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Stumpwork Beetle – Try Something New Every Month

A stumpwork embroidery beetle with bead eyes.

Another month, another project! I’m sharing my Try Something New Every Month (TSNEM) project- this month’s ‘theme’ was needlework. You can see more about the year-long adventure and what else I’ve tried in this post. I tried my hand at “stumpwork” which basically means raised embroidery. I went with the simplest type, adding felt padding for a 3-d effect, but more advanced techniques include wire. I first heard about stumpwork when Rebecca tried it last year, making a planet.

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I used a tutorial from Sew in Love; she seems to have the most comprehensive stumpwork information online, as far as I can tell! You can see the 3-d element from this angle.


I added two beads for the eyeballs and love the effect, I’m not sure why it’s never occurred to me to include beads in embroidery! I love how the little beetle turned out and need to get my hands on some metallic thread to make more of them. Stumpwork really excited my imagination, and I want to try other techniques soon.

I always spend a lot of time browsing images, tutorials, and information before I try my hand so I’ll share those below, I also found out that there is Craftsy class about stumpwork* that looks neat and gets good reviews.


Some visual browsing inspiration for you below, too:


A photo posted by @livgryl on

A photo posted by kozue Japan (@kzfavourite) on

Have you tried stumpwork before?

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This Post Has 6 Comments
  1. I have never heard the term stumpwork, Stephanie, nor have I ever thought of embroidery as anything other than 2D. I just adore your beetle!!! More ideas I’d love to try, but will most probably never get around to. I’d love you to add your stumpwork to our embroidery link party – I’d love to show it to my readers.

  2. I receive your email every month and just love it. I was wondering if there is a free tutorial on the stumpwork stitches. I`m on disability and limited income prevents me from buying some extras. But using my hands to create is wonderful therapy for mind and body. Thanks so much, Donna

    1. Hi Donna! Thanks so much for subscribing – you can always just hit ‘reply’ and it should go to me πŸ™‚ I used the free tutorial on Sew In Love: http://sew-in-love.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/stumpwork-beetle.html#.WBeuwySfxPZ for this post, so check that out! Let me know how it goes, isn’t the internet wonderful for free content? You can also always ask your library to borrow books for you, or request them to buy, as well. Thanks for reading and good luck!

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