Portrait Embroidery Tutorial


I’ve been working on a few embroideries lately in preparation for building up a needlework wall in the girls bedroom. I found four portrait frames super cheap on eBay and thought it would look great to do our portraits in them. Here is how I did it and it’ surprising simple.

All the supplies you’ll need:

embroidery hoop (I got this set here)
embroidery floss
scrap of fabric which fits (I used old baby clothes)
dressmakers carbon paper
tracing paper/freezer paper/baking paper
masking tape

Step One

photo (4)choose your photo!


Step 2


Upload your photo to http://online.rapidresizer.com/photograph-to-pattern.php using the edges slider adjust the image until your happy with how much is visible, right click to save.


Step 3

IMAG2204Print your picture and using masking tape stick it down onto a flat surface to stop your image from shifting while you trace it.


Step 4

IMAG2205Do the same with your tracing paper/freezer paper/baking paper


Step 5



Trace your image in pencil.


You’ll end up with something like this!


Step 6


Stick your fabric down on a flat surface with masking tape. (I’d suggest you iron yours – oops!)


Step 7


If your using patterned fabric move your traced image around until your happy with it’s placement, then stick this layer down over the top only on one side.


Step 8

IMAG2224Lift up the layer of tracing paper and stick down the carbon paper underneath, but on top of the fabric, ink side down.


Step 9


Trace over your image using a ballpoint pen, the reason for changing to pen is not only because it works better with the carbon paper, but also so you can easily see if you’ve missed out any lines.


Un-stick all the layers and you’ll have your finished image ready to be put on its hoop and embroidered. If your completely new to embroidery then there is a great free stitch guide here by wildflower embroidery. I used a split back-stitch throughout.


Step 10

This is not the correct method to neaten the fabric at the back of an embroidery frame!! But it is quick and easy to do and undo if you later want to use the hoop for something else!


Cut the fabric leaving about an inch and half around the frame.


Running stitch around the edge of the frame


Pull tight and fasten off, now all the lose fabric is ‘neatly’ tucked away behind the frame, but can be easily undone if you want to use the embroidery or the hoop again.


Ta da! You’ve made your very own embroidery portrait! This method could be used for any kind of picture, landscapes, flowers, urban images, pets, packaging, fashion photography, sewing pattern envelopes, the list is endless!

I’ve also finished Rosie’s one, I used jersey fabric for her’s which I wouldn’t suggest to a beginner because of how much give it has! Hope you have fun giving this tutorial a try!



One thought on “Portrait Embroidery Tutorial

  1. Pingback: The Pretty Wall |

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