DIY Totoro Stitch Card

DIY Totoro Stitch Card

I’m a big fan of Hayao Miyazaki’s animations, especially My Neighbour Totoro. I remember when I was younger and a little less composed, I would gasp and squeal at the sight of this fat, fluffy, grey bundle of joy in every toy store. Totoro has been around since 1988 and is truly an unrivaled movie of its genre that reflects childhood innocence and genuine happiness.

I really enjoyed making this card and even had the Totoro soundtrack playing in the background during the whole card-making process!

DIY Totoro Stitch Card

Tonari no to-toro, to-toro ♪ To-toro, to-toro ♪


“DIY Totoro Stitch Card” 

DIY Totoro Stitch Card

Tools & Materials

A 10cmx15xm blank card, colour of your choice (black recommended)
Pencil, ruler & eraser
A needle
Embroidery thread – white, grey, and green


Method

Step 01 – Sketching

DIY Totoro Stitch Card

On the back of the card, sketch Totoro using a pencil. As a rough guide, it’s easier to start off with the round tummy, then paws and ears, and finally the leaf umbrella.

Alternatively, you may download the printable template here (right click and save image as).

For black / dark-coloured cards – Totoro Sketch (white outline)
For white / light-coloured cards – Totoro Sketch (black outline)


Step 02 – Etching

DIY Totoro Stitch Card

Using a needle, carefully poke holes along your sketch outline against a pair of old jeans or thick fabric. This will form a dotted outline of Totoro on the front card to guide your stitching.


Step 03 – Threading

DIY Totoro Stitch Card

Secure a tight knot using embroidery thread. You might need to tie around the knot several times so that it won’t slip through the holes of the card. Starting from the back (where the sketch is), weave onto the front card randomly in a criss-cross manner to fill the Totoro shape.

DIY Totoro Stitch Card

On the back card, weave along (not across) the sketch outline to create a Totoro silhouette. Alternatively you can repeat the criss-cross pattern. When you run out of thread, end the knot at the back card the same way you started – tie around the knot several times so that it won’t slip through.


Step 04 – Repeat

DIY Totoro Stitch Card

Repeat the stitching process until the Totoro and leaf shapes are clearly visible on the front card.

DIY Totoro Stitch Card

Behind the scenes.


Thread colour guide

Totoro body – Grey
Totoro belly – White
Leaf umbrella – Leafy green + lighter shade of green (optional)

Tips 

When using the needle to poke holes on the card, wear a thimble or wrap your finger with a thin cloth.

Try to poke holes with equal spacing for a neater look.

Make sure all threads knots begin and end at the back of the card.

Secure your thread knots tightly and ensure that they cannot slip through the holes on the card. This can be done by tying around the same knot multiple times.

Author’s notes

  • Although I had initially sketched out the tiny boomerang shapes on Totoro’s belly (one of his trademarks), I didn’t end up stitching them. I changed my mind because 1) it wouldn’t have been visible against the white criss-cross pattern, and 2) it would’ve made the design look messy. Therefore if you’re sketching Totoro by hand, you don’t need to draw a ^^^ pattern on his belly. The printable template does not include this either.
  • If you’re completely clueless as to how to draw Totoro but insist on trying anyway (I like you), do check out this tutorial as a basic guide! It teaches you how to draw a full-scale Totoro, however you can skip the details since you just need to sketch out a rough silhouette.

I hope the this tutorial was useful!

On another note, I have some exciting news to share ( ˘ ³˘)♡ My handmade Ice Cream Stitch Card will be featured in a UK craft magazine next summer (March 2015)! So thankful for this opportunity. This mini project has led to many new experiences for the past 2 weeks – I basically had to create a new tutorial and shoot high-resolution images using a DSLR. I also had a lot of fun dabbling with Photoshop and Illustrator which was initially daunting but very addictive nevertheless.

DIY Ice Cream Stitch Card

I have since then decided to create a Stitch Card collection, which will feature different illustrations based on things I like and my daily musings. Each post will include step-by-step tutorials as well as free printable card templates for you to work on! Do stay tuned for more ♫꒰・‿・๑꒱

*For those who have read my previous Ice Cream tutorial, I have added a printable card template, digitally drawn with love (and Illustrator) so if you’re not up for sketching, you can always print out the design to work on directly!

Have a great weekend ahead ♡

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DIY Ice Cream Stitch Card

DIY Ice Cream Stitch Card

 “Eternal Summer”

I grew up in Malaysia, a tropical country with hot and humid weather all year round, hence the caption. Sometimes I really wish we could experience four seasons, because the daily temptation of ice-cream / cold desserts in this hot and sticky weather is just too damn high.

Then again, it probably wouldn’t change anything because I like to eat regardless of the weather ( *´艸`)

Handmade cards are inexpensive yet thoughtful gifts for your loved ones. They’re also perfect for room decor! This is a no-fuss DIY project that can easily be tweaked and improvised upon.


“DIY Ice Cream Stitch Card”

Tools & Materials

A piece of black / white card, 10cmx15cm (or any blank greeting card)
Pencil, ruler & eraser
A needle
Embroidery thread

Method

DIY Ice Cream Stitch Card

1. Start off by sketching your drawing with a pencil. I sketched on the back of the card instead of the front because I didn’t want to risk leaving any discernible pencil marks. It might not be obvious on a black card, but if you’re using white or light colours, it’s better to work behind the scenes.

Alternatively, you may download the printable template here (right click and save image as).

For black cards –  Ice Cream Sketch (white outline)
For white cards – Ice Cream Sketch (black outline)

DIY Ice Cream Stitch Card

2. Place the card against an old pair of jeans / any surface you wouldn’t mind piercing dozens of holes through. Using a needle, poke holes (patiently) along your sketch. Erase the pencil marks upon finishing. The end product will be an “embossed” outline of the soft-serve ice cream on the front card.

Tips :

Protect the finger you will be using to grip the needle by wearing a thimble or wrapping some tissue paper as a cushion. I failed to do so and the blunt tip of the needle inadvertently jabbed against my finger every time I pushed the needle through the card (ಥ_ಥ) I ended up bruising my finger by the time I finished.

Try to poke holes that are not too far apart from each other and with equal spacing. This is a tedious process that requires precision and a lot of concentration to do well, so be patient and take breaks if you need to.

DIY Ice Cream Stitch Card

3. Let the threading begin! Starting from the back of the card, tie a big knot using some thread and weave through the holes in a random, criss-cross manner using a needle. Secure with another big knot once you run out of thread, and repeat the criss-cross process until you’re happy.

Tips :

 Make sure all of your knots begin and end at the back of the card so that they’re invisible on the front card (refer to the last picture below).

Secure your knots tightly to ensure that they cannot be tugged through the card. Do this by tying the thread multiple times (I usually tie mine 6-7 times) around the same knot so that the knot becomes bigger than the hole you’ve poked and won’t slip through.

DIY Ice Cream Stitch Card

The colour scheme is entirely up to you. I made this for a friend and her favourite flavours are matcha and mango, so I picked green (matcha), yellow (mango), and white (vanilla). I used light brown for the cone because I’m conventional like that.

DIY Ice Cream Stitch Card

Behind the scenes. Alternatively you can repeat the criss-cross pattern at the back card – and it’s probably easier do so – but I chose to keep a nice and neat outline instead.


 I love stitch cards! ♡