3D Embroidered Lettering for Beginners | Imogen White | Skillshare

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3D Embroidered Lettering for Beginners

teacher avatar Imogen White, Stress less, Embroider more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

12 Lessons (32m)
    • 1. Intro to 3D Lettering for Beginners

    • 2. Class Materials Overview

    • 3. The 3D Shadow Technique

    • 4. Composition

    • 5. Choosing your Colours

    • 6. Backstitch and Capitals

    • 7. Chain Stitch and Cursive Writing

    • 8. Visualising Brick Stitch

    • 9. Brick Stitch and Cursive Writing

    • 10. Adding Simple Decorations

    • 11. Adding a Felt Backing

    • 12. Project Overview & Goodbye

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About This Class

Jump into the world of embroidered lettering - the easy way! This class will take you through three different stitches perfect for illustrating your favourite quotes and words; backstitch, chain stitch and brick stitch. We'll cover everything from composing your quote on the fabric, choosing colours, different kinds of writing and the shadow technique to make your lettering pop. At the end we'll learn how to add a felt backing, perfect if you're intending to give the hoop as a special gift, or to sell the piece. 

Here are all the materials you'll need to complete the project: 

  • Embroidery thread in your chosen colours. I recommend DMC thread, and you can see my suggested colours further on in the guide.
  • Calico material. Calico is inexpensive and great for beginners!
  • Thin light-coloured felt for the backing
  • a 6 inch/ 18 cm embroidery hoops.
  • A heat-erasable pen to trace the patterns
  • Size 5 embroidery needle
  • A pair of scissors

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Imogen White

Stress less, Embroider more


Hi! I'm Imogen, a maker and embroidery teacher from Australia. 

After going through every craft imaginable as a child, my Great Aunty Norma taught me to embroider when I was 14 years old, and I haven't looked back since! Embroidery is such a wonderful craft, and my goal is to make it accessible for people of all skill levels! 

Thanks for stopping by and I hope learning embroidery brings a little extra sunshine into your life!

See full profile

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1. Intro to 3D Lettering for Beginners: Hi, I'm imaging. I'm from Australia and I'm the makeup behind salts rates. Welcome to 3D embroidered lettering using three simple beginnings for extinguish, chain stitch and backstage, I'll show you how to create a shadow effect that will make you lettering jumped off the fabric, will cover choosing colors, composition, and different techniques for capitalists and cursive writing. At the end, I'll give you a few suggestions for decorating your cases and how to add a long-lasting felt vacuum for beginners and advanced witches alive, this class will give you the technical skills to illustrate your favorite sayings and quotes. Thanks for joining me on the Janet and I'll see you soon. 2. Class Materials Overview: Let's go through all materials that you'll need to complete the project. So you'll need heat erasable pen. You can use the friction brand or any other brand. As always, you'll need your size five embroidery needle, some calico, and a six-inch hoop. I'm using a flexi tube, but you can use a wooden one if that's all you've got. You'll need a pair of scissors and some contrasting thread colors. 3. The 3D Shadow Technique: So the first and most important technique that we'll be using for this class is the shadow technique. So basically, the first thing I want you to do is to write out any word in capitals. I'm gonna use my name just as an example. And we're going to use are colored pencils to visualize what we'll be doing with our needle. So after we've stitched at our words, we're going to be adding a shade on the right side of the letter. And the way that we know where to put the shading is to follow the direction of that part of the letter. So for the m, for the second part, we've drawn it down in this diagonal fashion. And that means that the right side is on the side that you can see me coloring in. But when we're doing the second part of the m, we can see that we're going in an upward motion. So that means for this particular part of the lead up, that's where the right side is. And then when my going down again, we're also putting that emphasis on the right side. So again, you can see with an o, we're starting with 1.5 of o. You can see the inner part of the O is the rights are at, but then when we're going on the outside, it's the outside part of the O. So I'd really encourage you to grab out some colored pencils and really sketch out this shadow technique so you can see what's happening with your needle. So what can also really help when you're just practicing the technique is to use your finger to trace out the direction of the letter. So for some people, this will come really naturally and you get what I mean by going on the right side. But otherwise, it even helps me at the beginning to really trace the direction of the letter. So there we go. That's what we're gonna do with capitals. But let's also do a practice of cursive letters. But going to follow that same technique. But when we have so many curves involved, it is a good idea to be sketching it out and tracing it with your finger. So what I'm doing is just making those letters a bit thicker because that's exactly what we'll be doing with our chain stitch and outbreaks pitch a little bit further along in the class. So once again, I'm grabbing their blue pencil to show you where to put the shadow in and following along with the curves. So you can see that we started on the outside of the eye, but when we're coming down, it's going to be on the inner side of the letter. And then following along and getting them, we can see that we're starting with a bit of a diagonal with the M and then a tiny bit on the outside coming down. And then we're going on the inner side of the M. Now when you're doing an OH in cursive, this is when it really, really helps to practice because it can get a little bit confusing, especially with the inner curve as well. But you can watch along with me as well. The great thing about this technique is that obviously will be using it for our embroidery, but you could also be using it just for your general hand lettering with painting or with colored pencils as well. So we're all good to get started. 4. Composition: The most important part of composition is not to overthink it and to just have fun with it and do a bit of an experiment. So I'm just going to show you a really basic way to work out the composition of your lettering pieces. So I've put out hoop, which is the actual size, who will be framing it in, in the middle there. And I've drawn across so that we can see where the middle is. And then I'm drawing two straight lines, basically parallel above the middle of the loop. So for this one we're just using our Capitals and writing be kind. So RB is right in the middle of the hoop. And then of course we want the i and the n to line up with a, B, and E for being kind. So if you like, when you're drawing it on, you can also use a ruler to draw it directly onto the page. And remember, if you're using a heat erasable pen, you can really easily just arrays any of the mistakes you might have made for other people. If you're feeling a bit unsure about riding directly onto your fabric, you can always design and on paper first and then trace it by putting it up to a window, digitizing it and tracing it off your screen. So if you want to have your riding slightly curved, we're going to have the same process again. We're drawing those parallel lines around the center and then lightly sketching a curved line over the edge of those straight lines. And this means that we can add a really nice subtle curves to our lettering. 5. Choosing your Colours: Before we get started with stitching, let's have a chat about color choices. So one way you could go about it is to choose a color and then simply choose a darker color that will compliment it. For example, you could grab something like this light bubblegum pink and then pick a darker rose pink to go with it in the background. The same thing here where we've got a really bright yellow and then I've chosen a mustard yellow TB the shadow. Another thing you could do is to choose the compliment of the color. So for example, here we've got purple and then we might want to combine that with a green as well. Of course, another thing that you wanted to, when you're choosing a really light color like yellow, you can back out with the darker color, like the pink, and that will make it really pop. Of course, you can always use black to be in the shadow, but I would love to see ever and trying out some really creative combinations for your project. 6. Backstitch and Capitals: Let's get started on our very first it, which is backstage. And with this we'll be using it to stitch out some capital letters. So remembering our composition lesson, I'm just marking out the very center of the piece. And I've also got the hoop centered in the middle of the fabric so we know exactly where we're going to be stitching. So there I'm just sketching out be in capitals. And then once again, I'm gonna make sure that the i and the n of kind of lined up with the B. So that means we'll have everything straight. So I'm pretty happy with how that's looking. But remember, if you're not super happy with how you've written it out, you can always grab your hair dryer or your iron to erase everything you've written with the heat erasable pen. So for the lettering will be starting with light pink threat. And for this, I'm going to use all six strands of the thread, especially with backstage, since it is a bit of a thinner stitch, it's great to use extra threads. So we'll be using all six and I'm just popping two knots in the end of the thread. Another great thing to do is just to condition the thread, especially when you're using six strands as a greater chance that it might get a bit tangled. So we're just pulling it through the eye of the needle back and forth. To set up the fabric in the flexi hoop. Or you'll need to do is pop out the outer ring, then put the entering under the fabric and making sure the designers in the center and then just pop the outer ring on top. I really enjoy using flexi hoops because they keep the fabric really tired. So if you can find one, I definitely recommend using one. So let's get started with our backs it, so we're not starting at the very top of the line but just a little bit down. And then making a small stitch we're bringing up and needle in front and then putting the needle back down in the same hole. And that's how we'll be continuing for all of our backstage. Great, so now that we've finished the k, or you can choose to do is simply keep stitching or you could knock off every single individual letter. It's really up to you. At the end, you might be able to see some of the thread at the back, especially if using thin fabric. I normally just keep going with the thread and that's just as easy. So there we are. We've finished with all the lettering and we're going to finish off in the normal way that's making allude to the left. And bringing Annie under the last stitch and then bringing it up in the middle of the loop that we've just created. If you like, and you want to make sure it's nice and strong, we'll do it again. So look to the left needle under the last stitch and then bringing it up through the middle of that loop. Great, so there we are. We've finished all of our letter. The next thing we wanna do is to add the shadow. If you like, you can grab your heat erasable pen and just mark out the areas on the right side of the letters where you'll be putting in the shallow. If you're feeling confident, you can just start stitching straight away. Now to add the shadow, I'm using a darker red color. So once again, I'm snipping off a length about up to my elbow. Now for this to add, the shadow will be splitting the thread in half. So I am using only three strands to stitch the back stitch shadow. And once again, we're tying to knots in the end of that thread. And we're going to condition the thread as well just to make sure I won't get too tangled. So here we're using our backstage to add in the shadow. This time we're going to start actually right at the bottom of the k, bringing our needle up and then putting it down, just up the curve of the k there. So it's up to you whether you would like to do lots of small stitches or if you'd rather do some long stitches like you can see me doing on the edge of the kay? And there we are. We've finished all of our literary and that's ready to add some declarations. 7. Chain Stitch and Cursive Writing: In this lesson, we're going to look at how to use chain stitch to stitch cursive letters. So I've jumped ahead and I've already sketched this on. But if you'd like to trace it on, you'll find the document in the project Resources tab. For this, we're using yellow trip before and a pink 3867. So for the chain stitch, i'm going to use three strands. And that's generally the sweet spot for the number of strands for lettering. So what we do for chain stitch is bringing that up. We're going to hold the thread over to the left with their left them. And then we're putting our nato back in, either in the same hall or just next to it. Since it's the first it, make sure you take special care not to stop the naught as you're bringing it down into that same home to complete this ditch where bringing the needle up on the line and in the middle of that loop that we just created. So continuing on, we're holding it out to the left and we're putting that needle anywhere inside the loop that we just created. And then we're bringing that needle up through the middle. So for the last time with that change ditch, we're holding it over to the left and then bringing it up through the middle of that loop. And that's how we're going to continue for all the rest of our changed it and all finished without Institute. So the next step is optional. But if you'd like to, you can grab your heat erasable pen and just mock out the sections way You want that shadow to be. Now remember, this will all be erased with a hair dryer at the end. So you don't have to stress about making any mistakes. Since we use three strands to the chain stitch. In this case to do the shadow, we're going to use just two strands of the pink thread to add in the shadow. So now we'll continue on and use some back stitch to stitch in the shadows for the very last pot. And that's grabbing a hedge in getting rid of those lines is definitely such a relief when all the Hadza go on. Otherwise, it does look quite messy. But it all finished. Our changed it. And you can see that adding that pink really makes the yellow lettering Pope. 8. Visualising Brick Stitch: Before we jump straight into stitching up bricks it, I'm gonna do some sketches for you so you can visualize how we'll be doing. Our lettering. Brexit is actually just backstage, stitched in rows so that it looks like bricks stacked on top of one another. So as you can imagine, it's pretty straightforward when we're doing our capital letters. So here I'm just writing out be kind in our capitals. And if we wanted it this thickness, we would probably just do about two rows of Brixton. So it's super simple and it's a great way to make some thicker lettering if that's the kind of style you're after. So what we're going to do to set up our cursive lettering is basically to write out the words. And then we're going to read them again just slightly to the right to create a thicker lettering. And then of course, at the end, we'll also be adding our shadow technique. So here you can see I've written at B kind in the cursive. So because we want these to look like quite beautiful kind of calligraphy writing, you can write it again but just slightly to the right to set up your lettering. Now remember that I'll also have a copy of these lettering in the project and Resources section if you'd prefer to trace it instead. But this is one technique that you can use to rat out your own favorite phrases. So what I'll do here is just color it in. And you can see that in certain points of the word like, let's look at the very top of the b. It's going to be a little bit thinner than in other places. So that means we're going to use different amounts of rows of Brixton in different places on the word. But that's what we'll be going through in the second part of this video. So as you can see, we've got it all colored in so we can have a look at the different thicknesses along the word. So one thing you can do here is grab a black fine liner or permanent marker and just trace around the edge of what you've already written. And this means that you'll be able to trace it straight onto your fabric. If you not feeling super confident about drawing straight onto your fabric. To add the shadows at the end, we'll be using that same technique that we went over in our very first lesson on the shadow technique. And there we are. We're all ready to get started with fabrics ditch. 9. Brick Stitch and Cursive Writing: All right, we're ready for the fun part and that stitching in the Brixton H. So for this, I'll be using a light pink for the lettering and a darker blue for the shadow. So as you can see, I've already written the lettering onto the fabric, but you can of course, trace that on. So I'm using three strands of the pink thread and I've gone ahead and tired and not in the end. So the first thing that we're going to do is stitcher line of back stitch on just one line of the letter that we've written them. And that's because we're going to go back and fill in small sections at a time. So that's the way I recommend doing Brixton it rather than trying to stitch the whole letter at once because we're dealing with so many different thicknesses. And that means different amounts of rows of Brixton, which I'd really recommend just filling in little sections at a time like we're about to do right now in this lesson. So we finished the outline of that top part. And now we're going to go ahead and fill in the next line. So I'm bringing that needle down right in the middle of where the other stitch ended. So that's how we're going to achieve our brick effect. And now obviously with backstage and bringing the needle down in that same hall. So that's how we're going to create that brick effect. For this section of the B. As you can see, it's a little bit thicker. I'm going to add three rows of bricks speech. But as we're going up to the curve, you can see that right at the top, we're only going to have two rows of Brixton. So when it comes to this particular stage, it really pays just to take your time and experiment with the thicknesses of the threads that you're using and how many threads suit that part of the cursive lettering that you're doing. So there we go. I'm just doubling back again and I'm stitching in that third row of the B. All finished outbreaks digits. So you can see all the different thicknesses that we've stitched in. The last part we're going to do is just using three strands of the blue thread. We're adding in a row of backstage to add in the shadow for outbreaks. All of our lettering is finished and we have removed any erasable pen. We're ready to add decorations. 10. Adding Simple Decorations: Now that we're all finished our lettering, it's time to add some simple declarations. So for our backs to troop, I've just added a simple heart in backstage around the edge to really let the lettering itself shine. Now for the change to it, I decided to add a little daisy in the center. So here's a quick refresher of lazy Daisy stage if you haven't done it before. So what you wanna do is draw one big circle and one small one for the center of the Daisy. We're coming up on that center line and bringing the needle back just next away. You brought it up in the first place. Holding the thread out to the side with our left-hand where making a loop and bringing the thread up in the middle of that loop and then adding a small stitch at the end to keep that down. So once again my coming up in the middle on the line but putting the needle back in the same hall or just next to it. And we're bringing the needle up in the middle of that loop that we're making. Last of all, we are doing what I call a sticky tape stitch and just making a tiny stitch to bring that down. And last of all, we fill in the center with some sentenced it. And now for the very satisfying part of removing the heat erasable pen just with a hair dryer on the highest heat. You can also use an iron if you prefer. And last of all, for our bricks ditch, since the lettering is so beautiful already, I decided to just add a couple of little stars in straight stitch. So once again, I'm using three strands of thread like I do for mostly everything. And, and just doing little straight stitches to make these startles. You don't have to knock them off at the end. You might be able to see them at the end. You might be able to see kind of the tales of the thread. But in general, as it's just a quick decoration, I don't not the ends. I just keep going along and adding in those styles wherever I like. And there we go, all finished. Well, I hope this has given you some great ideas for adding some simple declarations to your hand, lead and pieces. 11. Adding a Felt Backing: In this lesson, we'll be going over how to add a felt backing to your piece of embroidery. So the first thing we're going to do is pop out the inner ring of the hoop that you are going to frame your piece in. And we're going to trace around the edge with a heat erasable pen. You could really use any penny like since you won't be able to see the back. But I always like to use the heat erasable pen just to make sure that we can get rid of any of those marks. So now what we're going to do is take the piece out of that flexi hoop and we're going to set it up in the hoop. Of course, if you need to, you can iron the piece beforehand just to make sure there's no creases. Since we do want this to be a newb for quite a long time. And it's really important that it is looking great when we get it in them. The next thing about a felt backing is that we need this to be super, super tight in the hoop. So that's what I'm doing now. I'm just making sure that it's sitting really nicely. So pulling a little bit and tightening the screw, and then pulling and tightening the screw. So now I'm happy with how it's sitting. You can cut around the edge and leave about two centimeters or one inch. And now we're going to do what I like to call a drawstring backing. So using three strands of thread, we're making a knot and then we're stitching a running stitch in the middle of the fabric that's left. That's just dipping the fabric in and out of the fabric that's around the edge of that hoop. So it doesn't really matter what color of thread who used to do this part because he won't see it. So when you got to the edge of the thread, you want to pull your thread really tight. So as you can see, it kind of makes a drawstring effect, bringing in that fabric. And then we're going to finish off the thread as we always do. So making a leap to the left, bringing the needle through the fabric and up through the middle of that loop. So look to the left, bring the needle through the fabric and up through the middle of the loop, pulling that really tight ends, snipping off. So if you prefer, you could also leave it at this point and just leave it with a drawstring backing. But if you'd like to continue along with the felt backing, grab your circle of felt. And first of all, just make sure that it really does match the edge or the felt. And then I'm going to use some needles to pin the felt to the fabric that's already on the hoop. If you've got sewing pins, you could also use those. I just happened to have a lot of needles sitting around, so that's what I'm using. And basically this is just going to hold the felt in place while we do our blanket stitch around the edge. Great. So once again we're using three strands of thread and we're going to start with the very first part of our blanket stitch. So you want to bring in needle up underneath the fabric and bringing it up right at the edge of the hoop. So with blankets to inch where holding the thread out to the left and making a loop. And then we're bringing that needle up through both the felt and the fabric and coming up in the middle of the loop that we've just made. Be really careful that you don't catch your thread in the screw at the top. And so then that's how we're going to continue along for all of the hoop, were making that loop, holding it out to the left and then bringing the needle through both the felt and the fabric at the bottom to make sure that we're stitching that felt backing on really nice and tightly. So when you need to finish off the thread, because you probably need quite a few lengths of thread to get all the way around. We're actually still finishing off in the same way that we always do. So we're making a leap to the left. And then we're bringing up through and up through the middle of that loop and pulling it tight. So when you're on that final, final step, but you might like to do at the end is just thread the needle through a couple of the other stitches you've done at the beginning. Just to further strengthen the not that you've already tied on the edge of your thread. The great thing about doing a felt backing is that you've always got the option of being able to reframe it later on. When we're using things like hot glue, it does mean that the piece is pretty much permanently stuck inside the hoop. But this means you'll always be able to undo it and reframe it in another way if that's what did like. So then all we need to do is snip that off. And there we are. We've all finished our felt back in. 12. Project Overview & Goodbye: The project for this class is to create a hoot based on your favourite saying. If you're not quite sure where to stop, I'll include the patents and the DMC colleague odds below. And you find that in the project Guide. Congratulations on making it to the end of the course. I'm really looking forward to seeing what you come up with. So remember to upload a picture of your project in the project Gallery. Thanks for watching. And if you've enjoyed the course, please leave a review at the end. There. I'll see you next time.