As a DIY-loving bride-to-be, my favorite piece of wedding crafting advice so far has been to pick projects that have the most impact for the smallest amount of effort. The logic goes: nobody's going to notice, let alone remember, the color of your meticulously lined invitation envelopes, but larger-scale projects show up beautifully in photographs and leave a longer-lasting impression.
What you'll need:
- embroidery hoop
- embroidery floss (2-3 shades of the same color)
- embroidery needles (regular needles will also do)
- cross-stitch fabric
Step 1: Start by cutting out a piece of cross-stitch fabric that is slightly larger than your embroidery hoop. Open the hoop by twisting the knob until it's loose, and secure the cross-stitch fabric in the by placing it between the two hoops, pressing down until they overlap, and twisting the knob until it's firm.
Step 2: Whether you're using a pattern, making your own with grid paper, or free-handing like I did, estimate the number of rows in your number. If you're using two colors, divide your total number of rows by four. If you're using three colors, divide your total number of rows by seven. This will be the number of rows or "blocks" of each color combination. I estimated 50 rows and used two colors (orange and yellow) for this particular pattern, so each of my color blocks were intended to be 12 or 13 rows tall.
Step 3: Begin cross-stitching at the bottom with your darkest color. Since embroidery floss has six strands, I separated it out and cross-stitched with two strands of orange. After completing your "color block" (above: 13 rows of orange) tie and cut the string and pull out your next lightest color.
Step 4: For your next color block, use the lighter color on the bottom hash of your X (above: yellow for 13 rows), and the darker color on the top hash of your X (above: orange for 13 rows). This will give it the illusion of being slightly lighter than your bottom color block.
Step 5: For the next color block, use the darker color on the bottom hash of your X (above: orange for 10 rows), and the lighter color on the top hash of your X (above: yellow for 10 rows). This will give it the illusion of being even lighter than the last two color blocks.
Step 6: Finish cross-stitching with your lightest color for the top color block (not pictured: yellow only for 10 rows). If you're using three colors instead of two, you'll repeat steps 4-6 with the your medium color and lightest color.
Step 7: Center and tighten your cross-stitch fabric (hint: the knob can be used to hang the hoop), and cut off the excess fabric. Voila: you're done!