With this kit I really wanted to create something Christmas themed that wasn't overly traditional / festive. The Christmas Cactus was perfect because it's a succulent, it's pink and fluffy and you can keep it up all year around. This tutorial (to accompany this kit) will provide you with all the basics of embroidery, whilst also allowing you to practice mindfulness and create something beautiful!
Before you start, ensure that you have collected all the equipment that you will need. You can find more information on supplies in this guide to beginners embroidery, or purchase the Christmas Cactus Embroidery Kit.
You will need:
- Embroidery thread
- Erasable pen
Place your chosen design behind the fabric. Using an erasable pen trace the design onto your fabric where you would like the embroidery to be. Please be aware that erasable ink can leave a ‘ghost’ line on fabric once erased, so double check your placement before tracing your design. I would advise only using erasable ink on areas that you will cover with embroidery.
Take your embroidery hoop and loosen the metal fastening on top to separate the two hoops. Place the inner hoop behind the fabric, directly beneath the design. Place the outer hoop on top of the fabric and gently press the outer hoop onto the inner hoop, then tighten the fastening so that the fabric is not slipping and sliding. Be careful not to stretch the fabric - loosen the fastening if necessary. Ideally you’d like the design to be centred within the hoop with the fabric pulled taut but not stretched. This is a tricky bit and requires a bit of trial and error, so if it doesn’t work first time, just try again!
Now you are ready to embroider! Pick an embroidery thread colour to use and cut off approx one arm’s length of thread. Look closely and you will see that the thread is made up of six strands. For the leaves of the cactus we want just two strands - carefully separate the thread so that you have just two strands together. Thread onto your needle and knot one end. Try to knot three or four times in the same place to create a knot that will hold securely.
Embroidery is a little like drawing with thread! With that in mind, decide where you will begin ‘drawing’ your design and bring your needle up through the fabric from underneath the fabric.
We will use a variety of stitches for this design. I would strongly recommend that you follow the video tutorial for this kit. Continue until you have embroidered your entire design
It is likely that you will need to use more than one length of thread for this project. Once you have finished the first length, you will need to knot it securely before beginning with the next length of thread. Flip your embroidery hoop over so that you are looking at the back of your design. Slip the needle under a stitch that is close to where you have finished stitching, loop the remaining thread around your needle a couple of times and then pull the needle all the way through until you have created a little knot. Repeat once to secure the embroidery. Snip off the remaining thread and continue with a new length of two thread (see step 3).
Once the embroidery is complete, knot one final time (see step 6) and snip off the remaining thread. Carefully remove your hoop and use an iron or hair dryer to remove the ink of the erasable pen. The ink will disappear when exposed to the heat.
Re-hoop the fabric (see step 2), making sure the fabric is pulled tight. A good tip is to flick the fabric - it should sound like a drum! Tighten the fastening on the hoop as tight as you are able.
There are many ways to ‘finish’ the back of an embroidery hoop, but the easiest and quickest way that doesn’t require any extra materials is to cut away the excess fabric as close to the hoop as you are able.
If you need any help following these instructions, please feel free to get in touch at any time - I am always happy to help! Make sure to share your finished projects on Instragram and tag @deliciousmonstertea.