Guest blogger series | Hidden message glow in the dark embroidery

by contributor on 14/10/2011

in Fibre+Needlework, Geek Crafts, Guest blog series2 2011

Guest blogger: Devon from Miss Make blog.

Hello! I’m Devon, an avid maker, baker and nature lover currently navigating through my 20’s in Los Angeles. I originally started my blog Miss Make when I started working at the Urban Craft Center just to show friends and family all the cool stuff I was learning how to do. I now teach sewing and quilting there, and I’m admittedly a little obsessed with using my blog to spread the love and knowledge of making stuff to any and all remotely receptive audiences.

Hidden message glow in the dark embroidery

It is a plain and simple truth that if something glows in the dark, it’s inherently cooler.

Whether it’s an action figure, stars on a bedroom ceiling or the little hands on your watch face, there’s something extra captivating about that magic green glow from within. [Mini science lesson: It’s actually not magic, it’s compounds known as phosphors that ‘trap’ electrons from light beams and slowly release them in the minutes and hours after exposure.]

The last time I was visiting the Urban Craft Center, my crafty happy place, I saw that they had added some glow in the dark embroidery floss to their shelves.

I obviously bought some immediately. I mean, it glows in the dark.

Because it looks so much like regular white floss – you only see that telling greenish aura if you’re really looking – I thought it would be fun to mix it in with white and create a secret message that you can only see in the dark.

This little embroidery project is quick, super easy and has lots of squeal appeal [that “ooh!” when people see the hidden message]. I’m by no means an embroidery expert. My skills basically end at being able to thread a needle and tie a knot. But when this was done, in about an hour no less, I wanted to show everyone I knew. [“No seriously, go hold this and stand in the closet, trust me!”] It would be the cutest thing to leave under the bedside lamp of a loved one so that they see it when they turn out the light.

I made a pattern that you can download here for free. You can find glow in the dark floss online, just do a search. I used DMC Mouline E940. The rest of the supplies you can easily find at your local craft / fabric store.

Directions:

  • Trace pattern onto desired fabric with transfer paper, chalk pencil or disappearing pen.
  • *Tip: If you want to transfer the pattern to dark fabric, tape the fabric to a bright sunny window with the pattern behind it and you’ll be able to see and trace. Or, see my blog post about making a light box with a few standard household items and trace it that way!*
  • Put the fabric in a 6” embroidery hoop. Using the glow in the dark floss, embroider all the lines that are red on the pattern. One long stitch per line is enough.
  • Switch to regular white floss. Embroider all remaining lines.

Charge your project under a lamp for a few minutes, find a dark space and marvel.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Melanie K October 14, 2011 at 11:49 am

What an awesome idea. I love the blend of craft and science!

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2 Stephanie October 14, 2011 at 4:08 pm

This is the COOLEST THING EVER. Glow in the dark embroidery thread. Brilliant!! Thanks so much for the pattern!

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3 Ruth October 14, 2011 at 4:32 pm

This is pretty cool. But better than that, I love your sense of humour – heading straight over to y
our blog right now…

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4 Leslie October 15, 2011 at 8:53 am

Great idea! I never would have thought of that!

You can also hide things with white backgrounds and glow-in-the-dark embroidery thread. I did a cross-stitch project with this, where I prepped the fabric with a glow-in-the-dark pattern before stitching my text over it. It turned out really well; the glow-in-the-dark thread isn’t green-ish like the paint can be, so it really doesn’t show at all when you’re looking at the piece in the light. Your blog has inspired me to post my images, which are now at Craftster (http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=392803.0).

Thank you for the excellent post!

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5 Jules October 19, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Oh, my 5 year old is going to LOVE having one of these in his room. Thanks so much for this awesomeness!

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