A masterpiece doesn’t have to involve lashings of oil paint. Use scraps of paper, postcards, buttons and braids collected on holiday – or from your sewing stash – as the basis for this project. All you need to start with is a shop-bought canvas as a base and a handful of embellishments. This decorative picture is quick to assemble and very eye-catching, making it a perfect piece to hang on your wall or to give as a present to someone special to encapsulate a favourite vacation forever.
- Fabric: cotton or linen, 18cm square; nylon net, 30cm square
- Embroidery hoop
- Thread: embroidery, six stranded, pink; sewing, coordinating
- Canvas, primed, 20cm square
- Ribbon, 85cm
- Printed papers, i.e. pages from an old book, photographs
- Braid, a selection
- Embellishments: buttons; sequins; beads; flowers
- Needle, crewel
- Staple gun
- Fabric glue
Stitch a picture
Locate and download the template. Start by stitching the embroidered ‘Souvenir’ design; transfer the motif to a scrap of white cotton or linen fabric, then place the fabric in an embroidery hoop, stretching it until it is taut.
Thread the needle with two strands of pink embroidery thread, then fill in the letter ‘S’ in satin stitch, using stem stitch for the thinnest parts. For the remaining letters, still using two strands of thread, embroider along the lines using split stitch.
When the embroidery is complete, remove the fabric from the hoop and press the piece with a hot iron on the wrong side, to remove any creases. Trim the fabric to a neat rectangle and fray the edges if desired.
Choose decorative paper pieces – in this case, the cover and first page of a paperback novel – and arrange on the canvas. If necessary, fold the corners of the paper over the edge of the canvas. When you are happy with the arrangement, hold the papers in place with a little glue.
Cut white net measuring 30cm square and position it on the work surface, then place the canvas face down on top. Stretch the net over the edges and staple along the sides, with the staples going into the wooden frame.
Apply glue to each corner of the embroidered fabric and position it on the front of the canvas. Cut strips of braid to form a frame around the embroidery and either glue or stitch these in place to hide the raw edges.
Cut lengths of different braids and ribbon and position these so that they run along the edges of the paper pieces; wrap the ends around the edges of the canvas and staple to the back, through the wooden frame, to secure. To help hold them in place, stitch a line of running sew along each edge, or down the centre, taking the needle and thread right through the canvas.
Cut 85cm of 20mm wide ribbon or braid and wrap it around the perimeter of the canvas, then fold under the ends and stitch or staple to secure. Add a few embellishments such as buttons and sequins, stitched in place through the canvas. Finally, staple an 18cm length of ribbon to the top of the frame, at the back, for hanging.