How to Make a Cross Stitch Pattern in Excel

So many cross stitch patterns exist on the internet. But, some tailors and designers love to make their charts.

Using graph papers is the standard method of charting the designs out. Besides being cheap, it has its disadvantages.

This post will focus on how to make a cross stitch pattern in excel. Nevertheless, it is another cheap method that shows exactly how the pattern should appear.

How to Make a Cross Stitch Pattern in Excel?

Have you been dying to make your cross stitch patterns using a computer? You can learn this here today.

It isn’t going to be about spreadsheets but Excel. That’s because Excel has helpful features for starting your cross stitch pattern-making journey.

Below is how you can make patterns from scratch.

Step 1: Open an Excel Workbook and Create a Chart

Start by creating a working grid. So, adjust the row height to 0.4cm for a start.

You can change to other sizes once you master how to use the Excel cross-stitch maker.

Likewise, you can do the same for the column width and set it at 0.4cm. Once ready, every square represents a single stitch.

Step 2: Design Your Chart

To design your cross stitch caravan, use the chart’s fill tool to select the base color. Do an outline and fill the color by highlighting cells you want to fill.

Step 3: Work on the Outline

Use any color to create your picture. Even if you don’t do it well, Excel allows you to erase this.

Besides, you can also highlight all the mistakes. After that, click on the no fill before proceeding.

What you will have is a rough idea of the outline. Change the colors as you wish until you have the proper position.

What’s more, you can pick any colors you want to make an almost perfect outline. There are no limits.


Always have a picture on your phone or paper of what you want to create. Use this to refer.

Also, don’t worry if the image appears like a box.

Step 4: Fill the Image With Color and Details

By now, your caravan will be coming to life. Fill the picture with color by selecting the fill tool and choosing the colors you want.

Also, highlight all cells you need to color and fill them. Even after filing the colors, it might appear plain.

Add details to it like flowers, a zipper, a seam, a pocket, or a dart. Thus, that gives it an almost perfect look.

Step 5: Cross-Check

Go through the pattern. Although it still looks blocky, the design should be coming about.

Moreover, check for any errors and adjust them. Finally, take a print.

Besides, ensure the color doesn’t spill on boxes you don’t want. Every detail should be in the correct position too.


You can outline the chart using the line tool. It helps you to show where to make the back stitches and fractional stitches.

But, it will be time-consuming, and it isn’t a crucial step.

How to Make a Cross Stitch Pattern Using Paper?

One handy tip of making a cross stitch pattern using Excel is having a picture on paper. This section will cover how to get a cross stitch pattern on graph paper.

Graph papers have vertical and horizontal lines that form grids. Every grid represents a cross-stitch.

Designers prefer using grid papers, but they aren’t easy to find.

Step 1: Assemble the Materials

You will have to gather all the necessary materials for drawing. Have a pencil, eraser, graph paper, the design you want, and carbon paper.

Step 2: Trace

Trace your design onto the graph paper. Don’t forget the defining lines.

Moreover, shade the picture’s inner side using a pencil. If you have color pencils, these too can work.


You can make markings instead of coloring.

Thus, use backward and forward diagonal lines, square corners, or straight lines. These are to show the design’s curves.

How to Make an Easy Cross Stitch Pattern?

Cross stitches are among the traditional and unique decorative stitches. It might take more time to learn if you are starting.

Completing the design will need patience, but you will love the results. This section will highlight how to make cross stitch patterns with ease and speed.

You can design a pattern on paper or software as in the above steps. Having this makes it easy to create a pattern in real life.

Others design the patterns on the fabric. However, it is relevant if stitching by hand and not a machine.

After using either of the steps above to design the cross stitch pattern, it is time to use it.

Use the pattern as a template over the fabric you want to stitch. You can also transfer it to your digital machine with an embroidery feature.

So, use the correct format and stitch it. The stitches should take the X shape.

It doesn’t matter if you use a machine or hands. You can use it for sewing two separate fabric parts together or making decorative pieces.

How to Make a Cross Stitch Pattern Using Hands?

It is good to learn how to make a decorative cross stitch pattern. But first, learn how to make the traditional one.

Doing it by hand with a thread, needle, and fabric is an excellent way to practice.

Step 1: Assemble the Material

Whether you are a seasonal designer or not, your sewing kit needs to have the basics. Have a thread of choice, needle, fabric, thumb nimble, and seam ripper.

Step 2: Thread the Needle

Pass the thread through the sewing needle. Avoid long threads as they could tangle or misalign.

Starters can create a single or a double knot at the thread’s end to allow it to form a beginning point.

Step 3: Create the Loop

It will be the very first stitch that you will take. It will not be a cross-stitch hence a starter stitch as most people call it.

The starter stitch forms the foundation of your cross stitch. Pass the needle through the top section of the pieces of fabric.

After that, bring the needle to the bottom section of the loop. The loop should be on the far edge.

Step 4: Begin Cross Stitching

After completing the loop, the needle should be near the sewing hand but up a bit on the fabric. Move the needle to the rear side of the fabric in length you like diagonally.

You have a single section of the cross stitch already. Thus, pass the needle through the opposite side via the top section.

It should cut back vertically by several inches. Pass the needle to the bottom section.

Again take your needle and pass it in a diagonal style similar to the other edge. This one should cross over the first one to make the letter X.

However, don’t worry about the size. You will learn with time.

Step 5: Complete your Cross Stitch Pattern

Assume you are vertically stitching so that you can complete the cross stitch pattern. Proceed with the same method as making the first cross-stitch in step 4.

Moreover, you can cut back vertically from every side of a diagonal stitch. On each diagonal stitch, cross over it several inches from the last point.

Thus, you get several X stitches that form a series. It should be on the entire fabric line.

Once you finish, make a loop. Follow the procedure under step 3.

It is to secure the other end of the stitches and prevent them from coming off after cutting the thread.

Now you have an idea of how to make a cross-stitch. Practice more to make it even and perfect.

Are There Programs That Can Help You Make Cross Stitch Patterns?

Yes. Although we have explained the easiest methods, there is software you can use.

These design programs help you to create cross stitch patterns, among others. Some have free versions while you must pay for others.

Some custom embroidery programs for creating cross stitches are PCStitch and MyriaCross. So, you can export all your designs to your digital machine.

The machine should have a compatible format. An advantage of this software is the ability to offer more control.

You can play with custom stitch colors, shading, fabric, counts, and length. But, when starting, we recommend using the most straightforward steps we have in this guide.

Is a Cross Stitch the Same as an Embroidery Stitch?

Embroidery stitches are a type of decorative style stitching. Cross stitching is a type of embroidery stitch.

Most people consider it a traditional style. You can cross-stitch in an evenweave or Aida design.

The cross stitch pattern always turns out to be a series of X shapes. But, others have backstitches and French knots.



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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