Several weeks before school starts is the time most back-to-school shoppers look for supplies, uniforms and other items to equip their students for the classroom. You can get in on the needlepoint buzz by stitching one or all 10 of these fascinating school-themed designs with very few supplies.
From pencils and crayons to notebooks, calculators, books and a host of other items usually found on a list of school supplies, these fun needlepoint patterns will keep you joyfully stitching throughout... the school year.
Most of the needlepoint designs can be completed in 90 minutes or less; only a few may take a few days at most to stitch, and only require scrap thread for the design motifs as well as the background fill area. Use decorative stitches to accent the central motifs in each design.
01 of 08
Looking for a way to use up odds and ends of thread and needlepoint canvas? Try making this super easy project that’s specifically designed to reduce the stash of supplies you have on hand without having to shop for additional fibers, canvas or embellishments.
The colorful crayons can be completed in just one hour, and the project is small enough to carry in a purse or tote-bag for stitching while on-the-go. Work the design motifs in your favorite stitches and fill in the background with diagonal... rows instead of horizontal ones to further accent the overall needlepoint design.
Whether you choose to work on a frame or by holding the canvas in your hand as you stitch, the simple design will look equally as impressive when finished.
02 of 08
Add, subtract, multiply and divide needlepoint-style with this free quirky calculator design. The finished needlepoint is sure to be a great conversation-starter when mounted onto a case that holds the real thing!
Work the simple project with pearl cotton or embroidery floss in traditional “calculator” colors of gray, black, silver or even cream or tan. Accent the basic stitching with fine metallic braid in contrasting or matching colors; or use blending filament in the needle along with the... thread as you stitch the main sections of the calculator.
Although designed specifically for #13-mesh mono-needlepoint canvas, the size of the project can be reduced by working it on #18-mesh canvas for a clothing patch or needlepoint cover for a calculator case.
03 of 08
Let this desktop needlepoint design serve as a reminder of the supplies your student will need for back-to-school. The basic needlepoint pattern can be worked in any stitch technique you choose; but unless you are absolutely sure of what the finished project will be, don’t limit yourself to just the classic tent stitches.
For a quick and easy... project that requires only a little bit of finishing, work the design on #14-count plastic canvas and glue sticky felt on the back for a clever refrigerator magnet or even a beverage coaster.
04 of 08
Math School Supplies Worked in Needlepoint
Encourage your student to think about school math with this free needlepoint pattern. Work a collection of math tools including a protractor and assortment of math books with the easy-to-stitch motifs. The small design is so much fun to work that you will want to make several for each student you know.
For a particularly eye-catching effect, use straight stitches such as the Long Stitch to make a beautiful repeat pattern for the background area. These stitches work up quickly and can provide... adequate coverage on the back of the canvas, if placed properly.
Turn the finished needlepoint into something practical like an insert for a fabric math book cover or a small framed picture for a math professor's office.
If you do decide to frame the finished needlepoint, plan the initial project so that it fits into a standard-sized frame that you can finish yourself. This way, you will avoid expensive custom-framing.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
School Backpack Needlepoint Chart
This delightful backpack needlepoint design is more than just a back-to-school project. It would also make a great hanging ornament to be displayed throughout the year!
Use novelty needlepoint threads to create a bumpy texture for the center area of the backpack. Add a decorative border to prepare the design for use in a larger project such as a back-to-school needlepoint sampler.
Place keys and other small items on the key fob and attach it to a ring on the front of a life-size backpack or one of... the handles. This way your student will not lose these important items.
In keeping with the school theme, you could stitch it on plastic canvas, glue a simple backing and add a round key ring for an unusual key fob.
06 of 08
Work three colorful apples and a few school books for a favorite teacher or classmate with this fanciful needlepoint pattern. Change the colors to suit any leftover threads you have in your stitching basket.
To finish this needlepoint project in 90 minutes or less, you will need to first find the right spot to start stitching. So, locate the center of the needlepoint chart and canvas; and from this point, work outwards in any direction to complete the design.
The small design motifs and number of... colors in this design will make it difficult to keep the back of the work neat and tidy. So, take care not to pull the thread too tightly as you stitch.
The Chain stitch may be used to work the apple motifs, as it is one of a few stitches that curve. If you decide to use it, first work basic tent stitches in the apple design areas, and then make a string of chain stitches in apple shapes on top of these.
Should you choose to add more stitches to enlarge the needlepoint project, be careful not to choose any stitch techniques that will warp the canvas out of shape.Consider working Hungarian stitches in the two lightest shades of the same color. Alternate the colors by rows to create a diagonal or diamond pattern.
07 of 08
There are some amazing things you can do with the three free needlepoint designs in this collection. Stitch needlepoint notebook paper, a whimsical homework assignment journal as well as a traditional composition notebook typically used for quizzes and course exams.
You’ll spend a little more time making the projects as a couple of them may take several evenings or a weekend to complete. But, when the stitching is done, you can create three needlework items to suit all your needs and for any... occasion.
There's room for lots of surface embroidery and embellishment when the main stitching has been completed. Use seed beads, fabric trims and heavy textured needlepoint thread to bring out certain areas of each design and add some serious oomph!
For example, the projects can be finished into several lovely items including mini needlepoint pillows, wall-hangings, book covers or patches for school clothing. They can also be adapted for box top covers, toe bag insets and many other projects too.
Here's a wild idea! Make any one or all of the notebooks and paper into a small purse by adding a fabric backing and inside lining. Attach long fringe to the bottom of the purse and a length of rope trimming around the entire purse that can be tied together at the top to form handles!
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Colored Pencils Needlepoint Design
If you’re looking for a design that’s practical as well as decorative, this amusing little project will prove to be as much fun and as vibrant as a handful of real colored pencils. After stitching the needlepoint project, you can sew it onto a backpack, fabric lunch bag or any other item that will be used for back-to-school!
The needlepoint pattern is quite easy to follow and the main sections of the design can be stitched in 60 minutes or less, depending on the stitch technique used. The Encroach...ing Gobelin stitch would further enhance the color blends in the design; but basic tent stitches can be used, especially for beginners.
The pencil motifs can be worked in any bright colors and thread types (from smooth to textured) as you choose; and the background fill area can be extended to make the project as large as you like. For an even more stunning and decorative accent, use blending filament with the thread to stitch the pencil tips.
Depending on the type of needlepoint canvas you use, you may be able to skip the blocking and stretching step in the finishing process and go straight to the final assembly of the needlework into a useable item. All 10 projects are easy for you to finish yourself and get professional results just like the ones where you have someone else do it. The difference is that you'll save a lot of money doing it on your own. Such small projects make it easy for you to experiment with the finishing process. So, don't be afraid or tentative about it. If you make mistakes, you can usually start the process over again until it is done to your full satisfaction.