19 Fun Ways to Use Embroidery

Embroidered sneakers by Flamingo Toes

Bev McCullough

Tired of embroidering hoop art for your walls? Try these 19 ideas for ways to use embroidery in your home, on your clothes, and as gifts to give! Just about anything you can get a needle through can be a place to show off your stitching, but it helps to see the possibilities.

Some embroidery projects start as plain items designed for adding embroidery, such as aprons, pillow covers, or even T-shirts. Other ideas in this list show you how to make the item from scratch with simple sewing techniques.

There's nothing wrong with framing your embroidery for your walls, but it's nice to bring those stitches to other places around the house and on the go. So the next time you see some embroidery patterns you love, move beyond the hoop.

What will you embroider next?

  • 01 of 19

    Embroider a Pillow Cover

    DIY Line Art Embroidered Pillow by Styles In Seams
    Styles In Seams

    With simple stitches you can make this beautiful modern pillow for your sofa or favorite chair. Robyn from Styles in Seams shows you how to sew a pillow cover with an invisible zipper, as well as how to create this pattern without a template. Of course, you can also use this tutorial as the base for any of your favorite embroidery design.

    DIY Line Art Pillow from Styles in Seams

  • 02 of 19

    Craft Embroidered Pins and Patches

    Hand-embroidered patches
    Mollie Johanson

    A great way to use small embroidery motifs is to stitch them into patches and pins. These fun little pieces can be either temporarily or permanently attached to jackets, bags, and more. Plus, they make excellent gifts that are easy to mail!

    4 Ways to Make Hand Embroidered Patches from The Spruce Crafts

  • 03 of 19

    Make Mini Embroidered Pincushions

    Embroidered pincushions by Lost Mom
    Lost Mom

    Use your fabric scraps and sew some adorable pincushions! Small useful items like this are quick to embroider and you have the benefit of seeing your stitching work every time you go to sew. You can also use them to hold your threaded needles as you embroider.

    DIY Embroidered Pincushions from Lost Mom

  • 04 of 19

    Stitch on T-Shirts

    Hand embroidery on a T-shirt
    Mollie Johanson

    Embroidered T-shirts are always fun, but it takes some specific steps to do it well. Follow this easy tutorial so you can stitch on tees, baby onesies, sweatshirts, and more. You can add small designs coming out of pockets or large patterns that nearly fill the whole front!

    How to Hand Embroider T-Shirts from The Spruce Crafts

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  • 05 of 19

    Embroider Linen Bookmarks

    Embroidered bookmarks by Minki Kim

    Minki Kim

    Designer Minki Kim does a lot of embroidery with a sewing machine, which she calls sewing illustration, but she encourages her readers to hand embroider as well. These linen bookmarks are a great example of the types of small projects you can make with bits of embroidery. Be sure to visit her YouTube channel for even more tutorials to try.

    Embroidered Bookmarks from Minki Kim

  • 06 of 19

    Embroider Napkins With Names

    DIY embroidered napkin place cards by A Fabulous Fete

    A Fabulous Fete 

    Cloth napkins are good for the environment and embellishing them with embroidery makes them extra special. You can make your own napkins with squares of fabric, sewn with a hem, or buy some pre-made. A Fabulous Fete suggests added stitched names so they double as place cards.

    Embroidered Place Card Napkins from A Fabulous Fete

  • 07 of 19

    Stitch on a No-Sew Drawstring Bag

    Embroidered Dice Bag
    Embroidered Dice Bag. Mollie Johanson

    If you're a gamer and need a place to store your dice, you can stitch a die on this felt dice bag. But you can use this project for more than just holding dice. Embroider a felt bag to store all kinds of small items, stitching a design to match whatever is inside.

    No-Sew Dice Bag from The Spruce Crafts

  • 08 of 19

    Embroider Your Shoes

    Embroidered sneakers by Flamingo Toes
    Bev McCullough

    Want to spruce up your sneaks? You may not have thought about adding embroidery to your shoes, but Bev from Flamingo Toes shows you how to work through canvas and create custom sneakers.

    Floral DIY Embroidered Canvas Shoes from Flamingo Toes

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  • 09 of 19

    Sew an Embroidered Glasses Case

    DIY embroidered glasses case from Feeling Stitchy

    Feeling Stitchy

    Kirsten Valencia has lots of tutorials for embroidered projects at Feeling Stitchy, showing just how many ways you can use embroidery, including this cute case. Keep your reading glasses or sunnies safe inside a simple pouch stitched with an adorable glasses design. These are easy to make and you can stitch anything you want!

    Embroidered Glasses Case from Feeling Stitchy

  • 10 of 19

    Embroider a Leather Card Case

    Embroidery on leather
    Mollie Johanson

    Have you tried embroidering on leather? This sturdy material takes some effort to stitch, but by preparing the leather before you start stitching you can create beautiful embroidery designs. And when you use the embellished leather to make a card case, it will last and showcase your custom touch!

    How to Embroider on Leather from The Spruce Crafts

  • 11 of 19

    Make an Embroidered Scissor Fob

    DIY embroidery scissor fob by Stitch Floral
    Stitch Floral

    With just a bit of embroidery you can make this gorgeous fob to hang on your scissors. Amina from Stitch Floral walks you through the whole process to create a detailed flower and then attach it to felt, along with beads and charms. It would also be a wonderful gift to share with a friend who stitches!

    DIY Scissor Fob Tutorial from Stitch Floral

  • 12 of 19

    Embroider Your Jeans

    Embroidered denim pocket

    Mollie Johanson

    Adding embroidery to jeans or a denim jacket is a fun way to customize your wardrobe and show off your stitching skills. You can keep it as simple as a few small designs on a pocket or as bold as covering the back of a jacket. Whatever you choose, this helpful tutorial provides tips for stitching on thick, dark fabric.

    A Guide for Embroidering Denim from The Spruce Crafts

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  • 13 of 19

    Stitch on an Apron

    Embroidered apron by Crafty Chica
    Crafty Chica

    Working in the kitchen or perhaps doing something messy? Embroider an apron to keep your clothes covered and your stitching on display! Crafty Chica shows how to embellish an apron using both embroidery and tinting with markers, and has tips for materials and patterns.

    Embroidered Apron from Crafty Chica

  • 14 of 19

    Hand Craft Embroidered Cards

    DIY embroidered cards by PattyMacMakes
    Patty Mac Makes

    Give embroidery to a friend or family member in the form of a hand-stitched card! Visit Pattymac Macs to craft these simple sentiments, then apply the same concept to other cards, big and small.

    Embroidery on Paper from Pattymac Makes

  • 15 of 19

    Stitch a Sweater

    Embroidery on a sweater
    Mollie Johanson

    Embroidering knitwear is an easy way to give new life to something you have in your closet or a find at a thrift shop. Adding some text to the neckline is one way, but you can also stitch flowers or other designs. Try using embroidery floss or even yarn!

    How to Embroider a Sweater from The Spruce Crafts

  • 16 of 19

    Make Embroidered Placemats

    Embroidered cloud placemats by Simply Sewing Magazine
    Mollie Johanson

    Enjoy your embroidery each time you sit down for a meal when you stitch some DIY placemats. This easy tutorial shows how to embroider with cloud stitch to actually form clouds, then you just add a few layers of fabric and a pretty border of binding!

    How to Make Placemats with Embroidery from Gathered

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  • 17 of 19

    Embroider a Baseball Cap

    Embroidered baseball hat by Swoodson Says

    Swoodson Says

    If you've owned a baseball cap for your favorite team, chances are it had an embroidered logo on it. But with this project from Swoodson Says, you can choose exactly what you want to root for...including wildflowers! She walks you through the best way to stitch on a basic hat and shares this adorable free pattern.

    How to Embroider a Hat by Hand from Swoodson Says

  • 18 of 19

    Craft an Embroidered Garland

    Embroidered linen heart garland

    Mollie Johanson

    If you want to add your embroidery to your walls, but in a more festive way, stitch on a garland of flags! This easy tutorial shows you how to make a heart garland for Valentine's Day, but you can celebrate any season with this technique. You could even make embroidered letters to spell out a special message.

    DIY Embroidered Heart Garland from The Spruce Crafts

  • 19 of 19

    Stitch a Felt Coffee Cuff

    Embroidered felt coffee cuff by Shiny Happy World

    Wendi Gratz

    This adorable coffee cuff uses a combination of felt applique and embroidery, but you could also make it with only embroidery. You'll keep your hands safe and warm, skip a disposable paper cuff, and stitch something that's fun to use!

    Fancy Felt Coffee Cuff from Shiny Happy World