These cute DIY embroidered handkerchiefs would make lovely gifts for your wedding party or family members. If you’ve got a lot of time (and some willing helpers) you could even use them as favours.
You will need:
- Cotton handkerchiefs
- Small embroidery hoop
- Embroidery thread
- Design template (if needed)
- Friction marker
First of all, press your handkerchief with your iron to give yourself a nice, smooth surface to work on.
You can draw your design on freehand, but you may find it easier to trace it from a paper copy. If you want to do lettering, you can find some great free fonts on Font Squirrel. Place your design underneath the hankie and line it up with where you want it, using a few pins to keep it from slipping if needed. Trace the design onto your hankie with the friction marker. The great thing about friction markers is that your marks disappear when you iron over them, so it doesn’t matter if you make a mistake at this point.
Take your hoop and lay your hankie over the inner ring as shown, with your design in the centre. Loosen the outer ring to fit over the top, then gradually tighten it (you may need a screwdriver for this), pulling on the edges of the hankie each time evenly all the way around, until the fabric is nice and taught.
Take your embroidery thread – ideally you want to use six-strand cotton embroidery thread, as this is the easiest to use for beginners. Don’t use thread from friendship bracelet kits and the like, it will fray all over the place!
Carefully separate out three strands as shown, and gently pull until you have roughly an arm’s length of thread. Thread onto an embroidery needle.
Sew a few stitches in the same spot to anchor your thread. For this design, I used back stitch to outline the design, satin stitch to fill in the heart, and a few French knots for full stops. If you’re new to hand embroidery, The Spruce has a great guide to the basic stitches.
Once you’re happy, take your hankie off the hoop and give it another press. The pen marks should all disappear to leave your beautiful design, ready to receive those happy tears!