I'm broke, you're broke, we're all broke. And if you're like me, cheap-but-thoughtful gifts are a must during the holiday season. Do you know what's ultra-cheap? A needle and thread! For years I've been turning to embroidery for gifting (two of my boyfriend's past presents are pictured above), and with just a little practice, you can soon be stitching away for the holidays.
As with almost any crafty hobby, you're going to have to make some initial investments to get started. For embroidery, you'll need a proper needle, a hoop, floss (the fancy word for embroidery thread) and a pattern or two (you can also buy washable fabric markers if you want to draw out your own design). Most of these supplies can be found at local craft stores, though Sublime Stitching (mater of all things embroidery) does sell some cute starter kits. You can also buy some pretty novel accessories like these scissors (though doing so may defeat the purpose of trying to save money through embroidery):
Next, you'll need something to embroider on! While your thoughts may first turn to clothing, the number of items that can be decorated for others is pretty vast when you think about it. Let me just list a few off the top of my head: towels, napkins, aprons, bags, pillows, baby bibs, wall hangings, hair accessories, ties, necklaces (yeah, they can be done). The nice thing about embroidery is that most of these items can be found on a clearance rack, but no one will be insulted because you'll make them so pretty!
I would recommend practicing a few stitches before working on your gift. Sublime Stitching has a great tutorial on types of stitches, and it's free! I was a big fan of the super-easy but nice-looking split stitch when I got started.
So now you're ready to sit down and embroider. And I hope you're really ready, because this is going to take a while. I've spent over six hours on some projects. Granted, they were pretty detailed, but as a novice you're going to be getting used to stitching, removing mess-ups and giving your eyes lots of breaks (which isn't just a newbie thing). But it's cold outside, you're bundled up on the couch, and you have a Netflix queue (or some scenario along those lines). So get stitching!
(Posted originally at Lovelyish)