Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Handmade Holiday Gift Idea: Custom Embroidery Kit for Teen Girls

I'm trying to get a little bit of a jump start on Christmas gifts this year because, where appropriate, I want to make as many of them as I can. Today I put together this custom embroidery kit for my niece, Eva, who is twelve. (I'm pretty sure she doesn't read my blog, so hopefully I'm not ruining any surprises here.) A few weeks ago she casually asked me if I could teach her how to embroider, and I tried to act all cool and nonchalant and said "Sure thing", when inside I was jumping up and down with excitement. Though I try to infect my boys with the crafting virus at every opportunity, they have for the most part remained immune to the lure of needle crafts. 

For this kit I've included a hoop, some needles, a few skeins of embroidery floss, some pretty scissors, and two pieces of linen. One piece is plain, to learn her stitches on, and on the second piece I traced a pretty letter E with a floral border that I got from this book:
To transfer the letter to the linen, I scanned it into my computer, enlarged it to fit the piece of linen I wanted to use, and traced it right onto the fabric using embroidery carbon paper. I put everything in place for tracing, then taped it all down onto the table so it wouldn't move around. 
This picture doesn't show it, but I also taped the carbon paper to the linen and taped the letter to the carbon paper. Notice the carbon paper is right side down, the letter is right side up. Then I traced the whole thing. 
So here's the tracing on the linen, so she can stitch right on top of the lines. 
I had to include a close up of these gorgeous embroidery scissors, which were hard to resist keeping for myself. They cost about ten bucks, bringing the total cost of this gift to about $13, or £8.50 I also included a tagged card that tells her this gift includes free embroidery instruction with me, which, of course, is priceless.

If you're making gifts for anyone this year please share your ideas with me. I'll be adding more of my own as my holiday making plans kick into gear. To my American friends, have a very happy Thanksgiving tomorrow. Even though we won't be officially celebrating here, I'll be counting my blessings as always. 


  1. I love this idea. Embroidery: an almost forgotten art. My great great great great (you get the picture) grandmother's teenage 'samplers' still decorate the wall in my parent's house; and I imagine the concentration - the mindfulness! - that must have been involved in making them. How much better than bam bam bam computer games.

  2. Love, love, love this. First of all I want the book- I just put it on my Amazon wish list and emailed my husband the link! Second of all I love the kit idea. I've taught my two girls and one of my boys to knit. And I've taught one of my daughter's to crochet but haven't moved on to embroidery. Maybe because I'm not very good at it though I've used it in combination with quilting. What will she do with the letter? Frame it?

    1. C, check out the Etsy shop "WhatParty". She sells embroidery designs that I think would be right up Roxie's alley (and yours)!

  3. too cool -- going to show to my daughter Roxie,

  4. Thanks, Beth. I envision the letter in a frame, though I will also offer to turn it into a little cushion cover for her. Which would be a good segue into sewing lessons!

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  7. Thanks for that, Peter. Unfortunately I was so busy making holiday gifts this year I had no time to post about them! Today's post will be about what I made, and I'll try, yet again, to post more ideas, more regularly.

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