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Adding embellishments to your embroidery projects using air-erasable fabric pens

I've written about air-erasable fabric pens for hand embroidery in a previous post, and today I'll expand on that by showing how I use these interesting transfer tools to help me determine the placement of final embellishments on an almost-finished piece.

Photo of an embroidery hoop with a yellow rose and green and orange leaves stitched onto a pink cotton fabric, surrounded by embroidery supplies.

What are "final embellishments," though?

By "final embellishments," I mean smaller isolated stitches (such as French knots or double cross stitches) used to help "balance" the composition of a design. I typically add these after finishing the bulk of a project, using them to fill in gaps or spaces; to add in pops of color; or to subtly correct any mistakes I may have made earlier in the process of stitching.

Why air-erasable pens?

I like to use air-erasable pens for this sort of task because their marks disappear quickly with little to no work on my part. This means I'm able to more easily play around with different potential placements -- if I happen to change my mind and stitch elsewhere on the hoop, those stray marks will simply disappear!

How do I use air-erasable pens to help me place the final embellishments on a piece?

After stitching the bulk of my design, I'll use an air-erasable pen to create small marks around my stitching wherever I'm considering placing any final embellishments. In the photo below, you can see I've started to place small dots near the corner of a floral design -- if you look closely, you'll notice nearly-disappeared marks from an earlier attempt, too!

Hope uses a pink air-erasable fabric pen to mark where her final stitches will go onto a hoop that has a floral design already stitched onto pink fabric.

Because these marks disappear with exposure to light, I do my best to stitch as quickly as possible once I've finalized my decision. In the photo below, you can see my marks have already begun to disappear as I begin the second of three total stitches.

I'll often continue to add marks and stitches in this manner until I feel the piece looks "finished."

Hope uses a pink air-erasable fabric pen to mark where her final stitches will go onto a hoop that has a floral design already stitched onto pink fabric.

Of course, and as always -- there's no "right" or "wrong" way to do anything in embroidery, including determining whether or not something is "finished." If you're having a hard time making a decision about what to do with a project, take a look at a previous post where I discuss what to ask yourself when you think your hand embroidery looks "bad." I'll often revisit that post myself when I'm not sure what to do!

Photo of a nearly-finished embroidery project with a yellow rose, green leaves, and white and orange embellishments on a pink cotton fabric.

Thank you for being here, and I can't wait to see what you make!

I hope this was useful, and I can't wait to see what you make - whether you create something from one of my kits or patterns, or from a design of your very own! If you'd like to share your work with me, you can always tag me on your social media accounts (@hopebroidery on Instagram and Twitter, @hope.broidery on TikTok). If you don't have public social accounts, but still want to share, consider emailing me a few pictures (, I would love the chance to tell you how much I love your work!

Happy stitching!


Your new favorite hobby awaits with these beginner-friendly embroidery kits!

Embroidery project featuring green cat in pink meadow underneath a bright sun. Being held above scattered kit supplies.