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Embroidering

Embroidery can be used to simply embellish something store bought like a tote bag, or it can be the prominent design of a homemade craft. Learning the how-to of embroidery is easy, and once you start, you’re sure to find many items to decorate.

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Ties are the coin of the realm for Father's Day, but they don't have to fly right off the store rack straight into the gift box; add your own personality to the package. Embroider Dad's first or last initial on this year's tie. A simple linen tie makes a good candidate; try embroidery floss in a lighter shade of the same color for a refined monochrome palette. Get the how-to for embroidering.

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Add character to a store-bought pullover by embroidering your child’s initial. It looks as though the letter was knit into the sweater, but it’s actually stitched on top with a simple technique called the duplicate stitch.

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September signals back-to-school and with it, that crucial first-day outfit. A button-front shirt embroidered with a “handwritten” message is especially fitting for kids with budding penmanship skills. Personalize the shirt with an ice-breaking salutation, like “hi,” or with your child’s first initial (extra credit for both upper and lower case).