How to Embellish a Canvas Painting or Photo With Embroidery

See how easy it is to make family photos or an old canvas painting more fun by stitching on a few personal touches.

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Drugstore photo labs have come a long way. Now they can print your pictures on mugs, totes and even a canvas all in under an hour. When the sudden urge to embroider a pair of heart glasses strikes, you can be ready.

Photo by: Jennifer Perkins

Jennifer Perkins

Embroidering on canvas is easy. The material is already stretched just like fabric in an embroidery hoop. Canvas is thin enough to easily puncture with an embroidery needle making stitching a breeze. Another added bonus, the aforementioned drugstores are relatively inexpensive.

Photo by: Jennifer Perkins

Jennifer Perkins

Choose a photo you want to embellish and have it printed on a canvas. It's best if the area you want to embroider is in the center of the image. You don't want to stitch along the edges as there will most likely be a hard frame along the border. 

Photo by: Jennifer Perkins

Jennifer Perkins

Make sure the back of the canvas is removable. This part will be crucial to embroidering. You can ask at the drugstore or photo lab.

Photo by: Jennifer Perkins

Jennifer Perkins

Sketch an outline of the shape you want to embroider directly onto the canvas using a pencil.

Photo by: Jennifer Perkins

Jennifer Perkins

If you mess up or decide you want to embroider heart-shaped glasses instead of regular, just cover the original holes with stitches.

Photo by: Jennifer Perkins

Jennifer Perkins

Using an embroidery needle and floss, begin outlining the pattern. The outside of the glasses is embroidered using a basic backstitch.

Photo by: Jennifer Perkins

Jennifer Perkins

After the outline is in place, fill in the glasses using a combination of a long and short stitch.

Photo by: Jennifer Perkins

Jennifer Perkins

Continue stitching until the outline is filled. Tie-off on the back. Replace the back piece of the canvas if desired.

Photo by: Jennifer Perkins

Jennifer Perkins

These embellished canvases are a fun and easy way to add dimension, texture and personality to your gallery wall and plain portraits.  

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