What to stitch for a 13yr old? – Elmo!

Occasionally, I enjoy making projects that I realise I can make no money off what-so-ever.  This week I have been working on one of these projects.

Last week, my beautiful baby boy was 13 years old.

I cannot believe how quickly time flies, and just how grown up Cameron is already.


my beautiful baby boy at approximately 6-8 weeks.

One of our favourite memories with Cameron was always how much he loved Elmo.  Each morning he would get up and watch Street Street (had difficulty saying Sesame Street) whilst he had his breakfast, and then we would turn the television on again in the early afternoon and watch Street Street whilst we shared lunch.  Cameron’s first Birthday cake was an Elmo Cake, and one of my best memories of this was 15month old Cameron sitting in front of me, whilst  leaning back on my stomach whilst watching tv.  He kept on swatting the back of his head, and I could not work out what was going on, right up until I realised that it was his sisters kicking him from the womb.

As Camo has gotten older, he has certainly stopped asking for Elmo clothes, but does fondly remember his little red friend.

Last birthday in a throwback we made Elmo cupcakes, and I got a great picture of hubby and Camo in a similar pose 11 years on.

This year, we have the my darling boys main present, but I like to get him a few little surprises as well.   So last night at my local K-mart, I picked up a pair of pyjama pants and a t-shirt for $4.00 each, as well as a pair of slippers, and came home to begin creating.

Now I am very aware of the copyright issues surrounding embroidery designs, and I always steer away from creating anything that breaks that copyright.  However this design is being created for personal use only, and unfortunately I cannot and will not sell the design, but I had a wonderful time making this embroidery design.

I did have a quick check on Etsy and other sites to see if I could quickly purchase a design, however none of the designs had the furry look that I love with Elmo.  To get this effect, I used layer after layer of stitching, going around the shape of Elmo, all with a jagged edge.


For a little bit of extra interest, I used glow in the dark threads for the eyes.  I had to go out and purchase white glow in the dark thread, however I love that the final look has a little bit of a twist to it.

When you are creating t-shirts, there are of course a few things to remember

  • I use polycut cut away stabiliser on the back of my t-shirts for the best possible stitching results. You really need to support the stitches of t-shirt designs over the life of the project, and that requires a cut away.  I like that polycut is soft and does not itch the skin.
  • Use a temporary spray adhesive to stick the stabiliser to the back of the shirt. For best results, I use a little temporary spray adhesive, attach the stabiliser to the t-shirt, and then hoop.
  • Once completed, gently pull the stabiliser away from the t-shirt, and carefully trim any excess away.

For the pants I have trimmed down the design so that it will fit into a 10x10cm hoop, and placed it on the bottom side of the pants.

When it came to the shoes, I relied on badge fabric.  I keep some around (it is a really stiff fabric with a weird backing that works so well for badges, and can be purchased at your local habby store, or check out your commercial embroiders for their offcuts) for times like this, in white and black.  I changed the design to be quite small, and added a circular border to the design, in a satin stitch.  After stitching out the two Elmo’s, I ironed on a piece of Bonded onto the back of the item.  (Bonded is a heavy duty double sided bonding film, perfect for items that need long term adhesion, under moderate use)


Embroider Elmo on badge fabric

I then trimmed away any excess fabric/Bonded from around the satin edge of the design, I placed the patches onto the slippers, and ironed them on with a hot iron.  I like to iron this item a couple of times to ensure the bonding is really secure.


Use a heavy bonding web to ensure the design won’t move or fall off.

Cameron opened his presents last night, and immediately put the pyjamas and slippers on.  I am thrilled with the way they have turned out, and I hope Cameron likes them even slightly as much as the technology we have given him.


The finished Elmo slippers

I hope I have inspired you to get out the software that came with your machine, and have a play to create your own amazing designs. (Colouring in books are brilliant for practice for this).

Until next time, have a Stitchin’ Day.


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