How to Cross Stitch for Beginners

If you are a beginner in the stitching world, you may have looked at some projects and wondered how the person achieved their cross-stitch.

What thread did they use? How did they manage to make all those neat stitches?

Well, such questions are common if you are starting. Do not shy off from asking them.

First, you need to understand what a cross-stitch is. In cross stitching, you will be making diagonal stitches that must be of the same length.

Moreover, the stitches should cross each other at the center to form an X. So, how do you achieve cross stitches? Well, this article will guide you.

How to Cross Stitch for Beginners?

First, start by going through the design you are about to stitch on the chart. Prepare your fabric for stitching by washing and ironing it.

Then start stitching, of which you can start to form the middle of the fabric or from one edge of a row. Ensure you are consistent with your stitches.

Also, you should deal with one color at a time. Be careful when stitching so that you will end up with a clean and neat cross-stitch.

Procedure for Cross Stitching

Cross stitching can be relatively complex for a beginner. But with practice, you will get the gist of things.

In this section, you have a step-by-step procedure that you will follow when cross-stitching. It is beginner-friendly and will give you a quick overview of how to carry out cross-stitching.

The Material You Need for Cross Stitching

  • Tapestry needle
  • Threads you will be using
  • A pattern with the design that you will be stitching.
  • Your fabric


Step 1: Go Through Your Pattern

You should first ensure that you understand the design that you are going to sew. With this, it will be easy for you to know where to start making stitches and where to stop.

Understanding the pattern also ensures that you come up with neat cross stitches.

Step 2: Prepare Your Garment

There are many preparation steps you should take for your garment. First, ensure you wash and iron it.

It will make your design come out neater. Also, it would help if you protect your garment. Moreover, you may deal with a fabric whose edges are prone to fraying.

For other fabrics, they end up diminishing as you sew. You can protect the fraying on the edges by making zigzag stitches on the edges.

Step 3: Select the Thread and the Needle

You should select a thread that will match your fabric. However, it must not be the same.

Cross stitching allows you to go wild with the thread color. Also, select the needle you will be using.

Lastly, the size of the needle will depend on the fabric count.

Step 4: Look for an Embroidery Hoop

An embroidery hoop will help to secure your cross stitch in place as you make other stitches. You can work with smaller hoops since they are easy to hold.

However, you must ensure that you move them more often. But you need not have an embroidery hoop if you can hold the stitch by yourself.

Step 5: Cut the Fabric

Once you have the required materials ready, you can now cut the fabric depending on the pattern you are using.

Step 6: Thread the Needle

Create a loop at the end part of your floss and wet it may be using some water. Pull the loop into the eye of the thread.

Besides, ensure you leave two tail ends, and one should hand to the other side of the needle.

Step 7: Start Cross-Stitching

It can help if you start stitching from the middle of your fabric. Insert the needle from the bottom and pull it through the fabric.

However, ensure you leave a loop at the bottom. You should then go-ahead to cross the thread in a diagonal direction.

Your needle should then pass through the loop below so that your stitch is secure.

Step 8: Continue With the Cross-Stitch

Ensure you are following the X pattern in all other stitches you make. Be sure to be stitching to the outside of the cross-stitch.

Do so until you achieve your pattern.

Step 9: Finish Stitching

Once you finish your pattern, you can add a backstitch border around it. Then tie your thread from below the cross-stitch.

Besides, make a knot on the wrong side of the pattern. Trim off the remaining thread.

Making a Half Cross Stitch and a 3/4 Cross Stitch

You already know the basic concept of how to make a cross-stitch. In this section, you will learn how to make a 1/2 and a 3/4 cross stitch. Read on!

1. Half Cross Stitch

A diagonal line may represent a half-cross stitch. It also has a floss symbol that lies next to the diagonal line.

Here is how you make a half-cross stitch.

Step 1: Drive the Needle Into the Fabric

This time you won’t be inserting the needle from the right side of the fabric. Do it from the backside heading to the front.

Step 2: Move the Needle Diagonally

Make a diagonal stitch on the fabric. Then bring that needle back to the backside.

There you have your first half stitch!

2. 3/4 Cross Stitch

For 3/4 stitches, you need to start to form the center of your fabric. Follow this process:

Step 1: Select the Correct Needle and Thread It

Depending on your fabric, choose a needle that will work well with your fabric.

If you are dealing with a thick fabric, a sharp needle will work well. Then thread your needle.

Step 2: Insert the Needle Into the Material

Drive the needle through the fabric, ensure you start from the backside of the fabric. Also, ensure that your needle passes through one corner of the extended leg.

Step 3: Make a Diagonal Stitch

Cross the needle in a diagonal direction. Make a long leg stitch.

However, you should bring your needle to the front side of the fabric along the corner.

Step 4: Make a Backstitch

Stitch to the backside of your fabric, passing through where you have your first leg.

Tips for Cross Stitching as a Beginner

1. Start Practicing With a Simple Project

If you don’t know much about cross stitching, you can first try simple projects. So, start with a project that has a few stitches.

2. Always understand your project before beginning.

Knowing what the project requires is crucial. Therefore, it is wise to go through the pattern you are about to sew to avoid sewing mistakes.

3. Start Sewing From the Center

Stitching from the center of the fabric will help you make neat stitches. Also, it is much easier rather than starting from the edges of the fabric.

4. Always Highlight Your Progress

You should always make sure that you come up with a neat cross-stitch. To achieve this, ensure you mark the starting point, what you have done, and what you are yet to do on the fabric.

5. Keep Your Thread Short

Long threads may tangle so easily. The tangling may affect how your pattern will look.

So, it is much easier to use a short thread.

What Is the Purpose of Cross Stitching?

Cross stitching has many different purposes. You can create various designs with cross-stitching.

Mostly you can make a decorative thing with a cross-stitch. With the display, you can frame it in your house or make a hoop to display it.

Also, a cross-stitch can be used when you are marking your clothes. Thus, you can write your name or initials on a piece of fabric following a cross-stitching model.

Is It Easy to Cross-Stitch?

Cross stitching may not be as easy, especially when you are just starting. However, as you proceed and continue to know the tricks and hacks, you can be a pro.

Moreover, you don’t need to have many stitch designs at hand. With only one type of stitch, you can be able to create something beautiful.


Hello, I am Jessica Flores, and you are welcome to my website. I am a professional fashion designer and a seamstress. I always carried a passion for craftwork. My love for craft grew along with time. I have spent years researching and practicing in this field to gather colossal experience.

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