Textile workshop @ home: embroider & send a message

We’ve all been in quarantine for quite a while now, so why don’t we send each other handmade postcards to keep in touch? Here’s how you can make your own embroidered postcard to send some love to your relatives, friends, neighbors, or a stranger who might need it.

Tools

– copies of (personal) photos, magazines, or postcards⁠⠀
– embroidery floss⁠⠀
– a large-eyed sewing needle⁠⠀
– thick cardboard⁠⠀
– a piece of thick paper⁠⠀
– masking tape⁠⠀
– scissors⁠⠀

Making process

Step 1: Choose a nice image, and decide what you want to embroider on your postcard. For example, think of something that supports your message like a personal memory or a quote. Copy your image and print on regular printing paper. Tape the back of the image with masking tape and cut around the outline of your image.

Step 2: Place the image on top of your thick piece of cardboard. Use the needle to poke holes in the areas that you’d like to embroider first. You can always add more holes once you’ve started embroidering. If you like, you can also draw the design of your embroidery on another copy of the image and use it as a guide for the hole placement.

Step 3: Thread your needle and tie a double knot at the end. Starting from the back of your image, guide your needle through the first hole and pull gently until the knot is up against the hole. Guide the needle back through the second hole from front to back and pull the floss gently until your stitch is taut. Repeat this until you’ve finished your design.

Step 4: Tie another double knot at the end of your embroidery (at the back) and cut the excess floss so that it sticks out two inches from the back of your image. Tape off the back of your image with another layer of masking tape to seal in the ends of your floss.

Step 5: Feel free to add sequins, glitter, and beads as you go. Glue the embroidered image on a piece of thick paper, to make it easier to write on the back. Now your postcard is ready to be written en send! Challenge the receiver to do the same, to keep the cycle of postcards going.

Photos and workshop: Clare McGibbon