Make Your Very Own DIY Embroidery Photo Frame

Who says you have to use a regular photo frame to display a special photo? Instead, let me show you how you can easily create an embroidered frame! This tutorial will walk you through how to create your own DIY embroidery photo frame. Grab the free traceable design to follow along with the tutorial.

embroidery photo frame of strawberries with a polaroid photo of 2 dogs

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Embroidery Photo Frame Tutorial

Supplies Needed

  • embroidery hoop
  • embroidery needle
  • cotton or linen fabric
  • embroidery floss
  • scissors
  • a pencil, carbon transfer paper, or a heat erasable pen
  • printed embroidery design – for polaroid or 4 x 6 size photos
  • a 4 x 6 photo or a standard size polaroid
supplies for the photo frame: embroidery floss, a photograph, fabric in a hoop, and printed embroidery design

Getting Started

The design comes in two sizes: 4 x 6 and polaroid size (3.4 x 4.2 inches). Print out the traceable design using the default “letter” setting on your printer. Every printer varies, but printing the design using the default settings will most likely work.

To check that the design printed at the correct size, measure the dimensions of the outlined photograph to ensure that it is the exact size as the photo you plan to frame.

Place the fabric in the embroidery hoop. Any wrinkling or over-stretching of the fabric will distort the area where the photograph will eventually go, so make sure the fabric is tight in the hoop and lined up exactly how you want it!

If you are using fabric that is thin or has the tendency to move around in the hoop, you may want to add an extra layer of fabric or bind the hoop for this project. It’s very important that the fabric stays tight in the hoop so that the photo will fit perfectly within the corners that you will stitch.

transferred embroidery pattern with polaroid photo sitting on top of the fabric

Transferring The Design

I would recommend using a transfer method that doesn’t involve rinsing or washing the marks away with water. Washing the embroidery risks disturbing the stitches, which might mess up the stitches that hold the corners of the photo.

Some methods that work well for this project are:

I used a Frixion heat erasable pen.

To transfer the design, you can use a tablet, light box, or sunny window. Place the hooped fabric face down on top of the design and trace through the fabric.

Once you’ve transferred the pattern, lay the photo on top of the fabric to double check that the corners of the photo fit inside the traced design. Fabric will naturally move around a bit so you may need to retrace the corners.

Embroidering The Frame

Flip the fabric around to the front of the hoop and you’re ready to get started stitching! We’ll start by embroidering the stitches that will hold the photo in the frame.

embroidering the frame corners step 1

To start, make evenly spaced out stitches along the corner at a diagonal. Really take your time with these; you want them to be even and exactly along the outline of the triangle.

step 2

Make sure the corner easily fits underneath the stitches.

step 3

Then fill in the remaining spaces.

polaroid photo inside the embroidered frame

Repeat steps 1-3 for all four corners. Place the photo in the four corners to test that it fits snugly.

Once you’ve checked that the photo fits properly, you can remove it for now and set it to the side. Next, we’ll outline the strawberries with split stitches. Use 4 strands of red floss.

step 5 outlining the strawberries

To make a split stitch, make a single straight stitch along the outline.

step 6

Come up through the middle of the stitch with your needle.

step 7

Then make another straight stitch. Continue making these stitches, splitting them in the middle as you stitch along the line. Outline all of the strawberries.

step 8 embroidering the seeds of the strawberry

Next, fill in the seeds of each strawberry with small straight stitches. Use 4 strands of yellow floss.

embroidered strawberries

Once all of the strawberry seeds are stitched, it’s time to outline the leaves with back stitches using 3 strands of green floss.

step 9 - back stitching the leaves

To make a back stitch, begin by making a single straight stitch.

step 10

Skip a stitch length ahead and go back up through the fabric.

step 11

Make another straight stitch, this time up against the end of the first stitch. Make these stitches along the outline and the veins of each leaves.

step 12

To make the sharp corners of the leaves, make sure the ends of your stitches converge at the point.

step 13 - embroidering the strawberry tops

Back stitch along the strawberry tops using 3 strands of green floss.

step 14 - white flowers

The same way you outlined the strawberries, split stitch along the outline of all of the white flowers.

step 15 - stem stitching the stems

Outline the stems using the stem stitch. Use 2 strands of green floss. To start this stitch, make a single stitch that is 2 stitch lengths long.

step 16

Pull the thread slightly, keeping a loop of the working thread off to the left. Come up in the middle of the stitch with your needle and thread and pull the working thread through.

step 17

Make another stitch, again keeping the working thread off to the left.

step 18

Come up with your needle and thread at the end of the stitch above it. Repeat these steps along the line.

step 19

Outline all of the the stems.

embroidered polaroid photo frame made of yellow fabric and embroidered strawberries. The polaroid photo features 2 dogs.

Carefully place the photo inside of the embroidered corners. Finish the back of the hoop, and you’re done!

These frames are so fun to make a plan out! There are so many clever things you can do with them. Now that you know how to assemble one, you should be able to create your very own designs if you wanted to!

More Embroidered Photo Designs

If you’re interested in even more downloadable designs, I highly suggest checking out some of these patterns.

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