How to Embroider Postcards

Every year during my ritual spring cleaning extravaganza, I come across old family photos and postcards from vacations past. This year, instead of putting them back in the box where they belong, I had a thought: why not give them new life and add a little inspired personalization instead?

After a bit of brainstorming, I decided to update my postcard collection by embroidering photocopies of the originals, which proved simple, inexpensive and stunning. 

You will need:

  • A photocopy of a photo or postcard
  • Embroidery floss
  • A large-eyed needle
  • Thick cardboard
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors
Optional embellishments:
  • Sequins
  • Buttons
  • Small beads
  • Paint
  • Glitter
  • Glue


Step 1: Prepare your image

Tape the back of the image with masking tape and cut around the border.

Step 2: Poke holes

Place the image on your thick piece of cardboard. Using your needle, poke holes in the areas that you’d like to embroider first, keeping in mind that you can add more holes once you’ve started embroidering. If you like, you can make another copy of your image beforehand and draw out the design you’d like to embroider to use as a guide for the hole placement.

Step 3: Start stitching

Thread your needle and tie a double knot at the end. Starting from the back of your image, guide your needle through the first hole and pull gently until the knot is up against the hole.

Guide the needle back through the second hole from front to back and pull the floss gently until your stitch is taut.

Move on through the back of the third hole and repeat until you’ve finished your stitch. If needed, you can add more holes as you embroider.

Step 4: Trim excess

Once you’re done with your design, cut the excess floss so that it sticks out two inches from the back of your image. Next steps ➜


DIY created by Clare McGibbon and edited by Aleksa Brown for

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