Embroidery is a great activity that can add the right aesthetic touch to many sewing projects. From adding a floral print to a hand towel, to adding a bit of flair to your bag! I started to learn embroidery from my mom when I was a kid. I would choose a kit and try to stay focused long enough to complete the full image. The project would seem to drag on and on, and by the time I got somewhat of an acceptable image, I never wanted to see the thing again. After playing around with a few embroidery concepts, I found that it was easier to complete the outline of an image. So, I refined the skill to add a different edge to my projects.

This is a great beginner embroidery mod project. It is a great introduction to the embroidery world without the commitment of completing a kit. This project allows you to use your own image to add a personal touch. It is a great, easy, indoor project for a rainy day.

For this project, I decided to add a personal touch to a helmet bag that I had in my closet. I used a sketched image of an elephant to add a bit of character to the piece. Most of the imaging I have done has held up through multiple washing cycles. In the past I have added some embroidery to hand napkins, towels, pillowcases and shirts. For each project I had to adjust the amount of thread I used to create different thicknesses. For instance, with a fluffy towel I used four strands and a thicker needle on the design. For finer points within a project I would use less thread to help emphasize the full outline. However, for this project it was acceptable to use a set thickness for the thread. This image would take about 4-5 hours, though, different sized embroidery projects will take differing amounts of time.


Project Steps

Embroidery hoop

After collecting the materials, you want to stretch the fabric inside the embroidery hoop. To do so, separate the inner hoop from the outer hoop and place the inner on the back of the chosen fabric swatch. Loosen the screw of the outer hoop, and place it on the front of the fabric.

Press the outer hoop on the front and the inner hoop on the back together with the fabric between the two. Make sure the fabric is taut within the hoop and tighten the screw and make sure the hoop is tight enough that the fabric will stay in place when pressed against.


Using your washable pencil, sketch the image you want to embroider onto the fabric.

Preparing your needle and thread

Take your thread and cut about a foot and a half.

Separate two threads from the six strands to use and lightly twist them back together.

Place the two strand embroidery thread through the eye of the needle.

Stop knot

Tie a knot near the end of the thread to prevent the thread from running through the fabric.


Choose a starting point on you picture, pierce the fabric from the back, and pull until the stop knot hits the fabric.

Creating a backstitch

Here is the tricky part, about halfway back the stitch you just made you want to push your needle up through the back of the fabric.

Repeat steps 5 thru 6 along the outline of the image.

End knot

Once you complete a section of the image, tie a knot as close to the fabric as you can.

Repeat steps 4 through 7 on the rest of the drawn lines until completed!


Enjoy your newly improved bag!