How to cross stitch: 5 simple steps to get started

1. Choose your project…

Make sure you choose the right level for you – you’ll find this information in the Factbox on each of our projects. Absolute beginners should choose a design without fractional stitches.


2. Buy your materials…

The shopping list on each project will tell you what size and type of fabric you need, and also which needle to use. You’ll find details of the threads you need in the key.


3. Get ready…

We recommend always starting from the middle of the design. Follow the two heavy ‘0’ grid-lines on the chart and find a symbol near the centre. Look for this symbol on the key for the colour of thread you need, plus the number of strands. Thread your needle with this colour.


4. Get set…

Fold your fabric in half horizontally and vertically to find the centre of that as well. The folds will make a cross, which corresponds to the cross at the centre of your chart.


5. Get stitching!

To make a cross stitch, bring the needle up at the bottom left corner of a square and down at the top right corner. To finish a thread, leave a thread tail of 4cm (2in) on the back of the fabric, and catch it under your stitches to secure it. We recommend finishing all the cross stitch in your design before you work the backstitch or add any French knots.


Like that? Try these:

Cross stitch FAQ

Cross stitching techniques

Cross stitch tips

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