We Are Scout - Hunting. Gathering. Making. The Good Stuff


MAKE IT :: Embroidered desk accessories

I created these embroidered desk accessories to add a pop of colour to my workspace – a neon tassel always helps too. Easy and inexpensive, they are a great way to make something unique for yourself or as a handmade holiday gift. It would make a gorgeous gift together with some bought or handmade stationery, some washi tape and some lovely pencils. Or even home baked treats.

Click on the link below to see the full tutorial and more photos.

Things you’ll need

Plastic storage containers with holes in a grid pattern. I bought mine from Daiso for $2.80 each.

Coloured yarn

Yarn needle (one with a big hole)


Graph paper

Ok, let’s get started on the embroidered chevron container

1. Count the holes on the front of your container and draw a box to the corresponding dimensions on the graph paper and mark the centre.
Start from the center and work out. That way your design will be symmetrical. My chevron stitches are 3 squares deep with a gap between the two colours.

2. When you’ve worked out how the design will fit on your container start from the left hand edge.
Cut a long piece of yarn – the longer the better without it getting tangled and hard to work with – and thread the needle.
Tie the yarn around one of the dividing bars that will be in the center of your first stitch. The stitch covers 3 holes, so I tied the yarn onto the second bar. Your needle and the tail of the yarn should be on the inside of the container.

3. Bring the needle out through the top hole to start the first stitch.

4. Count three holes down and take the needle through to the inside of the container. To fill the holes I made three stitches, you may need to add more depending on the thickness of the yarn and size of the hole. As you are stitching hold the tail over to the side and cover it with the stitches as you go.

5. Continue stitching, making sure you’re covering the tail and following the pattern. When you need to change yarn finish by tying off the existing yarn on a bar within your stitch pattern and tie on the new yarn, making sure when you start stitching again that both tails are covered by the new stitches (just like when you began).

6. The stitches will have a vertical gap between them. When you’ve completed the first colour, go back to the left hand side and start the second one.

7. I finished my storage box by wrapping some neon thread around an indent in the base and adding a neon tassel. Take a look at my tassel tutorial if you’d like to make one.

Pencil cup

I followed the same basic steps with randomly placed crosses. If you make a cross design make sure the top stitches on each cross run in the same direction. On my example all the horizontal stitches are on top of the verticals.

Fill up your storage containers with whatever you need to get off your desk – receipts, notepads, lists – or think of something lovely to include for a unique handmade gift.

If you’d like to link to this tutorial that would be lovely – I’m always happy and grateful for that and I’m all about sharing. But first please take a look at the FAQ page about using my content. Thanks!


  • http://kbfield.blogspot.com.au/ kirsty

    What a great idea!!

  • http://www.kitt.net.au Barb Fisher

    You’re so clever! These look fab.

  • http://www.oneflewover-oneflewover.com Kate

    This is such a fantastic idea! Lovely as always Lisa x

    • the red thread

      I appreciate that, thanks Kirsty, Barb and Kate!

  • http://elisabethandree.posterous.com Elisabeth AndrĂ©e

    Love your idea, love all your ideas:) Thanks for sharing the tutorial!

    • the red thread

      Thanks so much Elisabeth, you’re so lovely!

  • http://www.pottymouthmama.blogspot.com lexi

    Lisa Tilse. You are SO freaking clever. I love these. Could be a good gift for the girls at work. Bravo you. x

    • the red thread

      Oh thanks Lexi! You’re too lovely. I hope you find the time to make them.

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  • http://www.craftypod.com Sister Diane

    These are glorious! I love working with plastic canvas, and these objects were a great find – practically begging for stitched embellishment, and I love the patterns you used here.

    • the red thread

      Thanks so much Sister Diane! I know, I couldn’t go past them, they definitely needed embellishment.

  • http://artlikebread.com Cami

    These really are lovely and very clever. Thanks so much for sharing. I love the designs you’vecome up with, and the possibilities are endless. :)

    • the red thread

      thanks Cami, I agree – there is so much you could do. Like most crafts for me, I see lots of possibilities.

  • Katie

    Wow, what an amazing idea!

  • http://vivikas.etsy.com Viv

    So cute! Love the idea!

  • Suzanne

    Wow you are SO clever!!

    • the red thread

      *blush*, thanks Suzanne!

  • Leelou de France

    The site of DMC France diffuses your website. This will help me for ugly compartments to transform and arrange toys. I like it also to used rest of wool.
    A very clever idea !! MERCI for sharing !! and I go to admire your site…..
    Friendly, Leelou