Sunday, June 21, 2015

Adding Paint to Hand Embroidery

Design (mine is slightly modified) is from Green Bean Baby's Etsy shop
 I've never added anything to hand embroidery aside from the thread, but I'm branching out!  The finished sample on Etsy had some color added, and my piece looked all wrong with just the lines of red thread for the hair.  The others from Green Bean looked fine to me without additional color, but this one needed more.
Off I went, down the crafting rabbit hole, to find a way to save the already half-embroidered piece.  The short and sweet is that I wasted too much time and money before contacting one of my artsy bloggers, Tiny Rotten Peanuts, for ideas on fabric paint.  She suggested a few things including Jacquard Textile paint which I ended up using.  Jacquard's True Red and colorless extender were the final choices to get the red here.   

I wanted the extender to make the color less opaque.  That didn't happen, but the extender did make the paints bleed less.  That was really important since I had already embroidered the hair outline. 

Once the painting was finished, I realized that the red thread practically disappeared in the paint.  Black would have worked better around the painted area.  Rather than pick all the red thread out, I weaved Christmas Red Fuzzy Stuff thread which is literally fuzzy thread with gold metallic pieces in it.  You can see it in this photo.

Love the end result. Being that she looks like a bit of a hussy, I gave her gold bead earrings along with a bead on the bodice.  

Lessons learned:
  • Never use water with the paint because it will bleed (unless you want that effect).
  • Sharpies don't hold their color in the wash.  In fact, of all the products I tried, Sharpies were the worst for bleeding and failing in the washing and drying tests.
  • Mix more than you think you will need and find a tiny container to save some extra in case you miss a spot--not that I have any experience with that.  That giant carrot top was a design choice--really.


  1. Redheads aren't hussies! Sometimes we're just ... generous with our affections ... and free-spirited ;) Yours is a real looker! Her 3 redheaded cousins are quite lovely too, but she's ... she's ... she's the Elizabeth Taylor of redheads! :D

  2. The other girls will be green with envy!!! Great idea to add the Christmas bling.

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