Stitchy Doo-Dad Project: Plant Pokey

With buckets of herbs on my window sills and a vase of wildflowers on my dining room table, I am inspired to embellish my life and flower pots and vases with embroidery.

Embroidered Plant Pokies

If there’s a good standard name for such a thing, I don’t know it. I’ve seen them called “plant pot sticks” and “floral cardholders.” How boring is that? I like “plant pokey.” It sounds like a dance I used to do, the Hokey Pokey. I like a “plant pokey” even better when it’s embroidered.

Embroidered ornaments stuck into the soil of potted plants

Embroidered plant pokies: A kind of stitched doo-dad.

Want to see how to make them? Let’s do this!

Step 1: Stitch a design

Stitch a design, maybe a bee, ladybug, mosquito (hey, they pollinate just like bees), a hummingbird, a message, a name, a holiday symbol or motif, a re-usable tag holder, a pulled-thread test swatch, something else.

Step 2: Finish the Edges and Back

Finish the edges and back. If you’ve taken the Bracelet Basics class (or have the e-book), you know what I did with the lighthouse and Deep Blue Sea pieces.

If you’ve taken the Bookmarks 101 class or read the e-book, you know what I did with the Hardanger doo-dad.

The green needlepoint photo-holder uses crescent stitches as photo corners to hold the photo. The edges are sealed with clear, flexible glue, and the back looks very like the front, so there’s no backing at all.

Some other possibilities: blanket-stitch edge, hemstitched edge, nun’s stitch, overcast backstitch, something else.

Step 3: Add a stick

You can buy Plastic Pick Embroidery Holders, or, yanno, make your own.

Four plant-pokey stick options

Homemade plant-pokey sticks: copper electric wire, fork, craft wire, hanger wire

I used the following for my pokey sticks:

Copper Electric Wire

For the Hardanger square, I used copper wire that was left over after wiring our house. I made a paperclip-style coil to hold the embroidery and zigzagged the stem. (We bend wire in the Bookmarks 101 class and e-book.)


Emroidery tied to fork tines.

A thrift store fork with tines bent makes a great plant-pokey stick.

Okay, how about a fork? I got one from a thrift store, bent the outer tines, and stitched a loop on the back to slip over the center two tines.

Craft Wire

This craft wire threads through the picot edge stitch around the lighthouse, and then bends into a loop on top and a zigzag on bottom to hold the embroidery in place.

Hanger Wire

For the Deep Blue Sea, I cut a wire hanger—not a solid wire hanger, but one with a cardboard cross piece. It requires no additional bending; that hook is in the cardboard tube. Isn’t it nice of hanger makers to make us these plant-pokey hooks?

Step 4: Ta-da!

That’s all there is to it. Stick your pokey in a pot or vase for a personal touch and a splash of your unique style. Are you ready to make an embroidered plant pokey?

Want to explore stitchy doo-dads more? Check out the Bookmarks 101: Simple, Smart, and Swanky Finishes E-book. We’ll delve into backings, edges, and findings that work for all sorts of doo-dads in addition to bookmarks.

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