November 19, 2012

DIY Cross Stitch Family Portrait

So, remember like a year ago I promised to share this with you?  I know, I'm really bad but I do try to go back and read old posts to see what I promised you and make good on it.  So, that's good, right?

I created a photo wall in my living room and wanted it to look warm and not museum-like.  So I added a few handmade things like my stitched canvas wall art and a quilled camera in a frame as well as tons of special pictures.


I can't take credit for the idea of the stitched portrait as I found it on Martha Stewart.  But it is SO easy and adds such a nice touch that I wanted to share it with you all.  Even if you've never done cross stitching, it's super easy.

You'll need

- Graph paper
- Pencil - I used colored ones to help my brain process the stitches better
- Embroidery needles, these have a blunter point and make stitching on the aida fabric easier
- Colored embroidery floss
- Aida fabric -  I used 14 count - the higher the count, the smaller the square
- Embroidery hoop

Plot your people out on the graph paper.  For mine I made hubby 27 squares tall, myself 26 squares tall and the kids 25 squares tall (even though they are taller than me at this point).  You can use this PDF as a guide but once you get started you won't even look at it.

I made them all about 10 squares across, (since my boys aren't babies) but you can vary depending on each individual's heftiness.

I used 2 strands of fabric for the stitching and 1 strand for the backstitching.

The cross stitching comes out prettiest when you stitch in the same direction.  So, make all your stitches the same.  Do from top left to bottom right all the way across and then come back and finish the cross or vice versa.  It really does make a difference.

My favorite part was the personalization.  My son Jake has a baseball and a Yankee cap on because he is a hardcore Yankee fan.  Hubby has his earbuds and cellphone on because he always listens to his music from his phone.  And he has his glasses as well as a watch I just got him for our anniversary. He is also aways either singing or whistling so I added the musical notes. I have a cupcake in my hand, with sprinkles and a polka-dot dress with a cardigan and ballet flats because it's what I'd really wear.  And my other son, Mateo, has a green shirt and converse because that's his favorite color and he has earphones and his Kindle, because he is always attached to that thing.  It's awesome!


My picture wall has become a focal point in the living room and gives the flat screen TV competition.  I just love how it sparks conversations and people gather in front of it to see who made the wall and what they were doing.

Something like this would make an awesome and meaningful gift.  Give it a try!

Make it a SWEET week!