10 Creative Prompts To Help You Think Of Cool Embroidery Ideas

Sometimes you just need a little inspiration to figure out your next embroidery project. If you feel like your well of creativity has run dry or that you want to make something but none of your ideas sound good to you, this post is for you.

It’s never fun to feel this way, but the good news is that there are ways to get past it. I have gathered 10 creative prompts that I like to use to come up with new ideas for embroidery that I think will help you too!

printed fabric in an embroidery hoop with some thread bobbins lying next to it

Embroider On Printed Fabric

One of my favorite things to look for at the thrift store is vintage fabrics. Find some of your favorites and stitch on top of the designs. You can use similar colors and stitch similar motifs, or you can use the design as a starting point to create something entirely new.

Embroidery Telephone – Freehand Stitch A Design With A Friend

Have you ever played the game where you start a drawing and then take turns with a friend to create a design? This fun activity usually ends up with some wild results: try it with embroidery instead. If you’re in a rut, it’s a sure way to get you thinking and problem solving a little differently!

an embroidered umbrella that says "turkeywork" underneath of it

Pick One Embroidery Stitch

A really fun way to learn a new embroidery stitch is to think about creative ways to use it in a design. Start by picking one stitch you want to primarily use and brainstorm what subject matter it would look interesting with.

For example, I used the raised stem stitch to embroider this basket and the turkey stitch for the fringe of this umbrella.

Pick From A Hat

Cut up a piece of paper and write down different subject matter for each piece. For example, you could write down things like rose, bird, tea kettle, etc. Pick 2 or 3 pieces out of a hat and try to create a design with all of the subject matter in it.

a yellow scrunchie with white embroidered flowers on it

Think Outside Of The Hoop

Think about projects you could make that are different than what you usually do. Embroidery doesn’t have to be limited to a hoop on the wall!

Here are some projects:

embroidery on paper

Use Different Materials

Sometimes all you need is something a little different than your usual materials to get the creative juices flowing. Try using crewel wool instead of cotton floss or maybe try embroidering on paper instead of fabric!

Keep A Notebook or Sketchbook

New ideas usually pop into our heads when we least expect it, and it can be easy to forget them if you don’t take note of them when you first think of them. One thing I like to do is to keep a note in my phone with my ideas. When I have the time, I create a super rough sketch of the design that I want to stitch.

When you’re having a hard time generating concepts, you can come back to these sketches so you have something to start!

a stumpwork moth with 3-dimensional wings
Moth Stumpwork Embroidery Pattern

Try A New Style Of Embroidery

There are so many different styles and techniques of embroidery to try. If you’re feeling a bit unimaginative, why not learn a new style? Here are some suggestions:

Found Objects

Create a still life drawing of objects you find around your home. This can be a fun way to do an art study and learn more about color and light. Once you’re happy with your drawing, try embroidering it!

embroidery of a yellow butterfly
Butterfly Thread Painting Class

Take A Class

If you’re still stumped on what you want to create, taking a class is a great way to learn something new and create a new project. I love finding classes on Domesticka and Skillshare.

Here are some of my favorites:

P.S. You can get 1 month free of Skillshare through my referral link!)

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