Embroidered Memories

How to Turn your Children’s Artwork Into an Embroidered Memory

Embroidered Memories: As soon as they start nursery your kids bring home pieces of art work or random doodles, which in our case normally spent a few months on the fridge door before ending up in the bin. However some of of this art  I couldn’t bring myself to throw away as it was just so cute.  These precious pieces of paper and memories were stashed in the kitchen draw ready for them to be turned into an embroidered art piece.
Do you have a draw full of your kids artwork that you can't bare to throw away.  Well here I show you how you can turn them into your own embroidered memories masterpiece.
Embroidered childrens art

I got the inspiration to create this piece of embroidered art after meeting the textile artist Tilleke Schwarz at one of her exhibitions. Tilleke is a fantastic thread artist and her work is so eye catching. Tilleke’s pieces look like big embroidered doodles and  scribbles of  everyday things.  At first glance her textile creations appear to be a random collection of things but if you look closely there is a lot going on in her artwork and it follows a theme. 


Tilke shawrz play with me

Tilke shawrz play with me


I warn you this is not a quick project it took me a long time to finish but it’s one that you can do in small bursts over time as the piece is created bit by bit, just like a doodle it grows.  The time spent on the embroidery was well worth it, as it now proudly hangs up in our lounge and every time it catches my eye it makes me smile.  To be reminded that your eldest son once thought of you as a “special mum that rocked” is heartening. Also when he was 5 my middle son brought home a  piece of paper  from school where he was asked to describe himself in three words his were; “happy bouncy fun”, which can be hard to believe now that he is a bit of a moody teenager, who seems to spend most of the weekend in bed.

Embroidered memories pillarboxblue

happy bopuncy fun

How I created my embroidered memories art work

Linen was my canvas and I mainly used Appleton’s crewel wool for my thread, as I love the texture and the range of colours.  For the more finely stitched elements I just used ordinary cotton thread.  I used whatever stitches I wanted, so sometimes it was just a running stitch or split stitch, a satin stitch to colour in larger areas and French knots for texture.
appleton wool
To translate this mishmash of memories in to my own personalised bit of embroidered art I did the following.

  •  Gathered my favourite drawings, bought thread to match to colours
  •  For my canvas I used a large piece approx. 60cmX 60cm linen fabric ironed but you can make it any size you want.
  •  Traced round the outline of the drawings on to thick tracing paper using an embroidery transfer pen.  This will give you a mirror image so you need to go over your tracing paper on the back so that you can counter the mirror image
  •  I carefully positioned my tracing paper image to where I wanted it on the fabric making sure that I had the counter mirror image face down.
  • I then ironed over the tracing paper with a hot dry iron (no steam) 3 to 4 times.  When the tracing paper was lifted the image was then transferred on to the linen.
  • I stitched over the transferred lines and coloured with stitches to create my final piece.
    Enbroidered Childrens Art
    Embroidered children's art work
    Childrens Embroider Memories
    I would love to hear from you if you have done a similar project or if you do something with the art your children bring home from school.



  • 40 Responses

    1. I absolutely love this idea! Thank you for sharing @Vintage Charm!

    2. What a sweet idea! I did something similar years ago, having my daughter draw pictures of family members on fabric, which I embroidered over and sewed into bookmarks. You can see some here here (sorry, really bad pictures!). But I like the idea of accummulating doodles over time. It’s really a great memory-saver! 🙂 Lisa

      • Thank you, your bookmarks look really sweet and a much quicker project.

    3. I am with everyone else on this project!! Such a great idea and so very precious!! I will have to give this a go!! Thank you for the inspiration Claire 🙂

      • Thank you ! It is still my favourite thing hanging in my house.

    4. Oh my gosh, what a great idea! A project like this would take me months to complete as my kids are still young and busy but this would make for a great gallery wall once I have more time for projects like this. Visiting from Homemade and Handcrafted.

      • Thank you, it is a project you can do overtime. It took me about a year on and off I’d just do a little bit at a time when I had a spare moment in the evening when watching telly. I was kind of sad when I finished it as I had enjoyed making it over time. I do love to look at it everyday though, it hangs proudly in our living room.

    5. Liz

      What a fantastic idea! Immortalizing your #MEMORIES! I’ll be sharing this! Blessings!

    6. […]       If you like this post you might like these. Easy to paint giant wall art Embroiderd Memories     amzn_assoc_placement = "adunit0"; amzn_assoc_search_bar = "true"; […]

    7. Sweet way to showcase a keepsake drawing. Thanks for sharing.

      • Claire Armstrong

        Cheers ! I’m glad you like it.

    8. […] Art Give children’s drawings a permanent home! Translate them into Embroidered Art with this easy tutorial from Pillar Box […]

    9. […] Click HERE for more info […]

    10. WOW I love the art work you have made an amazing job. I have seven grandchildren and they are always drawing me pictures. I now know what I can do so I can see some of them. I will try to make a collage and frame it, Thanks for sharing.

      • Claire Armstrong

        Thanks and good luck with the collage.

    11. What a beautiful way to save these special memories, Claire!!! My kids’ artwork is carefully packed away in sealed bags, so I never look at it. I really must rectify that.

      • Claire Armstrong

        Yes it is nice to have a constant reminder of the things they used to do. You should definitely get your kids art work out and perhaps work on your own piece.

    12. What fun! When my son was 7, I made my first huge quilt and it was for him. I took two of his drawings, a bat I made an applique, and a robot I hand embroidered. He’s over 40 and still has that quilt and loves it. This will be treasured far longer than you might think.

      • Claire Armstrong

        Thanks the quilt is a really good idea. I did think about doing one myself but after seeing the Tilleke’s art work I thought it would be nice to have something on display. I like memory pieces in whatever form they come.

    13. What a lovely idea to keep such precious scribblings forever.

      • Claire Armstrong

        Thank you

    14. I’m stopping by from the Sew Darn Crafty Link Party. What a fun idea to preserve your children’s artwork!

      I host a weekly Stitchery Link Party for all things hand embroidered and I would love to have you come link up this post so my readers can come see too. http://www.supermomnocape.com/2015/07/20/vintage-embroidery-monday-stitchery-link-party-15/

      I do hope that you’ll come join the fun!

      • Claire Armstrong

        Thank you and thanks for the invite

    15. […] Childrens Art in Embroidery from Pillar Box Blue […]

    16. Ok, I love, love this idea. What a great keepsake!

      • Claire Armstrong

        Thanks it is a lovely reminder and well worth the effort.

    17. Bonnie

      This is a fantastic idea! I would love for you to link up to the Stitch It, Blog It, Share It Link Party Sunday nights at 7pm at BehindtheSeamsSewing.com.

      • Claire Armstrong

        Thank you and thank for the invite

    18. What a lovely idea, definitely something to treasure for years to come 🙂

      • Claire Armstrong

        Thank you, it is a nice reminder of the kids when they were younger.

    19. This is so adorable! What a sweet, special way to save these memories. Thanks for linking up with us at the #HomeMattersParty! Hope you’ll join us again!

      • Claire Armstrong

        Thank you

    20. What a great idea, definitely beyond my skill level but you did an amazing job!

      • Claire Armstrong

        Thanks, honestly you don’t need a lot of skill just a bit of patience. As you are copying children’s drawings you can get away with a lot when embroidering it all adds to the child like effect.

    21. This is a labor of love. Truly inspiring, and the kids will remember you did this and beam with pride.

      • Claire Armstrong

        Thanks it was well worth it, I’m working on a second one but no hurry.

    22. Indeed, that is such a wonderful idea.

    23. Absolutely fabulous! Wow, wish I had the patience to do something similar, I have been saving all the best drawings of course! Thrilled to “meet” you on craft schooling Sunday and hope you’ll continue to join us every week and share your unique creations.

      • Claire Armstrong

        Thanks it’s great to join your link up and see all the other craft ideas

    24. What a lovely idea.

      • Claire Armstrong

        Thank You

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