Tracing With Thread Embroidery Project

This is a fun embroidery project for all ages and skill levels! (If you have a young or beginning sewer, check out a few tips for modifying this project.)

You can also incorporate this project into other projects – the Snoopy embroidery was made into a bookmark, and my daughter’s rainbow was crafted into a small pillow!)

You could even do this to modify other projects including your clothing!  The jeans below are from Target, but would be very simple to do yourself!



  • embroidery needle
  • embroidery thread – comes as six strands together, but we are going to separate it out into 3 and 3 (if you are not sure how to do this, see my post Get Ready For Some Hand Sewing)
  • embroidery hoop
  • a solid colored fabric – I like to use just a plain white cotton fabric, even just a large scrap or an old pillowcase would work fine!
  • fabric marker, Pilot Frixion pen (my favorite choice!), tailor’s chalk, etc. – you will need something to mark out your design on the fabric with
  • a picture or design you would like to trace, or you can draw a design freehand as well (for younger ones, a fun idea – and a great gift for grandparents or for Mother’s Day – is to have them draw their own picture on the fabric or write their name for them to “trace over” with thread. It makes a very special keepsake!) You can even use preprinted fabric and sew on the design (see the picture in Step 4 below).


  1. On your fabric, trace or draw your picture. This is the same step from the Basic Embroidery Sampler. You can tape your image and fabric up to a light source for easier tracing if you would like! Or just draw something freehand!

2. Place your fabric in the embroidery hoop.

3. Prepare your needle and thread.

4. Start sewing and tracing your design.  You have quite a few options here!  To make solid, connected lines, you can do the back stitch (the easiest one!), the split stitch, the stem stitch, or any other stitch you would like!  Feel free to incorporate any stitches you have learned (for tutorials on many different embroidery stitches see the Basic Embroidery Sampler post).  For ages 7 and younger, I recommend working on the running stitch and the back stitch. Here’s another example of a work in progress:

Here is an example of embellishing preprinted fabric with embroidery. You can take any cute fabric print and sew on top of it to make it fancy!!! I did the one below with the back stitch.

Another fun option – did you know you can color in your fabric with colored pencils???  Once you have completed all the sewing, take your project out of the embroidery hoop and very carefully and gently color in the lines – it gives a really awesome effect!!!

Try incorporating your design into another project, such as a zipper pouch, or just hang it on the wall and admire your work! 🙂 

Happy sewing!!!

   – Jamie

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