For the experienced cross-stitch fanatic, the same old patterns that you can buy at the craft store may seem boring and out-dated. If you are looking for something newer and more exciting, consider trying photo cross-stitching. You can change favorite photos into beautiful works of art with some time and patience.
The most important thing to do is to pick a good photo for your project. Most everyone has boxes or albums full of old photos hiding somewhere in their home. Start by picking out photos that are clear and in good focus. Then pick out a picture that has good contrast between the subject and the background. For example, if you have a black cat sitting on your black sofa, it may be difficult to distinguish where your cat ends and the sofa begins. Choose a dark subject on a light background, or vice versa.
You might also want to consider cropping the photo to get rid of unnecessary background images that make the image look cluttered. However, if you need to enlarge the photo to the size of your canvas, keep this in mind when you crop. It is essential to keep the same shape. For example, a 4-inch by 4-inch photo can be enlarged to an 8-inch by 8-inch photo, but not into an 8-inch by 10-inch. Using photo editing software can also soften your picture, making it look more like a painting, which can reduce some of the colors and make it easier to use for stitching purposes.
Next, you will need to decide how to transfer your photo onto a canvas. There are several different companies online that will do it for you for a small fee. However, if you plan on doing this more as a business venture than a hobby, it may be more prudent for you to buy the software to do it yourself at home. The programs translate pixels into cross-stitch.
If you do it yourself at home, you will need to either use all digital media, or also have a scanner to upload pictures with. Either way that you go, the computer will print you up a chart of what to stitch. Some cleanup may be necessary to remove imperfections. Take into consideration the background as well. For example, if you have a dark background, consider using a dark canvas instead of stitching the whole thing.
Next, you will have to gather all of your materials. If you plan to simply frame your completed stitches like a portrait, you will only need the basics such as embroidery floss, needles, and canvas. If you plan to transfer your pattern onto something more personal, such as a shirt or a bag, you may need additional materials.
If you are planning to stitch for others, you might want to look into buying your supplies in bulk to avoid frequent trips to the store. Remember that it is essential to keep things organized. If deciding to photo cross-stitch professionally, you may want to consider converting part of your home into a workspace or office. That way you can keep your projects organized without having them interfere with the rest of your life.
Now it is time to stitch! If you are doing stitching as a business, keep this in mind. You will more than likely have to set aside several hours a day to do nothing but stitch in order to get your orders out in a timely fashion. For those who stitch for the fun of it, you can stitch at your leisure. Make sure to always follow the pattern carefully for best results. Even small errors can cause distortions in the final product. Some things, like outlining parts of your canvas, can be done or left undone, depending on the artistic style, you are aiming for.
Once you are done, it is time to display your wares! You might take before and after shots (the original photo and the resulting cross-stitch) to display on your website or in flyers for prospective clients. Try stitching onto a shirt that you can wear around town to drum up new business. Use stitched photos as gifts to family and friends.
With a little planning and some work, you can change treasured family photos into fun and exciting gifts with photo cross-stitching!