Embroidery Journaling: Alternatives to the Standard Format

Everyday, I embroider an icon that in some shape or form represents my day onto my embroidery journal. This icon can represent something that I did, somewhere I went, or even how I was feeling that day. Each year, I start my journal on January 1st and stitch my last icon would on December 31st. However, there are a multitude of other ways in which you can get creative with your embroidery journal. Let me take you through some ideas that I’ve collated

A New Job

Want to know something interesting? This is actually the reason I started my 2020 embroidery journal in the first place! I started a brand new job as a Housekeeping Manager in Training in a hotel on January 3rd, 2020 and figured it would be interesting to track my progression in my new job throughout my embroidery journal. That is, until I was furloughed three months into the job, then it became more of a record of the pandemic from my perspective. It was still an interesting concept to consider though and for the first three months of 2020, you can see that reflected.

A Notable Birthday

There is always have the option of starting and finishing on a day other than January 1st every year. Say you’re turning 30 this year, you could potentially start on your birthday! Your first stitch of the year would be on your birthday and throughout the year, you can stitch a daily icon correlating to your day. By the end of the year, you’d have an entire picture of how your 30th year went.

Exciting Life Moments

Getting married? You have the opportunity to track your engagement leading up to your wedding day. Stitch the important moments like cake tasting, picking out flowers, the bachelor and bachelorette parties, and finish on your wedding day. Once completed, you’ll have a beautiful piece of art that showcases your love story with your spouse.

Similarly, if you are expecting a new addition to the family, you could stitch an icon per day based on how you are feeling and how you’ve prepared for the arrival.

Or how about a life changing move? Personally, I used this technique when it came to making the move to Scotland. I knew it was something that I’d be able to put emphasis on when I was buying coats, purchasing the plane ticket, had found a flatmate, etc. I was able to get quite creative with my icons and was so excited when I was able to finally stitch the Union Jack!

First year of Marriage and Wedding Anniversaries

After getting married, you can track your first year of marriage via an embroidery journal. You can start on your wedding day (retroactively of course) and continue to stitch an icon a day based off of life with your new spouse.

Similarly, after your first anniversary, you could either decide to continue the trend of creating a journal a year based on your years of marriage or you could hold off and only stitch the ‘big’ anniversaries such as year 5, 10, 25, etc. If done over a few years, it could make for a beautiful and creative view of your relationship.


When my grandfather retired from his career is the furniture sales business, he had new business cards printed that listed out all of the new things he wanted to accomplish with his newfound time. Things like playing the guitar and travelling with my grandmother. I always found that to be a lovely sentiment. Similarly, you could embroider all of the things you accomplish or plan to do, once retired.

Only stitch the big events

Taking on a daily embroidery journal is quite a lot of work and not everyone has the time to devote an hour or two a week to embroidery. Instead, you have the option of only stitching the ‘big events’ of the month. Instead of stitching 28-31 icons, you could select 5-10 icons per month and focus on those events instead. With this method, you could allow for more effort and detail to be put into each individual icon.

There are plenty of ways you could create a unique and creative embroidery journal based off of your life. However, any embroidery journal that you create will already be completely unique to your life and unlike any other out there. All that matters is that you enjoy the journey in creating it.

Enjoyed this post? Then check out some of my other blog posts or purchase the in-depth embroidery journal guide. You can also join the free Embroidery Journaling Facebook group to chat with others working on Embroidery Journals. Follow me on any of the following social media websites:

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