Cross-stitch is having a moment. Thanks to Taylor Swift, the rise of Pinterest and DIY craft bloggers, the lost art has returned with a vengeance. And with good reason—cross-stitch designs are awesome additions to any room.
I decided to try my hand at some cross-stitching, using text and a picture to make a thoroughly modern motto: “You’re A Fox.” Note: don’t be daunted by the number of steps outlined below—this project is very beginner-friendly!
- 7-inch wooden embroidery hoop
- 14-count cross-stitch fabric
- Red-brown embroidery floss
- Tan embroidery floss
- Black embroidery floss
- Embroidery needle
- Measuring tape or ruler
- Piece of paper
- Trace your embroidery hoop onto the paper to make a 7-inch circle.
- Within this circle, write “YOU’RE A” in block letters, about 1-inch tall. You can also trace the letters, if you prefer.
- Draw a little fox face underneath the letters, 2-inches long by 1 1/2-inches wide. This can be as simple as a rectangle with little triangles added on to make the ears and chin. Add smaller triangles for the inside of the ears and the nose, two long, skinny triangles along the fox’s cheeks, and two little squares for the eyes.
- Trace back over the letters and picture with a dark pen to make them more visible.
- Cut a 10-inch by 10-inch square of the fabric.
- Layer the fabric on top of the pattern, and trace the pattern onto the fabric using a pencil. I found it helpful to tape the pattern and fabric against a window to get a clearer image to trace. Make sure the straight lines match up with the lines in the fabric—this will make it easier to stitch over the pattern.
- Take your embroidery hoop, and loosen the screw to separate the inner hoop from the outer hoop.
- Stretch the fabric across the inner hoop, and place the outer hoop back on top of it. Make sure the fabric is tight, and tighten the screw to attach the two hoops back together.
- Cut a couple of feet of the black embroidery floss. Separate three strands from the floss, and thread the needle.
- Begin stitching along the top row of the letters. Make small, diagonal stitches that cross the little woven squares in the fabric. As soon as you’ve finished one row of stitches one way, go back the other way to complete the stitches.
- To start your row of stitches, keep a small tail of the floss loose on the back of the fabric. Loop your stitches around this tail to hold it down.
- To finish your row of stitches (or when you run out of floss), slip the needle back under the last stitch, and thread the needle through the resulting loop to make a knot.
- After you’ve finished the letters, start on the fox. Separate three strands of the red-brown floss, and fill in the fox’s face the same way you filled in the letters.
- Use three strands of the tan floss to fill in the little triangles for the ears, and the long, skinny pieces along the fox’s cheeks.
- Use three strands of the black floss to fill in the fox’s eyes and nose.
- Finally, outline the fox’s face. To do this, make long stitches around the edge of the fox with the black floss. After you’ve gone all the way around the fox, stitch back the other way to create the look of a solid line.
- To finish the piece, either take it out of the hoop, press it, and frame it, or trim the extra fabric away and hang the hoop.