8 Scandinavian Embroidery Patterns to Try

Scandi Embroidered Floral Napkin Folded on a Pitcher
Mollie Johanson

Bring a touch of Scandinavia to your stitching with these embroidery patterns inspired by rosemaling, Dala horses, and Nordic stars. The designs are easy to work with basic embroidery stitches and they're a great way to embellish your walls, clothes, or table with Scandinavian style.

The four floral motifs in this collection have elements that you might see in rosemaling, a decorative painting style that blends colors in single brushstrokes. While embroidery may not be able to accurately replicate the color blends, the leaves still incorporate this traditional folk art. You can use the floral designs separately or as part of a set of mini hoops or embroidered on napkins. There are always lots of ways to use embroidery!

The Dala horse and rooster are also reminiscent of the wood-carved pieces made in Sweden and other Scandinavian countries. These patterns provide a great place to use the most basic stitches, as they don't have any French knots. Finally, be sure to try the star and floral emblem, which would look charming embroidered on alternating quilt blocks!

Scandinavian embroidery patterns
Mollie Johanson


To embroider these, you'll need to download and print the embroidery pattern above (adjust the size using image-editing software), then gather basic embroidery supplies. To embroider the napkins as shown, you will need:

  • Linen napkins
  • Iron transfer pen, tracing paper, and an iron
  • 4 to 6-inch embroidery hoop
  • Embroidery floss in blue, light blue, yellow, red, and black
  • Embroidery needle
Embroidery pattern transferred on a linen napkin
Mollie Johanson

Getting Ready to Stitch

First, transfer the embroidery pattern to the corner of the napkin. You can use any transfer method you want, but for this, we used a heat transfer pen. It's best to position the pattern (and therefore, the embroidery) so it isn't too close to the edge of the napkin.

Next, place the napkin in the embroidery hoop. Because the design is at the corner, the fabric may not fill the entire hoop, but that's okay! Just try to keep the fabric from stretching or looking distorted.

Embroidering a Scandinavian flower
Mollie Johanson


As with many embroidery patterns, you can choose the stitches you like to use for this project. It can be as simple as outlining the motifs in stem stitch with a few extras. You can also use this as an opportunity to try stitching in a new way, perhaps by filling areas with chain stitch like the example. Be sure to stitch the center lines first, then outline the area, and finally fill in with more chain stitch.

All of the dots should use French knots, but colonial knots work too. For the star and floral emblem, you can work pistil stitches for the lines with a dot at the end. To work this, come up through the fabric at the end of the line without the dot, then wrap the needle as you do for a French knot. Go down through the fabric where the dot is, then complete the knot. It makes a French knot with a tail!

For the grids at the centers of flowers, work them with back stitch, and to make any of the teardrop shapes, use detached chain stitch. You can also add a small straight stitch to the centers of the teardrops to fill them. After filling areas like the round flowers, try adding straight stitches right over the top of the stitching.

To form the wavy lines on the Dala horse and rooster, you can stitch a line of back stitch down the middle. Next, weave a contrasting color of thread back and forth through the stitches on each side to make the waves.

Scandinavian flower embroidered onto a napkin
Mollie Johanson

Follow this same process to embroider as many napkins as you want. You can make them all the same or mix them up with different designs!

After the embroidery is finished, you'll need to remove the creases from the embroidery hoop. Mist the fabric with water and let it sit for a minute or two. Then iron around the design to remove the marks. As you use these napkins and wash them, they may need more ironing. Be sure to use care when ironing your embroidery so you don't ruin the stitches.

Instead of stitching napkins, you could also embroider the designs exactly as they are on the pattern page and frame the piece as a Scandinavian embroidery sampler. You could even make a table runner with these motifs down the center!