If you’ve ever wondered how to transfer embroidery patterns, you’ve come to the right place! Whether you’ve been embroidering for years or if you’re just getting started, this is one of those basics that you must learn.
There are so many different ways to embroider these days.
One way to achieve the pattern of your dreams is to transfer a pattern onto the fabric you’re working from.
Learning how to transfer embroidery pattern to fabric is easy – and there are a few different ways to do it! You can transfer embroidery patterns by tracing, with an iron, or with a stabilizer. For each of these methods, you’ll need different materials. Some examples of what you need are tracing paper, a light source, iron-on pens or pencils, carbon paper, a printer, among other things.
Below, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about how to transfer embroidery pattern – plus a few of our favorite transfer patterns.
Why You Should Learn How to Transfer Embroidery Pattern
Before we jump into the different types of ways of transferring embroidery patterns, let’s explore why it’s so important to learn how to do it! The first (and most obvious) reason is that it’s the best way to recreate an already-made pattern that you love.
While embroidery is definitely an art form, you don’t necessarily need to be able to draw in order to do it! That’s one of our favorite parts about embroidery. You can bring out your inner artist without torturing yourself by attempting to create your own design!
Of course, if you are a talented sketcher, you should also learn how to transfer embroidery pattern. In this case, you can draw your own designs – but you’ll need to transfer it to the fabric in any case! No matter what way you look at it, you need to learn how to do embroidery transfers.
Below are our top 3 favorite ways to transfer embroidery!
Tracing Paper for Embroidery Method
First up is the classic tracing paper method! If you’re already in the embroidery world you have most likely heard of using tracing paper before.
Be aware that this method works best if you’re working on a light-colored fabric without texture. You’ll need:
- Embroidery pattern
- Tracing paper
- Light source
- Water-soluble pen
Print off (or copy by hand) the pattern onto the tracing paper. Place your fabric over your light source (a window, a tablet, or a lightbox). Place the pattern over the fabric, and trace it with the water-soluble pen. Voila!
Transfer Paper for Embroidery (Plus Iron) Method
There are two different ways to use a specific type of paper and an iron to transfer your embroidery pattern onto the fabric you want to stitch with. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Embroidery pattern
- Iron on pen or pencil
- Carbon paper (typically used by dressmakers)
Iron on pens or pencils with paper
If you want to use an iron-on pen or pencil, grab whichever you prefer and trace the back of the embroidery pattern. Then, put it on your fabric with the markings face down and iron until the pattern is transferred.
To use carbon paper, place the paper (colored side down) on your fabric, put your pattern on top (face up), and trace with a regular pencil. The color from the carbon paper should outline your pattern perfectly on the fabric!
Stabilizer for Embroidery Method
This is the best method for transferring embroidery patterns onto textured fabric – or if you want to avoid tracing all together! You’ll need:
- Embroidery pattern
- Arts and crafts stabilizer
Use your printer to print out the pattern onto your stabilizer. Cut out the design and stick it onto your fabric. Stitch directly on top of the stabilizer, and rinse under water to remove it when you’ve finished. There are several different stabilizer options out there, from water-soluble to stick-on to tear away. We prefer the sticky, water-soluble variety, as it’s so easy to remove from the fabric!
Transfer Embroidery Pattern Ideas
Now that you know how to transfer embroidery patterns, we wanted to share a few of our favorite patterns. We chose an assortment of design ideas, and many of them are centered around nature and animals. Some are made for beginners, while others are for the more advanced stitchers amongst you. All of the patterns and design ideas on our list feature specific instructions for transferring as well.
All of the patterns below can be transferred using any one of the methods above – so pick your poison! The only thing left to do is to choose your next project.
Transfer Embroidery Pattern Inspiration
Between letters, plants, florals, and snowflakes, you’ll love these pattern ideas! Don’t forget to double-check the preferred transfer method before you get started.
- Simple snowflake embroidery pattern
- Cozy reads pattern for beginners
- 3 free PDF plant patterns
- 26 letters patterns with instructions
- Sun and moon pattern for beginners
- Floral heart pattern with negative space – for advanced sewers
- Overlapping circles with show effect pattern
Transferring Embroidery Patterns
We love the Joshua Tree desert scene and the vintage botanical illustration-inspired patterns below the best. We also have a soft spot for the whale in the sky as well! All three would make for some great gifts.
- Joshua Tree desert scene embroidery pattern
- Stacked teacups pattern plus free tutorial
- Wildflower wreath embroidery design
- Moonlight pine embroidery pattern
- Whale swimming with the stars and moon pattern
- Full beginner embroidery pattern featuring 14 different stitches to get you started
- Vintage botanical illustration-inspired pattern
Embroidery Transfers Ideas
Funky cactus anyone? Or, how about a mountain scene with a few planets? These whimsical designs are giving us all the vibes!
- Funky cactus embroidery PDF pattern
- Mountain with the solar system pattern PDF
- Wildflower embroidery design pattern for novice stitchers
- Free floral meadow embroidery pattern
- Adorable otters embroidery design
- Simple rainbow with clouds embroidery pattern
- Baby’s breath flowers with sparkling stars pattern
More Pattern Ideas You’ll Love
- 15+ 3D Puff Embroidery Ideas – Create embroidery designs that literally pop with these 3D puff embroidery ideas! If you’re unfamiliar with this type of embroidery, you’re in for a treat. In order to achieve this effect, you’ll need to purchase a special embroidery machine to make it happen. Featured mostly on sports gear, baseball caps, and jeans, 3D puff adds a punch to whatever you decide to put it on. What will you make?
- 21 DIY Bee Embroidery Patterns – Bees: they help our world go round. Seriously! Pay homage to our winged friends by embroidering a bee (or a few) on a piece of clothing, homewares, or create a unique piece of art. Feel free to update one of your favorite t-shirts, or purchase some fun dish towels to decorate. Keep your designs for yourself or give them away as a gift. Or – do both!
- 30 Mushroom Embroidery Patterns – Cute and kitsch in all the best ways, these mushroom embroidery patterns are sure to please. Choose between several different options, from toadstools to shiitakes and more. Some of these patterns also feature other woodland creatures! Get lost in your creation and imagine that you’re out for a stroll in the woods. Isn’t that what arts and crafts are all about? We think so!