Sewing and Embroidery Tutorials

Oct 25, 2021

How to machine embroider on wood

Did you know that you can actually do machine embroidery on wood?!?!

Yes, wood. It's unexpected and makes a fabulous gift. People will be amazed that you stitched on wood. The trick to this is Balsa wood.

Balsa wood is a very lightweight wood, used in particular for making models and other crafts. You can find it at your local craft store.

In this tutorial you will be making monogrammed jewelry box. Here's what you'll need.


Balsa Wood  -1/16th thickness

Needle - 75/11 universal

Stabilizer - adhesive stabilizer

Thread - embroidery thread

Embroidery Design (I used the built in font from my machine)

Unfinished wooden jewelry box


Xacto knife

Paint & brushes


 Step 1:

I purchased the unfinished jewelry box and the Balsa wood from my local craft store.

embroider on wood

Balsa wood comes in different thickness, you want to purchase the 1/16th thickness. Be sure to buy a piece that's wide enough to cover the top of the jewelry box.

Trace the shape of the box onto the Balsa wood. Use the Xacto knife to gently cut the shape out. Balsa wood cracks easily...take your time and be gentle.

embroider on wood

Step 2:

Paint the jewelry box and the Balsa wood in the same color. Let them dry. I used a fun acrylic glitter paint.

embroider on wood

Step 3:

Hoop a piece of adhesive stabilizer. I used Perfect Stick by Floriani. Place the Balsa wood on the the embroidery design. I used a built in font from my machine to create the initial. Pick an embroidery design that is NOT too dense.

(note - if you don't have adhesive stabilizer you can use a piece of tear-a-away and then use a spray adhesive. Hoop the stabilizer and spray the back of the Balsa wood with the spray adhesive. Place the wood onto the center of the hooped stabilizer).

Using a 75/11 universal needle and your favorite embroidery thread, stitch out the design.

embroider on wood

Step 4:

Once the stitching done carefully un-hoop the stabilizer and using scissors carefully cut the stabilizer away from the Balsa wood. Do not tear it away as you might crack the wood. Start by cutting around the wood leaving a 1/2 inch or so of stabilizer around the wood.

embroider on wood

Then turn the wood over, and using an knife carefully cut away the rest of the stabilizer.

Since I used adhesive stabilizer I left some stabilizer on the back, to help keep the wood from breaking. Be sure to trim it away from the edges of the Balsa wood, exposing about 1/4 inch of the wood.

embroider on wood

Step 5:

Glue the Balsa wood to the top of the jewelry box.  Gently brush away any glue that comes through the needle holes with a wet paper towel. Let it dry.

embroider on wood

Viola! A one of a kind embroidered wooden jewelry box!

embroider on wood