Delicate and Creepy: Macabre Needlework

I live for contrasts. The combination of hard and soft, growth and decay…That’s probably why I’ve always been so enthralled by old cemeteries. Ornate stonework, delicate wrought iron gates, flowers and plant life sprinkled across the grounds, all combined in a place that’s intended to house the deceased.

Lately I’ve been positively possessed by macabre needlework. Embroidery is typically thought of dainty, delicate, and — of course — feminine. Which is why finding these embroidery artists is such a treat. Their gruesome subject matter lends a little edge to the art of needlework, while the delicate nature of the materials lends a bit of softness to subjects that some folks would find off-putting.

Adipocere is the master of peculiar needle and thread art. While there aren’t many items up for sale at the moment on his site, be sure to follow his Instagram for the latest breathtaking designs.


Tinycup Needleworks also produces remarkable work. All of her pieces are one of a kind and available by commission only, so they can be hard to come by. But even if you can’t own one for yourself, you can enjoy her work on her Instagram as well.

a portrait of my sweetheart, as the patron saint of wildflowers ? 2/6 for @asraigarden #tinycupneedleworks

A photo posted by tinycup needleworks (@tinycup_) on


For finding something more easily attainable for your own home, Oeroeboeroe has a well-stocked Esty shop full of delightful pieces, like this bird skull surrounded by colorful flowers.

Oeroeboeroe embroidery bird skull with flowers
Oeroeboeroe’s embroidery features beautiful skeleton designs, both animal and human


The Etsy shop of MoonriseWhims features a lot of terrific feminist embroidery, but I was particularly drawn to this quote from Edgar Allan Poe, which sums up perfectly why I’m so drawn to the aesthetic combination of beautiful and creepy. Special bonus: her shop is located in my hometown!

MoonriseWhims embroidered Poe quote
It’s true, don’t you think? Embroidered by MoonriseWhims