I found this skull already gridded-out (via a fellow Flickr member —It was just screaming to be turned into a cross-stitched gift for my husband. I knew it would be perfect on the slippers that I’ve been promising him for awhile now… (click on all photos to enlarge them)

I liked this particular skull design ’cause it was slightly asymmetrical, so I…

  • Printed out two of ’em (one was mirror-imaged) and set to work finding some material. (I haven’t done cross-stitch in literally a decade, and I knew I probably wouldn’t for another 10 years, so I wasn’t going to invest in any more supplies…)
  • Found a scrap of black fabric and pieced it to fit my embroidery hoop.
  • I wanted my skulls to be slightly smaller than the printed version for the slippers, so for a moment, I considered totally “free-forming” the cross-stitch loosely onto the fabric… … …
  • Realized that I’m waaay too perfectionist-oriented for that. And I was too lazy to try to resize the grid and re-print, waste paper etc.
  • Drew a larger grid (16 squares) directly onto the printed out diagram, and then used a white chalk pencil to draw the same grid onto the fabric.
  • Am pleased to say that it worked out nicely, once I re-taught myself the basics of making TINY… little… X’s…. in perfect… tiny… rows…. *gah!*
  • I appliqued the skulls to the fronts of the slippers with invisible stitches. Really that was the most aggravating task of all.

And cross-stitching is actually more relaxing than I had remembered 🙂
(I think I would have been bored if I were following a pattern/grid exactly. The difference in scale and the challenge of adjusting the stitch numbers as I went along was a nice change.)

Oh yeah! And I made little skull buttons out of my new favorite clay (they’re on the sides of the slippers)j. I also did some larger stitched X’s for extra extra decoration. Sometimes, we like to go all-out on the embellishments.