DIY Project: Stitched Screen Door by Abbey Hendrickson

This past week, a new publication came across my desk with one of the best titles I’ve ever seen. You Are Awesome is a collection of 21 fun, simple, colorful craft projects by Abbey Hendrickson, crafter extraordinaire and the woman behind the popular blog Aesthetic Outburst. The projects range in size and scope — from a chunky rainbow-hued necklace to this cleverly stitched screen door, which for me, was love at first sight. In fact, this project made such an impression on me as I was flipping through the book that I asked Abbey if she wouldn’t mind sharing it with us. Lucky for us, she said yes!

Like all great DIYs, the steps for this are simple and straightforward, and the variations are endless — although I can’t think of a greeting I would want on my door more than a big friendly “hello.” You’ll find the full instructions for the stitched screen door after the jump, and if you’d like to see more of You Are Awesome before it hits stores November 30th, you can find an online preview here. Thanks so much for sharing this project from your new book with us, Abbey! — Kate

Process illustration by Fiona Biddington

Read the full how-to and see more peeks from Abbey’s DIY book after the jump . . .


  • pet-proof screen kit (or existing screen)
  • 3 skeins of embroidery thread
  • needle
  • scissors
  • tape measure
  • masking tape
  • hello template


1. Assemble the screen according to the package instructions or use a cleaned pre-existing screen.

2. Photocopy the template and enlarge it. I used it so that it measured 19″ across, 12″ high and had a 3/4″ space between each letter. However, the size and grid of your screen will dictate your stitch count, so adapt it accordingly. Here’s an image of the completed door for scale:

3. Use a tape measure to center the template on the back of the screen so the text is facing you.

4. On the front of the screen, use masking tape to mark the edges of the text.

5. Set the template to one side, keeping it close by to use as a reference.

6. Starting from the back, use a half cross-stitch to stitch the message on the screen, making sure that all of the stitches are going in the same direction. If you want your message to be a bit bolder, you can use two or even three rows of stitches.

7. The design will be seen from both sides, so it’s important to keep your work looking neat. Rather than making knots, secure the thread by tucking it in on itself. Use this method to add new thread.

8. Continue until all the letters are complete.

You’re done! You can find many more fun projects like this in Abbey’s book You Are Awesome: 21 Crafts to Make You Happy, which comes out on November 30th. For those of you in the NYC area, Abbey will be signing books at the indie craft fair Second Storie in November.

I love the colors on these geometric ornaments, which are on page 23.

The how-to for this simple ribbon chalkboard — for proclaiming how awesome you are to the world — is on page 9.


oh this is fabulous, abbey!
i’m a great fan of both design*sponge + aesthetic outburst. so fun having you together here. (ps: can’t wait for the book!)

Mrs. Vallejos

That is wonderful. I could see leaf designs or flowers or… endless possibilities. Did you play around with the thought of poly, nylon or plastic threads? Or metal? Even more possibilities still. (I’m thinking typical floss might be a little too tender for my coastal environment).

Thanks for posting!!


I love this idea! It makes me wish we had a screen door. The hot pink thread is particularly perfect here. Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of You Are Awesome – I just ordered it!


I love it too…but it would seem the smaller screen – something you can put in your lap – would be easier to stitch than a door-sized one. But the possibilities are endless. Flowers as someone mentioned, holiday themes, etc.


This kick *ss chick is practically in my own back yard! How fun to find here on one of my favorite blogs…

It is going to be tough waiting for November.


Thank you all so much for your great comments! The possibilities for this DIY are pretty endless (and I’d love to see what you come up with). I didn’t try using different threads only because our porch is covered and I knew the door wouldn’t be in direct sunlight or rain, etc. I’m sure that other threads would work, though. I also had more success with pet-proof screen than I did with our old metal screens (the metal tended to shift a bit while I was sewing). The size of the screen was a bit unwieldy, but still totally do-able. :) Good luck, everyone!


You had me at hello….. ha ha, I couldn’t resist! Seriously, that stitching on the door is BRILLIANT! I love, love, love it. I have a glass security door right now instead of a screen door but that little piece of genius is going into the ol’ memory banks for the future!