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Using my embroidery machine to make and personalize gifts for friends and family is one of the joys of holidays.
I prefer making personalized gifts in addition to or instead of money or gift cards. This fulfills my crafty desires and is also meaningful to the recipient.
Want to start embroidering your own gifts?
Here’s a list of some of my best embroidery gift ideas to make and give for Christmas and other occasions! Once you start dreaming, you’ll see so many things to embroider for gifts all around you.
DIY Machine Embroidery Gift Ideas
1. Towels (Terry Cloth, Dish Towels, Tea Towels)
Embroidered hand towels are well received if you’re looking for a thoughtful, inexpensive gift for people you don’t know well. Towels get dirty and need frequent replacing, so even close friends and family can appreciate this embroidered gift idea!
A few fun things to embroider on towels are monograms, recipes, kitchen sayings, and flowers.
For the best results when embroidering towels, use tear-away or wash-away stabilizer with temporary spray adhesive or sticky tear-away stabilizer. Hoop the towel when possible, and add a layer of water-soluble stabilizer on top.
Don’t forget that a knockdown stitch or nap-tack stitch can flatten the pile of towels, making your design more visible among the fluff.
2. In-the-Hoop Wallets, Wristlets, or Pouches
Small in-the-hoop projects are one of my favorite things to embroider with my machine.
And, if you have basic customization embroidery software, adding initials or a unique personalization to the front of the wallet makes a great gift.
For a great embroidered winter or Christmas gift idea, beanies are easy to make and fun to gift.
You can snag beanies for a few dollars at Walmart or Target, and adding an initial or other personalization is easy.
Use no-show mesh stabilizer for dense designs and tear-away for very, very lightweight designs. A water-soluble topper is also helpful when embroidering beanies.
4. Balsa Wood Ornaments
If you’re looking for a unique embroidery project idea to gift, embroider balsa wood!
Be careful with design selection, use a water-soluble topper, and test settings carefully to achieve maximum success.
Read the full tutorial for embroidering on balsa wood for more information.
5. Embroidered Tote Bags
Take a boring tote bag, and add an embroidered design for a cute and thoughtful DIY embroidered gift.
Make the tote bag into a whole gift by stuffing it with spa materials, books, or your favorite themed items.
6. Mug Rugs or Coasters
Every year, I gift my grandmother with a new in-the-hoop mug rug. These are easy to make and fun to stitch.
Same with coasters. Cute embroidered coaster designs are easy to find, and you can further personalize them with monograms or even team names.
7. Embroidered Blankets
A sweet housewarming gift, wedding gift, or even Christmas gift is an embroidered blanket.
For simple designs on non-stretchy blankets, use a tear-away or wash-away stabilizer, which is removed from the back after embroidering. For dense designs on unstable fabrics, opt for a no-show mesh cut-away stabilizer for best results.
If the blanket fabric has any fluff, use a water-soluble topping to keep stitches from sinking.
8. Free-Standing Lace Ornaments, Villages, Angels, and More
If you’ve never checked out Embroidery Library’s 3D FSL designs, you’re in for a treat!
These 3D embroidery designs are stitched on wash-away stabilizer, which dissolves in water after stitching.
Then, with a little sewing or other construction, you have a beautiful free-standing lace design that’s perfect to gift (or keep!)
There are many in-the-hoop bookmark designs that you can embroider, or you can personalize a fabric bookmark you sew first.
This is a great machine embroidery gift idea for book lovers!
One other option is to make your own using denim or another fabric. (Check out my denim bookmark tutorial!)
10. Hair Bows
Have little girls in your life? Monogram or add cute designs to store-bought hair bows for a fun embroidered present idea.
Follow this hair bow embroidery tutorial to learn more.
Whether it’s adding a sports team logo (just don’t sell copyrighted products) or a goofy phrase, a koozie is a great thing to embroider as a gift for a friend who likes their favorite adult beverage or carbonated soft drink kept cold.
Pair a koozie with a six-pack and other themed paraphernalia for a more substantial present.
12. Embroidered Men’s Tie
Buying for my husband is hard (which is why we don’t buy gifts for each other anymore!) However, I’m always sewing or embroidering him new things.
For a super-simple design on a tie, a layer of tear-away stabilizer is all you need. For a dense design, use no-show mesh or a cut-away stabilizer to prevent puckering.
13. In-the-Hoop Key Fob
Have a friend or child who needs a decorative key fob? Try making one like the above in-the-hoop with your embroidery machine.
I prefer to embroider key fobs using marine vinyl that I cut to the perfect size with my Cricut Maker (check out using an embroidery machine and Cricut together for more information!)
14. Baby Bibs
This cute embroidered baby gift idea is perfect for parents who love taking dinner-time photos of their kiddos.
15. Burp Cloths
Another DIY embroidery gift is adding a design to pre-made burp cloths for babies! While many embroidery enthusiasts like diapers for this, I prefer muslin burp cloths.
Learn to embroider burp cloths!
16. Baby Bodysuits
What baby doesn’t need more onesies for cute picture opportunities?
Embroidering onesies takes skill when learning to hoop properly, but once you’ve figured that out, you’re good to go!
17. In-the-Hoop Gift Card Holder
This in-the-hoop project is perfect as a graduation gift idea or adding a little thoughtfulness to a Christmas gift card.
As a previously very broke college (and grad) student, I always appreciated gift cards and cash!
For Fall and Winter weather, a sweatshirt can be a cute gift!
I also love embroidering sweatshirts for my nieces and my closet.
For denser designs, use a layer of PolyMesh or cut-away stabilizer rather than opting for tear-away.
Free-standing lace earrings are fun gifts to make with an embroidery machine, as are in-the-hoop faux leather teardrop earrings.
20. Potholders or Oven Mitts
The above potholder is intended for my aunt as a Christmas gift this year. Follow this store-bought potholder embroidery tutorial for more information on how I did this!
If you have a large enough embroidery hoop, you can even create an in-the-hoop potholder.
21. Paper Towels
Here’s a quirky embroidered gift idea for someone who’s not too serious!
Use a layer of no-show mesh or cut-away stabilizer, and add your favorite low-density design to paper towels. Pack them in cellophane or a fun gift basket, and laugh at the uniqueness of this gift idea!
22. Toilet Paper
Like with paper towels, embroidered toilet paper is another whimsical gift you can make with an embroidery machine.
Not everyone’s going to appreciate this gift (my mother-in-law, for one), but the possibilities for gag gifts are endless!
23. Baseball Hats
For the hat wearers in your family or friend circle, consider embroidering a hat!
Hats are somewhat tricky to embroider on a single-needle embroidery machine, but it’s not impossible.
24. Duffel Bags
For kids who love sports or adults who frequent the gym, an embroidered duffel bag is an easy gift to make with an embroidery machine.
25. Tooth Fairy Pillow
If you have a youngster, consider stitching a tooth fairy pillow in-the-hoop. Either that or embroider the front and stitch by hand.
I don’t recommend using minky fabric, though, as I did on my trial run above. It just looks funky.
26. Yoga Mat
For family and friend yogis, embroider a yoga mat as a Christmas or holiday gift!
Be careful with how you adhere the stabilizer to the mat, and use a water-soluble topping.
27. Wine Bag or Jacket
While you can sew a wine holder easily, why not create one in-the-hoop? Add an initial, monogram, or saying, and this makes a perfect hostess gift!
29. Reusable Grocery Bags
For friends and family who shop sustainably, embroider a reusable grocery bag. While you can sew your own, this is an example of an embroidery blank you can buy from Dollar Tree.
30. Cosmetic Bag
Of course, you can embroider a premade makeup bag, but you can also create a personalized makeup bag in the hoop to gift!
Let me know if you have any more embroidery gift ideas for Christmas, birthdays, or other holidays. I am always trying to grow my ideas list as it always seems like we have gifts to give.
And, if you’re making gifts for specific holidays, check out these two big free designs posts: