Do you ever choose to learn something new for the sake of curiosity? Learning new things strengthens our minds – it’s like exercise for the brain. I’m always up for trying new things, so I was very excited to try out this unicorn embroidery wall art kit from Penguin & Fish. I have never done any type of embroidery before, so why not try a new craft? The skill level for this kit is listed as beginner, and the suggested age is 13 and up.
What exactly is embroidery? Embroidery is the art of applying decorative designs onto fabric using a needle. Different types of stitches allow you to create beautiful motifs. Embroidery has been found around the world, and as far back as the 5th – 3rd century BC. It was a useful skill for mending clothing and eventually became an expression of art. Nowadays, you can find embroidery on greeting cards, hand towels, clothing, and more.
The embroidery kit contains everything you need to get started, except scissors, an iron to transfer the image onto the fabric, and a hot glue gun to secure the finished project to the embroidery hoop. There’s more than enough colorful thread supplied for your project. The red ribbon that attaches the embroidery hoop to the kit is also part of the finished project, so don’t throw it away like I almost did!
While I have experience with other needle crafts such as sewing and crocheting, my experience with embroidery is non-existent. For this review, I’m going to assume that anyone trying one of these kits is also a beginner.
You begin by ironing the unicorn image onto the fabric. If you don’t have an iron, you can also trace the unicorn onto the fabric. Once you’ve decided where you want to begin, you have to thread the needle with the embroidery floss. For me, this was one of the trickiest parts! Since the thread supplied in this kit is six stranded, you’ll have to separate three strands out for each row of stitches. Trying to line up three individual strands through the eye of the needle takes a bit of precision! I found it helpful to take scissors and make a fresh cut against all the threads, and to wet the end of it before lining it up with the eye of the needle. Good luck.
I pondered for a while which color thread I was supposed to start with, as the directions don’t specifically tell you where to start. With this particular kit, it doesn’t matter where you start on the design.
Once your needle is threaded, you can start stitching! Remember that you should be starting and ending from the back side of the fabric. What that means, is that you’ll be poking your needle up through the backside of the fabric at the start, and then finishing your stitch on the back side as well. What to do with the beginning and ending of the floss? The directions say to weave the ends of the floss through the backs of the stitches. I found that to be tricky, as some of the stitching you are doing is so short. For smaller sections, I either tied the ends into a knot so it wouldn’t slip through the fabric, or gently tied both ends together to keep it intact. Not sure if that’s the proper thing to do, but it worked for me!
There are a couple of stitches used in this kit. Once you get the hang of them, the process will go a lot quicker. The instructions have basic illustrations of the stitches, but I still struggled to understand the complete process. Search for videos of the stitches online, it was super helpful!
When you’re done with your embroidery, you’ll want to trim off the excess fabric around the hoop, and then hot glue it to the inner hoop. If you don’t cut off the excess fabric, it will show through the fabric. Tie the red bow to the top of the fastener as the finishing touch, and be proud of the new work of art you created!
– Do all the same color stitches at one time, so you’re not constantly changing out thread colors. You don’t necessarily need to cut and rethread every time you move to a different section of your design. The back of your project may look a little messy with threads connecting all over the place, but the front of your design will look the same!
– Keep your stitch lengths consistent in length for a cleaner finish, unless you are intentionally going for a staggered stitch length look.
– Videos are a must if you can’t figure out a stitch! There are great tutorials that you can watch to learn how to do a stitch.
– Save your leftover embroidery floss for another project. You can apply the same principles and make designs on a blank greeting card (trace your design and poke stitch holes to make it easier). You can even embroider a design or put a monogram on something like face masks.
Who is Penguin & Fish?
If you’re not a fan of unicorns, you should check the other fun designs by Penguin & Fish. This month’s limited edition embroidery of the month design is an adorable April showers embroidery bundle. It’s available as a kit, downloadable PDF, printed PDF, or pre-printed fabric. If you’d like to put together a fun crafting kit for an upcoming birthday or Mother’s day, check out Penguin & Fish for some ideas! You can find Penguin & Fish products online at Amazon.com, Walmart.com, DickBlick.com, and at penguinandfish.com.
Penguin & Fish products are packaged and shipped from their warehouse located in Eden Prairie, MN. Alyssa Thomas is the creative brains behind the company. She takes pride in designing all of the embroidery patterns. Her inspiration comes from the Penguin & Fish community, but she has a soft spot for “anything cute and sweet with four legs”. You can catch Alyssa every weekday night crafting live at 8:30pm CST on Facebook and YouTube. Follow along as she works on quilting projects, embroidery designs, or get your crafting questions answered by the supportive community!
Follow along at:
Join Alyssa every weeknight at 8:30pm CST for LIVE crafting. Search for Penguin & Fish on Facebook or watch at youtube.com/penguinandfishmovies.