How to Digitize Photos for Embroidery


Digitizing photos allows you to turn cherished memories into embroidered keepsakes. By scanning or photographing photos and converting them into embroidery designs, you can create personalized gifts using your favorite images.

Prepare Your Photos

Select high-quality photos that are at least 300 dpi for the best results. Make sure the photos are clear and in focus, and crop them to include only the main subject. For group photos or landscapes, choose a section of the image to feature. Photos printed on glossy paper work best for scanning, while matte prints or digital photos can also be used.

Convert to Black and White

Converting the photo to black and white helps simplify the design and ensures good embroidery coverage. Use photo editing software to adjust the brightness and contrast until the image is high contrast black and white. This will make the embroidery easier to stitch and the design details more prominent.

Trace the Design

Use a lightbox or tracing paper to manually trace the outlines of the main elements in the photo. Alternatively, use embroidery design software to automatically trace and convert the photo into embroidery shapes. Review and edit the tracing as needed to create smooth lines and curves.

digitize art for embroidery

Add Embroidery Details

Add embroidery elements like French knots, beadwork, or sequins to embellish the design and bring the photo to life. Consider adding text such as names, dates or locations. Use different stitch types for added dimension and texture. You can also add embellishments like ribbons, lace, or sequins for extra flair.

Add Background Elements

For a more polished look, add background elements such as leaves, vines, flowers or scenic details. Use a variety of stitches in complementary thread colors for dimension and to blend the main photo subject with the background.

Stitch the Design

Transfer the embroidery design to fabric using a heat transfer pencil, embroidery transfer paper or by directly stitching the design. Embroider the photo using a variety of stitches and threads for a custom, one-of-a-kind keepsake. Add extra stitching around the edges or in empty spaces for a more finished look.

Display Your Creation

Frame the embroidered photo or use it as a pillow, clothing embellishment or other home accent. Your digitized photo embroidery will make a cherished gift that lasts for years to come.