HOW TO SALVAGE THRIFT STORE CREWEL EMBROIDERY FOR STAGING AND STYLING YOUR PAINTED FURNITURE …AND HOME!
I can’t wait to hear if today’s T2T project is a YAY or NAY for you! I’m a huge fan of needlework and I think this is such an AMAZING idea for staging painted furniture OR your home decor. This Salvaged Crewel Embroidery is super easy to do and can bring back to life an otherwise dated keepsake!
It’s also Trash To Treasure day. I’m joining four of my blogging besties and sharing their salvaged makeovers as well. Be sure to check them out below — but first, a little backstory…
I fell in love with needlework the first time I saw my mum embroidering. Over the years I’ve grown to appreciate the art of stitching more and more. My mum taught me how to embroider and knit by the time I was 9 and I taught myself how to cross stitch and crochet in high school. I miss this art form. I wish I had more time to indulge in stitching projects. So what’s the next best thing? Salvaging them!
Here’s the thrift store crewel embroidery I started with. I often see needlework art in thrift stores and garage sales selling for a few dollars. This one below, my Mum bought years ago — probably to go with our brown and orange decor. 😉 Judging from the colors and design, it’s most likely from the ’70s.
Along with 70’s decor, these colors have made a comeback so check out the new look! Super cute, right?!
Macrame, crochet, embroidery, and cross-stitch are back in a big way (I’ve included a few of my fave IG accounts below!) so this is a fabulous way to salvage needle art that someone poured their hearts into — not to mention HOURS of work!
THIS POST IS SPONSORED/CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS TO PRODUCTS I USE. YOU CAN SEE MY FULL DISCLOSURE HERE.
Thrift Store Crewel Embroidery – SALVAGED
Embroidery Hoops (various sizes)
Dawn Dish Soap
SALVAGED CREWEL EMBROIDERY
Here’s how it all came together…
I started by removing the embroidered piece off the warped cardboard backing. This was easy enough to do using an inexpensive staple remover.
To freshen it up, I hand-washed this vintage embroidery in lukewarm water and Dawn.
I was gentle with it and rinsed well with lukewarm water.
HANG DRY OR USE A DELICATE CYCLE
I used the delicate cycle in my dryer to get most of the moisture and wrinkles out. Then I hung it to air dry.
CREATE NEW DESIGN
To create ‘new’ art, I made sure the florals and design were offset — not centered in the circles of the embroidery hoops. Offsetting the design gives it a much more modern look and creates more interest. I found these embroidery hoops at my local thrift store for .99 cents but you can buy them online here as well.
FRAME W EMBROIDERY HOOPS
Once I was happy with the layout, I inserted the fabric in the hoop and stretched it out taut.
CUT AROUND HOOPS AND EXCESS FABRIC
Then I cut around the edges of each hoop using my embroidery scissors. Regular scissors will work just fine I just wanted to bust out these cuties! hehe
Once all three embroidery hoops were cut, I removed the excess fabric for a clean look.
Here’s what I was left with… a new triple-framed crewel embroidery art set!
HANG AND DISPLAY
I like finding inexpensive ways to create unique staging and styling for my furniture makeovers. This is not only unique but holds some sentimental value as well. I’m so happy we didn’t throw it out because this cute set will look perfect for styling my mid-century-modern retro furniture. Here I styled it with these cactus side tables.
And here’s a close-up so we can appreciate all the love and time that went into this crewel embroidery art!
What do you think? Would you try this?
I’ve been following a few needlework embroidery boards on IG here, here and here. I just love how this art has evolved over the years yet remains exactly the same! Needlework projects take hours. Hours of love and dedication. Much respect to all these creators.
AND NOW FOR SOME FURNITURE FIXER-UPPER FUN!
You’re going to LOVE what my creative team of Trash To Treasure ladies do! Below are their BEFORE photos. Visit the links underneath to see the amazing AFTERS and learn how they did it! I’m heading over to take a peek as well! x
1. PRODIGAL PIECES
2. CONFESSIONS OF A SERIAL DIYER
3. GIRL IN THE GARAGE
4. ARTSY CHICKS RULE
5. SALVAGED INSPIRATIONS (HAPPY YOU’RE HERE!)
Here’s another look at this before and after. I hope it has inspired you and given you some new ideas for your old needlework and embroidery projects. Such a great way to style your furniture or your home!
DO YOU HAVE ANY OLDER EMBROIDERY PROJECTS YOU COULD TRY THIS ON? DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER IDEAS ON HOW TO SALVAGE VINTAGE EMBROIDERY PROJECTS? FEEL FREE TO ASK ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE… I ALWAYS LOVE HEARING FROM YOU. IT MAKES MY DAY! 🙂
Happy furniture painting friends!
Kim Banko says
Denise!! I love, love, love this idea! I buy these often to, and find just painting the frame, can breathe new life into them, but I just adore this upcycle!
Thanks Kim!!! And updating a frame with any type of artwork makes a HUGE difference, doesn’t it?! Love this idea. XOXO
Thank you for repurposing this lovely piece of art work. I use to embroider and cross stitch but did sò many, gave away so many that I don’t do it anymore. I have some hanging up still, they are cherished pieces in my decor. When thrifting I do come across them and think how much work went in them for such little amount of money.
Thanks Lorri… and I think the exact same thing when I see them selling for so cheap!
Great timing! I’ve been trying, with no luck, to clean a big one we got at a flea market. There’s a big water stain around the edges. Now I know what to do with it. Thanks for the inspiration.
I’m so glad and good luck with yours Teri. I hope it turns out fabulous and cleans up really nice!
Turned out so cute! I have a hard time cutting up all that hard work someone put into the embroidery, but this looks so good.
I get it because I thought the same thing, Annette! Then I felt worse it was just sitting there growing a skin of dust. At least this way I get to enjoy/use it. 🙂
Cheryl Atkinson says
Hi Denise! Definitely a yay for me if you find a good one. This is a good one. Love this idea.
Thanks Cheryl! I’m not sure if I would have picked this one up for myself but I sure am glad I didn’t get rid of it. It’s a def YAY for me as well! Have a great weekend. XOXO
Marie B. says
What a lovely way to honor the work someone put into this needlework creation by giving it a modern touch. Such a great idea!
Thanks Marie! Hugs🤗
Linda Graef says
I love what you did with this so much!! I have been holding on to my Gmas embroidered pillow cases and could never figure what to do with them. I can wait to try embroidery hoops. I have embroidered since I was very young and several years ago I taught myself to crochet. I find out special people in my lifes fav color and make them afghans! When I give them the blanket I let them know how special they are to me.
I’m so happy you love this idea, Linda! Displaying your Gmas embroidered pillowcases like this would be beautiful… or you could use them as pillowcases. 😊 Anthropologie is selling embroidered pillowcases for a small fortune now…lol. I taught myself to crochet as well — isn’t it relaxing and rewarding!? I’m sure the special people in your life who are receiving your afghans are feeling the love when they cozy up in them! Such a beautiful heartwarming gift.💕
I love this! MCM is so hot right now and these are the perfect staging/decor pieces. I learned to needlepoint, cross stitch and embroider at a young age and still enjoy. It’s so therapeutic and rewarding. I have dozens of pieces I’ve done for myself and others. Samplers are my favorite. I’m sad that it seems to have gotten a bit out of vague-more young people need to learn how to sew. It’s a useful skill and much better than hours spent in front of social media! Thank you for sharing!
Sooooo therapeutic and rewarding!!! And I totally agree Kim. I think ANYTHING is better than sitting in front of social media for hours.😆
Erin Rose says
WHEW! All of those French knots!
I wonder if the stitching will stay secure forever. I would consider drizzling a little fraycheck or even white glue into the back groove of the hoop.
What a fun updated use for a precious piece.
Yes, I was thinking the same thing, Erin. I’m going to use this set for staging/styling so I’m not too worried about it — but if it was a keepsake, I would take some care into securing the back. Great idea!!!
Jen @ Girl in the Garage says
What a great way to salvage this piece. Definitely worth saving – I’m sure that detailed embroidery took days to complete! xo
Thanks Jen, I think so worth saving as well! xoxo
What an awesome idea! I collect needlework pieces that I pick up at thrift stores or auctions and have created a gallery wall with them. I have a couple of pieces that are damaged that are not displayed and I don’t have the heart to discard them. This is a fabulous idea to salvage the damaged ones. Thanks for the idea!
I love your idea Theresa! This would be a perfect way to display damaged embroidery needlework! And kudos to you for saving these pieces at thrift stores and auctions!🤗
A great save. My Mom did a lot of embroidery and I did too. Occasionally I find a kit at a thrift store. I picked up a beautiful embroidered piece for $1 at a local thrift store. The back of the embroidery is almost as good as the front. It’s a little girl dressed up in adult (probably Mom’s) looking in a mirror at herself. I don’t know what I will do with it at this time. It would make a special gift for a baby girl. I have someone in mind who got married this past July. No news yet but I’m patient.
Thanks Rita! If the back looks almost as good as the front you just KNOW the creator of that piece was experienced… you could never say that about the backs of mine!🤣 And it sounds like it would/will make a very special gift for a little girl!💕
It’s a big Yay! Thank you for preserving this lovely example of 20th century artwork. It gets overlooked but shouldn’t. Women, and some men, spent hours on these pieces. Hope they are still around two hundred years from now. Any ideas for vintage handkerchiefs? I’ve got a ton but can not cut them up, they were my mother’s
I hope they are around two hundred years from now as well!💙 Vintage handkerchiefs… lucky you! I googled it and there are a lot of interesting ideas. Framed, turned into a wreath, a pincushion, pillows, and a quilt if you have enough of them!🤗
What a fantastic way to preserve and enjoy all that hard creative work! It’s a yay for me and will look so good with your MCM pieces!! XOXO
I think so too…🤗 thanks my friend! XOXO
Love it! I’m always starting those little embroidery kits, now feel inspired to finish them!
I framed up some of my grandmother’s embroidered handkerchiefs. They made a sweet keepsake.
I JUST googled this for Kathy (a previous comment) on vintage handkerchiefs! Displaying them in frames is such a beautiful idea!
Nancy @ Artsy Chicks Rule says
What a great save!! So creative too. 🙂
Thanks my friend! XOXO
This is a YAY for me! I saw something similar selling at Homesense over the weekend!😮
Yay, thanks for chiming in Nicki! And I’ve been seeing a lot of ’70s looking art in stores and online as well!
Hi Denise. I love this idea. It’s a big YAY from me. What a great idea to modernize needlework art. I have made some cross stitched art in my time, and it really is a labor of love.
They really are a labor of love, aren’t they?! I’d like to take some time to get into it again. 🙂
Yaay, thanks Jackie!
What a great idea! The needle work on your salvaged piece is beautiful and you gave it a modernized feel.
Looks WAY more modern, right?!🙌🤗
Love it! Great way to preserve beautiful work like this!
I think so too! Thanks Sara!😊
Yaaay, thanks Wendy!
I just moved and have been unpacking some needlepoint projects that I inherited. Thanks for the display idea!
What fun unpacking those treasures! And congrats on your new home Julie! xo
Yay! to handmade crewel work or any stitchery. What a great idea with the embroidery hoops–love it! I have some pieces I’ve picked up in thrift stores as well. I always like to add them to gallery walls for a little variety and interest. Love your blog. Thanks for all the inspiration.
They add so much interest and variety, don’t they!? I’m guessing a lot of the handiwork at thrift stores get thrown away if they’re not purchased so this is a great way to keep someone’s handiwork ‘alive’… even if it’s not in the exact original form.😊
Cecilia from Georgia says
Super save! I see needlework all the time in thrift stores and pass it by; not anymore!! Thanks for the inspiration!
I see needlework in thrift stores all the time as well. Usually selling for under $5! It always makes me think of all the hours and love that went into them.💜
A great way to save this embroidery piece. Great job!
Elizabeth Kraemer says
Great ideas! I too treasure handiwork, especially vintage items. I think of the women who created the pieces and even with their busy lives, they made time to make beautiful pieces. I will inherited some old crewel pictures my mom made. Nice to learn I can wash them. Thank you for this post!
My pleasure Liz! And I’ve hand-washed a good few of mine along with this one. It makes a HUGE difference and brightens them right up! XOXO
Karin Mann says
Good job Denise!! I love needle work and have a passion for white pillowcases and linens with needlework in them. This is an artwork that needs to be kept alive!
Totally agree! It makes me so happy to see younger people (saying that makes me feel so old..lol) take an interest in embroidering and needlework. There are some AMAZING pages on IG that I drool over!😂 So talented!
It’s a Yay from me. I am all in for salvaged and repurposed handwork! well done
A big YAY for me too Tanja! Thanks for chiming in!🙌
Larissa ~ Prodigal Pieces says
I adore embroidery both vintage and creating it myself. What a fun project, Denise!
Meeeee toooo! I’d like to set aside some time to create some needlework projects again. I miss it! XOXO