For the most part, this design uses the back stitch, which is great for smooth lines and text. Embroidery floss is compiled of six strands. In general, you can separate the strands out for thinner lines, or use the whole 6 for thick lines. I recommend using 3 strands for the skull outlines, and only 2 strands for the text.
I recommend beginning with the skull outline. Make your way all the way around the skull using the back stitch (pictured below), outline the eyes and nose, using 3 strands. Back stitch the text using only 2 strands. This will help make the details more refined.
After you’ve outlined the eyes and nose, you can leave them like this OR you can fill them using a satin stitch! This stitch creates blocks of solid color in your pattern, and the closely grouped stitches give your final product a shiny, satin-y finish. Using the full 6 strands will fill the space quickly.
Satin stitches are just straight stitches made side by side, very close together, until they fill a space. Come up from the back of your fabric, getting the needle as close as possible to the outside of the outlines (that you did using a back stitch), and come back down directly across, again, on the outside of the outline. Keep going back and forth, so that your satin stitch looks nice and full - you can always go back and fill in bald spots.
Once the shapes of the two eyes and the nose are filled in, secure the thread in the back by burying it in the stitches. Change direction a couple times to secure the thread (here I’ve buried the thread going up, then down behind the backs of the stitches). Just cut the thread at this point, and it should be secured!
To finish your piece, you can add the black backing fabric behind the design.
Put your hoop back on the two layers of fabric, so that the design is centered again, and so that the back looks like this:
Trim the black backing fabric:
Trim the white fabric, leaving a little extra, about 1/4 - 1/2 inch:
Use hot glue to secure the excess fabric:
Press down the edges while the glue is warm:
Finish with a ribbon! Congratulations! YOU ARE KILLING IT!
Embroidery floss is compiled of six strands. In general, you can separate the strands out for thinner lines, or use the whole 6 for thick lines. For most of this design, you’ll use two strands from the six. For the stars, use only one strand.
Once you’ve finished the triangle behind the trees using the basic back stitch, you can begin the pines. I recommend using one long stitch for the trunks, to make sure they look very straight.
To make the branches, I recommend beginning at the base of each tree trunk. Bring the needle up just next to the trunk and stitch over the trunk.
For example, for a branch going left, come up on the right of the trunk, and stitch the branch over the trunk, going down to the left. Next, come up on the left side of the trunk, come over the trunk and down to the right for the next branch. This will begin to resemble a fishtail braid!
There are guides for the branches printed on your fabric, but you can add as many branches to fill in the space as you’d like. In my example, I added enough branches to almost fill the space, leaving just enough space for the moonlight to shine through.
The stars are just simple stitches going one over the other until you have a star! Since these stars are meant to look tiny and distant, I recommend using only one strand of embroidery floss for this step.
When you’re completely finished stitching, and you’ve finished the back of the hoop however you’d like, you can hang your piece using the black ribbon. You can also tie it in a bow and place your piece proudly on a shelf.
If you’re working on one of our DIY kits, here are some tips for starting and finishing your piece.
First, embroidery floss is compiled of six strands. You can separate the strands out for thinner lines, or use the whole 6 for thick lines. For these designs, pull two strands from the six. Ideal floss length is up to you, but about arm’s length is usually good. Too short, and you have a lot of stopping and starting with new strands. Too long, and you’ll get tangles and knots while you’re working.
This is how I like to thread a needle with my embroidery floss:
This is how I like to create my basic back stitch:
This is how I finish a line of stitches:
This is how to make snowflakes / stars:
When you’ve finished stitching the entire design, and you’ve secured your floss by either threading it under previous stitches on the backside of the fabric, or you’ve tied knots, you can do a couple of things to finish the hoop.
You can trim the excess fabric and call it a day! This leaves the back stitching exposed, but if you plan to hang your piece, no one will be able to see the back.
You can gather and sew the excess fabric together, behind the piece, pulling it tight and securing it with a knot.
You can un-hoop your piece, place another piece of fabric behind it to cover the back, re-hoop it with the extra layer (make sure you center it again), and trim the excess (or leave the small buffer and hot glue the extra down inside the hoop). Some people use a fun printed fabric for the back as a cute, unexpected pop of color.
You can sew or hot glue a piece of felt to the back, or even put card stock, cut to size, in the back. Hang your piece on a wall, place it on a bookshelf, or decorate your Christmas tree!