/ Thursday, September 6th, 2012

by Fran Cassano

Hi Everyone! I came of age in the 1980s, so Disney’s latest foray into 8-bit fun is made for someone like me. So, when I saw the Disney PIXEL’D App for iPad, I just knew I had to download it.

But, while I was playing around with the app’s functions, I couldn’t help but see something else that I first discovered in the 80s: counted cross-stitch. For those of you who do not know what counted cross-stitch is, it’s a counted-thread embroidery using X-shaped stitches to form an image on fabric called aida cloth. Using a chart or an image-stamped cloth, you count threads in each direction so that the stitches are all uniform. (Think of those cute project kits you could send away for, for a buck, in the old DMC ads in Seventeen Magazine).

So, what does an 8-bit Mickey have to do with cross-stitch? Nothing…on the surface. But, I found that when I enlarged the grids within the app, the boxes reminded me of easy stitching charts. And I began to create my very own DIY counted cross-stitch patterns. The themed images were perfect to do this with.

When completed, these are just right for a handmade embellishment on scrapbooking projects…or even card fronts. How about on a tote bag or a fleece scarf?

I can also see the kids making a piece of art on this app and then you stitching it for posterity. As you know, I love the idea of taking something geared for kids and using it for your own purpose, too. It gets everyone crafting together.

Since I am a huge Once Upon a Time fan, I picked the two apples for this week’s tutorial~the Poison Apple and the Snow White Apple.

Disney PIXEL’D is free in the App Store and there are so many characters and backgrounds you can create charts for. If you do not have a device that supports Disney PIXEL’D, I’ve included the Poison Apple and the Snow White Apple Charts I created, here for you.


  1. Download Disney PIXEL’D in the App Store
  2. Tap open PIXEL’D, then tap Draw
  3. Tap the Stamp icon (third one down, on left)
  4. Select/scroll to your favorite image
  5. Let’s select Disney Princess and scroll over to the two apples
  6. Tap the red Snow White Apple or Poison Apple, then tap anywhere on the grid
  7. Then take your thumb and forefinger and finger gesture open, touching the apple to make it larger. (This is the same gesture you do when enlarging a photo someone sends you on a smartphone or tablet). (See how the boxes enlarge? That is how you will count your stitches when stitching the image on the fabric).
  8. Then save it to your Gallery, where you can access it there or email it to yourself.
  9. Next, grab your PIXEL’D chart of choice, assemble your embroidery tools and begin your cross-stitch project. Here is a downloadable beginner’s how-to cross-stitch guide from DMC, makers of fine embroidery products. This goes over all the tools and steps you’ll need to create any cross-stitch project. It’s one of my crafting go-tos

I am having a great time using Disney PIXEL’D. So far, I created charts of the following:

  • Aladdin Carpet
  • Beast’s Rose
  • Belle’s Rose
  • Briar Rose’s Owl (can also double for Pooh’s Owl or Archimedes)
  • Briar Rose’s Rose
  • Chip
  • Donald’s Hat (which will make an appearance in a later project)
  • Mickey’s Glove
  • Mickey Hearts Argyle
  • Snow White’s Blue Bird
  • Steamboat Willie Cow Xylophone

And with Wreck-It Ralph coming out in November, I can see us all creating even more easy 8-bit originated, cross-stitched embellishments together.

Enjoy your day and craft away!

Craft Time: Varies. Take your time and have fun making your own charts and projects.

Fran’s Notes:

~After you completed your stitching, cut your cloth with you pinking (zig zag) shears or paper edging scissors you dedicated to fabric. Make sure you use an adhesive with a stronger bond and glue around the fabric’s edge. Allow to dry thoroughly, because the adhesive will come through the aida cloth.

~Jo-Ann and Michaels has a great selection of embroidery tools. Don’t forget to use your coupons! (There is no A.C. Moore in my area).

~In Disney PIXEL’D, you also have the option to make in-App Expansion Pack purchases (I personally bought the Vintage Mickey to do Steamboat Willie projects).

With thanks to:

Disney PIXEL’D © 2012 Disney

The Joy of Cross-Stitching Copyright © DMC


Like so many of us, Fran Cassano’s life is sprinkled with Mickeys. From collecting Park brochures as a child, to creating ideas for her own Disney Fairy Tale Wedding, paper crafts have kept the magic of Disney a part of her everyday life. Fran invites us capture our own memories through Practically Perfect DISNEY Crafting… Break out the tools that have been gathering dust. And let’s figure out how, together!



4 thoughts on “Practically Perfect DISNEY Crafting: Stitched Embellishments Using the Disney PIXEL’D App for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch”

  1. Sammie_Kay says:

    Such a wonderful idea! I would love to see photos of what everyone does!

  2. Angie Carreiro says:

    I didnt know there was a such thing as this app! What a creative idea of what to do with it!

  3. Fran Cassano says:

    Thanks Sammie and Angie! I think you’ll have A LOT of fun with the app.

    Josh, I know. That’s why I included the charts for to Apples in the post. Disney must have plans to show more love to the Droid.