15 Simple Embroidery Designs To Inspire Your Next Project
15 Simple Embroidery Designs To Inspire Your Next Project
Posted 14th October 2021 •
Did you know that simple embroidery designs have been used to embellish fabric and garments since as early as 30,000BC! Over the centuries, embroidery grew to be a hobby for the upper classes and displayed power, status, and wealth. It was used to ornately decorate garments, wall hangings, and table cloths, as well as being used to display sigils on banners and army uniforms in great battles.
In modern times things are obviously a lot different. However, embroidery is still a staple in the crafting world - the only real change is the technology that has evolved to facilitate us to create intricate designs even more efficiently than ever before with computerized Embroidery Machines.
Today we're going to take a look at our top 15 simple embroidery designs for use with machine embroidery to help inspire your next creative sewing project.
Have you been looking for a way to make easy seasonal home decor but drawing a blank? Well, look no further; these Holiday Truck designs are the ideal way to add a spot of holiday magic to your home in a nice subtle way. We all change our tea towels and hand towels regularly, so why not change them out of holiday embroidered ones each month! This collection contains 12 designs perfect for each month of the year, including St.Patrick's Day, 4th July, and Back To School.
Each design comes in 3 sizes, so it could easily be made to fit a tea towel, hand towel, or even napkin. Their size makes them the ideal fabric scrap-busting project. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, why not try making seasonal lawn flags that can be changed out. Add a little saying on top, and it’d be a great way to greet guests to your home.
There are so many inventive ways to make baby name announcements nowadays, but how about doing something simple with this Split Tie Applique design. It would work perfectly on a baby sleepsuit or t-shirt; you could even size it up to add to bigger kids' t-shirts and do a whole family photoshoot!
Four hoop sizes are included with this design, with the most petite 4x4 inch being the perfect size for newborn and preemie sizes as well as teddy bear clothes. To add a name to the design, search DesignBundles to find a suitable embroidery font - there are lots available in all kinds of styles!
Once purchased, you can download the font file to your computer and add it to your system’s font files. Once installed, you may need to shut down and restart your embroidery machine program to be able to select it from your font dropdown.
Who doesn't love a snack? Whether you prefer salty or sweet, there's something for everyone in this Food Duos Applique assortment. These would be great to make and sell as clothing patches but could also be turned into pins, badges, or even hair clip embellishments.
To do this, you would need to add a bit of extra stabilization to the back of the embroidery. This can quickly be done by using a layer of fusible interfacing direct behind the fabric applique layer and then adding felt to the back of the designs to hide the stitching and interfacing, making it nice and neat.
A great added extra for these cute designs would be the addition of some hand-sewn sequins or beads to highlight certain parts (for example, the sprinkles on the donut or the eyes on each character). Or why not try using metallic thread for the criss-cross pattern on the waffle and ice cream cone.
How adorable would this caterpillar look added to the corner of a handmade baby blanket or used as an applique on a patchwork square? Blankets make for wonderful keepsakes and can be passed down in families for years.
Why not use the larger pattern size and make it so that each section of the caterpillar is a different tactile fabric to make it a sensory piece for baby to explore.
If you make the pattern large enough, you could add some crinkle fabric or a squeaker under the applique patch of one of the sections to make even more of a sensory experience!
If you decided to branch out into making sensory toys for children and babies, make sure to research the laws around the safety of materials. All items with ‘play value’ in the US need to be tested in accordance with the ASTM toy safety standard, and in the UK, they need to be CE tested.
Now for something a bit more delicate, this stunning Orchid flower embroidery design is just one of a beautiful floral range created by EmbArt. This DesignBundles designer specializes in both sublimation and machine embroidery designs with a lovey simplistic style. They would look beautiful embroidered onto a fine and plain material such as a napkin (ideal for wedding decor and place settings, you can change the orchard color to match or complement the wedding’s color scheme), doily, or even a shirt pocket. A plain background will make this design really stand out.
We'd suggest using a thin 60 weight Rayon thread for a design like this as it will give a nicer, almost glossy luster finish, and the design will lay flatter. If you do use a Rayon thread for this design we would suggest hand washing the item rather than machine washing so that the stitching doesn’t get damaged.
Have you ever wanted to create a fabric sensory book for children but not known where to start? Then this Applique Embroidery design pack is your answer! Use different tactile textured fabrics to create these applique designs (it is the perfect fabric scrap stash project) and then mount them onto a larger square of fabric using fusible interfacing to create a ‘page’. You'll need to add batting or fusible fleece between your pages so that they are sturdy and don't flop over but still stay soft to the touch.
If you plan to use faux fur or fluffy fabrics to make some of the appliques, be sure to trim down the material on the embroidered edges before running through the machine to prevent an uneven and bulky finish. All designs in this set include sizes for 4x4, 5x7, 6x10, and 8x8 hoops, which make them perfect for a myriad of uses.
Trying to find a gift for the home chef who has everything? Why not make them some personalized kitchen wear. A monogrammed apron or tea towel would make a lovely gift and the colors can easily be changed to match any theming. Are you looking for a new side hustle? Why not approach small local restaurants or cafes and ask them if they would like their napkins or staff aprons embroidered with the business name? These machine embroidery designs will stand up to all sorts of wear and tear.
If you are embroidering something such as restaurant table linens, napkins, or aprons, you will want to use a good quality polyester thread as it is durable, strong, and colorfast, meaning your work will still look good as new even after multiple washes. We’d also suggest adding a stabilizing fabric behind the embroidery if doing a larger design so that the material doesn’t pucker.
One of our favorite ways to use designs such as this ‘Animal Toppers Applique’ is to make them into little 'pocket pals'. To do this, you would need to find a kid's t-shirt with a pocket on the front and then set the fabric in your embroidery hoop so that the machine can reach to stitch just to the top line of the pocket. It should look like the animal is just sitting in the top of the pocket poking its head out! This pattern would also be great for adding to hooded towels or baseball caps.
Want to make this pattern even more fun? Why not try adding googly eyes to the designs instead of machine stitching the eyes. They can be added on with strong fabric glue, or you could instead opt for soft toy eyes, which attach by pushing a piece of plastic through the fabric and attaching a fastening to the other side.
Scandinavian Folk Squares are simple, yet beautiful symmetrical designs. These designs are a lovely way to personalize plain clothing - It looks fab added as a patch to a denim skirt or dungarees.
You could even edit the design slightly to create a repeat pattern decorative border around the hem of a piece of clothing. Of course, this would take a little bit more time to sew but you can edit the design so that you fit as many individual squares into the embroidery frame area as possible and then it’s just a case of making sure the frame is lined up correctly for the next set of border pattern repeats.
Try switching out one of the design colors for a metallic thread to add even more of a special touch or go back in and hand sew on some beading to accent certain parts of the design. These folk squares would also look brilliant, added to a handmade quilt.
Are you looking to make a unique Christmas keepsake decoration? How about a monogrammed or personalized fabric bauble! To create these, you'd need to use a fairly stiff fabric to ensure that it holds its shape while hanging on the tree. We'd suggest using a layered felt - one layer to embroider the design and then a second layer to hide the stitching on the back. If you add a layer of stabilizing fabric behind the felt that you embroider on then it’ll make the design even sturdier. Once the front is embroidered you add the other layer to the back and then run a neat machine running stitch as close to the edge of the design as possible and trim the excess fabric with sharp scissors.
Instead of added a plain felt back you could mirror the design from the front and add a date of birth or the year to the other side. These would make perfect 1st Christmas presents and would be sure to be a treasured decoration for years to come.
Anyone who has had a kid in any kind of dance team knows that the clothing and equipment that comes with it can be crazy expensive. The easiest way to make sure it doesn't get lost is to ensure it's packed away properly at the end of practice - where better to pack your ballet pumps and leotard away than into a personalized shoe or barrel bag. This pattern comes in 9 different sizes and would look amazing added to the round end of a barrel bag for maximum impact.
You could even change the design up to match team colors. Personalizing uniform and shoe bags would be a great side hustle, especially in the run-up to the competition season. It would be quick and easy to run a design such as this through your embroidery machine and even add it on to other items such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, and caps so that the whole team matched!
The world falls into two camps, you either love big lairy loud Christmas jumpers or, well, you don’t! If you're not one for wearing the big Christmas sweaters but still want to share your festive feelings, why not make a 'Merry Christmas Y'all' Festive T-shirt or hoodie instead?
This design would look fabulous on any color fabric. You could go for a traditional color palette for the stitching like red, green and gold or blue, white, and silver. Why not make it stand out even more by using neon or metallic colored thread. Or you could go the whole hog and instead of adding the stitched fairly lights on the design, just add your own real fairy lights. It’s simpler than it sounds, Samantha has a blog post showing you exactly how to add your own battery-operated LED fairy lights to your Christmas sweater.
Looking for an alternative to the usual Trick or Treat bucket - we've got you covered! Grab an old pillowcase and set up your embroidery machine to make a spooktacular Halloween swag bag (we'd suggest using the 6x10 inch size). If you want to add a way to close the bag you can turn over a large hem at the top opening of the bag to create a casing for some ribbon, cut an opening in either side of the casing and thread the ribbon through like a drawstring. If you are having trouble threading it through, attach the end of your ribbon to a safety pin and use that thread it through the casing you have created.
Did you know that you can get Glow in The Dark embroidery thread? It can be a bit more difficult to work with than regular thread, but using a thread conditioner such as beeswax can help to make it more manageable.
Does anyone else find bathroom decor a bit, well, boring? You can always get fun slogan items for the kitchen, but the bathroom gets left behind - not anymore! Inject some fun into your bathroom by embroidering some of your towels with these fun quotes and quips. To embroider on towels you want to make sure they have been washed and dried first (to avoid shrinkage), use a cutaway stabilizer adhered to the back of the towel where the embroidery will go and a water-soluble stabilizer on the front to stop your design ‘sinking’ into the pile of the fabric.
How beautiful is this design? If you love fall for the falling leaves and changing scenery (instead of the Pumpkin Spice Lattes), this embroidery design would look great to add to a reusable shopping tote or big comfy sweater. The brights, oranges, and vibrant greens would really pop on a dark background - maybe a deep wine red, forest green, or black fabric.
Another great use would be as an embellishment for a cushion as part of your seasonal decor. It’s easy to make a simple cushion with even basic sewing skills, we would suggest adding the embroidery on to the front panel of fabric before stitching the entire cushion together and it’s easier to fit it into the embroidery frame - we have a step by step tutorial on how to create a simple cushion here.
This design would be another great candidate for using metallic thread in some rich autumnal tones, even if it were just to highlight the smallest part of the design, such as the branches or leaves.
We hope that this post has given you some inspiration for your next machine embroidery project. Of course, we'd love to see anything you create, so please do share your projects in our Facebook Group,The Design Bundles Customer Community.