This year, because my amazing team has helped create so many lovely projects for our 12 days series, I’ve been able to spend a little more holiday time with my family. Which has been a huge blessing, but I did want to add a couple of my projects in to the week and here is one of them.
A couple years ago, I made a large scale embroidered heart pillow and I still love the idea of large scale embroidery. I’ ve been wanting to make something else, only a little easier than actually sewing. So, I decided to try out a Christmas themed embroidery art piece.
Rudolph The Red Nose Embroidered Reindeer
The project itself is pretty straight forward. And can be done in about an hour, or less.
1 Sheet of Foam Core
Yardstick and a 12 inch Ruler
Building Square and box cutter (if you are using a frame and need to cut the foam core down)
Frame (optional) I used and 18″ x 24″ frame
1. Cut Foam Core to Size.
This step is only necessary if you choose to frame your piece, if not skip to step two. If you are using the optional frame, you need to carefully remove the back of the frame and pull out either the back or the printed picture that is in the frame. Using the frame backing or the image from the frame as a template, cut the foam core to the same size as the frame. I used an 18″ by 24″ sheet.
2. Mark out the Embroidery Grid
Since embroidery is done in a grid you need to mark out the grid. I sized my grid to be 1″ squares. TO avoid drawing the grid on your board, create a ruler of sorts on the top and bottom edge of your board. Then use your yardstick to mark each corner for the grid.
First, find the center of the foam core board you are going to use. If you plan on framing the piece then you can mark directly on the edges of the board. If you don’t plan on framing the piece, then line the top and bottom edge of the frame with a really easy to remove painters tape. (Remember not to use anything too sticky!! You don’t want to rip the paper on the foam core when you remove the tape, test the edge to be safe that it will remove before continuing with the project)
Because the embroidery pattern of my deer is an odd number wide, I needed to find the central inch or column on the board to center the artwork on the board. For example my board is 18″ wide. On the very bottom edge of my board, I found the 9″ mark and marked and 1/2 inch on either side of that mark with red ink. The red marks are directly on the 8 1/2″ and 9 1/2″ inch mark on my ruler. That is the central column for my grid layout, the place where my Rudolph’s nose will go.
Now that the central column is placed, mark every you need to mark every inch til the edge of the board from those center marks out. Repeat on the top of the board.
My pattern was a little less nice than the one I am giving you. But as a note what helped me most was to number each and every “X” as I marked them on their row.
Just right click and save the pattern to print for making the art piece.
3. Center Your Embroidery
To begin you need to center the embroidery with the top and bottom of your board. Mine was 18″ tall so I counted up 3″ from the bottom before I began marking anything.
4. Begin Marking Each Row
Begin marking the rows of “X”, starting with the bottom left hand corner of the red Rudolf nose. To do this you will need your yardstick and a pencil. Line up your yardstick with the top and bottom center mark, on the left. When the yardstick is lined up with the central marks, count 3 inches up from the bottom, and put 1 little dot at the inch mark, then go up every inch drawing a tiny dot, for as many “X’s” as you need on that particular row. (see image below)
Do not push to hard or you will puncture the board, and you don’t want to do that just yet.
Repeat on the right hand side central column. Measuring 3 inches from the bottom and marking a tiny dot on each inch up til you have as many dots as you need for that particular row. BE SURE that you are lined up with the other dots horizontally. To make a proper grid.
Once you are sure the grid is right you can take the pencil and a smaller ruler and draw the “X” diagonally from each dot across the column like the image below, following along with the pattern, like you would do if your were embroidering.
5. Color in the first column of “X” according to the pattern
When the pencil has filled in the marks and you feel like it looks right, take your red sharpie, and lightly erase the bottom “X” and color in the bottom “X” (this is the only one you have to erase, because otherwise you can’t erase the pencil marks, which I learned the hard way.)
The rest of the “X” marks should be done with the gold sharpie. You can do this part right over the pencil and the pencil will not be visible.
On my test sheet, I accidentally poked through the board with my pencil when I was drawing a dot on the board. But I actually found that I like how it worked, so after I was positive that the dots were in the right place, I took the point of my pencil and poked a hole at each intersection dot. And in my opinion, it really makes it look more like a sewn piece of art work or just adds dimension. ( See the final image and you may notice what I mean about adding a bit of dimension)
6. Work your way out from the center, following the pattern.
I marked off each row as I finished them, and then counted up the next row and marked them on the board. Don’t get to far ahead with out marking the “X” on the board with the pencil at least so you don’t get confused by all the dots.
If you accidentally mess up, (like I did on my ears!) Try to make the mistake mirror image on the other side, if it works with the image. Then it hides the problem, for example my ears are one “X” longer than the pattern… but it works and I hid my accidental punctured hole!
7. Frame it, or remove tape and hang it up.
When the “X”‘s are all done, just pop it in the frame and BAM! Done!
P.S. In case you don’t have time to make the large scale version, here it is in a 8.5 x 11 printable version, click on the link to save it to your computer.
Be sure to check out another of my favorite reindeer ideas, the reindeer garland idea from last year: