Homemade Christmas: Embroidered Keepsakes

I don't know how I came across this idea of embroidering handprints.  Pinterest probably.

But I'm a little obsessed with handprints, because when they belong to MY kids, they're the most perfect things in the world.  And did you know that when you have kids, gifts for the grandparents become so easy?

I have never embroidered anything before in my life, and it's really a stretch for me to do some sewing by hand because (I thought) it would just take so long.  But it turns out that I really loved having something to do in the evenings and in the times when I couldn't quite sit at the sewing machine.  And outlining handprints is a pretty quick project actually!

As all good projects do, this one began with a quick trip to Michaels (for thread) and a Google search for "basic embroidery stitches" (here's the site I ended up referencing).  I used an embroidery hoop I had at home, and some white fabric from my stash.

I ran into a small issue when it came to framing, because the block of fabric I had cut was less than 8"x10", but the hands were too big to fit nicely in a 5"x7" mat or frame.  I posted a request on facebook for DIY framing help (got some good ideas, including custom cutting mats out of fabric or scrapbook paper, or looking for odd-sized frames at Ikea).  I ended up being able to take advantage of a friend's mat-cutting setup and have a custom mat created just for these handprints!  If I decide to do something like this in the future, I will have a frame in mind BEFORE cutting my fabric and embroidering.

Here's the finished product:

I've got to admit that I'm really excited about this project, and so pleased with how this came out.  I'd love to know what embroidery projects you've done or have in the pipeline!

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