I’m all for a bit of themed craft to fit with the mood of the moment. Be it flowers in spring, or Christmas kits for the festive season, I find that adapting my makes to reflect the time of year is a really fun way of mixing up what I’m working on and staying inspired.
With Halloween coming up, I really wanted to get a special design ready for you all, but since we’ve been super busy over the past few months here in the studio, it’s just not been possible. So instead, I’ve put together a collection of 13 incredible embroideries from other artists that I hope will help you find inspiration for your spooky project.
Kits next year, I promise!
1. The delicate Skeletons
Miniature skeletons are Britt Hutchinson’s signature. Her Instagram @tinycup_ is filled with beautiful, intricate designs that are always so polished. I can’t help but feel inspired whenever I see them. Her work often depicts stories of love and life, so not exactly Halloween specific, but there’s I’m sure you’ll that these skeletons still fit the theme perfectly.
2. The Shape Shifting Fruit
If you saw my post on fall embroidery designs you'll remember that I took a little creative liberty with this orange tree kit, by reimagining it as a pumpkin patch! You could leave it as is, use your carbon paper to repeat the pattern to turn it into more of a patch, or even enlarge the oranges to feel more pumpkin-y! I feel like it would be a fun way to have a subtle touch of the holiday mood without being super specific. That way, you can keep your embroidery on show long after the day itself.
3. The Friendliest Ghost
Ok, I know this is probably the least scary ghost any of us have ever seen – but boy is it cute! I love the simplicity of this little chain stitch guy. It would be so easy to recreate something similar on loads of different scales, and I can even imagine it stitched straight onto kids’ clothes or cut out and made into a patch.
4. The Fantastic Phantom
If you’re looking for a ghost that’s way more on the mystical side of things, this one by @moonflesh is amazing. The shading is stunning, and those slightly forlorn looking flowers just add to the mood. For anyone who’s generally into all things otherworldly, I highly recommend you check out their page as it’s filled with all kinds of spellbinding designs. They even sometimes include gemstones in the final pieces, too!
5. The Beautiful Bat
This incredible floral bat would be the perfect project for anyone looking to add a touch of the Halloween vibe without getting too dark. I love the contrast of the classically creepy creature mixed up with delicate florals and soft pastel shades. It’s definitely one for more advanced embroiderers, but the concept could be easily adapted to fit any level. As long as you stick to a light colour palette, you could stitch simplified Lazy Daisy flowers for something equally as effective. I’ve got a tutorial video here if you’d like to learn the stitch.
6. The Jack-o-Lantern
This one really jumped out to me because of the orange felt backing. Playing with the background colour and texture is such an easy way of adding so much more to the final piece. The shading with the threads is gorgeous and I really like how they’ve mixed up the mouths, too. You could take it even further by making every single one different. Like our friendly little ghost earlier, this is another design that I could totally see as a patch if you just wanted to add an on-theme touch to an outfit without going full on with a costume.
7. The Witches Spell
Time to channel some witch vibes and cast a stitchy spell! A project like this is an ideal way to practice some basic writing using just a back stitch. You could write whatever incantation takes your fancy and use your imagination to fill the background with all sorts of magical imagery.
8. The Black Cat
Speaking of witches, you can’t have one working her magic without a trusty black cat close to hand. This is another example of where the background fabric makes all the difference. Put this design on a basic white and you have a fairly scary feline. But I’ve also seen versions with it on a black backing, which automatically gives a much stronger mystical quality and makes the gold moon really pop.
9. The Enchanting Aurora
Another idea for those who want to and a bit mystery to their decor at Halloween, without going too far into the theme. My Aurora kit is inspired by the Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, which I’m sure anyone who’s seen them would tell you feels like real life magic. I can totally imagine a witch flying through that scene on a broomstick, too!
10. The Mystical Raven
Ravens often crop up in folklore stories, especially when it comes to tales with a dark twist to them. Their symbolism can vary from being a bad omen with links to death, to being a creator of life or even a trickster. Whichever meaning you choose to go with, one thing’s for certain: its shiny dark plumage makes it a winning idea for a Halloween embroidery design that uses just one thread colour.
11. The creepy hand
This skeleton hand is such a great design for beginner embroiderers. All you need to be able to master is a back stitch to create a simple line drawing that will still have maximum impact. Like with the pink bat, I’m really enjoying the contrast with the flowers here, but you could totally mix up the backing fabric. This could also be a really cool pattern to stitch onto a t-shirt or jacket to make a Halloween-y outfit.
12. The Spider’s Web
This web is another perfect one for beginners. The beauty of it is also that you don’t need to be at all strict with your pattern – just freehand some lines and you’re good to go with your back stitch! The designer of this particular piece, PixiecraftHandmade, added a little something extra with silver French knot details, but I’ve also seen versions where crafters stitch on a spider, or attach decorative plastic spiders on top to add a 3D element.
13. The Haunted House
I can just imagine the kinds of ghosts and ghouls hiding away in here! What I love most about this kind of concept is that it allows for a lot of creative freedom - with a house like this, you can go into full architect mode and conjure up any number of different designs. It works well as a line drawing, but you could also go all out and fill it in with satin stitch colour blocks to make a really bold statement.
I’ve tried to cover a lot of different styles, levels and colour schemes with these 13 Halloween embroideries, so I really hope you can all find something that inspires you to stitch up some magic.
Let me know if you have any other faves that you think should be added into the creative cauldron next time!