How to Make your Cross Stitch Extra Special with Embellishments!

December 19, 2022

Want to learn how to give your cross stitch a truly special finish? In this week's blog post, you'll discover how to make your cross stitch unique by adding embellishments. There are so many wonderful ways to really personalise your cross stitch project out there, so let's get into the most popular techniques!

METALLIC THREAD

One popular way to personalise your cross stitch with embellishments is by using metallic thread. This is readily available in most craft stores and online retailers where you would usually buy standard stranded cotton.

DMC offer a dazzling range of different metallic threads for you to choose from, however the most commonly used is Light Effects. DMC says this “embroidery thread adds a glamorous metallic glimmer to your embroidery project. Formed of six easily divisible strands you can use alone or combine with stranded cotton for just a hint of shimmer”. They come in a beautiful range of colours so you can easily swap out your standard threads!

Just take a look at Emma's beautiful finish of Positivity Rules, where she's used metallic thread to make the cloud, moon and stars really sparkle and shine!

Our top tip for using metallic thread is to cut shorter lengths of thread than you usually would, as this will help to prevent tangles and knots. Using a thread conditioner, such as Thread Magic, will also help to smooth the thread and help make stitching easier.

GLOW IN THE DARK THREAD

Next up is glow in the dark thread, which is a fun way to make your cross stitch unique! This would work great if you were stitching a Halloween design, such as Touch of Magic. Why not try stitching the moon with white glow in the dark thread?

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Glow in the dark thread can also be purchased from the DMC Light Effects range. Their most popular thread colour is E940 which normally, will show as white, but glows green in the dark. Once you’ve finished stitching, shine some light onto your finished piece and the thread will then glow in the dark! This should glow for around 15 minutes, and you can simply recharge this again in the light.


Esther has finished off Deck the Halls on this beautiful gold hanger, but night time is when this piece is truly special!

 

As you can see, the glow in the dark thread really takes the limelight here and looks stunning!

We would recommend like with metallic thread, you stitch with shorter lengths than usual when using glow in the dark thread as this is also prone to tangles and knots. Because the thread can also sometimes fray, we definitely would suggest using thread conditioner.

 

SEQUINS AND BUTTONS

Another way to really your bring your cross stitch to life is by adding in sequins which also work well to add extra dimension! You might even already have some beautiful sequins in your craft stash ready to use. 

Let your creativity run wild and add in sequins wherever you think would look great on your project. Simply begin with a loop start and go through the centre of your sequin, and then placing a single stitch either side of the sequin through the fabric to secure this. 

Cassie has added white sequins to her Let it Snow cross stitch to give this sparkling effect of snow!

Buttons are also another great option, which can be added to your cross stitch using the same technique above for sequins. You can get so many different types of buttons!

Sarah has opted for an array of Christmas buttons to really bring her Lucky Nutcracker cross stitch project to life!

BEADS

Beading is another popular technique that can easily be used in your cross stitch to give that elegant touch. Smaller seed beads tend to work best for cross stitch, and Mill Hill are a well-known brand that a supply a beautiful range of colours. Alternatively, any other small beads you might already have will probably work well too!

You’re also going to want to use a beading needle instead of your tapestry needle, as these are much thinner and will pass through the beads with ease. We would also recommend matching the thread you will use to your bead as close as possible so that it's not very obvious. 

Samantha has added some beautiful beads onto her Lucky Nutcracker design to give the effect of Christmas tree ornaments, can you spot the sparkling metallic thread she has also added? Truly a masterpiece!

It’s super simple to attach beads to your cross stitch, just come up through the bottom left hole as you normally would when doing cross stitch. Firstly, go through the bead before going down the top right hole. Then, come back up through the bottom right corner, through your bead, and then back down the upper left corner. As easy as that!

Monique has beautifully added beads to the Christmas trees in Deck the Halls and each letter in tree, making the design really stand out! You could easily match the bead colours to the design or use what you have in your stash.

HOW TO PERSONALISE 

Now you’ve learnt a range of techniques to embellish your cross stitch, you might want to go a step further and add some personalisation. This could be the name or initials of the person you are gifting this to, or maybe a special date or place. We have a personalisation details chart with an alphabet and numbers, so you make your cross stitch piece truly unique.

If you have personalised or added embellishments to any of our cross stitch designs, we would love to see them! Please share you images within our lovely Caterpillar Cross Stitch Facebook group, where you will also find WIPs, ideas and tips.




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