A guest post by Zoe of A Quick Study.
One of the best (in my opinion) traditions surrounding Easter is the egg hunt, particularly when it's accompanied by customized touches. There's nothing like a couple of extra-special, hard-to-find eggs (preferably with additional prizes attached to finding them) to sweeten the deal, and there are so many fun ways to get everybody involved with crafts and light-hearted activities. No Easter party or egg hunt is complete without a personalized Easter basket, and that's where the inspiration for these basket tags came from. They are relatively quick to put together, but the hand embroidery makes them feel especially sweet. Not so into the egg hunts or candy-filled baskets? These tags also make great place cards for an Easter brunch, or omit the names and hang them from a pretty flowering branch.
Required Supplies: the Easter Tags PDF template (download it for free by clicking the link), printer, card stock (this could be colored or white), various colors of thread or embroidery floss, scissors, needle, ribbon to hang the tags from
Additional Supplies: an awl or other pointy object (thumb tacks work well), hole punch
How To: Step 1: Prepare the tags for sewing by printing the template onto card stock and cutting out the eggs. Use your scissors or a hole punch to make holes for the ribbon where marked on the template. Then, use your pointy object to poke holes through every dot on each egg. This makes it much easier to sew through the paper without tearing and keeps everything nice and neat.
Step 2: Everything except the flowers will be embroidered using the back stitch. Knot your thread (this is a great tutorial for an easy way to knot thread for hand-sewing). Pick a line across your egg to start with, and pull the needle up through the hole closest to one edge. Loop the thread around the outside edge of the egg (this makes it look like the design continues around the egg) and pull the needle back up through the second hole in the line from back to front. It will look like you skipped a stitch in the front - no worries! This is where the "back" in "back stitch" comes in - go back down through that first hole to make your stitch.
For the next stitch, come up from back to front through the third hole. Again, you'll make your stitch going back towards the side you started at. Continue this way until the end of the line, when you'll once again loop around the outer edge of the egg. Tie a knot in the back as close to the paper as you can and cut the thread. You will use this same method for everything except the flowers, including the zig zags!
Note: If you are looping around an outer edge at an angle, you may find it helpful to make a very small slit or indentation in the edge of the egg to keep your loop in place.
Step 3: For the flowers, you'll use a detached chain stitch. Start by bringing your needle up through the base of the flower. Put the needle right back through the same hole, keeping a loop of thread on top of your egg (I wrap it around my finger to keep it in place). Bring your needle back up through one of the petal tips and through your loop. Pull gently to tighten the thread but don't over-tighten because you'll lose the petal shape. To secure the petal, put the needle back through the hole you just came up through at the outer tip of the petal, but on the outside of the loop. Again, don't pull too tight!
Make the next petal, starting in the center at the base of the flower again, creating your loop, and tacking it to the egg at the tip. Continue this way to complete the flowers!
Step 4: Really, that's all the steps! Of course, you'll be doing a lot of back stitching to get all the designs in place, but there's nothing else you need to know! Once you've got your embroidered eggs, loop your ribbon through the hole to hang. Now it's time to get creative with your color combinations (I'm thinking white thread on bright paper for my next set) and get stitching!
If you try this yourself, I'd love to see photos of your color choices or your creative ways to use the tags!
Download the free Easter tag template today
and make your own embroidered tags right now.