farewell smudge city

Now that you’ve been formally introduced to my plants, it’s time to talk about the other focus of A Missyllaneous Life: Crafting. I’ve always been into crafts. One summer I even got paid to make (and teach) macrame. In hindsight, this may have been the best job I’ve ever had. So, in keeping with my love of crafts, a portion of this blog will explore how I incorporate foliage (and other plant-related things) into my creative projects.

But how to begin?!

When I first started embroidering, I had a lot of questions about the best way to get an image onto fabric. I’ve tried a handful of different methods, including drawing freehand directly onto fabric. It worked, but the result was a bit messy… Have you ever tried to erase pencil off cloth using an eraser? Two words: smudge city. Don’t do it!.

Because I prefer to create unique pieces that don’t come from a pattern, here is the method that I’ve found works best for me:

A guide to transferring your embroidery design

Step 1: Make sure you have the right suppliesfullsizerender-2

You’ll need: an embroidery hoop (any size), standard tracing paper, eraser, pencil + sharpener, fabric (I usually use 100% cotton), fine tip marker and a water erasable marker. Having a plant is optional (but highly recommended).

Not pictured: scissors & tape, which may also come in handy!

Step 2: Create a hoop template


Use the embroidery hoop you’ve selected and trace the inside parameter onto the tracing paper. This will ensure that your drawing will fit inside the hoop.

Step 3: Start sketching!


There is no right or wrong when it comes to sketching. It’s always good to have an idea before you start. Sometimes I like to look at Pintrest for inspiration. Just remember, don’t be afraid to change your mind or make a mistake. That’s what the eraser is for.

Step 4: Make it permanent


Once I’m happy with my sketch, I like to make it permanent. Going over the drawing with a fine tip marker makes the drawing darker, which helps with the tracing process.

Step 5: Cut your fabric


Once you’re done creating your image, your almost ready for the transferring process. Make sure your fabric is big enough to fit the hoop before cutting. There should be about an inch or more to spare on all sides. This will allow for you to make the fabric taut.

Step 6: Trace


If you’re lucky enough to own a tracing light box, now is the time to use it. Otherwise, you can rely on a window and some good old sunlight. I would recommend using tape to affix the fabric to your tracing paper. Once your fabric is lined up over your sketch, you are ready to use the water erasable marker to trace the design onto your fabric.

Note: After I take my fabric down from the window, I usually need to touch up the tracing just a bit. Perfection is not the goal… Eventually everything will be covered with thread anyway!

Step 7: Combine hoop + fabric


Simply mount your fabric onto the hoop. Before you tighten the screw on top, use the excess fabric to make the image centered and pull the fabric taut. Tighten the strew, and now you’re ready to start embroidering!

I’ll be sharing the progress of this piece on my Instagram @amissyllaneouslife, so be sure to follow along! Next stop… shopping for embroider thread (my favorite!).


  1. WonderfulWolf

    I’ve always fancied trying embroidery but have never known ‘how to’ if that makes any sense. I’ve cross-stitched before but my mind ends up a little blown each time I see embroidery pieces as they look so magical to me still!


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