Learn how to create a piece of art for your wall or to give as a gift! Anyone who can safely hold a needle and draw relatively straight lines can make this craft.
MATERIALS AND TOOLS
Gallery-wrapped canvas (found in the painting aisle at your local arts & crafts store or online; you can use any size, but I used an 8x12" sized canvas for this tutorial)
Embroidery floss (if using an 8x12" canvas, you need at least 20” of each color per line)
Needle (with a large enough eye to accommodate embroidery floss)
Needle threader (optional but incredibly helpful)
Ruler or something with a straight edge that fits within the frame of your canvas
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Look at my example above and consider your answers to these questions...
What colors of thread would you like? Consider your favorite colors or the colors of your favorite sports team or Hogwarts House. Or maybe you want to make an abstract scene, like a garden: sky blues for the first several lines, grass greens for the bottom several lines, and colorful thread for the middle few lines as flowers. Your imagination is the only limit!
How many lines do you want?
How close together do you want them?
How close to the edges should they be? Do you want a piece that covers nearly the entire canvas or would you prefer to leave a lot of blank space and concentrate your art in the middle or in a corner?
How big a gap do you want to leave for the hanging threads?
How low do you want your thread to hang in that gap?
Do you prefer the lines of thread to be very even (requiring more precision in measuring and marking) or more organic/imperfect looking? Do you even want to draw lines at all?
Once you have considered how you want your finished piece to look, you can start marking out the lines. On the front of the canvas, mark the four corners of your piece by poking your needle through the canvas at those four points.
On the back of the canvas, use a pencil and your straight edge to connect those four dots into a box.
Divide the box into three parts. You can place the gap anywhere and make it as narrow or wide as you like.
Draw straight lines across the box. They can be spaced evenly or unevenly.
Poke holes with your needle along each line. These holes are your guide for your needle and thread. There needs to be an odd number of holes on each side of the gap. Again, you can space them as evenly or not, as you like. There doesn’t even need to be the same number of holes along each line. Tip: start and end each line of holes at a vertical line.
Tie a knot in one end of your first color of thread and thread the other end onto a needle.
To start, hold the canvas face up and find the upper left hole from the back with the needle and push the needle through it. Pull the thread through until the knot is drawn up against the back of the canvas. Push the needle down through the next hole in the line. Make sure your needle doesn't slip off the end of the thread; if it does, just rethread it.
Keep going in and out of the holes, creating a running stitch until you get to the last hole before the gap.
At the gap (the needle and thread should be on the front of the canvas at this point), measure how long you want each hanging piece to be, and push the needle into the hole on the other side of the gap and pull the thread through until you reach your desired hanging length.
Finish the line of running stitches and remove the needle from the thread. Be careful to not pull too hard on the thread, as you don’t want to pull it through and shorten the hanging length. Do not knot the end yet!
Repeat steps 10-15 for each line.
Finish off the threads by tying a knot with every two threads on the back, again being careful to not tug on the threads.
If your threads that are hanging in the gap are a bit wonky, you can dampen your thumb and first finger and run the thread between them a few times to work the kinks out.
FURTHER THOUGHTS AND IDEAS
How would this look if the lines were vertical or diagonal?
Try it using metallic threads
Try painting the canvas first
You can string beads as you stitch or hang charms from the hanging part of the threads
Embroidery floss is made up of several strands of thread - you can separate the strands and just use one at a time for a more delicate look or even alternate the number of strands in each line for more texture
Ditch the lines entirely and try stitching more abstract patterns or even animals or plants on canvas - you can draw your figure or scene first or just freehand it!
What other ways can you think of to make your own unique creation?