tutorial: embroidered to do list

Today I am going to share how I made this embroidered dry erase board, and I'll even throw in a little satin stitch tutorial.

I love making lists - especially to do lists. It feels good to get all of your thoughts and tasks out and feels even better to mark them off. (Anyone else add tasks like "Wake up" or "Feed dog" just so you can have something to mark off? ha!) I have seen lots of great ideas involving using a frame to make a dry erase board, so I thought incorporating embroidery with that idea would be perfect.

What you'll need:
- an 8"x10" frame
-material of your choice (about 10" x 12")
-embroidery thread, needle, water soluble pen and scissors
-hot glue gun
-sewing machine (optional)

The first and biggest task is coming up with a pattern.

Start by tracing the inside of your frame. You should do it this way because even though you have an 8"x10" frame, that doesn't mean that the whole 8"x10" of your work will be viewable. In my case, you could only see about 7.5"x9.5" inches of what was framed. Add lines for the items of your list and a heading. If you are feeling extra brave, draw a few shapes. My drawing ability limits me to arrows so that is what I went with.

Once you have the pattern drawn, trace it onto your fabric using a water soluble ink pen. I used my light box for this, but a brightly lit window will do the trick.

After you have your pattern traced, use your sewing machine to stitch the lines. You could do this step last, in the middle, or even skip it all together, but I went ahead and did it first because my sewing machine is right next to my light box.

With your pattern traced and lines machine stitched, you are ready to embroider.

For all of the letters and shapes, I just used the back stitch. (See my tutorial for that here.) Did you notice that the "o's" have a little something extra? I used a satin stitch to fill them in.  Let's go over a simple tutorial for this pretty stitch.

1. Bring your needle up on one side (in my case, the left) and insert it down on the other side of the shape you want filled.
2. Under your previous stitch, bring your needle up on the left again. Don't try to save thread and bring it back up on the right - it is really hard to keep your stitches close enough and even enough to look pretty.
3. Put your needle back down on the right side, directly under your last stitch.
4. Repeat, repeat, repeat until you have filled in your shape. Keeping your stitches even and straight on both sides can be a challenge. Don't give up! Pull it out and try again, or do your best and make it work. After a few tries, it gets easier.

Don't worry if your outside edges aren't perfectly lined up or even. I have a solution for that.

Simply back stitch around your shape and it looks perfectly, evenly filled in.

  Finish stitching the rest of your piece and wrap it onto a piece of cardboard using hot glue. Once it's cooled, pop it in your frame and you are ready to get going on your list.

Happy stitching!



  1. Oh my goodness this is perfect!! 100% doing this as soon as I get off work tonight!

  2. LOVE this! And LOVE that "go to target" is on the list :) That's my kind of "to-do" list for sure!

  3. What a great idea! I will definitely be adding this to my to do list!

  4. I adore this! I have been hand embroidering a gift for my sister-in-law all week and I think I may have to move on to this project next! Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Wow, this is so clever! Adorable!

  6. This is so cute! I have seen a ton of these dry erase boards, but the embroidery is so special! :)

  7. Hi Alisson,
    So adorable!!! Thanks so much about such great tutorial!You have a lovely blog!
    I'd love for you to visit my blog.

    Hugs from Portugal.

    Ana Love Craft

  8. Just seen this on Jenny at elefantz blog it's a really cool idea

  9. What a great idea, I know I can find a use for that & I have lots of spare photo frames I can use for this project

  10. Great tutorial ! It is nice to see all the work that goes into just one step of completing one of your cute blankets.
    By the way, your sewing space looks pretty organized to me!

  11. It looks amazing, I am crazy about this blog and it works. Really its so good and i am very thankful to you. In very informativee and useful for me. Thanks for share.


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