If you’ve ever tried to embroider a tree, you may have realized how tricky they can be to get right. I’ve been there before, and I have a few tips as well as a straight forward way to design and stitch them. This simple pine tree embroidery tutorial will help you stitch one with ease. Enjoy!
Pine Tree Embroidery Tutorial
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- A small embroidery hoop
- Embroidery Needle
- Embroidery Thread – I use DMC
- Embroidery Scissors
- Water soluble or heat erasable pen
- Linen or cotton fabric – My favorite is this hand dyed fabric by Stuart Moore’s Textiles
Drawing the Embroidery Design
The first thing you’ll want to do is draw some guidelines on the fabric to follow along with. I used a heat erasable Frixion pen, but you can use your favorite transfer method.
Start drawing the trunk of the tree by drawing a vertical straight line. Then start making diagonal lines branching off of the straight line. Similar to the natural shape of a pine tree, the lines towards the top should be shorter and then the ones towards the bottom will be longer. At the very bottom, draw a wider shape for the trunk of the tree.
You don’t have to worry about drawing individual leaves and smaller branches off of these lines. We’ll keep it simple to start off and then fill in more once we get started stitching.
It’s helpful to use a reference photo if you have one so you can see the colors and shapes of the tree while you’re embroidering it.
Getting Started Embroidering The Tree
If you want to follow along with the tutorial, here are the DMC colors I used:
I used 2 strands of cotton floss throughout the entire embroidery.
Starting at the very top of the tree, begin making straight stitches along the shorter branches using 934. Don’t worry about the space between the branches, we’ll be adding in individual pine needles.
After you’ve filled in about 3 levels of marked lines, begin adding in individual pine needles along the branches. These should run diagonally off of each branch you just stitched. Keep them very short. They don’t have to be perfect; we’ll be filling in the branches with other colors later on.
Now, moving on to the lower branches, use 3021 and back stitch along the rest of the stitches. (You won’t want to make one straight stitch for the entire branch because they are significantly longer.)
Once all of the branches are filled in, split stitch along the narrow part of the trunk of the tree using 3021. At the wider part of the trunk at the bottom, fill in the left side with rows of split stitches using 3021. Then to add a highlight along the trunk, fill in the right side using 640.
Now, begin adding short diagonal stitches to fill in the rest of the lower branches of the tree. The leaves will be slightly larger towards the bottom so you can make the stitches slightly longer. It’s totally fine if the branches still look a bit sparse, we’ll be adding in a lighter shade in the next step.
At this point, the tree is looking more like a pine tree, but it looks a bit flat. Using the lighter shade of green (936) scatter in some more diagonal stitches along the branches to add more dimension. Vary the angle of some of the stitches to make them look a bit more natural and realistic.
Now, use 733 to add in a few branches that go at different angles. Additionally, you can add a few vertical straight stitches towards the center of the tree. These will represent branches facing in front to portray the tree as a 3-dimensional object. This will add more depth and make it look somewhat more realistic.
Finally, you can scatter in some stitches of 469 to soften the contrast between the lighter and darker green colors wherever it looks like it needs it. And then you’re done!
I hope you found this tutorial helpful! Trees aren’t too hard to embroider once you break them down into simple shapes. If you enjoyed this tutorial, please check out some of the other mini embroidery tutorials.
Pine Tree Embroidery Patterns
This tutorial is only one of infinite ways to embroider pine trees. If you’re curious about other ways to stitch them, consider purchasing one of these amazing embroidery patterns.
Amanda is a hand embroidery artist and teacher. With over 15 years of experience in the craft industry and embroidery, she owns and runs Crewel Ghoul, sharing tutorials and patterns to help inspire fellow crafters to get inspired and creative. In addition to running this website, she teaches on Skillshare and Youtube.