A closet staple that’s currently trending is embroidered apparel. Albeit charming, the quirky embroidery designs you adore are not at the sweetest price point. Luckily, it’s moderately easy to embroider your own clothing by hand. Once you familiarize yourself with some basic stitches, embroidery literally becomes second nature.
This post may contain affiliate links, read our full disclosure here.
Supplies You’ll Need for Hand Embroidery
- embroidery hoop – Keeps your fabric stretched for easy stitching.
- embroidery floss – Choose one color thread for simplicity or use the entire rainbow for a whole lot of wild.
- embroidery pen – For drawing designs directly onto your fabric.
- embroidery needle
- water-soluble stabilizer – An alternative for drawing designs directly. For this method, print your design onto the stabilizer and place it over your fabric as a guide.
- iron-on backing – Attaches as backing to prevent threads from becoming loose and snagging your skin.
- thimble – Protects your finger from needle pokes!
Hand Embroidery Stitches for Beginners
If you’re new to hand embroidery, I highly recommend watching this super helpful video to learn the 10 basic embroidery stitches.
- Running Stitch – 0:19
- Back Stitch – 1:14
- Split Stitch – 2:32
- Stem Stitch – 3:46
- French Knots – 5:11
- Chain Stitch – 6:22
- Feather Stitch 7:21
- Satin Stitch – 8.26
- Lazy Daisy – 9:31
- Seed Stitch – 10:53
Practice Practice Practice!
And when you feel comfortable, grab your favorite t-shirt or blue jeans and get inspired with these 50 easy DIY embroidered shirt designs you can do by hand.
DIY Cacti Embroidery
Courtesy A Pair and A Spare DIY
Geneva goes over hand and machine embroidery in this easy to follow tutorial. For a quick introduction to embroidery, this is a great place to start. Plus, her embroidery designs are so very cute.
The Galaxy in Your Hands
Separate your embroidery threads for detailed designs like this one.
Courtesy Style and Forks
Keep things black and white or add color to make each letter pop.
Bonjour in Cursive
Courtesy Me & Mr. Jones
DIY Embroidered Rose Shirt
DIY Penguin Embroidery
Courtesy Linda Loves
Tumblr Inspired ‘Wednesdays’ DIY Embroidered Shirt
Nude Corn on the Cob
Paint Something It Might Be Wordless
Eggs for Breakfast
Fake It ‘Til You Make It
Koi Fish Pond
No New Friends
Do Small Things with Great Love
DIY Watermelon Embroidery
DIY Monogram Embroidery
Courtesy Flax and Twine
Girl and Her Sunflower
Growing Old Together
‘It’s the Little Things’ Tumblr Inspired Shirt
Courtesy Sofia Clara
Simple Cat & Butterfly
3D Floral Embroidery
Nevertheless She Persisted.
Courtesy A Pretty Happy Home
Brandy Melville Inspired DIY Embroidery
Embroidered Shirt Pocket (Free Pattern)
Courtesy Miyuu .Kitty
French Knot Sheep
Courtesy Sam Gillespie
French Knot Sheep How-To
Courtesy Motte’s Blog
DIY Embroidered ‘You Break It You Buy It’ Shirt
Hand Embroidered Denim
Courtesy Lauren Conrad
Lauren has a great tutorial for the use of backing. Definitely check it out if you want to use this method instead of a direct trace.
Grab the Monet and Lets Gogh
Eat Pasta Run Fasta
Abstract Triangles on Denim
Courtesy The Spruce Crafts
Floral Faux Corduroy Pocket Embroidery
Courtesy Killer Crafts
Flying Bee Embroidery
Courtesy Bee’s Knees Industries
DIY Hand Embroidered Cat
Courtesy Swoodson Says
Hand Embroidered Planet Tee
Courtesy Marie Claire
Whale Fight (Free Pattern)
Courtesy Wild Olive
Looking for more ideas and inspiration?