I saved my most favorite Christmas craft project of the year for last! I had this idea that I wanted an embroidered Christmas pillow to nestle into the chair next to our tree. I’ve been admiring this one and this one on Etsy for a while, but in the end decided to create my own.
Embroidery is a bit of a tradition in my family, my grandmother embroidered all throughout her life as did my mother who created some amazing embroidery when I was younger. I still have a box of my childhood embroidery projects stashed in the closet! I haven’t done any in a long time but decided to dust off my stitching skills and give it another shot.
Embroidery looks intimidating but is really pretty simple once you get familiar with a few basic stitches. It’s not a project that you will finish in one sitting. But it is something you can pick up and put down easily while watching your favorite show or sitting under the light of the Christmas tree. I kept this project really simple and stuck to two very basic stitches, the straight stitch and split stitch. There a great site that I found that explains both stitches better than I would. You can find straight stitch instructions here and split stitch instructions here.
First things first, you’ll need to gather your supplies. To do this project you’ll need a piece of fabric (I used a piece of linen), pencil and paper for sketching, embroidery hoop, embroidery floss, needle, and transfer paper.
One word about the fabric you choose. Linen is a nice fabric for embroidery because of the relatively “even weave” It’s generally easier to embroider on a piece of fabric where you can see the weave versus a silk for example where there isn’t a visible one.
Back to the instructions, next I sketched out my tree on a sheet of paper. I started by outlining the basic tree shape and drawing scroll work along the perimeter and then by filling in the shape. The scrolls are easy to sketch if you think of them like a glorified letter S. It’s a basic S shape with an extra little flourish at both the bottom and the top. The Merry Christmas is hand drawn directly on the fabric, but if you were nervous about this you could print out some pretty font. I was too lazy to take that extra step so I just winged it, you can see my practice attempts on the piece of paper above.
Once you have your drawing how you like it, lay your fabric flat out on a table or hard surface, place a piece of transfer paper on top and then your drawing. Be sure to place it how you want it centered on the front of your pillow and secure with pins in place.
Trace over the entire sketch transferring onto the fabric. It’s hard to see in the picture since it will transfer faintly but in real life it’s enough to see where you need to stitch.
Once your all finished it’s a simple job to sew it into an envelope pillow. You can find detailed instructions on how to sew an envelope pillow here.
I like it a lot. It looks so warm and snuggly on the chair with a soft warm blanket laid underneath the Christmas tree sparkling in the background. Well I’m off to grab a plate full of Christmas cookies and milk. Happy sewing!