Maybe it’s because of Etsy. Maybe it’s because of those NSFW cross stitch pillows taking over Pinterest. Whatever the reason, cross stitch tattoos are having a moment.
Eva Karabudakis a Turkish tattoo artist who has become world famous for mastering the trend. “I used to do cross stitch on canvas and cloth at home and decided to do tattoos out of it,” she tells us, adding that she first tried it out on friends and then got hooked on it.
“It’s an anchor back to a lot of people’s childhoods. That’s why I believe it gets noticed,” she says. But before you decide to get one, Karabudak says you have to do your research. “Not all images or ideas can be applied to a cross stitch design. It all starts with a thought and that should be carefully studied before going into design.”
Nicole May, 38, is a tattoo artist at Tiki Town Tattoos in Alberta, Canada and says she definitely has seen cross stitch tattoos becoming increasingly popular. “I see a lot of subversive cross stitch on Etsy and I feel like it is something a lot of young people are picking up as a hobby. Cross stitch tattoos have become popular along with the general trend of cross stitch,” she tells us.
If you want to get a cross stitch tattoo, her biggest tip is to find an artist who actually cross stitches as a hobby. “They’ll have a better understanding of design layout and execution,” she says.
Here, three people share with us the story behind their cross stitch tattoo.
Name: Ashley Rieck
Occupation: Manager of Unglued
“I own a cross stitch business called Hatch605. I manage a modern makers gift store, so I am around makers all day. When people see my tattoo, I typically get reactions from older generations because it evokes a nostalgic feeling. They always have to stop and tell me that either they or a loved one used to cross stitch. I love hearing their stories. To me, it’s a way to help keep traditional art alive.”
Name: Brittany Wiebe
Occupation: Homemaker/cross stitcher
“I love to cross stitch. I have a small home business where I custom cross stitch family portraits. On all the portraits I include a red heart that floats over the family. It’s my signature. People find my tattoo very unique. The most reoccurring compliment I get is how much it suits me.”
Name: Crystal Balser
Occupation: Owner of MOD Tattoo in Ottowa, Ontario, a complete vegan studio.
“A fellow tattoo artist and I wanted to figure out how to do a cross stitch tattoo. We are both very crafty with crocheting and cross stitching, so it just made sense. It’s challenging to tattoo and we wanted to experiment, so I let her try it out on me!”
Name: Agelia Ocampo
Occupation: School district program supervisor
“My grandmother inspired my cross stitch tattoo. I decided to get it so I can forever have something of her with me. She’s been cross stitching every single day since before I was born. And my tattoo is an actual pattern from her collection.”
Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence