Tips For Cross Stitch For Beginners!

Tips For Cross Stitch For Beginners

cross stitching for beginners

Cross stitching is not beginner friendly!

And unless you have a friend or family member that can really show you the ropes it can be incredibly difficult to start! Like starting anything there are a lot of tips that go unsaid that can save you a ton of time, money, and pain. While we are a puzzle company, we do have a selection of cross stitching kits (and this author is an amateur textile artist!) So in the hopes that we can alleviate some of the beginner learning curve, here are 7 of our best tips for cross stitch for beginners!

Mind Your Stitches

When you're learning, the number of stitches and movements can easily get confusing. Something that will save you time and money in the future is learning your stitches now! Get used to how each stitch is handled and keep checking the back of the fabric for any knots, the more knots made the less thread you'll have to work with and the more thread you'll buy! It may be wise for you to keep notes on different stitches and the movement of each one. This way you'll always have reference you can turn back to! Plus you won't have to keep going to the same article online just to see how it's done. 

Make Sure You're Using A Good Fabric

This is a mistake that I personally kept making when I first started. You can't just use any fabric when you're starting. Get a good sturdy fabric with adequate sizing so you can properly count your stitches and spacing. Make sure that it's still flexible enough for you to practice placing in your hoop, but isn't too flexible that you can't properly stretch it out. Many kits and craft stores will give you a good fabric to work with. Your fabric can really make or break a project, so make sure you're paying attention. The more you practice the more flexible you can get on your choice of fabric!

cross stitching for beginners

Practice On Scrap Fabric

Keep scrap fabric on you to practice! It can take a good amount of time to really master a stitch to the point that all of them look uniform and proper. The more you practice this the more you'll be able to visualize and utilize the different stitches. You'll eventually be able to know the stitches length without looking and be able to translate it to other fabrics and projects. Scrap fabric also allows you to keep different stitches somewhere for you to draw reference to. Don't be shy about writing on your scrap fabric and test things out! Try splitting your thread for different detail sizes, or work on different fabrics. Write out what you used and what you did on the fabric so you know what these different experiments look like.

Check Your Needle

Another mistake that is incredibly easy to make it not using the correct needle. This can be quite the pain when starting, your needle is pretty important. Know the length of the needle and also the width of the needle you're using. Obviously the larger and longer the needle, the harder it can be to really work on details and practice. A shorter, thinner needle may feel awkward to work with, but it allows you to see your stitches and movement a lot easier than something clunkier. Make sure that you are also using a strong needle!

Carry a small magnet on you when you're working so that if you drop a needle you can find it easy, with no pain! When I first started I dropped a needle and forgot about it as I was eager to keep working, big mistake! I proceeded to step right on it, I also figured out the needle I was using was incredibly flimsy as it bent immediately! Change out your needle regularly if you think it's been through too much, it'll be much nicer for yourself to have a good sturdy needle than work with something that can turn into a hazard for yourself.

cross stitching for beginners

Consider A Thimble

Save your fingers! When working for a long time your fingers will get tired much faster than you think. Especially when you're just starting out. While you're getting used to the movements and stitches it can save your fingertips a lot of unnecessary pain if you have a thimble. Protect your fingers while you're able to move the needle how you need it to. Trust me on this, having a thimble is much easier than just trying to grin and bear it. Without your fingers at 100% how can you keep practicing?

If you're looking for a cute thimble go grab a nice cheap one at an antique store! The price will be much better than having to go to a craft store and drop more dollars than it's worth!


We should start considering this tip in all of our articles, but Youtube is a POWERHOUSE when it comes to free knowledge. If you're more of a visual learner, as I am, seeing someone do it on Youtube can save you the brainpower it would have taken you to figure it out on your own. Youtube will be your saving grace as you learn new stitches, designs, and tricks. Save as many videos as you can, experiment and practice!

The Power Of Tracing

They also don't teach you this when you're first starting out, but use a fabric pencil/chalk to trace out what you're trying to do. While you may be working with a pattern when you're starting out, a fabric pencil/chalk can give you more freewill and visual guidelines when you're starting. A really inexpensive tool, you can trace the boundaries of your work or even different colors. It's nothing you can't wash out or erase once you're finished if there's something left shown in the final product!

cross stitching for beginners

Well there you have it! 7 tips for cross stitching for beginners!

We wish you the best of luck when you're starting out and hope your fingers are strong and ready! Practice to your hearts content and remember that there is no one way to do something, do what feels right to you!