How To Embroider and Cross Stitch for Beginners

*This post's original publish date was March 1, 2017* 

How to Embroider- Time Lapse Gif of working on a laptop in a cafe

Hey all, how’s it going? I’ve just been working and also working. Today I thought it would be cool to chat about embroidery and cross stitching, because I enjoy doing it, and it’s really easy and fairly inexpensive to get into. I find stitching to be very relaxing, and now it’s often a passive thing that I do while watching TV or listening to music. I’ll explain how to embroider, what supplies you’ll need to get started and the cheap, and what is worth investing in down the line.

How To Embroider - Supplies list

To get started, you only really need a couple of things, which includes needle(s), thread, scissors, and fabric. That’s really it. In my experience, a needle is a needle- it doesn’t really matter what kind you get. As far as thread goes, I prefer using DMC thread, because it is really smooth and easy to work with, but same deal, any embroidery thread that you can fit through a needle is fine and you can find what works best for your artistic style down the road.

How To Embroider - Fabrics


Alrighty, fabric! I started out making patches on some cut up black denim jeans and that worked totally fine. It was awesome! Now I’m using a black denim store-bought fabric. Both of these fabrics really need to be worked with in a hoop. Almost any fabric will work fine, just avoid anything too stretchy, sheer, or woven. The more rigid the better. Another option is Aida fabric. This is a cotton fabric that has a natural mesh that is perfect for beginner cross stitching and it is stiff enough where having a hoop is not necessarily needed.

Other little extras that you could get into are bobbins or paper thread winders and Fray Check which is a vegan liquid seam sealant used on edges of a patch to ensure it will hold together when it’s cut out. That’s just extra though- no biggie!

supplies list

That’s just about it. I definitely don’t think I know everything about embroidery, this is just how I do things and what I use! Here is a list of approximately how much these supplies cost, in my experience.

  • Needles- a set of 6 for $2-3
  • DMC thread- $.40 per skein
  • Fabric- *Old jeans: free! *Denim: $8/yard *Aida fabric: $4/ size 18″ x 15″
  • Hoops- $3-10 depending on size
  • Fray Check- $2.50
  • Scissors- $6+ for embroidery scissors, but any normal scissors will work.

As far as how to do the actual stitching part, I’m not a pro. For cross stitching, I just make a bunch of X’s and for embroidery, back stitch. I could get more into it in another post, but mostly I just “go for it” and I think experimenting is more fun in the beginning anyway. Have fun pals! Just like Bart.

How to Embroider - Bart Simpson