Embroider Tiny Hearts with Scroll Stitch

February might be the months for decorating with hearts, but learning how to stitch a tiny heart on fabric is a skill you'll be glad to have year-round. These itty-bitty hearts, which are just about a 1/4-inch tall, can be used on their own or incorporated into another design. These hearts would also be perfect for filling in a heart silhouette.

Embroidering tiny designs is fun, but it can also be tricky. Sometimes the best way to make something extra-small is to use a different stitch than you'd expect. One way to embroider tiny hearts is with two fly stitches, stitched as scallops, but this particular heart uses scroll stitch

Tip

Scroll stitch is typically worked from left to right or right to left. To form a heart, however, it's helpful to work vertically.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Embroidery needle

Materials

  • Embroidery floss

Instructions

  1. Stitch the Left Side of the Heart

    Bring the needle up through the fabric, then make a small horizontal stitch from left to right. The needle's point should come up a little less than 1/4 inch above where the thread comes through the fabric. It may help to rotate your hoop 90 degrees clockwise as you make the stitch.

    Wrap the floss under the left side of the needle, then around the stitch and under the needle on the right. Pull the needle through and the first half of the heart will appear.

    Tip

    When stitching each half of the heart, the needle should point toward the center and the loop of thread should look a bit like half of a heart before you even pull the needle through. If the stitch doesn't seem to have a little scroll shape, the stitch probably wasn't done correctly and should be pulled out and stitched again.

    The First Scroll Stitch
    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson
  2. Tack the Stitch in Place

    Take the needle down just above and to the right of where the thread is coming up through the fabric. Don't pull it too tight, or you may pull the stitch through.

    Tack Down the Stitch
    The Spruce /Mollie Johanson
  3. Stitch the Right Side of the Heart

    Form the right half of the heart with a second scroll stitch worked in reverse. Come up at the bottom of the heart and take a small horizontal stitch from right to left. The stitch should be parallel to the first stitch, which is lower than the top of the heart. It may help to rotate your hoop 90 degrees counterclockwise as you take the stitch.

    Wrap the thread under the right side of the needle, over the stitch, and under the left side of the needle. Pull the needle through, and tack the scroll down as you did with the first half.

    Second Scroll Stitch Toward the Center
    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson
  4. Finish the Tiny Heart

    Your finished heart should look something like the photo below. The heart halves may lift from the fabric some, and that's OK—they have a three-dimensional quality to them. You can also flatten them out a bit by pressing them down with your finger.

    To make a ring of hearts, trace two circles with a water-soluble pen. One circle should be about 1/4 inch larger than the other. Add hearts around the ring, using the traced circles as a guide for the top and bottom of your stitches.

    Finished Scroll Heart
    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson

Turn Single Scroll Stitches Into Hearts

Stitching Tiny Scroll Hearts
The Spruce / Mollie Johanson

In February, you see lots of hearts around, but learning how to stitch a tiny heart is a skill you'll be glad to have year-round. These itty bitty hearts can be used on their own or incorporated into another design, and they're just about 1/4-inch tall.

Embroidering tiny things is fun, but it can also be tricky. Sometimes the best way to make something extra-small is to use a different stitch than you'd expect.

One way to embroider tiny hearts is with two fly stitches, stitched as scallops. They are simple, but fun.

For this heart, which has a folk-art look to it, we'll use scroll stitch

Stitch the Left Side of the Heart

The First Scroll Stitch
The Spruce / Mollie Johanson

Scroll stitch is typically worked from left to right or right to left. To form a heart, it's good to work vertically, turning your work as it is helpful.

Come up through the fabric, then take a small horizontal stitch from left to right. The needle's point should come up a little less than 1/4 inch above where the thread comes through the fabric. It may help to rotate your hoop 90 degrees clockwise as you take the stitch.

Wrap the floss under the left side of the needle, then around the stitch and under the needle on the right. Pull the needle through and the first half of the heart will appear.

Note: When stitching each half of the heart, the needle should point toward the center, and the loop of thread should look a bit like half of a heart before you even pull the needle through.

If the stitch doesn't seem to have a little scroll shape, the stitch probably wasn't done correctly and should be pulled out and stitched again.

Tack the Stitch in Place

Tack Down the Stitch
The Spruce /Mollie Johanson

To hold the stitch in place, take the needle down just above and to the right of where the thread is coming up through the fabric. Don't pull it too tight or you may pull the stitch through.

Now you're ready to continue with the right half of the heart.

Stitch the Right Side of the Heart

Second Scroll Stitch Toward the Center
The Spruce / Mollie Johanson

Form the right half of the heart with a second scroll stitch worked in reverse.

Come up at the bottom of the heart and take a small horizontal stitch from right to left. The stitch should be parallel to the first stitch, which is lower than the top of the heart. It may help to rotate your hoop 90 degrees counterclockwise as you take the stitch.

Wrap the thread under the right side of the needle, over the stitch, and under the left side of the needle. Pull the needle through, and tack the scroll down as you did with the first half.

Finish the Tiny Heart

Finished Scroll Heart
The Spruce / Mollie Johanson

Your finished heart should look something like this. The heart halves may lift from the fabric some, and that's okay. They have a dimensional quality to them. You can also flatten them out a bit by pressing them down with your finger.

To make a ring of hearts, trace two circles with a water-soluble pen. One circle should be about 1/4 inch larger than the other. Add hearts around the ring, using the traced circles as a guide for the top and bottom of your stitches.

These hearts would also be perfect for filling in a heart silhouette.

Learning to make consistent tiny hearts can take some practice, but they are so cute and versatile that you'll be glad you did!