern green, and 3835 medium grape. I stitched mine on 22-count Aida fabric so they would fit inside these 43mm pin settings from the Etsy shop Kailea. If you want to cross-stitch the designs on 18- or 14-count Aida, you can mount them in different settings or make them into ornaments.

The charts for both designs are available on a free printable. Just click here to download your copy and start stitching. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

These designs were featured in the Spring 2015 issue Craft Ideas magazine.