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Punchneedle PlanetJune logo

I’m so happy to see punchneedle embroidery starting to get more popular (finally!) and thought it was about time I dust off my needle and start some new embroideries of my own. Although it’s mostly the large rug-punch style that’s trending right now, it’s miniature punchneedle embroidery – worked with a smaller tool and standard embroidery floss – that I’ve been enjoying for almost a decade.

Punchneedle really is the easiest form of embroidery – you can draw any shapes on your fabric and fill them with punched loops of colour just like a paint-by-number painting!

Intrigued? Learn more on my Punchneedle info pages.

And now here’s the PlanetJune logo, punchneedle style!

PlanetJune logo in Punchneedle Embroidery

I love the depth that the looped stitches give to the finished piece, don’t you?

PlanetJune logo in Punchneedle Embroidery

I thought you might like to see a little look at the process!

This is the back of the embroidery, and the side that faces you while you punch. You can see it looks like rows of straight stitches. Here, I’ve finished all the red but I’ve only done about half of the white areas:

PlanetJune logo in Punchneedle Embroidery

From the front, you can see the nice even loops that are formed by the punchneedle tool as you punch. The loops are so dense that you can’t even see any spaces in the upper half where the white will define the red sections. But that will all change soon…

PlanetJune logo in Punchneedle Embroidery

After punching the rest of the white stitches and the finishing steps to tidy up any loose threads and messy stitches, here’s the result:

PlanetJune logo in Punchneedle Embroidery

And then the final step – it’s basically finished, but, at this stage of a punchneedle embroidery, you can choose what to do next depending on what you want to do with the embroidery.

You could keep it attached to the backing fabric as in the photo above and frame it like that, fill in the backing fabric with more colours and/or patterns to fill the hoop and use the hoop as a frame, square off the embroidery with more stitches and then frame it, turn it into an applique to attach to something else… Lots of choices!

I decided to mount my logo on a felt backing and cut it out so it became a free-standing ornament:

PlanetJune logo in Punchneedle Embroidery

Isn’t it cool?

Next, I think I’ll return to my punchneedle butterflies project – I want to make a beautiful Monarch to commemorate my return to Canada!


If you’d like to learn more about punchneedle, see my Punchneedle info pages.

And if you’re ready to get started, my ebook, The Punchneedle Handbook: Miniature Punchneedle Embroidery Basics & Beyond, walks you step by step through the entire process of miniature punchneedle embroidery, from selecting tools and materials, to how to punch correctly, and the all-important finishing steps for perfecting your finished embroideries. It’s available in two versions, for right- and left-handers, so you can see step-by-step photos that show you exactly how you’ll be punching.

The Punchneedle Handbook by PlanetJune

Have you tried punchneedle embroidery yet? If not, I’d love to help get you started with this easy and satisfying craft! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments below ūüôā

Comments (6)

Punchneedle Butterfly 3: Rajah Brooke’s Birdwing

I’ve started an ongoing long term craft project to make a group of different butterflies using Punchneedle embroidery – all different colours and shapes but all based on my interpretation of real species – and mount each one individually on a wall so they all ‘fly’ together in a colourful cloud.

It took me the best part of a year to sketch up the design for my next Punchneedle butterfly, and only a few pleasurable hours¬†to transfer my design, punch it, wire the wings, back it with felt, and trim it… You may have seen my in-progress shot a couple of weeks ago on Twitter:

punchneedle butterfly: rajah brooke's birdwing by planetjune

Rajah Brooke’s Birdwing¬†is the national butterfly of Malaysia, and all our attempts to spot one during our trip to Borneo last year were in vain. I decided to make up for that disappointment by creating my own in punchneedle – the bold electric green on black makes for a spectacular design…

punchneedle butterfly: rajah brooke's birdwing by planetjune

Each of my punchneedle butterflies is designed to fit inside a 6″ embroidery hoop, so my collection is definitely not to scale. While my¬†Peacock and Sea Green Swallowtail are both much larger than their real-life counterparts, birdwing butterflies are huge, and my ‘Brooke Butterfly’ (as they called it in Borneo) is actually just about¬†life-sized!

punchneedle butterfly: rajah brooke's birdwing by planetjune

This brings my little collection to three, and I think my butterflies are almost ready to leave the safety of my shelves and migrate to their eventual wall display. I’ll probably get started on that when I’ve completed one more design…

punchneedle butterfly: rajah brooke's birdwing by planetjune

This is a very long-term project for me, but I’m so enjoying seeing my small collection slowly grow with each new butterfly. I think I’ll try to make a¬†Monarch¬†next, although it’ll be fiddly to make: punchneedle is best suited for bold shapes, not fine lines. But the Monarch is¬†my favourite butterfly from my time in Canada, so it wouldn’t feel right to omit it just because it’ll be a challenge.

While it’s a shame that¬†my punchneedle patterns don’t really sell well enough to justify making any more, there’s a silver lining to that too: it¬†gives me the freedom to call this project pure¬†art, with no constraints for making the butterfly designs easy to replicate by others. If that changes at some point in the future, I’d publish all my butterfly patterns as an ebook and grade the designs by difficulty, so it’s still not a bad idea to make my Monarch. And, if not, I’m enjoying making my butterfly collection, and I hope you’re enjoying seeing them!

If this post has piqued your interest in Punchneedle embroidery, take a look at my Punchneedle intro page for information on this craft and how to get started.

Comments (8)

Punchneedle Butterfly 2: Peacock

I’ve started an ongoing long term craft project to make a group of different butterflies using Punchneedle embroidery – all different colours and shapes but all based on my interpretation of real species – and mount each one individually on a wall so they all ‘fly’ together in a colourful cloud.

I finished the design for my second Punchneedle butterfly in September, punched it up over my Christmas break, and backed and trimmed it this week. You may have seen my in-progress shot a couple of weeks ago on Twitter:

punchneedle butterfly: peacock by planetjune

The Peacock is arguably one of Britain (and Europe)’s most beautiful butterflies and one I remember growing up with. I thought its bright colours and bold¬†patterning would make it a good choice for punchneedle. I used the colour-mixing technique from my Punchneedle Handbook to extend my palette and add detail along the tops of the wings and to either side of the body – I think it works well.

punchneedle butterfly: peacock by planetjune

I wired my Peacock’s wings and backed it with felt, as I did with my Sea Green Swallowtail, and I’m enjoying seeing them together in my office/studio. (By the way, they aren’t to scale because each butterfly is designed to fit inside a 6″ embroidery hoop – that allows enough size to capture some nice detail in the wings, but not so much that they take forever to complete.)

punchneedle butterfly: peacock by planetjune

My ‘wall of butterflies’ concept is slowly starting to take shape! I’ll move them to a¬†wall once¬†I’ve made a couple more¬†– they’d look a little lonely at the moment. I’m looking forward to¬†seeing the collection gradually¬†expand over the coming months and years.

punchneedle butterfly: peacock by planetjune

I’m very happy with the way my Peacock turned out. Do you like it too? I wonder which butterfly I’ll try next… maybe a Monarch¬†(my favourite butterfly from Canada), or a Rajah Brooke’s Birdwing¬†(to remind me of our trip to Borneo). I’d like to have a mix of butterflies with personal significance to me, species that are especially beautiful, and an overall variety of colours and wing shapes in the collection, so let me know if you have any favourites I should consider ūüôā

If this post has piqued your interest in Punchneedle embroidery, take a look at my Punchneedle intro page for information on this craft and how to get started.

Comments (7)

Punchneedle Butterfly 1: Sea Green Swallowtail

I’ve started an ongoing long term craft project to make a group of different butterflies using Punchneedle embroidery – all different colours and shapes but all based on my interpretation of real species – and mount each one individually on a wall so they all ‘fly’ together in a colourful cloud.

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have spotted this in-progress photo of my Sea Green Swallowtail:

punchneedle butterfly wip

With everything that’s happened lately, it’s taken me a while to find the time to finish the butterfly, but now here she is:

punchneedle butterfly: sea green swallowtail by planetjune

I wired the wings so I can bend them back slightly, to add a little dimension, and I bent the ends of the wire into a concealed hanging loop and a hook, so I have the option to hang the butterfly from a nail in the wall, or hook it onto something. Until I build enough of a collection to have them ‘flying’ up a wall, I’ll be hooking them into my wire storage shelves (with my prop fake plants) – and that looks pretty good too:

punchneedle butterfly: sea green swallowtail by planetjune

I’m so happy with how my first butterfly design turned out – bright and cheerful and colourful, just as I’d envisaged!

I’ve decided on a constraint for all the butterflies in this project: I’ll scale all my designs so they fit nicely into a 6″ embroidery hoop (as I did for this first one), for ease of punching. And, to suit the strengths of the Punchneedle medium, I’ll be looking for butterflies that don’t have too much fine detail, but that have varied wing shapes, colours and patterns, so I can build a stunning collection.

punchneedle butterfly: sea green swallowtail by planetjune

My next butterfly design will be a beautiful Peacock, and, after that, I’m not sure! I know I’d like to include at least one butterfly from each country I’ve lived in as part of this project, but they don’t all need to have personal significance to me. Do you have a favourite type of butterfly? Let me know, and I may add it to my butterfly collection!

(As I’ve already been asked this question, let me add: I have no specific plans to publish my butterfly designs, but I’m not ruling out the possibility of one day publishing them, either as individual patterns or as an ebook collection, if there’s enough interest. For now, I’m just enjoying the slow process of creating without any pressure to publish.)

buy The Punchneedle Handbook by June Gilbank

If this post has piqued your interest in Punchneedle embroidery, take a look at my Punchneedle intro page for information on this craft and how to get started.

And I know of an excellent ebook if you’d like to try your hand at it – my own Punchneedle Handbook! My punching skills are a little rusty after my 3-year hiatus, but I used all the fix-it tips from the Troubleshooting section of my book to perfect my butterfly, and now you’d never know (if I hadn’t just told you). ūüėČ

Comments (9)

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