How to Needlepoint

Are you new to Needlepoint? Do you want to learn it and have some fun while unwinding?

Learning a new hobby or a new craft might be daunting, if we don't have the right learning materials. The practice might be easy (and it is, trust us!), but we all need some instructions to get us started and we are here to help you!
Needlepoint design of floral aesthetics with earthy colors Needlepoint design of floral aesthetics with earthy colors

Instructions on How to Needlepoint

Below are the stitching instructions you need to get started! Watch our video tutorial, where we show you each step in detail.

"How to Needlepoint" Video Tutorial

STEP 1: Cutting some thread

Cut a piece of thread not longer than 50cm (20’’). Due to the continual backwards and forwards movement through the canvas, the thread will wear gradually until it is much thinner than it was originally. If you are working with a small stitch (like tent stitch) it is advisable to use a shorter length.


- Always pull the DMC skein thread from the end where the color number is located.

- DMC soft cotton threads are non-divisible. I.e, you don't need to split the strands to start stitching.

STEP 2: Threading the needle

If it's hard for you to thread the needle the same way we do in our video tutorial above, then we have this blog post where we explain extra methods for threading your needle!

STEP 3: Starting a piece of thread

If you are starting off a new piece of thread on an empty part of the canvas, a good method is to hold about 2cm (¾’’) of thread on the back of the canvas and sew over it until it is firmly held down. Do not leave any loose ends which may get pulled through to the front with another stitch.

TIP: You can also start by using a waste knot. Learn how to do this by watching our tutorial here.

STEP 4: Stitching

Always “under − over, under − over” − i.e, your stitches come from under the canvas and then plunge back in over.

Your stitches should be worked firmly to produce an even tension, otherwise the finished work won’t look good. The needle and the thread should be taken right through to the back or front of the canvas each stitch before being inserted again for the start of the next stitch. This facilitates an even tension and results in less wear on the thread.

TIP: Share a square! As you add more rows of stitches to your work, new stitches are always worked into the same square as the stitches directly above or below it. 

STEP 5: Ending a piece of thread

Stop stitching when there’s about 8cm (3’’) of thread left. On the back of the canvas, run the needle under the last stitches you worked for about 5cm (2’’), then cut the thread tail.

Free Needlepoint Booklet

Our booklet contains easy instructions on how to start with needlepoint, key takeaways on how to select stitches, and a library of our favorite stitches, with the respective instructions on how to stitch them!

All about Needlepoint Stitches

Now that you know the basics of how to needlepoint, let's see some of the most common needlepoint stitches. If you are new to this craft, you can start by experimenting with these stitches, before moving up to more complex ones. 

Start with the Basic Tent Stitch

Everything you need to know about the Tent Stitch, the most common stitch in needlepoint!

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Our Favorite Decorative Stitches

Here you can find everything about our favorite decorative needlepoint stitches, how to do them, and some stitched examples.

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Best Stitches for Backgrounds

Looking for a new and unique stitch for a background? This selection will help you find something to stand out!

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Video Tutorials to Learn new Stitches

If you are a visual learner, our tutorials are perfect to get you started with the most common stitches!

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Starting your needlepoint journey?

If you're new to needlepoint, or if you want to learn more about this craft, access our BEGINNERS GUIDE below: