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.

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Cool Embroidery Ideas

1. Freehand Plants

monstera leaf embroidery
Monstera leaves are ideal for drawing and stitching freehand.

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

llama emboridery
Use different stitch types to create extra texture in your embroidery.

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

different texture embroidery
Moss can be easily stitched using the French knot technique.

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

embroidery on raquet
Source: instagram
Create embroidered designs on all kinds of sports racquets. (Via

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

bees embroidery
Source: instagram
Bees on a honeycomb are easy and cute to embroider. (Via

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 animal emboridery
Woodland animals are small yet detailed embroidery designs.

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

cartoon characters embroidery
Source: instagram
Stitch your favorite cartoon characters quickly and easily. (Via

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

flower embroidery
Inspirational quotes are perfect for embroidered gifts.

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

embroidered bookmark
Source: instagram
Use a range of materials to create your embroidered gift.

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

10. Cacti

cactus emboridery
Cacti is easy to sketch out and stitch onto clothing.

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.

11. Monograms

Monograms add a personal touch to any piece of clothing. (Via @loressi_embroidery)

Who doesn’t love a monogram? Find a font type that you like, draw your design onto your shirt, and then start stitching. 

Learn the Basics of Embroidery

Painting With Thread: Modern Embroidery for Beginners

Sweatshirt Embroidery Ideas

12. Your Name or Initials

embroidery on a sweater
Source: instagram
Embroidered sweaters make excellent baby shower or birthday gifts. (Via

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

embroidery sweatshirt
Source: instagram
Song lyrics are great for embroidering on sweatshirts. (Via

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

embroidery sweatshirts
Source: instargam
Machine embroidery is best for clothing and larger designs. (Via

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

embroidery framed
Machine embroidery is ideal for abstract designs.

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

embroidery tree
Use different types of stitches to create a 3D tree effect.

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

embroidery scene
Use photos of your favorite memories as inspiration for your next embroidery project.

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

embroidery lines
Source: instagram
Create a marble effect with colored embroidery thread. (Via

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

embroidery portrait
Line art portrait art by Skillshare student Charlene K. 

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

embroidery circle
Source: instagram
Stitched circles are perfect for beginners. (Via

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. 

21. Rainbows

embroidery rainbow
Colorful rainbows are ideal for first-time embroiderers.

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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Written by:

Holly Landis