How to Turn a Picture Into a Cross Stitch Pattern

We all have beautiful photos that look lovely. Often, we want to transfer them into cross stitch patterns.

There are various ways of doing this, but most of them have limits. But, you can use programs like Pixel Art.

It helps you determine all stitches and embroidery colors. You get a PDF format of the pattern that you can download to save or print.

Read below to learn more!

How to Turn a Picture Into a Cross Stitch Pattern?

Pixel Art is a program that shows you how to turn a picture into a cross stitch pattern. Start by uploading your photo of choice.

And it determines the total number of work stitches and embroidery colors you need. The program will give a pattern in a PDF format that you can download or print.

Steps to Turn a Picture Into a Cross Stitch Pattern

Step 1: Open the Pixel Stitch Program

Designers use it to convert their photos into beautiful cross stitch patterns. The program uses the most recent HTML5 features.

It implies that you need to update your browser to the latest version. So, type the program’s name into your browser and search it.

It doesn’t need you to log in first. You can begin the creation process right away.

Step 2: Loading the Image

You need to load a picture and can select any photo or image from your computer’s gallery. Do this straight away on the pixel stitch homepage.

What’s more, you can double or triple the chances of making a high-quality cross stitch pattern.

Below are some of the things to avoid when selecting the best photo for use in this case.

  • Stay away from phrases and letters
  • Avoid objects or reflections that obstruct the photo
  • Don’t choose a photo with a busy background
  • It should be away from prominent places of shadows
  • Strong contrasts are spoilers
  • Don’t select pictures with low resolutions
  • Avoid images that are very light or very dark
  • Don’t pick blurry pictures
  • Avoid those that look like distant

Step 3: Select the Total Number of Stitches in the Width Section

Depending on the picture’s size, the program calculates all the stitches you will need in height. The most significant number of stitches on the width shouldn’t exceed 500.

If the number exceeds 500, the system will take some more time to calculate the rest.

Step 4: Choose the Number of Colors

Select the total number of colors you need to have on the stitch pattern. As the computer makes its calculations, it optimizes a few embroidery colors.

The pattern will then have few colors. Thus, try several colors.

Moreover, select the best outcome while maintaining a low number of colors.

Step 5: Select the Embroidery Thread

The thread types you choose will determine your color palette in the pattern. Currently, you can select from DMC, Anchor, and All Colors.

When you choose Anchor or DMC, it displays the thread number.

Step 6: Deselect Colors You Don’t Need

Do this by clicking on the individual colors. You can save your current palette by clicking on the download palette.

Besides, when customizing a palette, click the Upload Palette icon.

Step 7: Select the Right Algorithms

Dither Algorithms replicate the intermediate colors that are missing with those available. Moreover, it reproduces better color gradients.

The results of the photo are more accurate.

Select those that calculate the similarities of the various colors. Try several variations, then decide on the best outcome.

Moreover, you can choose the algorithms which reduce the total number of colors that are very distinct. Go for several modifications before deciding on the perfect one.

Step 8: Save the Format

Save the format of the file you want to keep your document. You can save it in Excel or PDF format.

Furthermore, specify if you need a grid, and you can preview it. You can also load another new image.

Press the create embroidery pattern to create your cross stitch pattern. The program allows you to preview at the final stage.

Confirm if all aspects are the same as you want them. If not, optimize the image and alter the settings.

Click on the save embroidery pattern button, and that is it.

Tips on Turning a Picture Into a Cross Stitch Pattern

Regardless of the method you use to turn a picture into a cross stitch pattern; you need to be tactful. It ensures that the result is of excellent quality.

You will have all the necessary and accurate details you need. These tips are to make the process easier.

You get help from selecting the image to converting it. The result will be an admirable cross stitch pattern.

1. Prepare your picture. It should take you a few seconds. The image is to look as beautiful on the hoop as it looks on the screen.

2. Have a picture editor that can deliver HEX values. It should apply basic filters like Paint.NET.

3. Besides, have the image you need to use, a stable internet connection, and cross stitch software. But, the software is optional.

4. If you need to print a pattern to work from far, the software is vital.

5. The image you choose should be more detailed. That’s because it gives an excellent and more admirable result.

6. Stay away from big patches in the same color. The outcome is most often ugly with color changes you didn’t expect around the edges.

7. Do any urgent last-minute corrections on the shades before resizing the image. If you are using someone’s photograph, increase the saturation and contrast.

8. Novices should start small and be cautious about the fabric count. You will get a bigger image if you have a lower count.

9. Ensure you add a little noise to prevent banding on the pattern. Not all designs look good with banding.

10. Still, you might need some time to master how to add art to images.

11. Your image should match the pattern size well when importing it.

12. Check if the software you use has any limits. So many of them come with limitations, especially if you are using free versions or trials.

13. It might interfere with your number of color and stitch calculations.

Pointers for Turning a Picture Into a Cross Stitch Pattern

Photoshop is a popular editing program, and some designers love it because it is easy to use. Below are a few essential things to look out for as you use the program.

It ensures that you get a high-quality cross stitch pattern from an image you love.

So far, there have been 13 versions of Photoshop. Each has its features and characteristics.

Though the versions work well, there might be more significant differences in each. Ensure that you use the latest Photoshop version for the best results.

1. Use only photos you have the right to use. It doesn’t matter if you are making it yourself or another person’s design.

2. You need to be familiar with using the Photoshop program. Besides, you can make use of tutorials if you know nothing about the program.

3. Check the versions of Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop that you are using. Older versions lack some of the details you need for a better and high-quality image.

4. Ensure that you select your pencil tool and set it at 1px. Each square will be equal to a single stitch.

5. If you turn a photo of letters into a cross stitch pattern, select your type style to be none. You will get a pleasant pixel look.

6. Try to experiment here as much as possible with the sizes and fonts. Some don’t fit well when you pixel them. After that, settle on the one that works the best.

7. Ensure you set the resolution at 300 if you intend to print.

8. Your level should range between five and twenty. Try several groups before settling on the one that looks best.

9. It is easy to stitch a lower number though it is possible to lose a little on quality.

10. Cropping your image gives you the original one you need to use. You can choose the auto-contrast and auto-level option before you can downsample.

You can use certain filters like mosaic when lowering the resolution.

Can I Turn a Picture Into a Cross Stitch Pattern and Use It on a Cloth?

Yes, you can do this, but you need a waste canvas for pinning onto the cloth. It will be a good guide for the cross stitches.

You can remove the canvas once you finish cross-stitching. That is the reason you find most cross stitch patterns on canvases.

But, the technique you use on cloth and canvas is still the same.

Which Is the Right Needle Size for Cross Stitching?

The correct needle size for stitching will depend on the fabric count you have. Higher fabric counts need smaller needles.

It means getting an enormous needle number. For instance, a 14 Aida or a 28 linen or Evenweave requires a needle of size 24.

Likewise, a 32 Evenweave/linen and a 16 Aida will need a needle of size 26.



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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