What is it about miniatures and gigantic reproductions that’s so appealing? Perhaps that shift in scale creates a fresh perspective, and suddenly the ordinary is extraordinary. I’m always on the hunt for everyday wonder and was stopped in my tracks when Grace shared the work of Raquel Rodrigo, who creates large-scale cross stitch street art. This DIY is an homage to Rodrigo’s colossal outdoor installations that you can bring indoors for a bold, modern, colorful centerpiece to any room. —Jessica
The floral pattern inspiration comes from a vintage tin of mine. It sits on my bathroom counter where I see it every day and enjoy the graphic imagery and the bold contrasting colors of pinks, oranges, and gold on black. I knew that it would make a great pattern for this project, so I spent a lot of time squinting at this little tin with the tiniest markings, trying to get the pattern just right. Don’t limit yourself to florals, though. This DIY is a great way to reinterpret traditional cross stitch patterns in a fresh, contemporary way.
– ½” Hardware cloth
– Paint pen or Sharpie
– Washi tape (optional)
– Yarn in 7 colors (3 flower, 2 leaf, and 2 small flower colors)
– Yarn needle
– (4) 20” Canvas stretcher bars
– Mallet (optional)
– Staple gun
1. Unroll the wire mesh and cut to size with wire cutters. You will need a 38×38 grid for the pattern provided. Bend and shape the mesh to remove the curl. Tip: Even when cutting the wire close to the edge, there will be little tails that can snag and poke. Fold a piece of washi or regular tape over the edges to protect you as you stitch.
2. Mark the center of the mesh grid with a paint pen or Sharpie. This will give you a place to start. I also marked the edges of the mesh with washi tape, to mark the edge of the inside grid where my stitches would end.
3. Working from the center, begin stitching the pattern using a cross stitch. The pattern notes the center with a solid square. Each square of the pattern is one cross stitch. Stitch one color at a time using 2 ply yarn (double up your yarn for thicker lines) until the pattern is complete.
A cross stitch is worked by making rows of slanted stitches, called the tent stitch, that look like one half of an “X” and then going back over that row the opposite way, completing a full cross stitch.
To begin a length of thread, you can either loop the threaded needle around a corner and begin to stitch or stitch over your tail ends, like in traditional cross stitch.
End a length of thread by sewing under previous stitches or knotting thread in place.
4. Construct the canvas stretcher bars into a frame by pushing the corners together. Lightly tap with a mallet, if need be, to make the edges flush. Center the mesh facedown on top of the facedown frame, and staple into place.
Bonus: your artwork is also functional. Add some small magnets and keepsakes to use as a magnetic bulletin board.