How to Machine-Embroider Your Own Refrigerator Word Art

comments (0) July 19th, 2008     

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JenniferStern Jennifer Stern, contributor
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You can say whatever is on your mind when you embroider your own word art!
If you ask a question, you might even get an answer. My daughter was walking by and decided to participate—I guess I better embroider some answers!
I customized my words using embroidery software.
You can say whatever is on your mind when you embroider your own word art!

You can say whatever is on your mind when you embroider your own word art!

Photo: Jen Stern

I always linger in front of the magnetic word art display at Barnes and Noble...do I feel like a poet today, or maybe a little naughty???? I can never decide, so as it stands I don't have any of those little words on my fridge. When I was doing the "How to personalize a canvas tote" blog, it occurred to me that I could embroider my own word art...I could come up with a starter set and then every time I got in a mood or needed a new saying, I would add to it.

Join me and start your own collection of words for the fridge. I'm even going to show you how to use all those outdated magnets you get at the dentist's office to make your words stick!

What You'll Need:

  • Permanent spray adhesive
  • Lightweight stabilizer
  • Posterboard
  • Temporary spray adhesive
  • A few words programmed into your embroidery machine
  • Embroidery thread
  • A size 10 Microtex (sharp) machine needle
  • Old magnets you want to recycle
  • Glue gun

Start by using the permanent spray adhesive to stick a piece of lightweight stabilizer to one side of the posterboard.


I used Aleene's Tacky Spray to stick the stabilizer on the back of the posterboard.

Cut the posterboard down to a size that will lay flat inside your hoop. Don't try to embroider on a piece of posterboard that hangs over the edge of the hoop; the stiff paper will cause stress on the stabilizer while it's embroidering. This could cause the hoop to pop open. Hoop another piece of stabilizer and use temporary adhesive spray to stick the posterboard in the hoop.


This project is a glue extravaganza! Be sure to use temporary adhesive when you're sticking the posterboard into the hoop.

Either program words on the screen of your embroidery machine or use embroidery software to customize your words on the computer. Either way, make sure you leave enough space between words so you can cut them out!


I used embroidery software.

Place the hoop on your embroidery machine, and put in a size 10 Microtex needle in (that's a super-sharp needle). When you're embroidering on paper, you don't want to use a big needle because it will punch big holes as it embroiders. Also, ballpoint needles are not good at piercing the paper. All-purpose needles have a slightly rounded point so they aren't the best choice either (but they'll do in a pinch!). Embroider your words.


See how many words I could fit in one hoop!

Take the hoop off the machine and trim all the threads between the words.


Use a seam ripper to get the tiny stitches that you can't reach with scissors.

Take the paper out of the hoop and cut the words into strips. If you have a rotary cutter and a ruler, it's easy to get nice, straight edges.


Use the ruler as a guide to cut straight across the paper.

Cut the rows into individual words.


Look at all my lovely words!

Collect your outdated magnets and cut them into strips that will fit on the back of your words. You can make larger strips for the bigger words or use two smaller strips.


Use sharp paper scissors to cut the magnets into strips...not your good fabric scissors (as I did).

Finally, use a glue gun to stick the strips of magnet onto the back of the words. Now you express yourself all over the refrigerator!


This is a great way to reuse those old magnets!

I just decided that I will probably embroider some cute motifs to go with my words...my daughters will love that.

posted in: embroidery

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