Turning photographs into viable cross-stitch patterns that can be executed on circuitboards is difficult - often not even possible.
The problem is one of limited resolution.
Most photographs are hundreds, if not thousands, of pixels wide and tall. The largest possible circuit board that I can easily obtain is about a foot wide and only has a “resolution” of 66x111 pixels. A commission of that size would be quite expensive (prices for custom-embroidered circuit boards can range from $25-$300, depending on size, complexity, and exclusivity). Depending on your price range, it might be necessary to shrink your image yet further. But if you shrink a photograph to being only, say, 40 pixels wide, will it still be recognizable? Also consider the fact that many photographs contain pixels of hundreds of different colors. Every color needed to execute your desired image in embroidered form means an additional color of thread for me to buy, which will add to the cost. So more colors leads to more expense, but fewer colors leads to more simplistic images - which can be great for reproducing certain types of graphic illustration images, but is not very good for reproducing photographs.
Luckily, you can easily see for yourself what your photograph (or other digital image) would look like when reduced to a cross-stitch pattern by going to pixel-stitch.net
Here I will guide you through how to use that site to attempt to create a circuit-board-compatible cross stitch pattern!
When you're ready, start by clicking here. The homepage should like this:
Click the blue button that says "Get started and select a picture". You will then be prompted to choose an image file from your computer. After doing so, you'll be taken to a screen that looks like this:
You'll notice that I have circled a few things on the image in red. The first is the "width". You will want to set the width equal to a number of stitches that corresponds to a certain size of circuitboard. A complete list of circuitboard sizes (measured in stitches) that I have available can be seen in the following chart (you can use either the first OR second number as the width):
Note that you are only able to choose the stitch-width of the pattern - not the height. The height will be automatically calculated based on the dimensions of the image you uploaded. You'll want to be sure that the height can fit onto the circuitboard size you chose, or else your image will have to be cropped.
The second thing circled in red is "Number of Colors" - this corresponds to the maximum number of thread colors that the website will use when creating the pattern. The default is set to 60 but this is much, much more than the average numbers of different thread colors I usually use. Of course it is up to you how many thread colors you want to have in your commission, but remember that more colors means more cost! Try changing the number of colors to different values and clicking "create embroidery pattern" button (the 3rd circled item) to see how the resulting pattern image shown below changes, and choose the right balance for you.
When (and if) you have created a pattern that is right for you, you'll want to save the pattern so you can email it to me by including the pdf file as an attachment.