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DIY: Embroidered Wedding Totes

Embroidery is a charming way to add handmade elements to your wedding decor.  In this DIY project you will create a simple design and outline it with embroidery thread.  We chose the state silhouette of Vermont with a coral embroidered heart in the southern part of the state.  You can create any design or state silhouette you'd like in any color combination. 

If you need help with your design, we can help create your image to transfer.  Purchase PDF tote bag designs here

This is an easy project for beginners with a beautiful, handmade result for your wedding welcome bags or bridal party gifts.

Materials:

Blank Tote Bag

Embroidery Floss (we used navy & coral)

Embroidery Needle (we used Clover No. 8)

Design Print Out

Fabric Pen (we used the Frixion pens by Pilot)

Directions:

1.  Print and cut out your design.  

2.  Trace your design onto your bag.  Use a disappearing fabric ink.  We use the Frixion pens - when heat is applied with an iron the ink disappears.  Feel free to use any disappearing fabric pen.  If using the Frixion pen, use light pressure with the pen when transferring your image to your bag as sometimes the markings reappear over time.  If you ensure the stitching covers the pen marks and use light markings this won't be a problem.

3.  Separate three strands of embroidery floss.  Make sure the thread fits the eye of your needle and test the needle through the tote to ensure it is not too big or too small.

4.  Cut a length of embroidery floss about 18" long.  If your design requires more thread you can end one strand and begin another as you're working.  Too long a thread may cause a knot. 

5.  Outline the design in your choice of color using a backstitch.  Thread your needle with the three strands of embroidery floss.  Tie a knot on the bottom of your thread leaving a longer tail so you can tuck it in at the end for a cleaner look inside. 

6. Bring the needle up to the front of the bag so your knot is resting on the back of the fabric.  Bring the needle back down creating a stitch about 3/8" long. 

7. Bring the needle back up to the front of the bag a stitch length's away from the first stitch. 

7. Bring the needle to meet the end of the original stitch and pull it back through the bag creating a backstitch.

8.  Continue around your design until it is fully outlined. 

10.  For the heart, we placed the heart within the silhouette, outlined it, and filled it in with small stitches in a coral color thread.

11.  When you have completed your design, work on the inside and weave your thread ends through a few of the stitches to help hide them.  Snip and press.

Tips:

If you are making a large number of totes for your event, play around with color.  Alternate state color and heart color for a fun contrast.

If you have a lot of totes to make, perhaps choose a smaller design or have a crafting party with your bridesmaids.