How to make your own crapestry.

This is the general technique that I have developed:

1). I choose a cross stitch kit (most of my kits are discovered on, and purchased from, ebay.co.uk)…

Original design from Paco
Original design from Paco

2). I have a brilliant idea as to how I can modify my chosen kit (this usually happens just before I decide to buy it), in this case I wanted to replace the sunset with a nuclear explosion.

3). When the kit arrives I take a digital photograph of the naked canvas

'raw' canvas
‘raw’ canvas

4). Using Adobe Photoshop I modify the photograph of the canvas. I often use images as reference material in the design (in this case the explosion came from http://newt.org/Portals/0/UltraPhotoGallery/706/NuclearExplosion.jpg)…

NuclearExplosion-1

An explosion added to the picture of the raw canvas using Photoshop
An explosion added to the picture of the raw canvas using Photoshop

5.) I then create my crapestry designs by by adding coloured dots to the original canvas photograph to represent my new stitches…

Coloured dots represent stitches in my new crapestry design
Coloured dots represent stitches in my new crapestry design

6.) I then mount the canvas on a wooden ‘stretching frame’ (also available on eBay).

7.) At this stage I paint the new digitally modified design onto the canvas with acrylic paints.

8.) I then stitch the kit according to my new design.

9.) Finally, I mount the finished crapestry into a picture frame…

'Evening' from the 'War' collection
‘Evening’ from the ‘War’ collection

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Some other advice, take it or leave it…

1). If you want to stitch a very light coloured wool over a very dark colour that is printed on the canvas then you must repaint the canvas with a similarly light colour beforehand. Conversely, if you want to stitch a very dark coloured wool over a very light colour that is printed on the canvas then you must also repaint the canvas a similarly dark colour beforehand. For the best possible result, I repaint every change to the design onto the canvas.

2). Every few stitches, ‘roll’ the needle clockwise between your finger and thumb. This takes some practice, but it ensures a pleasant ‘rope effect’ is maintained in the yarn. Stitching naturally unwinds the yarn and stitching with unwound yarn looks awful.

3). Plan your stitches. This sounds obvious! The angle that you approach the stitch will effect the final form of the cross, sometimes profoundly. Experiment with different approach angles, and be consistent.

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The author has asserted his right to post all text/images within this site under a Creative Commons License (text/images that are not the property of Theo Humphries have been identified as such and therefore may be exempt from Creative Commons). For more information, please visit creativecommons.org

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4 thoughts on “How to make your own crapestry.

  1. yeah this is killer. after trolling ebay for so long trying to find um…something, anything worth the hours put into it i find your interpretations…you rock 8)
    i make traditional, kinda persian style needlepoint rugs on 5 stitches per inch canvas…very pixalated and almost 8bit in really weird colours.
    just wanted to say i love your work

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