I was in high school when I was first drawn to embroidering. I wasn't inspired by traditional embroidering, like a well-phrased cross-stitch pattern or a picturesque embroidered landscape. It was doodling with thread that got me hooked. I started by stitching random shapes and designs into my favorite pair of jeans, adding new accents at random. But, I stitched them in a way that only made me happy. By that I mean, if I looked down at my pants, all the shapes were right-side up. So if someone were to look at me, they would see a bunch of upside-down rainbows and clouds and random words and a girl who was very proud of her creativity. I'm positive it looked insane, but I still think embroidering your clothes is a good idea. Today we're going to start small and look at an embroidered beanie, so don't worry – your jeans are safe.
Watch the video to see how this little design came to life, and keep reading for all the details.
- Beanie cap
- Small embroidery hoop
- Embroidery floss (including black or a dark color to outline)
- Embroidery needle with sharp point
- Marking pencil, chalk, or regular pencil
Decide where you want the design to sit on your beanie. I chose the middle of the cuff for mine. Fix the small embroidery hoop over the cuff, with the small hoop on the back and the adjustable hoop on the front. Tighten, but do not stretch the fabric of the cuff. You don't want to warp the beanie and stitch into a stretched surface, otherwise the design will change when you release the embroidery hoop.
Trace an outline of your design. I picked a simple cactus for the front of my embroidered beanie DIY project. If the hat is darker in color, you'll have to use chalk or a marking pencil to sketch the design. If the hat is lighter, a regular pencil will work.
Cut a piece of embroidery floss, roughly 2-3 feet in length. Embroidery floss is made of six strands of thread, but we'll only be using three for this embroidered beanie DIY. Separate the floss in two. Thread the embroidery needle with some of the three-strand floss, and knot the end. Begin to fill in the design. Make your stitches small, following parallel with the weave of the hat (this video on satin stitching is very helpful if you're new to embroidering). If you run out of thread or want to switch colors, knot in the back, and use the second half of your divided thread.
You will need a lot of thread to fully fill in your design. Stitch until you can't see the beanie.
After you've filled in the colored portion of the design, thread your embroidery needle with black floss (divided into three-strands). Stitch along the edges of the design to create a bold outline (this video is very helpful if you've never done a chain stitch before). Knot in the back when you're finished. Done!
Embroidering is cool because it's relaxing, it can be done while you're watching TV or listening to music, and a design like this goes by really, really fast. Plus, no one else is going to have a hat as cool as yours. Happy stitching!