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  • Writer's pictureMorgan Porter

How to: Transfer an Embroidery Design

Updated: Jul 26, 2020

Got a great idea for an embroidery in your head? Not sure how to transfer that idea onto fabric? Well good news, because this guide is here for you! This is my preferred method for accurately transferring my designs onto a hoop.


  • Embroidery hoop

  • Lightweight fabric ( I use muslin )

  • Paper

  • Drawing utensils

  • Frixon pen or other heat disappearing ink

Step One: Design It!

Get that great hoop idea on a piece of paper! This particular hoop is from my astrology series where I combine the star signs with their symbols. Start by tracing your hoop on a piece of paper because this will be your guide for the scale. Now start designing! I use pencil to establish the basic shape, and then outline in Sharpie when my image gets more refined. You want a dark line so you can see your design through the fabric.

Step Two: Trace It!

Get your fabric prepped in the hoop by making sure it is taught. Now this next part might seem incorrect, but place the flat side of the hoop on top of your design. You should be able to see your design through the fabric. From there, using your Frixon pen, trace the design onto the fabric. It is important to use a Frixon pen because the ink disappears with heat. So if you make a mistake, you can simply iron it and start again. This will result in a cleaner finish.

Having trouble seeing your design through the fabric? Get some light involved. If you do not have a light box, a window on a sunny day works great.

Step Three: Flip It!

Once you have the design transferred, flip your fabric so it is facing the correct way. Take your time with this step. If you plan to display your design in the hoop, you want to make sure it is centered and placed how you want it. If you choose to display outside of the hoop, you can be less precise with this step. I chose to display in the hoop, so it took me a few tries to get it.

Step Four: Sew It!

Now the fun part! The world is your oyster. Experiment with colors and lines, but just remember that your ink disappears with heat. When you have finished sewing your hoop, iron it to get rid of any unwanted lines. And there you have it! A finished hoop.

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