Embroidery Techniques to Try: From Basics to Sashiko

Stitch outside the box with these different embroidery techniques

There’s something to be said about a hobby that requires you slow down and build something bit by bit, piece by piece. Embroidery can be a fantastically fulfilling way to find some peace while beautifying your home along the way. It’s important to cultivate hobbies to calm your mind! 

 

First, let’s address the difference between cross-stitch and embroidery techniques. Embroidery, simply, is making patterns and designs on fabric or other materials using a needle and thread (or sometimes yarn). You can use different embroidery techniques, like satin stitch, chain stitch, backstitch, ladder stitch, and many others. Cross-stitch is a form of embroidery using a specific x-shaped stitch in a counted, grid pattern, much like pixel art, counting stitches to create a uniform design.

 

We’re going to focus on embroidery overall in this post.

Beginning with the basics:

Here is a great Instructables class to get you started with basic embroidery technique – it provides a really good overview of the materials, techniques, and terminology you need to understand to get going.

 

Visit https://www.instructables.com/class/Embroidery-Class/ for more tips and techniques 

If you can dream it, you can stitch it:

 Jessica Marquez, a Brooklyn maker who runs a shop called Miniature Rhino, wrote a series of beautiful articles for Design Sponge on how to use different embroidery techniques to make a unique scarf, constellation table runner using the French dot stitch, an embroidered pillowcase, as well as a playful way to embellish a plain t-shirt if you need a bit of extra luck.  

Simple yet stylish Sashiko:

Sashiko is a form of decorative reinforcement stitching (or functional embroidery) from Japan that started out of practical need. The Sashiko embroidery technique creates a beautifully geometric design using a simple running stitch. 

Watch and Learn:

If you’re a visual person, Cutsey Craft's YouTube channel has a variety of playlists that allow you to watch someone hand sew different stitches with expert insider tips and tricks!

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5 T-Shirt Yarn Crafts to Try to Master New Maker Skills

Turn tired T-shirts into treasured projects with T-shirt yarn!

Got an old T-shirt in your house? Good news! You’ve got everything you need to start crafting. We’re rounding up some awesome skills that you can learn using T-shirt yarn as your medium.

 

Not only are these projects fun and fabulous, but they'll help you hone your maker skills and you can apply what you've learned using T-shirt yarn to other fiber arts projects. 

First, round up your materials... those T-shirts that are a bit tired or have seen better days are PERFECT for these projects.

 

Now, let's literally round up the T-shirts into yarn! Watch this video to learn how to convert your fabrics to a usable yarn. 

Five crafts you can Do with T-shirt yarn 

Finger Knitting

Finger knitting is an easy way to get started with fiber crafts. Once you get the hang of it, it’s quite relaxing. Knit a long line and turn it into a necklace for an easy starter craft! 

Macrame

Macra-make some amazing things for your home! This video shows you the basic knots you’ll need to get started. T-shirt yarn is great for practicing before you commit to a project.  

Fabric Coiling

You can create a bowl out of fabric! T-shirt yarn is perfect for this since it’s chunkier and sturdier than most yarn. This bowl will be perfect to hold your crafting supplies! 

Pom Pom Making

They look easy, but there’s actually a pattern to creating pom poms! Use this template to learn to make t-shirt yarn pom poms, and then scale it down for smaller yarn – or if you prefer, you can purchase small pom pom makers at a craft store.

Crochet

Learn basic stitches and their abbreviations so that you can conquer a simple pattern! Note: you will need a crochet hook. Carving your own is a tutorial for another time…

Mother and daughter using T-shirt yarn to practice finger knitting

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10 Ways to Get Creative with Cardboard

If you have been doing a lot of online ordering lately, you might have an abundance of cardboard boxes just waiting to be recycled.

While we definitely want you to dispose of them properly, we encourage you to hone your maker skills by repurposing this common packaging before you recycle them! If you look at it with the right eye, you might find a wealth of possibility in this humble packing material. Cardboard and creativity go hand in hand. Read on for 10 of our favorite cardboard DIY projects.

 

Creative Cardboard Activities You Should Try

  1. How To Work With Cardboard – This page gives a good overview of the types of cardboard you might encounter and ways to create using it.
  2. Magic Transforming Girl from Cardboard – This Instructable demonstrates how you can make a cool transforming image box trick using just cardboard, chopsticks, and a few other household materials!
  3. Make a Playable Cardboard Harp – Create a toy instrument you can play using our favorite packaging material and some rubber bands!
  1. Create Cardboard Chess/Checkers Board – Don’t have these classic board games at your disposal? Check out this tutorial to make a 2-in-1 chess and checkers set at home!
  2. Cardboard Astromech Droid – For the advanced cardboard connoisseur, try your hand at droid-building!
  3. Cardboard Coin-Eating Robot Monster – If you have a spare 9V DC motor lying around, this robot looks to be a cinch!
  4. Cardboard Hex Stool – OSC staff tested and approved! This stool is shockingly sturdy and pretty good looking! Learn about the power of triangles with this cool DIY.
  5. Cardboard Iron Throne for Cats – Sometimes it feels like our pets run our lives. If you want to make that metaphor more literal, you can try to make this iron throne sized for a cat!
  6. Create a Cardboard House with Pool and Garden – Use your cardboard to make a tiny house! You can size it up or down depending on if you want it to fit a particular scale.
  7. Cook with a Cardboard Solar Oven – Use some simple materials to create a surprisingly effective solar oven! You can use this kitchen tool to make solar s’mores, re-molded crayons, and more!

 

This is just the beginning of what you can do if you’re creative with cardboard! There are infinite quantities of infinitely cool things you can do with cardboard if you use your imagination and maybe a little internet searching. Check out artist Pamela Sullivan’s cardboard favelas or Todd Oldham’s Kid Made Modern for more inspiration!

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