Family Handprints

I had dreams of doing this project right after our 4th renegade joined the crew but then our 4th renegade joined the crew and life sorta veered off into crazy town for a bit. But better late than never! And by late I mean two years later...whatdoyado?

Let me preface this DIY with the strong disclaimer that I am not a skilled needleworker. Seriously. I know like two stitches and barely those. This is a project of imperfect love...not skill. So good news is you can totally do this even if you've never embroidered anything in your life!

Ok, let's do this. You will need:

1. Tea towel - I used a very basic plain white one
2. Embroidery hoop
3. Embroidery needle
4. Colored embroidery floss - 1 color for each family member
6. Plain paper
7. Sharpie marker

Carefully trace everyone's hands on separate pieces of paper using a dark colored sharpie marker. Make sure to do all the same hands, ie: all right handed or all left handed.

Starting with your youngest family member, copy their handprint onto the tea towel using the disappearing ink. I laid my towel over the paper handprint and traced from there. You could also hold it up to a window to see the dark lines better if need be. 

Once that's done stretch your tea towel onto your embroidery hoop. Interior hoop goes on the back of the cloth and the exterior hoop stretches over the top of the fabric.

Choose your colored floss and cut a long piece. I cut mine about 3 ft in length because I wanted to be able to do the entire handprint without stopping to reload thread. Floss comes with 6 threads together so I separate it into two 3 thread sections. Take one section to thread your needle and knot at one end.

Starting from the back of your project push your needle through at the starting point of your handprint. Pull your thread until the knot is tight against the back.

Push your needle back through about 1/4" further along the traced handprint and pull through. And BAM!!!! You have your first stitch!

For this project I'm using a Back Stitch. This is probably one of the easiest and most basic embroidery stitches. After you have your first stitch in (follow above directions) all you do is advance your needle another 1/4" along the design from the back of the cloth and push through. 

But now instead of going FORWARD along the design you're going to go BACK and push your needle through the hole from the previous stitch. Hence the BACK STITCH! Repeat these steps all the way around your handprint and then finish with a knot at the end.

Repeat these steps for all subsequent handprints using a different floss color. 

*TIP: make sure to slightly stagger each handprint so the finger lines don't line up exactly - otherwise your embroidery will be a jumbled mess.

Once you've completed all the handprints you gently run your project underwater to erase the ink. Let dry and frame. Happy stitching!!!

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