Embroidery designs look amazing, but they’re difficult to come by. Today, you don’t have to go to a fabric store or buy fabric to create your own embroidered designs. With the advent of modern embroidery design software, you can use a picture of your design to turn it into a unique piece of embroidery art!  

Do you have a picture you love and want to turn into an embroidery design? It’s easier than you think! We’ll show you how to create an embroidery design from a picture in this post.

Method 1: Manual Tracing

How to Create an Embroidery Design From a Picture
  • Find a picture that you want to use for your design. It can be anything from a scenic landscape to a portrait of a loved one.
  • Attach a piece of tracing paper to a lightbox and trace the outline of the design with a pencil
  • Place a piece of tracing paper over the lightbox and trace the outline of the design with a pencil.
  • Once you have traced the design, you can use carbon transfer paper to transfer the design onto your fabric.
  • Now you are ready to start embroidering your design!

Method 2: Using Software to Convert Images to Embroideries

If you have a digital picture of your design, you can use image-editing software to turn it into an embroidery design. Bundles of software available that will assist you in retouching the images, such as Adobe Photoshop and Corel Draw. But our recommended tool is Befunky photo editor.

To create an embroidery design from a picture using Befunky photo editor software:

  • Open the picture you want to use in Befunky photo editor.
  • Use the tracking tool to outline the design of your image. You should choose a broad, thick line for this step to be easier to embroider later.
  • Adjust any other settings, such as brightness or contrast, to get the perfect image for your design.
  • Save the image as a file that can be imported into your embroidery software.
  • Import the file into your embroidery software and adjust the settings to create the perfect design for your project!

Once you’ve completed the design, you can start embroidering! Whether you’re creating a piece of art for your own home or selling your designs to others, it’s easy to turn pictures into beautiful embroidery projects with modern computer software.

Method 3: Transfer the Photo Using an Iron-on Transfer Sheet

convert image to embroidery design

If you do not have lightbox or carbon paper availability, you can still use an iron-on transfer sheet. To use an iron-on transfer sheet:

  • Print your design onto the transfer sheet using a regular printer. Make sure to use the “Mirror Image” feature before you print so that it will print in reverse. Cut out the design on the transfer sheet.
  • Place the transfer sheet and fabric onto an ironing board, with the printed side of the transfer sheet facing down.
  • Set your iron to a medium heat setting and carefully press it over the design on your fabric until it is transferred.
  • Allow your material to cool, and then take it up from the iron board.
  • Your design is now transferred onto your fabric and ready to be embroidered!

How to Embroider the Image

There are several different methods for embroidering an image, depending on the type of fabric and design you want to use. One popular way is called needle painting, which involves using a needle and thread to carefully hand-stitch small details onto your fabric. Another option is free motion embroidery, which uses a sewing machine to create a more detailed and complex design.

You may also be able to use an embroidery sewing machine, which is designed explicitly for stitching out designs and patterns. No matter which method you choose, the key to successful photo embroidery is to carefully consider your fabric, thread, and stitching pattern to achieve the desired results.

Hand Embroidering the Design From a Photo

Once you have your image selected, place it onto an embroidery hoop and use a dark-colored thread to trace the outline of the design. You can use a backstitch for this, as it will give you a nice, clean line.

After finishing up the outline of your design, it’s time to start filling it in! You can use various stitches for this part, such as a long and short stitch or split stitch. Experiment with different combinations of colors and shades to get a shaded effect like the original image.

Finally, once your design is complete, you can use it in various embroidery projects, from home decor items to clothing or accessories. With hand embroidery, the possibilities are endless!

Things to Keep in Mind While Hand Embroidering

  • Choose the suitable fabric: The type of fabric you use will significantly impact the finished product, so it’s essential to choose something that is sturdy and won’t fray easily. A cotton or linen fabric is a good option, as it will be easy to work with and won’t stretch out of shape while you’re stitching.
  • Consider the thread: If you want a more subtle look, choose a thread close in color to your fabric. For a more bold look, go for a contrasting color.
  • Use the right needle: You will want to use a sharp needle for delicate work and a blunt needle for thicker fabrics.
  • Choose the correct stitching pattern: The type of stitches you use will depend on the effect you are trying to achieve and the style of your image. For example, an intricate design may look better with tiny, detailed stitches, while larger patterns will work best with bolder, repetitive stitches.

Photo embroidery is transferring an image onto fabric and then stitching it out by hand or machine.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. However, in general, Cotton or linen fabrics are often good choices.

Common stitching patterns and techniques include needle painting, free-motion embroidery, and an embroidery sewing machine.


Whether you are new to embroidery or an experienced artist, photo embroidery can be a fun and rewarding way to create unique designs. By carefully considering your fabric, thread, and stitching pattern, you can capture the details of any image and create stunning works of art that will last for years to come.