Embroidery thread is a beautiful thing. It’s relatively inexpensive, it comes in many vibrant colors and it’s easy to work with. For a single buck, you can usually get 4 scans of thread, 5 if they are on sale. I started using embroidery thread nearly 6 years ago to add artistic embellishment to curtains & pillows. Then I saw a print by Wassily Kandinsky (Colour Study: Squares with Concentric Circles), and became inspired to do my own piece out of braided embroidery floss. After a year of slow and sometimes daunting work, I completed my Kandinsky inspired project (actually, it's still on-going as I originally wanted 9 circles, but lost wind after completing the 7th). If you want to attempt this craziness, here’s my supply list and steps
SuppliesEmbroidery ThreadPiece of sturdy cardboard (the back of a notepad is good enough)Parchment paper or wax paperTape (I use Duct Tape for just about everything)Glue & paintbrush (for glue)ScissorsToothpick
DirectionsThere are more technical ways to do this, but I’m a simple person and I use what I have on hand before making a Hobby Lobby run.
- Think about your design, and sketch it onto the cardboard. At the very least, you may want to draw a square or circle to define your borders.
- Pick your colors and make sure you have enough embroidery floss for the project (you may want to record the number for each scan/color that you will be using, just in case you need to buy some more).
- Use some tape to secure wax paper or parchment paper over top of your design (on top of the cardboard). Once it is dry, you can peel your design off the paper if you want.
- Cut 3 long pieces of thread, tie them together into a slip know and begin braiding. Continue to do this with each color that you will be using in your design. I usually tape the top part of the braid to the table or my work board to keep it tight then I move it up and re-tape as more of the thread is braided. When you end a braid, you can dip the end in glue instead of tying a knot.
- Paint some glue onto your wax / parchment paper.
- Position your braid on top of the glue and begin to wind it around itself. Use a toothpick or some other pointy device to push the braided thread up tightly against the previous thread. Continue adding/wrapping braids until the design is covered. If you want to make something less symmetrical, then you will need to do a lot of cutting and piecing. This is tedious, but the end result can be much more interesting.