DIY Embroidered Photo Art

DIY Embroidered Photo Art by A Beautiful MessOne of my favorite things to do is make crafts from my favorite photos! I’ve been planning some hybrid craft/photography projects for a while and this is a favorite. Adding embroidery to your photo is fun, easy and so cute. Here’s how I made this photo art…

Adobe Elements step 11. Open a photo you love in Adobe Photoshop Elements.

Adobe Elements step 22. Choose the Enhance menu on your top bar and then choose “Convert to Black and White”.

Step 33. After you choose “Convert to Black and White” this pop-up menu will appear. You will see this menu where you can preview different “styles” for your black and white photo. Some are more intense or more grainy. Experiment with each one them and choose the one you like. You will be able to preview the finished product in your After window on the screen before selecting!

Adobe Elements step 44. As a final step I always adjust my levels. The key command for this is command + L. You can read more details about what levels can do for your photo in this post. Save your new black and white photo under a new name.

DIY 1Next, print your photo. I printed in an 8×10 size, but you can print in any size that matches a frame you want to use for your project!

For the craft portion of this project you will need: An 8×10 inch photo, an 8×10 inch frame, colored pencils, embroidery thread, a needle, some burlap, glue and scissors.

DIY 2Trim your photo to size. Mine was a little small, but I knew I wanted to add a border at the end so it worked out well!

DIY 3Use colored pencils to sketch the embroidery that you want to add. You can embellish the actual elements of your photo (like the bike) or you can add elements (like this grocery bag). A few fun added elements would be words, hearts or arrows.

DIY 5Alright, take a small needle and start stitching! This is the fun part. Just add colored details all over your photo with basic stitches.

DIY 6This is a fun detail… did you know that by making several knots in a row you can create a little flower? With about 5 knots each I made this little bouquet for my bike basket!

DIY 7It’s time to finish stitching all the details on your photo. Decide which details you want to stitch. I chose our bikes and bike baskets.

DIY 8Last, add a cute burlap (or any textile) border to the top and bottom on your photo. Use the glue sparingly so it doesn’t wrinkle the paper. Allow it to dry completely and then cut the excess fabric away from the photo and put it in your frame. That’s all! Now you have a cute embroidered portrait. These make great gifts!

DIY Stitched PortraitEmbroidered Photo Art Embroidered Photo Art Have fun making your own photo art! XO. Elsie

Special thanks to Adobe Photoshop Elements for partnering with me on this article. You can follow them here…Facebook/Twitter/YouTube/Pinterest

  • Oh wao! Very great Embroidery on your website. Embroidery Digitizing! so let me aprove.

  • Oh wao! Very great Embroidery on your website. Embroidery Digitizing! so let me aprove.

  • Did you have problems with your stitches ripping through the photo paper? Did you reinforce the paper at all before stitching?

  • This is awesome idea! goona be my next project, thank you

  • i LOVE this idea! have never seen anything like it before, but am already trying to think of what photos of mine i’d like to do it to! thanks for the inspiration! 🙂

  • This is such a cute idea. Will definitely try this, although i’m not a big fan of embroidery. But this is too beautiful!

  • Sweet! And I think I could actually accomplish this. Maybe. 😉

  • This is a cute idea. I’m always wondering why he is almost always not looking at the camera nor smiling, while you are always smiling and looking at him. Or he’s looking off somewhere and you’re looking at him. Is this a thing you’re trying to do or is he negative about pictures? I’ve noticed it in so many that you’ve shared.

  • amazing!!!! 😀 I try!!!
    I’m you new follower!!! 😉

    sul mio blog è online la “TRIBU’ COLLECTION” …con i bracciali must have 2012! 😉
    ti invito a dare un’occhiata e a dirmi cosa ne pensi! 🙂

  • This is so super cute and creative! Definitely going to do this!! Pronto!!

  • how did you know this is just the project i needed in my life right now? absolutely fabulous, as always.

  • ohhh this is an amazing idea… I’ll doing it… thanks for sharing

  • Very Nice!! Thanks for the tutorial, i Will try it as soon as possible 🙂

  • Brillant idea and such a cute picture. I love to add sticker lace to my photographs and the bottom of my polaroids but this is a way better idea. Great DIY!

    Becky, K.

  • This is such a great idea! Beautiful!
    I am going to try it!!

  • Such a kool idea! I’m definitely trying this!

  • I wish i could pin your DIY’s to my Pinterest so I could remember them all!


  • You guys never cease to amaze me with your level of creativity! This is adorable thanks for sharing!
    xo Hannah

  • That is so cute! I love it. Thanks for sharing!


  • I love seeing the photoshop tutorials 🙂 they are so cool! I’m just wondering about photoshop vs. lightroom though… can you do the same things on lightroom as you can do in photoshop? and can you do these tutorials in lightroom?

  • This is such a beautiful idea. Thanks for this.


  • Man you are so creative!! Love this!!!

  • Okay, you’ve done it again. This is so neat and unexpected. I absolutely have to do this! THANK YOU for bringing a little bit of happiness and a lot of color into my life each day.

  • Such a creative idea. You could definitely take this in a few different directions. 🙂

  • Oh my gosh, I love it! Whatever made you come up with that? It is fantastic! Defs going to have a go at this, thanks so much for sharing. 🙂
    Maryanne x

  • I love this idea! I’m so excited to try it. The details you added are just perfect!

  • Love this picture, such a great idea! Everything you do comes out looking perfect!

    Pip x

  • Wow, this project is such a great idea! Thanks so much for posting! I’ve been trying to come up with an idea to use our one year anniversary photos creatively, and this is perfect.

  • OMG this is such a fun idea! Would make great Christmas gifts this year. Love diy’s that actually seem do able!

  • I love this! So simple and a cute way to reuse a favorite photo and give it a different look! So lovely!


  • What a cute idea! I love the burlap around the border, so cute!!
    ~ Jillian

  • I love this idea and the pic of you two with embroidered groceries is too cute! 🙂

  • Such a cute idea! I’ve been wanting to try embroidery– what an easy way to get started!

  • I LOVE this. so much.



  • What a simple and cute way to decorate our house 😀
    Great idea!

  • Love this! Such a brilliant idea 😉

    ~ Jillian

  • this might be my favorite DIY you’ve ever posted! what a cute idea!


  • I’ve printed b&w photos and then drawn on them before, but I never thought to embroider them. It’s genius! Thanks for the great idea!

  • that’s just amazimg!!! I definitely will try this one soon! :)) Thanks for the post! Xx

  • Oh fun! I can’t wait to try this!

    xoxo Sarah

  • This is outrageously adorable! I don’t know how you girls have such an endless supply of creativity at your fingertips, but it is amazing to see it come to life on A Beautiful Mess. You’re both incredibly inspiring and I love getting to see a small part of your beautiful world each and everyday. So thanks for that 🙂

  • Love this Elsie! I’ve been wanting to try my hand at embroider and this would be a great starter project. 🙂

  • This is seriously so adorable!! You always have the best DIY!

    Comment Code: Cathy Trails

  • Oh I love it! I’ve only done it with
    my sewing machine before (which off course is faster) but I have to say this is cuter!
    x/Jenny (

  • Wow! Definitely trying this at once! I’ve always loved embroidered pictures…

  • Q: Do you have an inkjet or laser printer (and to be honest, what it the difference?!)?
    A: Mine in inkjet. That is what most at home printers are. Laser is usually a copy machine, like at an office. Inkjet is better for prints you want to keep a long time without fading. 🙂

  • Q: Isn’t the paper ripped by stitching it?
    A: No. You do need to be a little bit more gentle than stitching fabric, but it’s not that difficult, especially with a heavier photo paper to stitch on. 🙂

    Q: This is such a brilliant DIY, perfect for homemade presents! I was wondering what printer you used.
    A: I use a Kodak printer that I purchased at Walmart with Kodak matte photo paper. The prints are good (not amazing) but the convenience of having it in my studio is worth it!

  • This is so lovely and would be an amazing wedding or anniversary gift! Thank you for always having such beautiful ideas that are also accessible for anybody to do.

  • You are so brilliantly creative and awesome. Thanks for the awesome idea.

  • I LOVE this! I’ve just started embroidering and my head is spinning of cute ideas. And now you gave me another one… 🙂

  • this is now one of my favorite projects from this blog! can’t wait to try it.!

  • This is so cute!
    And it’s funny, cuz I *just* posted about photo embroidery on my blog a week or two ago! 🙂

    Love how your stitches are actually details from the photo, though! Mine are more like geometric designs added to the border. It’s so cool how two people can do the same project, but do it so differently. Love the burlap you added, too! Super, super cute.
    Love your blog!!

  • OH MY GOSH! Elsie, I am so in love with this project!!! I have been looking for ideas for some wall art at t, and this looks like so much fun, so cute, and super easy!! Thank you so much for sharing, can’t wait to try it out!

  • Ohhh, that’s such a brilliant idea! Definitely going to be trying this for gifts this summer, there are too many birthdays to buy gifts for so this is the perfect, personal solution!

    Thank you for sharing! As always, a fantastic post.

    Jennie x

  • This is such a brilliant DIY, perfect for homemade presents! I was wondering what printer you used, as my printer never prints with such good quality. Do you have an inkjet or laser printer (and to be honest, what it the difference?!)?

  • What a great idea! And it involves two of my favorites- photography and embroidery!

  • Oh very cute idea!!!

  • A cute idea for something a little bit different.


  • Love this! It would be absolutely adorable in a kids room! If you get a sec, I’d love to hear your thoughts on my latest. xo

  • Such a cute idea! Can’t wait to try it.

  • This is such a creative thing to do, Elsie! I love it!!

  • I haven’t noticed the stitching details, until I read the how-to part! Oh my, it’s absolutely great. Isn’t the paper ripped by stitching it?

  • Love this idea! Definitely wanna try it.


  • This is such a lovely idea! Definitely adds a fun accent to an already lovely photo. 🙂

  • This is so neat! I love it. The picture is such a good one and the embroidery adds the perfect touch. I love embroidering on paper too and do it often but never thought of adding stitches to a photograph!


  • I just love this! I am a graphic designer – and I love seeing the combination of design and DIY!

  • wow very neat! I would have never thought of this!

  • This is amazingly cute! I’m giving the sharpie mug DIY tonight, might give this one a go after x

  • This is great! I think it’s a great birthday present for my friend. 🙂

  • This is SO cute!! I love this DIY, I need to do this. Love it.

  • Such a neat idea! Great for a gift. Homemade and easy but you can tell it takes a little bit of time and isn’t just thrown together! I love it!

  • This is super cute! I love how you outlined the two bikes.

  • That’s such a gorgeous picture of you two, the embroidery is a brilliant idea!!

  • I LOVE THIS!!!!!

    Thanks for such a rad idea, gonna put it to use immediately.


  • Such a brilliant idea. As always!!! I am always amazed by your creativity. The stitch coming out on the photo looks so unique 🙂 I gotta try this for sure! Thanks for sharing!
    Anh L. @ That Girl. She Smiles

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