Whether gift or decor, these DIY embroidered vintage photos are AWESOME

Guest post by Erica Gray
Whether gift or decor, these embroidered vintage photos are AWESOME
All art by Erica Gray

I once found an old photo album at a thrift store and I remember feeling captivated looking through the photos of those strangers' lives. The last photo I saw was a wedding photo. Since then I've had a fascination with vintage photos as well as incorporating something of myself creatively, like weaving myself into the scene in a way. So I tried embroidering right onto a copy of the photo!

I could see these DIY embroidered vintage photos as a beautiful gift for an engaged couple, a creative way to display your own family wedding photos, or as lovely wedding decor and centerpieces.

Whether gift or decor, these embroidered vintage photos are AWESOME

How to make embroidered vintage photos:


  • Use a copy only, NOT your original photos. Preserve the original photo, and always work from a scanned and printed copy.
  • Consider using photos of floral arrangements, bouquets, and other subjects that can be stunning gifts or decor.


  1. Use an embroidery pattern or draw your own design (embroidery books are often available from thrift/charity stores).
  2. Place your design over your photograph and secure it along the edges so it doesn't move. If you need to see the photo underneath to get the correct placement you will need to trace the design first onto tracing paper.
  3. Position over a flat, cushioned surface, or use a piece of thick cardboard placed underneath your photograph. With a sharp pin, pierce holes along your designs as marked on your embroidery pattern.
  4. Follow the directions for the embroidery you have selected, remembering to leave a long thread tail so you can knot these ends to finish them once your design has been stitched.
  5. Protect and display your work inside a photo frame.


Whether gift or decor, these embroidered vintage photos are AWESOME

With your embroidery, you can use a plethora of materials and thread types, from cottons, wool, and synthetic fibres as well embellishments for added 3D effects such as feathers, pearls, and seed beads.

Some of the patterns I often use are spirals, circles, and florals, as well as thicker lines which can be stitched to produce a stain glass effect on your photos. I also love to run my designs through a photo editor and manipulate them by adding new backgrounds and colours as well as large eyes before I print them out.

Embroidery takes a while to do, so a good idea is to start with a smaller design you can add to. Good luck!

Whether gift or decor, these embroidered vintage photos are AWESOME

Would YOU attempt to embroider a vintage photo in your wedding decor?

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