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DIY: Embroidered illustration

The other day my friend and I were looking through her books from her childhood, picking out the ones that she wanted to read to her little girl. Sadly, one of them hadn’t stood the test of time, and had lost many of its pages. Rather than throw it away, I suggested she give it to me, and I would try to turn it into something nice. Actually, I have so many ideas for what I can do with it which I’m excited about sharing with you over the coming weeks.

The first thing I wanted to do was preserve one of the gorgeous illustrations. The book was Mice & Mendelson by Joan Aiken, featuring a fluffy, hairy pony and his two mousey friends. The illustrations were really cute, and reminded me of the Thelwell pictures I loved as a pony-mad kid (before I became a pony-mad adult).

I decided to use embroidery thread to embellish one of the pictures, so after cutting it out I punched holes using a needle along the lines I wanted to follow. I then split skeins of thread in half, so there were three individual threads of each colour, and backstitched through the holes I’d made.

I think the end result is adorable! You could mount and frame these for a nursery, although I have plans for it to be part of something bigger…

Embroidered children's book illustration from

Embroidered children's book illustration from

Embroidered children's book illustration from

Embroidered children's book illustration from


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Once the varnish is dry, carefully glue a brooch pin to the back with the superglue. And voila! As easy as that!