How To Cross Stitch Letters

Cross stitching letters or alphabets on fabric is a popular way to express your love and support towards someone. But that’s not all. It will allow you to customize your sewing projects in a brand-new way. 

If you have a favorite saying or a quote, you can use that on your sewing project and give it a unique touch. Whether it’s a gift for someone or you wish to use it as a home decoration, it’s all up to you.

But how exactly can you stitch the letters on a fabric or material? Well, several ways to do so, and the technique is pretty straightforward and simple. When you learn how to create cross-stitch letters, you will not find it challenging to cross-stitch letters again. 

The Different Alphabet Styles

Different Alphabet Styles

When you’re cross-stitching letters, there are several styles that you can choose from. The picture letters style is one of the more complex options that involves making letters out of images. Once you get more confident with your cross stitching abilities, this style can make for some awesome letter and number designs that are super creative. 

The line letter method enables you to have clear letters and numbers. It involves backstitching to make each of the lines. You can also block lettering which is best for shorter words or 1-2 digit numbers that take up more space and look blockier. 

You have the freedom to cross stitch numbers and letters that are vertical or slanted. Making them slanted gives them the appearance of italics that can look great. 

How To Cross Stitch Letters?

If you want to cross stitch letters, you can do it by hand. Cross stitching the letters or alphabets with your hands will provide you great results.

Even though you can do the work on the sewing machine, the outcome will not be that good. You can easily sew or stitch letters on handkerchiefs and t-shirts with no hassle, and it’s the best way to do some alphabet stitching for beginners. 

Are you interested in learning how to stitch letters on your garments or materials? Well, this particular blog carries all the information you need. It will not just provide you with instructions on how to stitch letters. But you will also get the chance to learn about the various designs you can create. 

Cross stitching letters or alphabets is a lot easier than you might think. Just like you make beautiful patterns on our fabric, stitching letters is the same. But there is a bit of difference when it comes to stitching alphabets or letters on fabrics. So, let’s check out the steps to creating one.

Step 1: Make A Sketch

You begin your cross stitch work, and you must draw the letters or alphabets on the material directly. If you wish to provide initials, you can do that as well. Don’t forget to draw out the baselines. 

Otherwise, the letters you drew will have different sizes, and you certainly do not want that. You can freely use a scale or ruler to draw the baselines to make them more accurate. 

Also, while making the baseline, make sure to keep some space between the letters to look at. 

Step 2: Using Stencil To Make Your Sketch

If you do not wish to draw with your hands or cannot draw that well, you can use a stencil. It’s one of the best ways to obtain a beautiful pattern or design that you like. 

There are so many unique and beautiful stencils available for letters or alphabets. You need to place the stencil and create an outline. 

After that, remove the stencil and add some extra touches. You can use a dark-colored pen or go for a pencil with a different dark lead to make the drawing a lot more visible and darker. 

Step 3: Start Stitching Over The Letter/Alphabet

Before you transfer your stitching work to the fabric, it will be much better to do some practice on paper. 

Create a small design and start stitching on it. This particular method will help you practice stitching letters on the fabric. Doing so will also prevent unwanted errors or issues from occurring.

Once you finish practicing, you can now start the actual stitching work on the fabric or material. Make sure to follow the baseline of the letters properly so that the stitching part comes out perfect.

You need a solid and high-quality embroidery thread or any other thread to do the cross-stitching work. Also, if you do not have an embroidery needle, you can choose a needle that comes with a large eye. 

Other Ways To Stitch Letters On Fabric/Material

Stitch Letters On Fabric Material

Cross stitch stands out as one of the most noticeable ways to transfer beautiful wordings or letters on a material. 

But there are other ways that will help you do the same. Want to know how? Look at the information below!

1. The Chain Stitch

The chain stitch comes with plenty of variations, and the majority of them can be used for sewing or stitching out letters. 

You can use thread of any color and type but make sure it’s durable enough not to fall out after washing.

To make the work secure, you can go for the double chain stitch technique for the job. Make sure to create a double outline so that it holds the stitch correctly. 

Also, creating a double outline will make the stitch a lot thicker as well. But it’s suggested that you go for the heavy braided chain stitch. 

Why is that? This particular technique is ideal for all embroidered letters and can hold the stitch in its place.

2. The Satin Stitch

If you wish to provide a dimensional appearance to your letters, the satin stitch technique is one you need. 

To do so, you have to make a backstitch on the alphabet or letter. After that, you have to pack the straight stitches [Satin] over the backstitch line. 

Doing so will provide the letters with a dimensional and padded appearance. If the letter is pretty thick, try to make an outline with a backstitch and fill it up with chain stitches. 

Once you have completed doing the chain stitch, you can do the satin stitch on top of it. But you should not use a thick thread to make the letters on your material or fabric. 

Doing so will not provide you a refined design, which you expect from stitched or sewed alphabets. Once you reach the corners of the stitch, be sure to make tiny back stitches. 

How To Backstitch Letters On Cross Stitch?

If you want to backstitch alphabets or letters on a cross-stitch, you need to follow several steps for it. Please look below!

Step 1: Anchor The Floss

You must begin your work by anchoring floss. To do so, you need to start the loop, which will help you with the anchoring. This is especially compulsory for individuals who have never stitched before. 

Step 2: Bring Up The Needle

You must bring up the needle towards your material from the back to the front side. 

It is better to begin by creating a hole, which stands out as the beginning of the line you are stitching from. That way, it will be a lot easier for you to do the stitching work.

Step 3: Go Through Your Pattern

If you are creating a straight line, this particular step will be a lot easier for you. But all back stitches are not done through consecutive lines. 

On certain occasions, you have to choose diagonal lines to create a proper outline of your pattern. 

Make sure to keep your focus on your backstitching. Doing so will enable you to opt for the right hole.

Step 4: Put Your Needle Down

You must take your needle and place it down on the material from the front side to the back area. You have now successfully created your first backstitching line on the fabric or material.

Step 5: Go Up With Your Needle

Under this step, you have stitch right next to the backstitch line that you made earlier. You should bring the needle from the material from a hole right from the back and move towards the front.

Step 6: Go Down Again

You have to put the needle from the backside to the front once again. Once you complete the stitch, you come across the back part of the last backstitch line. This indicates you have completed your second backstitching line.

Step 7: Repeat The Steps 5 And 6 

For this particular step, all you have to do is replicate steps 5 and 6. Once the work is completed, you are all done with the backstitching work over the cross-stitch.

How To Center Cross-Stitch Letters?

If you want to stitch letters at the center of your material, you need to plan out your very own graph paper. Doing so will help you create cross stitch letters on the center position. 

Make your graph paper correctly and avoid making any mistakes. If you do the work accurately, there will be no problems ahead. Also, use a high-quality thread and needle for the stitching work. 

You can also use an embroidery frame to make the stitching process a lot easier for yourself.

What Type Of Cross Stitches Letters Can I Create?

You can create a lot of beautiful and unique cross-stitch letters. Some of the popular ones you can make are block letters, hummingbird letters, free caption maker, and fancy letter stitch.

You can also make the old English alphabet and times roman alphabet. These cross-stitch letters will add a bit of charm and improve your stitch project.

Is It Possible To Cross Stitch Patriotic Alphabet?

In short, yes, you can. You can easily get to show off your patriotic spirit by stitching them on your garments or a handkerchief. 

Apart from that, there are many other ideas available when it comes to the patriotic alphabet. You can choose the one you like.

How To Cross Stitch Numbers?

First of all, you’ll want to make sure that you have the following items ready to use:

  • Tape 
  • Scissors
  • Pencils
  • Colored markers/pencils 
  • Graph paper
  • Tapestry needle
  • Embroidery floss
  • Pins 

Once you’ve got the above items collected, you can start cross-stitching letters and numbers to start feeling more confident about making personalized pieces for people that look great. 

Step 1. Preparing Your Fabric

There are several fabrics that you can use when it comes to cross stitching letters and numbers. Linen and Aida are among the most popular pieces of fabric to use. However, these fabrics can be prone to fraying when you start cutting them.

Therefore, we recommend that you bind the edges of the materials before you begin stitching. This is especially the case if you’re about to start larger projects that will require the fabric to be handled a lot. 

Use a zig-zag stitching design along the edges to prevent them from fraying. Alternatively, you could also place some tape around the edges to prevent them from fraying. 

After you’ve secured the edges in whichever way you find preferable, you’ll want to locate where the center of the fabric is. This can be achieved by folding the material in half in one direction before folding it one more time in the opposite direction. 

Crease the point in the middle by pinching it lightly and placing a pin to mark the area. Some people like to make a small stitch in the middle to make it clearer when the center of their fabric is too.

Step 2. Threading Your Needle

Threading Your Needle

Now it’s time to thread your needle. Start by selecting what color floss you want to use and cut it so that it’s approximately 18” long. We recommend not going too much longer than 18” because it can lead to the thread becoming knotted and causing bumps in your letters and numbers. 

There are usually six strands of thread among embroidery floss that are twisted together. However, it’s likely that you’ll only be using one or two of these strands at once while stitching. 

To remove the strands from one another, pinch one side of one of the strands until it separates. Be sure to be gentle and focus on removing one strand at a time if you wanted to use multiple colors to prevent making a knot. Thread the needle as though you’re threading a regular needle for sewing by hand. 

When threading your needle like this, be sure that you stitch over the tail instead of creating a knot at the end. When it comes to cross-stitching, it’s best to avoid making knots where possible because it can cause bumps to be visible in your final design. So, stitch over the tail while you progress with your numbers or letters without using knots. 

Step 3. Adding Letters And Numbers To Your Cross Stitch

Now that you have everything in place to start cross stitching numbers and letters, you can get started. Use a piece of graph paper and use a pencil to create the font of your desired numbers and letters. Be sure to leave one grid cell empty between every letter or number in a single word. 

When it comes to separating words or numbers, leave 3 grid cells empty in between. You can also leave 3 grid cells empty above or below words/letters to have your words or letters positions above or below each other. 

Find the center of the number and letters design that you’ve made by counting the number of cells that you’ve used for the numbers and letters that you’ve penciled in. 

Use two embroidery floss threads while cross-stitching your letters and numbers. It’s also best to use a needle that has a sharp point as it’s easier to stitch letters and numbers.

When you’re adding multiple colors to your design, slide the needle with the embroidery floss in the section that’s between the floss and the back of the material. This will secure the ends of the floss so that you can move onto using a new color. 

How to Make Cross Stitch Easier?

Make Cross Stitch Easier

One of the main tips to keep in mind while cross-stitching letters and numbers is to have fun with it! Cross stitching can be an incredibly rewarding, therapeutic, and exciting project. 

Therefore, be sure not to feel too overwhelmed in the beginning because the more you practice, the more confident you’ll become in your abilities. 

Some of the other handy tips to follow while cross-stitching numbers and letters include the following:

  • Make sure that you don’t pull your stitches too tight. Stitches that are too tight will cause your material to warp and bunch up. At the same time, you want to have enough tension to ensure that there aren’t large gaps. Your stitches should lay flat on your materials without pulling it. 
  • While cross-stitching along the back of the material, try to avoid making long stitches as they’re more likely to show up on the front of your design. Cut the thread and start in a new area instead of pulling the thread across longer distances. 
  • If your thread gets twisted (which it’s very likely to) make sure that you leave your thread and needle to hangle and gently unravel itself. 

What’s The Best Way To Finish Your Cross Stitch?

When you’ve finished cross-stitching your letters and numbers, you can complete it by adding a border. To add a border, cross stitch along the edges of the fabric with a thickness to your desire. Once you’ve finished the optional border, tie the thread off underneath the design and tie a small finishing knot underneath before cutting off excess thread. 

Can You Wash A Cross Stitch Design?

Wash A Cross Stitch Design

If you find that your cross stitch design has become dirty, you can wash it easily by simply using soap and water. When washing the design, make sure that you’re very gentle. You can then leave it to air dry by hanging it up. 

Your hands may have oil and dirt that can make their way into your design as you’re cross-stitching. Therefore, we recommend that you thoroughly wash your hands with water and soap before you being cross-stitching. This is an easy preventative method that will reduce the chances of your design becoming dirty. 

Does The Background Design Need To Be Stitched?

Cross stitching the background of the letters and numbers that you’ve stitched isn’t necessary. One of the biggest reasons that many cross stitch designs don’t include backgrounds is because it can be an extremely long process. 

Leaving the empty gap in the background can also help to accentuate the design that you’ve created. This is especially the case if you’ve implemented lots of colors.



I'm Jessica Flores, a professional fashion designer and an expert seamstress. Crafting has always been a deep-seated passion of mine, one that has flourished and evolved over the years. I've dedicated considerable time to both studying and practicing in the realm of fashion and sewing, amassing a wealth of experience and skills. It brings me great joy to share these insights and experiences with you all, hoping to inspire and foster a similar passion for the art of sewing.

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