PUUR! Zomer DIY shoot bij Mandy de Kuiper door Nienke van Denderen Fotografie-12

Somewhat frequently, people ask me if I can give them any tips on creating their own designs, what materials I use, or if they can buy one of my hoops. To get right to it: in the space below, I answer most of these questions.

Do you still have an unanswered question? Don't hesitate to send me an Instagram DM or contact me using the contact form.

General questions

1. What embroidery floss do you use?

I always try to use DMC  embroidery floss, which is readily available in most parts of the world. I usually use the 6-strand ones. If you are just getting started, I recommend using cheaper embroidery floss as well (available in stores such as Action (Europe) or eBay (worldwide), but once you get more advanced it really is worth the investment. From my personal experience, DMC embroidery floss has a much nicer finish and is easier to split. 

2. Where do you get your hoops? 

I always get my hoops on eBay or at local craft stores.

3. What fabric do you use?

Any type of fabric! As a grad student I am living off of quite a modest budget, so I never splurge on fabric. Instead, I cut up old blouses from the thrift stores, get leftovers at home decor stores or IKEA, or I simply ask my friends and family members if they have any old curtains or pillow cases laying around. In my modest opinion, investing in 'good' fabric is only worth your money and efforts if you are planning to do cross-stichting. For other types of embroidery, any type of fabric is fine, really - just make sure it is thick enough.

4. I want to start doing embroidery myself, but I don't know where to start. Could you recommend anything?

Great! Congratulations on finding yourself a brand new, relatively cheap hobby! If you are completely new to embroidery, I would recommend getting a pre-made embroidery kit at your local craft store. Another option would be to get a kit designed by, for example, Sarah K. Benning or a pattern from the lovely MakingJiggy. I also had the honour to design my own embroidery beginners' pattern for Dutch magazine PUUR!, as well, which you can find in the Summer 2018 issue (only available in The Netherlands) or (partly) here.

About my work

1. Is there a way to buy your work?

Unfortunately, as of now I do not have an Etsy page yet, as selling my work is not my primary goal. If you are from Europe and still interested in buying my work, however, please do not hesitate to get in touch using the contact form or by sending me a DM on Instagram, and we'll figure something out! I am also available for making custom hoops or a collaboration.

2. Do you have an Etsy shop?

As stated above, I do not at the moment. I am first and foremost a working graduate student, so I already have very little time on my hands - time I would rather not be spending updating and maintaining an Etsy shop (trust me - it's more time-consuming than you would think!). If you are still interested in buying something or getting something custom-made, just shoot me a message.

3. Where do you get your inspiration? 

Everywhere, really - and you can too! Sometimes I get inspired by the many other talented artists I follow on Instagram, a cute illustration in a magazine or an image on Pinterest. More often than not, however, I think new embroidery designs when I am doing the most mundane of things such as riding my bike, doing dishes or making coffee. I've still got so much left to do!

4. Do you ever get fed up or frustrated with your work? 

Oh yes, definitely. It would be nice to pretend I never desert a project and all my ideas and plans are working out just fine, but sometimes I find myself frustrated and annoyed when the fabric doesn't work with me, I can't get my illustration right or - and this is the worst - when something, once done, just doesn't look as good in real life as it did when I first thought of it. But onwards and upwards... Nothing like a good old learning curve.