s How to Embroider or Cross Stitch Plywood - The Kim Six Fix
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How to Embroider or Cross Stitch Plywood

How to embroidery plywood

It is no secret I’ll fallen into the cross stitch rabbit hole lately.  I mean, I even launched my own cross stitch and embroidery shop to share all my latest cross stitch and embroidery patterns and kits.   But that doesn’t mean I want to put down the power tools! Plywood embroideryInstead I figured out a way to combine my two loves.  A little plywood and some power tools along with the joy of stabbing something over and over.  

Embroidered Plywood:  Oversized cross stitch on wood
I have seen people embroidery peg board, and in fact, I even had a painted faux version of that technique:

But I didn’t like how large the stitches had to be, plus the scale of a any finished project would take up a whole wall. I wanted to create my own switchable surface.
Cross stitched cactus on plywood

How to cross stitch plywood:


Step 1: 

Grid out your plywood.
 I used a large carpenter's square to do this (the BIG kind.. like this.)  I wish I had been more careful on this step since my squares were all a little off and that will matter later on in the project. I already knew my stitch area was going to be about 35 stitches x 35 stitches so I knew I needed 1225 squares!
Adding cross stitch grid to board

Step 2:
Find or Chart your embroidery pattern.

If you are comfortable making your own patterns, there are tons of cross stitch patterns available on etsy.  As long as you know the total number of stitches on each side you can figure out if it will fit and/or how many squares you need on your plywood.
I went with a simple cactus, since succulents are all the rage.
Plywood board with grid for xstitch

Step 3:
Transfer your pattern onto the wood

Now I used a pencil to mark off every square that would contain an “x” stitch. (I actually only traced the outside of the cactus since my design was completely filled in. If your pattern was more complicated you may want to put an x in every square with a stitch.
Charting cross stitch pattern on plywood

Step 4:
Start Drilling the holes


REMEMBER.. you will actually drill NOT in the center of the square but on the four corners of each square.  Your yarn “X” need four holes to come in and out of. Drilling cross stitch holesThis photo shows how I just drilled holes on the intersection of the lines that make up my grid, but ONLY on the squares which will get an X.  This is why the consistency of your grid spacing is so important, otherwise your squares start to look a little wonky.
Drilling holes to embroidery board

Step 5:
Sand, stain or paint your holey board. 


You need to get all the rough edges from our drilled holes smoothed over, otherwise you won’t be able to pull the yarn through the holes, it will get snagged. Plus it just looks better.   If you plan on staining the wood or painting it so your embroidery has a background color, this is the tie to do it. I wanted the raw plywood color, so I didn’t need to.

Step 6:
Time to stitch! 

I used an oversized plastic yarn needle and some leftover yarn from my stash. This is a time consuming process. No doubt. It took me about 6 hours to stitch this piece.Cross stitching in plywood
I did a little backstitching around the outside to give it a more finished look. Cross stitched plywood board

Step 7 (Optional):
Add a frame

I didn’t want to hand a raw edged piece of plywood on my wall, so I decided to frame it out with some scrap 1x1s I had in the garage.  I didn’t bother mitering them, just cut them to length, sanded them and butt jointed them to make a frame.
Sanding boards for frameI stained them with Minwax Dark Mahogany Wipes (which are pretty cool to use.. no need to was a brush!) Staining frame with minwax wipes
The I used my brad nailer to add the frame to the sides of the plywood.
And the piece was finished! Wood cross stitch cactus
This is such a fun way to use my crafty creative side along with my bad ass Girls with power tools side to make something I really love!    If you try it out, I’d love to see what you come up with!

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