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!

OSC At Home Emails

Get a round up of our latest activities and ideas delivered straight to your inbox so you don't miss a thing!

Find out when we release new resources by following us on social media!

 

Follow us on social media for even more science fun including fun facts, games, behind-the-scenes photos, and more!

 

Facebook Logo Instagram Logo YouTube Logo Twitter Logo

Support OSC At Home

In these ever-changing times, it is our pleasure to adapt quality Orlando Science Center experiences to engage with everyone while they are safe at home. Please consider supporting our operating fund to ensure we can continue developing resources today and well into the future. Thank you for your generosity and support!

Pulse Nightclub Tribute ♥ How to Fold an Origami Heart

Celebrate Pride by Making These Pulse Nightclub Tribute Origami Hearts

This month, we celebrate Pride – a celebration of both the amazing people who fought for the rights of LGBTQ+ people and honoring the diverse self-expression and love of our LGBTQ+ community.

 

If you’ve been to the Science Center, you may have seen our Love Bridge – an installation of crystal hearts that hang above you as you walk across the bridge from the garage. This was originally made of origami hearts as a Pulse nightclub tribute in memoriam of the 49 people who lost their lives in June of 2016.

 

The Pulse tragedy deeply affected our community and the people of Orlando have continued to honor the souls we lost that night by working to make sure our city becomes a more welcoming place for all people. Inside each origami heart, our guests and staff wrote messages of what love means to them. We invite you to create your own reminder of love with this origami heart tutorial.

 

As we celebrate Pride, and remember the victims of the Pulse tragedy, we invite you to create your own reminder of love with this origami heart tutorial. 

Materials you will need:

  • Origami paper or a sheet of printer paper you can turn it into a square. 
    Learn how to use any paper for origami paper here.

Before you make any folds in your paper, write a message about love – what does it mean to you? 

h

The "Love Bridge" is a community art project created by guests of the Orlando Science Center to show support for the OneOrlando.org fund and those affected by the PULSE Nightclub tragedy.

 

The 7 colors of the rainbow span the length of the bridge in rows of 4. Each row holds a total of 49 origami hearts which represent the lives lost on that tragic night. The origami hearts were made by the community on One Orlando Night at the Museum and are filled with messages of love and hope.

 

The original origami heart installation has been replaced with a crystal version that will withstand the test of time. The original project was reimagined into a permanent tribute called Facets of Love, which hangs in our STEAM Gallery for all to enjoy. 

A girl fold paper into origami heart for Pulse nightclub tribute
Orlando Science Center One Orlando night, photo by Roberto Gonzalez

 

Expand on the activity!

June is Pride Month in the United States. Pride Month is a time to recognize past and present struggles and successes in the ongoing fight for civil rights, as well as to celebrate the accomplishments of LGBTQ+ individuals.

 

Meet some of the incredible scientists who self-identified as members of LGBTQ+ community and have left a lasting mark on the STEM fields with both their activism and scientific research.

 

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

OSC At Home Emails

Get a round up of our latest activities and ideas delivered straight to your inbox so you don't miss a thing!

Find out when we release new resources by following us on social media!

 

Follow us on social media for even more science fun including fun facts, games, behind-the-scenes photos, and more!

 

Facebook Logo Instagram Logo YouTube Logo Twitter Logo

Support OSC At Home

In these ever-changing times, it is our pleasure to adapt quality Orlando Science Center experiences to engage with everyone while they are safe at home. Please consider supporting our operating fund to ensure we can continue developing resources today and well into the future. Thank you for your generosity and support!

Build a Birdhouse Upcycled Activity: A Maker Project Worth Tweeting About

Build a birdhouse to attract your fine-feathered friends!

Do you have a quart carton in your recycling bin? Why not turn it into a home for your local birds? Birds are some of the best tenants. They're not picky about their homes and are pretty grateful to have them. They may even thank you with a sweet song. 
 
Here are some tips so you can build a birdhouse you will be proud of!
 

Materials:

  • An empty quart carton

  • A pair of scissors

  • A ruler or measuring tape

  • Decorating supplies (optional)

  • String or ribbon

 

Note: Have your grownup help you with the cutting and poking holes steps! These can be tricky.

Directions:

  • Rinse out your carton. Give those birds a fresh start!

  • About halfway up your carton, cut a hole about an inch wide. Quart cartons are about the right size for a wren – they like to have a small entryway so that bigger birds can’t invade their house.

cut-quart-carton-for-wren-birdhouse-diy
  • Poke some holes in the bottom of the carton to drain out rain.

  • Start decorating! Birds have color vision, so they can enjoy the same colors that you can!

decorate-your-upcycled-birdhouse
  • When you’re finished decorating, poke a hole in the top part of the carton.

  • Thread a piece of string, ribbon, or fabric scrap through the hole.

how-to-hang-your-diy-birdhouse
  • If you want to create a little perch for the birds, you can find a narrow twig, poke a hole through the sides of your birdhouse, and thread it through!

  • Hang your birdhouse up on a tree! The birdhouse should hang at least four feet off the ground.

build-birdhouse-to-hang-outside-with-orlando-science-center-activity

What will attract birds to the birdhouse you built?

 

Wrens eat insects, so it’s no big deal if you don’t have a bird feeder. You can help attract birds by putting some water out for them in a birdbath! You can use any shallow container, like a plastic food container, for this – it only needs to be a few inches deep.

 

If you want to get creative, wrens have been known to enjoy peanut butter! Try putting a dot on the tree near your birdhouse.

OSC At Home Emails

Get a round up of our latest activities and ideas delivered straight to your inbox so you don't miss a thing!

Find out when we release new resources by following us on social media!

 

Follow us on social media for even more science fun including fun facts, games, behind-the-scenes photos, and more!

 

Facebook Logo Instagram Logo YouTube Logo Twitter Logo

Support OSC At Home

In these ever-changing times, it is our pleasure to adapt quality Orlando Science Center experiences to engage with everyone while they are safe at home. Please consider supporting our operating fund to ensure we can continue developing resources today and well into the future. Thank you for your generosity and support!

Make Avocado Dye to Upcycle T-Shirts

Did you know that you could make avocado dye at home out of your guacamole scraps?

Avocados have a special tannin, an acid present in plants, that turns fabric to beautiful a beautiful pale pink or peach color. This tannin acts as a mordant, or fixative, that helps the dye to stick to the fabric fibers. Learn how to extract tannin from the pit and skin of avocados to make your own fabric dye!  

Materials you will need:

  • Skins and pits of two avocados
  • A large stainless steel pot
  • Heat safe container (bowl, basin, pot)
  • A strainer or sieve
  • A clean white t-shirt (you could also use a bandana, scarf, tank top, whatever you like – just make sure it’s a natural fabric for best results)
  • Optional: gloves for handling dyed fabric (you can also just wash your hands afterwards!)
Avocado skin and pit pieces on cutting board

Directions:

  • Rinse the avocado off your pits & stones. You don’t need to be too thorough with this - the strainer will take care of any avocado pieces that are left behind.
  • Heat water on low heat in your stainless steel pot, enough for your pits & skins to float in. Just heat – don't boil! Be very careful as boiling will turn your dye brown.
Rinsing Avocado Pit Piece
  • Drop the pits into the water. Tear up the skins & drop them in. Don’t forget to remove any stickers!
  • Cover & let the water simmer on low heat. Check on it frequently. If the water is starting to bubble, lower the heat.
Avocado Pieces In Pot
  • Check on the water for color. Because plants vary & tap water can have different minerals in it, the time you will need to extract the tannin will vary as well – somewhere between 30 & 60 minutes.

  • Once you’re happy with the color, strain the dye into a heat safe container.

Straining Avocado Pieces
  • Repeat steps 2 – 6 with the same avocado pieces to make another batch. Do this as many times as you need until you have enough dye to submerge your t-shirt.

Avocado Pieces Recooking
  • Submerge your white shirt into the dye. You can either put a lid on your container to keep it warm or leave it out in the sun.
Submerging T-shirt In Dye
  • Let it sit! Leave your shirt in the dye for at least an hour. You can leave it overnight if you want a deeper color.

Avocado Shirt Dyeing In Tub
  • Remove your shirt & rinse it in cold water. You can let it air dry or throw it in the dryer by itself.

Avocado Shirt Rinsing In Sink
  • Admire your handiwork! You now have a fabulous new shirt made with natural dye.

Dyed T-Shirt

OSC At Home Emails

Get a round up of our latest activities and ideas delivered straight to your inbox so you don't miss a thing!

Find out when we release new resources by following us on social media!

 

Follow us on social media for even more science fun including fun facts, games, behind-the-scenes photos, and more!

 

Facebook Logo Instagram Logo YouTube Logo Twitter Logo

Support OSC At Home

In these ever-changing times, it is our pleasure to adapt quality Orlando Science Center experiences to engage with everyone while they are safe at home. Please consider supporting our operating fund to ensure we can continue developing resources today and well into the future. Thank you for your generosity and support!