How to Create Custom Embroidery Patterns

What You'll Need
Embroidery software
Scanner (optional)
Graphics program
Permanent marker
White paper
Clear tape

Creating custom embroidery is a great way to save money and is also a fun hobby that can create some nice gifts for loved ones. Making custom embroidery sounds harder than it actually is, as creating custom embroidery is fairly simple and reminiscent of connect-the-dots drawings. All embroidery machines have a preset design or pattern to use, but custom embroidery is a lot of trial and error. You can create custom embroidery patterns to use with your embroidery machine but also patterns you can use if you prefer to embroider by hand. Regardless of which you decide to do, the article below will show you how to make custom embroidery patterns.

Step 1 – Choosing a Design

If you are looking on the Internet or through magazines for a design to use as embroidery, look for something that has very clear and clean lines. The colors should be as few as possible because you will be digitizing the design later. Once you have found the graphic you want to use, cut it out of the magazine or download it to your hard drive. If you are cutting it out, scan it into the computer by taping it to a sheet or two of plain white paper.

Step 2 – Editing the Design

In order for an embroidery machine to read your design, it needs to be adjusted and saved correctly. This has to be done regardless if you downloaded a graphic or cut one from a magazine and scanned it. Custom embroidery patterns work best when you use very few colors and when the lines are crisp. Change the design you loaded into the graphics program into grayscale or black and white. The graphics program will read the colors and turn them white, while black will remain black. Use a pen in the graphics program and make all of the lines black. Use the eraser in the program to remove any dark specs or marks inside the lines that you do not want the embroidery machine to read. You can then color in the spaces with solid neutral colors or leave them white. Read the instructions of the embroidery machine to see what file formats it reads and save your image in that format.

Step 3 – Using the Design

You can do custom embroidery by hand, but you can also use an embroidery machine. If you are making these patterns by hand, you will need to print the design out and then trim with scissors. Remove as much of the white as possible and affix the design to the item to be embroidered. When using patterns with an embroidery machine, you will keep the design on the computer. Connect the embroidery machine to the computer and locate the saved embroidery pattern, or save the new pattern to the memory card provided with the custom embroidery machine. You will be able to call the pattern up any time you need it.