DIY Embroidery Patterns in Gimp


I decided to bust out my embroidery stash this weekend, but was a little upset when I realized that I neglected to get any patterns to help me ease back into creative stitching. After browsing the web for awhile, I figured out a great method of embroidery pattern-making in gimp. Full tutorial after the jump!

Disclaimer: I am in no way a pattern-maker. The following method is a tutorial to make a pattern as found in one of the many reference books for cross-stitching that I read from as a kid, with each stitch aligned with a grid, and each square on the grid representing a square on my canvas.

Step 1: Save the image you’d like to make a pattern out of to any folder located on your computer and open it up in gimp (CTRL +O or File > Open…) . I’ll be using a nice intricate leaf image.

Step 2: Right-click on the layer labeled Background and select Add Alpha Channel. Then, select the part of your image that you will be using for your pattern with the fuzzy select tool(U). Press CTRL + i to invert your selection. Delete the selection. The remainder of the image will be your pattern guide. Deselect your selection by pressing Shift+Ctrl+A.

Step 3: Right-click your Background layer again, select Edit Layer Attributes. Name your image layer “Resource” so you can identify it as your pattern resource. Add a new layer, named “Background” and fill with a color that contrasts with your guide. Next, select View > Show Grid, then Image > Configure Grid. This will display a grid and allow you to adjust the properties of that grid. Be sure to make it proportionate to your image and how it would appear on the pattern.

Step 4: Trace your pattern using the paths tool(B). I tried to perfectly align the points in my path with the start and end points of each stitch.

Step 5: Once your original image is completely outlined, you can stroke your layer by selecting Stroke Layer on the toolbox window while your paths tool is open. You can toggle the visibility of your layers as necessary, by clicking the eyeball icon  on your layers window. For this project, add the paths tab to your layer window by clicking the little arrow at the top-right of your layers window, selecting Add Tab > Paths. From this tab you can toggle the visibility of your paths.

Step 6: Enjoy your pattern, and leave a comment to let me know how it worked out for you, or if there’s anything I can make clearer for you. Thanks, internet.

8 responses »

  1. Pretty element of content. I just stumbled upon your web site and in accession capital to say that I get in fact loved account your weblog posts. Any way I will be subscribing to your feeds and even I fulfillment you get right of entry to constantly quickly.

  2. I’m afraid I couldn’t follow. Save what kind of image and where and how onto your computer. How do you open it in gimp? The tutorial starts too far along to be helpful to a complete idiot like me I’m afraid.

    • I’m sorry to have confused you!

      You can open any image file by selecting “File > Open…” and choosing your file from any folder that you may have saved it to! Gimp accepts most commonly found image file-types (including JPG, PNG, GIF, and more), so whichever image you want to use should be able to work. I’ve edited the tutorial to include this information, so thanks for helping me clarify! I hope this helps!


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