Transfer A Photo To Fabric [Embroidered Family Photos Hoop]

Not to spoil the surprise, but for Christmas gifts this year, I’ve been embroidering over black and white fabric copies of old family photos.

They’re a fun way to display those photos that have been sitting in dusty albums or saved in your computer for years.

In an added bonus, you have the power to add anything you want to those photos without harming the originals. (With great power comes great responsibility, people.)

So go on and impress your loved ones with your needlework skills and wizard-like photo-transforming powers.

Materials Needed:

  • Freezer Paper (I found it at Schnucks)
  • White Fabric
  • Embroidery Hoop
  • Colorful Embroidery Thread and Needle
  • Photograph
  • Laser Printer
  • Iron

Bubble Jet Set 2000 or other ink fixative if you want your fabric to be washable (I skipped this step because my hoops will just be hanging on the wall)

Cut a piece of freezer paper to 8.5 x 11 inches. This is the size of a standard piece of computer paper.

Cut a piece of fabric to 8.5 x 11 inches and iron to the shiny side of the freezer paper. I iron my fabric to the paper first and then trim to size. (It is easier to iron this on a hard surface, the ironing board doesn’t give enough resistence.)

In your favorite program, edit your picture to the correct size. Keep in mind the paper size and the diameter of your embroidery hoop.  I also chose to change all my photos to black and white. That gives you freedom to go bananas with the colorful accessories and still have some balance. I use picmonkey to balance the whites and blacks and Microsoft Word to change the size and print.

Load the freezer paper/fabric sheet into your printer. You’ll want to print on the fabric side so know which way to load it! Once printed, let the ink set for a few moments and then peel away the freezer paper backing. (My freezer paper was sticky enough to be used twice.)

Put your fabric in the hoop, get out your needles and thread,and get stitchy with it. I used a combination of chain stitches, running stitches, and french knots with bright colors. Need a refresher on different embroidery techniques? Click here. Then just finish the back of your hoop and display!

My favorite part is all the texture and color they bring. So cheery! I think mini embroidery hoop versions as Christmas ornaments would be fun too. Just wrap a piece of ribbon around the top to hang on the tree.