Stitched Photo Art Project

Stitched Photo Art Project www.abeautifulmess.comHi friends! We had so much fun creating this project. This is the first project in our yearlong collaboration with Canon USA! Today we're taking a few of our favorite photos, printing large black and white versions and adding stitches to create colorful, textural works of art! It's similar to this embroidered photo project we did, but we wanted to try a more abstract design and really play with color. Here's what we did…Stitched Photo Art- Printing the photoStep 1: Print your photos! We used the Canon PRO-100 printer and their huge semi-gloss photo paper. As you can see, the quality is absolutely amazing! We were able to fit two 8×12 photos on one 13×19 piece of photo paper. 

A few tips: We used the PRO-100, because of how rich the blacks are, but you could definitely pull this off with the MG6320. If you're using the PRO-100, be sure to load the paper so that the "good side" is facing up. Super obvious, I know, but we definitely made that mistake at first, since it's different than a lot of paper trays out there. 😉Stitched Photo Art- adding abstract stitches and textureStep 2: Start stitching! We used yarn and embroidery thread to cover the photo in fun, abstract stitches! Don't be shy—just go for it! Each photo took us about 4 hours to embroider, so we recommend doing this while watching TV or a movie for a few nights. Mad Men, anyone? ;)

A note about color: I find that using a limited color scheme (like all warm or all cool colors) on a black and white photo works really well! Whatever colors you choose, be sure to lay all the fibers out together before stitching to make sure you love the mix!Stitched Photo Art- ready to be framed!Step 3: Continue stitching until all of the "white space" in your photograph is filled with random stitches. Be sure to overlap some colors and add stitches in a variety of styles and directions.Stitched Photo Art-framingStitched Photo Art Project     Step 4: Framing! I purchased a floating frame set that was a little too large for my 8×12 prints. I added some balsa wood strips behind the photo and I love the detail it adds!Stitched Photo Art Project Done! I'm so excited to display these pieces in our home.

Stitched Photo Art Project  Stitched Photo Art Project  Enjoy your new artwork! Which photo will you choose for this project? 

xo. Elsie 

  • This is SO CREATIVE! I love your blog. I just upgraded my camera from Canon T1i to T3i. I never learned everything the T1i could do, except the SLR’s take awesome pictures. I love you post about different lens. I just need to learn how to use them.
    My dachshund and yorkie/poo are going to look good hanging in my sewing room with embroidery all over them! THANK YOU!

  • I would love to see a full picture of the canvas behind the beautiful stitch pictures the one with the colours…do you have a post about it??

    Ann-Marie,Dublin Ireland

  • Oooohhhh! This gives me a gift idea. Yay! Thanks for posting this up.

  • Cool combination – old fashioned sewing/embroidery and digital photography. Now if we could only teach grandma to hold the camera steady…

  • What an adorable idea! I think this would make a great mother’s day gift for my Mom with pictures of my girls 🙂

  • Your photos turned out great! I did cross stitches on old postcards recently, but I think we need to try stitching on photos as well! Thank you for lots of fantastic inspiration.

    Love from Sweden

  • So so fun and cute! Lovely!

    Juliette Laura

  • wow those prints turned out great


  • Love this! So creative! 🙂 xx

  • cute idea! This would look great with smaller embroidering, too, although that would take a LOT longer! Love the color scheme.


  • Oh my goodness these are darling! And so simple with a BIG pop. I would probably do one of our pup scout, my husband B, and myself all in a little row. xoxo, W

    Altogether Smitten

  • ahhh such a good idea! I have a pug myself and will be borrowing this idea for some photos I’ve taken of her!

  • Elsie and Emma,

    Do you know just how amazing you two are? Well you are amazing and oh so inspiring.
    I am so thankful to have stumbled upon your amazing blog. I can’t pass a day without checking to see whats new.

    xo Chelsea

  • The photos on their own seemed a little off with the stitching to me, but once they’re framed that is crazy how good they look.

  • I am so amazed!
    that is way cool!
    love the contrast with the black and white image and coloured stitching!

    – Janine

  • Where did you get that multi-colored canvas behind the photos? Or is it a DIY? I’d love to know the details!

  • Very original !
    we are fans !


  • This looks amazing! I’m going to have to come back to this page hone it’s time to move to my new place this fall! And love that you used a photo of the pup! Love ideas on home decor!

  • This is such a fun project idea. I’ll definitely have to try it out! xo

  • Wow. LOVE this! Never would have thought of it 🙂

  • Ohhhh puppies!! So cute!

    I think I will try this project – it looks like a lot of fun, and is pretty straightforward. I’ve really wanted to try painting on my photographs, and this method has a similar aesthetic 🙂

  • Love love love…the color, the dimension! So great! I am so inspired by this (and your last embroidered photo you did) and can’t wait to try it out! I have a black and white daisy I shot/edited the other day and might play around with it for fun.

  • I love how the yarn (or embroidery floss) adds not only color, but a cool texture as well. Thank you for always having such inspiring (and budget friendly) DIY’s!

  • This is a crazy brillant idea! Love it! You two always inspire me to think of bigger and better projects.


  • I am DEFINITELY doing this for my cat! So pretty and neat!

  • This is so great! I love the balsa wood too-gives it such awesome depth!

  • This is so amazing! That’s my project for this weekend! x

  • These are so cute! What a fun idea.

    Hannah x

  • That looks like such a fun project! Love it.

  • Oh I love this project! I have some photos that need a little pizzazz and this would be great. I also really like how the balsa wood adds lovely texture to the whole look.

  • Super cute! I can’t wait to try this to add a little more to my apartment!

  • This is so amazing. You have the most brilliant ideas.

    Carina xx

  • these are so lovely, I like your colour scheme it makes the pictures work so well together

  • The pictures and colors you chose for this project are absolutely adorable. I am regular on your blog, you guys are always up to something!


  • This is sooooo cute!!!!! I must try it with my dogs, or kids….but one question, how did you stitch the photo without bending it all up? Just wondering….

  • i cant believe you come up with such amazing projects!

  • oh my god so cute! if only i had cute pets like yours to do this project to. I guess my 5 year old will have to suffice. 🙂

  • These are cool!

    xo Jennifer

  • I love thisss! Such a great decoration would have never thought about this myself. Well done!

  • This is such a cool idea!

    Seaside Beauty

  • Love these! Such a brilliant and cute idea! 🙂 x

  • This is one of my favorite DIY’s you’ve done, hands down! I want to try this so badly!

  • Just love this! SO pretty.


  • Oh this is really cute. It looks so great. Another great project I have to try. Thank’s a lot for all those ideas.

  • Oh, man – I really love these!! 🙂 They remind me of your scrapbook pages! I was packing and came across your first book the other day and it brought me down a little scrapbook memory-lane. Yay!

  • I find it hard to believe that each print took 4 hours to embroider?

  • So cute! I have just the picture I can do this too. This project is now on my weekend diy list. 🙂

  • This is so cute! I can’t wait to try it on my favorite picture of our pup!

  • C’est superbe! Quelle bonne idée! Le résultat est très moderne 🙂


  • These are beautiful shots!

  • This is such a CUTE D.I.Y!!!


  • haha this project made me giggle, kind of goofy but quite adorable and unique 🙂


  • great post!

  • This is really cute!! I’d love to do this for some of my friends!!
    xo, Clare

  • Stitching photos. Genius. I swear you guys were given triple doses of creativity.

  • So cute !

    Check out my new outfit post :

  • That looks so cool! I love the look of black and white photos, it really adds something!

    xo Lisa

  • I love the idea, and the dogs are so cute. Maybe I should do something like this with my dog.


  • This art project looks creative. From a distance, the frames appear very neat… Something great to do with the kids. Thanks for sharing this idea. Keep it up!

  • Awesome! What a fun idea.
    By the way, I found something I bet you will love!! It involves pugs…:)
    Check out
    (Ladybird Likes pug collar clips)
    Lou xo

  • What a fun DIY. Thanks for sharing!

  • This looks amazing! Ireally love the birhgt colors against the black&white photos; what a creative idea!


  • My friend just recently lost her pug to old age. This would be a nice gift for her. Very pretty.

  • They turned out great! Something I definitely will have to try out – probably won’t look as good as this though!


  • OH! You guys are brilliant! You always have the most inspirational and wonderful ideas! I love that your projects are also budget friendly. Your blog helps me brainstorm how I’ll want to make my empty dorm look like home but without using a lot of money!
    tessa lynn

  • I love the framing….where did you find the strips of wood for the background? Thanks for always inspiring me to be more creative!

  • This is such a creative idea! LOVE IT! The entire gallery looks so great together!

    brandy j |

  • Love this so much! Where would I get the same supplies for framing?

  • Oh, this is soo beautiful!
    I would took a photo of my sister

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