Embroidery Library

Fabrics 101: Embroidering on Balsa Wood


Fabrics 101: Embroidering on Balsa Wood

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Supplies Needed:

**Balsa wood that is 1/16 inch thick or smaller (available at craft stores)
**Medium weight cutaway stabilizer
**Tear-away stabilizer
**Temporary spray adhesive
**Water soluble adhesive
**75/11 universal or embroidery needle
**Rotary cutter (optional)

When choosing a design for Balsa wood, choose a light design, such as those digitized for cardstock or vintage-style and redwork designs.

We find that templates are very helpful when positioning a design.

Templates are printouts of designs from embroidery software programs. A template will indicate the center of a design, as well as the horizontal and vertical axis lines.

Embird, Buzz Tools, and Wilcom TrueSizer are examples of embroidery programs that make templates.

Balsa wood is very porous so  use cutaway stabilizer on the backside. Spray a piece of cutaway stabilizer with temporary adhesive (we use Gunold's KK100) and smooth it on the backside of the wood.

Because balsa wood can't be hooped, we'll hoop a piece of tear-away stabilizer, and affix the Balsa wood to that.

Spray a piece of tear-away stabilizer with temporary adhesive and hoop it firmly.

Place the balsa wood (with the cutaway stabilizer on the backside) in the center of the hoop.

Since balsa wood is so porous, we use water-soluble stabilizer on top to prevent the stitches from sinking into the wood grain.

Use a 75/11 universal or embroidery needle, and embroider the design.

After the design has finished, gently tear the excess stabilizer away.

Remove the water-soluble topping also.

Use a damp brush or paper towel to remove any remaining water-soluble stabilizer from the top.

Use a rotary cutter to cut the balsa wood to the size and shape you would like.

And there you have it! Using Balsa wood you can make coasters, postcards, jewelry boxes, recipe card boxes, and even decorative trivets for the kitchen and dining room!

Stitching tips for Balsa wood:

Needle 75/11 universal or embroidery needle
Stabilizer Cutaway (2.5 ounce)
Design Choice Light and open designs, like Redwork or vintage

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Products used in this Project:

Kitten and Flowers (Vintage) $3.49 - $3.99

Available in 2 Sizes:

4.85" x 5.77" | 3.26" x 3.86"