One of our all time most popular posts on the Past Impressions blog looked at all the various things one could do with a finished cross stitch. From framing to strapping it to the back of an iPad, all were a nice change from just tucking it away in a drawer. As a fun mini-successor to that article, we've scoured the net's craziest crafters to try and see who's taken it a step further, with a new list of unusual ways to use your finished cross stitch kit:

Read it as braille

We love to embed messages in our cross stitch kits. Simple welcome words like 'Home Sweet Home' or ironic statements are a hallmark of embroidery, but why is it only the messages that we can see that get made? Whether you actually know someone who's blind/visually impaired or not, a Braille message is guaranteed to stand out in anyone's display. Even if the person doesn't know or is learning Braille, encoding a message like 'I love you' or 'what can you see?' will be a nice surprise to them when they get the hang of the writing system!

Have it be furniture


Whilst not cross stitch kits in the traditional sense, these images show the ability of the medium (in principle) to transcend into modern home living. Chairs, cushions, carpets and walls are your new form of aida with patterns that provide a practical use once they're done. Our Tatty Teddy samplers may show an adorable sleeping bear, but you can't sleep on him in quite the same way as these gigantic works of comfy art.

Tether it to another piece

A superb demonstration of the artistic potential behind embroidery, these pieces suggest what little you can achieve when you limit your projects to a single flexi hoop. Whether used for charm, question or humour, each of the kits above examine the interconnection of different objects and other beings, how the interactions between us - whether going one way or both - free us from isolation. Oh, and they look very pretty too!

Transform it!

Many of you may not see the significance in this, but anyone who's life feels still firmly at home in the 90's needs to check out the work of master crafter Lord Libidan. We previously featured his work in an article looking at men who cross stitch, and these Transformers 3D cross stitch kits are precisely why we keep coming back to his blog. Remarkably detailed and actually capable of morphing from their robot form to vehicle mode, though they're not as flexible as the toys, they may even be a sneaky way to get your children/granchildren into stitching. Maybe.

Use it as a QR code

Our fave threader Lord Libidan shows us once more the creative potential behind fabric-derived shapes with these wacky QR code cross stitch kits. These are appearing more and more at stitching conventions and meetups, and it's hard not to see why. They're small, personalised, and they can be used to encode everything from hidden messages to discounts - that's right, they really work! Try it with your phone!.

Make a stop motion film out itCross stitch is a time-consuming hobby, comparable to any form of animation. Therefore, why not bridge a gap between the two by filming your process piece by piece and putting it on YouTube or Facebook? Examples like the one above are great, but we're waiting to see the first ultra-patient embroiderer to try and make an entire cartoon, or tell a full story using cross stitch fuelled animation.

Take it to the next dimension...

For our last showcase we turn once again to the mind boggling work of Lord Libidan. His 3D Pokemon Cave Cross Stitch is reminiscent of the many pieces we stock from the home of cute trans-dimensional cross stitch; The Nutmeg Company. This work of Poké-art takes it a step further by turning the interior of the pattern into a astounding optical illusion, one that almost has to be seen in the thread to be believed...

What are some of the more wild ways you've seen people used their finished cross stitch kits? Let us know in the comments of this blog, or you can ping it over to us on our Facebook page, Twitter and/or Google+. You can also share your own current projects with many other avid embroiderers at our Cross Stitch Community.


Post By Graham Ashton