From Little Acorns -Part 1

Stumpwork Acorn hand embroidery

I was pleased, then a bit surprised, when Craft Gossip featered me on their blog last week. Only because they called my post on the Hawthorn flower a tutorial. I didn’t think about that when I wrote it (the pictures are rubbish for starters), it’s just my normal way of showing step-by-step as I make something. But if it works as a tutorial for you, then good stuff (but don’t go selling it or copying or anything uncool like that). This week as you may deduce it is the Oak’s turn and it had to really be an acorn considering how recognisable, how symbolic and how it’s scale makes perfect jewellery fodder. So here we go:

felt shape

Having looked through my mini-library of stumpwork books I knew I wanted to do a padded slip, overstitched. So first up I drew a vague acorn shape on some wool-viscose felt to provide the base.

padded slip

Then using stab stitch I attached it to the black cotton ground  fabric, leaving space for the stuffing.


I realised at this point it would look more acorn-y the other way around, so after filling it with cotton batting I flipped it and began covering the whole thing in long satin stitches in variegated silk.

stumpwork acorn


Completely covered it’s a little stripy but I think that’s good for an acorn – see?



padded slip

You can see at this point how puffy it is. Satisfying. Then I add some detail:


Then I attempted some needlelace over the top to provide the cap. The last time I did needlelace was the first time I ever did any stumpwork, when I did my Death Cap Toadstool sampler. I found it pretty difficult back then, even though it’s actually quite simple stitches, but it’s the way all the knots you make seem to start to blend into one another so you’re not sure if you’re inserting in the right place. Especially as in this case the background is a similar shade to the thread you’re using.

stumpwork needlelace

This particular kind is trellis stitch and is worked into an initial line of back stitch and then looped knots back and forth, only attached at the edges. I used a darker shade of brown silk for this.

Stumpwork Acorn hand embroidery

Actually pretty happy with how it turned out, although I am now going to add an oak leaf motif behind it as frankly, unless you LOVE acorns, it’s a pretty boring pendant on it’s own. A brown blob.

2 thoughts on “From Little Acorns -Part 1

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