DIYdiy projects

diy project: embroidered logs

by Grace Bonney

embroidered logs
these embroidered logs are inspired by the charming lino prints of hugo guinness. i wanted my father’s christmas gift a “portrait-through-objects” (he loves gardening and he always loses his glasses). do not be dissuaded by the power drill; these are super easy to make. they are fast and enjoyable, a good movie time or rainy day project. have fun!! – kate

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!


1. wood slices (these are found at craft stores like michaels in their wood carving and balsa wood section)
2. embroidery thread and needle
3. drill and a small drill bit
4. pencil
5. scrap piece of wood


1. small and large wood slices ($15 at craft store for both)
2. embroidery needle and thread ($3)


1. lightly draw out your design on the wood. if you are nervous about your drawing skills, you can also perfect your design on paper first and use carbon paper to transfer the design on the wood, but a simple sketch will do just fine.

2. place your slice design side facing up on the scrap piece of wood. use your drill to make small holes completely through the wood slice about 1/4 inch apart, all the way around the lines of your design. try to keep them evenly spaced, but it doesn’t matter too much if they aren’t perfect. the closer together the holes, the more detailed your design will be.

3. brush off the sawdust and excess wood bits. wipe the surface with a damp cloth to clean it and let it dry.

emblog process

4. double thread your embroidery needle and make a large double knot at the very end of the strand. starting from the back of the piece, pull your needle through a hole near the edge of your design. working around the design, thread up through a hole and then down through the next hole. then thread back up through the next hole after that, and then back down through the preceding hole to create a continuous line. when you are finished, knot the thread on the underside of the wood slice and snip extra thread.


emb logs detail

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  • Wow what a great idea! We cut the stump off of the Christmas tree this year to save (my daughters first Christmas) – I think I know what I’m going to do with it now! Love this as a keepsake.

  • Wow – love this idea. We cut the stump off of our Christmas tree this year as a keepsake for my daughters first Christmas – I think I know what I’m going to do with it now! Lovely.

  • emily s.
    you can definitely do an embroidery of your dog! i recommend using tracing paper over a photograph to create a simple line drawing of your dog (no shading or depth, just outlines), then transfer that image to your log with carbon paper (or redraw it if you feel comfortable doing this.) once you have a line drawing, it’s basically just making a connect the dots with drill holes.. good luck!!

  • I was so inspired by this I went home and made one right away. Broke two drill bits in the process but the results are so cute. I’m in love with this project.

  • My (elderly) next door neighbour is tyring to find someone who will cut down the tree in his garden for him cause it is getting HUGE! I’ll ask him if he will give me some chunks of wood to have a go at this! Thanks for the idea!

  • I love these. I am going to make them for my little boys room. He loves planes and trucks. They will add that touch of homemade. Thanks for the post.

  • What about embroidering a key (or some keys), adding a hook of some kind and make it into a spot where you keep your keys when walking in? Or embroider your dog and add a hook for the dog leash? Or a place to keep your cell phone or glasses. Or glue a sticky note block on the wood and embroider a note pad or the word “Notes”? The possibilities are endless! Great gift for the kids to their grandparents, don’t you think? So easy to customize!