Whether you’ve been stitching for years or you’re still new to the art of embroidery, sometimes your creative well can run dry. We’re here to give you some inspiration for your next project with a few embroidery ideas for every style, interest, and ability—from traditional floral patterns to modern, colorful designs.
Cool Embroidery Ideas
1. Freehand Plants
Florals are some of the most popular embroidery designs around. Even as a beginner, you can think outside the box with a freehand drawing straight onto your canvas.
2. Textured Llama
While all embroidery has some element of texture thanks to the thread, you don’t have to stick to the basics. Different types of stitches like the French knot create a raised layer and add extra depth to this charming llama.
3. Moss and Greenery
The rough, abstract texture of moss and low-lying greenery makes it one of the simplest embroidery ideas that you can work on. These subtle, earthy shades have an elegance all their own.
4. Tennis or Racquetball Gear
Looking for embroidery ideas that are completely out of the box? Ditch the hoop and head straight for the sports aisle. Yes, you can actually stitch designs straight onto racquets! Keep your design simple to highlight the unusual canvas, or go bold to really stand out!
Cute Embroidery Ideas
5. Bees in a Honeycomb
Nothing’s cuter than a honeybee. Use yellow canvas as your backing and carefully stitch a honeycomb design before finishing up with your little winged friends.
6. Woodland Creatures
Tiny animals are incredibly cute and are a great way to practice different embroidery stitches. Whether you choose a hedgehog, a squirrel, or a deer, you’ll be left with the most adorable creature to hang on your wall.
7. Cartoon Characters
Embroidering cartoon characters is a super cute way to immortalize your favorites in thread forever. Line art works well for this type of embroidery, particularly if you’re a beginner.
Embroidery Ideas for Gifts
8. A Quote or Message
Make your gift extra personal with a meaningful quote or special message. Sayings that your loved one uses regularly, something inspirational, or even a joke between the two of you are great places to start.
9. Felt Bookmarks
For the bookworms in your life, an embroidered bookmark is a wonderful gift. Felt is a hardy surface to stitch on to, which means that it’ll last with the constant movement from page to page.
Embroidery Ideas for Shirts
With its distinctive shape, a cactus is one of the simplest plants to hand embroider. Add a small one to your shirt pocket for a subtle desert vibe, or make it the focal point by stitching several cacti all over the shirt.
Who doesn’t love a monogram? Find a font type that you like, draw your design onto your shirt, and then start stitching.
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Sweatshirt Embroidery Ideas
12. Your Name or Initials
Let everyone know exactly who you are by stitching your name or initials onto a sweatshirt. This works well as a gift, too!
13. Song Lyrics
Inspirational quotes aren’t the only phrases that you can stitch onto clothing. Lyrics to hit songs or old classics are just as popular. You might even run into another fan when you’re wearing your new sweatshirt down the street!
Machine Embroidery Ideas for Amateurs and Pros
14. Word Art
Sometimes getting your letters perfectly aligned when drawing freehand doesn’t pan out. That’s why machine embroidery can be the best solution when you’re creating word art with one, or several, words.
15. An Abstract Self Portrait
Take inspiration from Picasso and try a freehand self portrait on your sewing machine! Don’t worry about making your lines perfect. The goal here is to end up with a quirky and artistic design.
Hand Embroidery Ideas
16. Cherry Blossom Trees
Celebrate the arrival of spring with a hand-embroidered cherry blossom tree. Using a French knot to make your pink leaves stand out, this design is simple enough for beginner embroiderers.
17. A Cherished Memory
Whether it’s a camping trip with your family or a vacation to the beach, there are endless options for real-life scenes that you could embroider. Start by sketching from a photograph before using a range of hand embroidery stitching techniques to capture the different elements of the setting.
Simple Embroidery Ideas
18. Marble Patterns
Marble designs are perfect for freehand stitchers or beginners who want to test out their new stitching skills. Get plenty of different colored embroidery thread to make your design pop.
19. Line Art Portraits
The beauty of line art is in its simplicity. That makes it ideal for a straightforward yet captivating embroidered design.
Easy Embroidery Ideas for Beginners
20. Tree Rings
When you’re getting started, an easy embroidery idea to test out is a tree ring. Use different threads and techniques to stitch out concentric circles on your canvas, creating a design that looks like the inside of a cut tree.
Just like marble patterns, rainbows are perfect for beginner stitchers who are still honing their skills. Start small as you get used to building curved lines of equal length that will ultimately make a symmetrical rainbow.
Grab Your Thread and Get to Work!
Now that you have a few ideas to get started with, it’s time to pull out your embroidery hoop and get started on your next project. Happy stitching!
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