7 Bargello Border Projects to Needlepoint

  • 01 of 10

    Take the Fear out of Learning to Needlepoint

    Wavy bargello needlepoint border
    The Spruce Crafts / Althea DeBrule

    The beginner needlepoint projects are simple Bargello or long stitch pattern repeats that can be used in making needlepoint belts, hair accessories, curtain tiebacks, and various other household items.

    Use them to work needlepoint frames around a single design motif, or as stand-alone needlepoint projects. It only takes a few minutes to learn how to work the basic long stitch; after which, you only need to follow the stitch diagrams to do your starter needlepoint projects in as little as a few minutes.

    You will want to experiment with all seven designs; and when you’ve mastered them, try changing them to create entirely new needlepoint designs and borders to use in future projects.

    Simple Waves Long Stitch Needlepoint Design

    Create simple waves with this long stitch needlepoint design. Make as many waves as you like using different colors for each row until you have achieved the desired effect. As a starter needlepoint project, it can be worked into various shaped finished items like pillows, eyeglass cases, coasters, trivets and more.

    When used with a few monochromatic color tints (closely graded shades of the same color), it makes a delightful needlepoint border for a seaside themed project. Experienced stitchers will want to combine it with a few geometric shapes to create distinctive designs, but don’t overdo the effect, or it may detract from the central motif of your needlepoint project.

    Continue to 2 of 10 below.
  • 02 of 10

    How to Work the Simple Waves Bargello Design

    To begin, you will need to make a copy of the above stitch diagram to easily follow the stitching sequence. Although it is not needed, you may want to mount the canvas on stretcher bars to help your stitches to lie flat and smooth.

    There’s no need to start in the center of the needlepoint canvas; just begin where it is most comfortable for you to work the first row of Bargello or Long Stitches and complete one pattern repeat.

    1. Bring your needle up through the canvas at position (1) and work one straight stitch over four canvas threads to the position (2). Repeat this action for positions (3) to (8).
    2. For the position (9) and all odd numbers, you will “step up” the canvas one thread each time for a total of seven times before working three additional straight stitches as in positions (3) to (8).
    3. Now, “step down” the canvas one thread each time for six stitches, after which you will again repeat positions (3) to (8).

    Continue working this stitching sequence across the needlepoint canvas. Add rows on top or underneath the pattern row until you have filled in the design areas.

    Continue to 3 of 10 below.
  • 03 of 10

    Arabian Tile

    Combine a few geometric shapes including hexagons and diamonds to create this stunning long stitch needlepoint design. You can make the shapes as high and wide as you desire to create a Middle Eastern flair to your needlepoint project. Use Persian Yarn and wool blends to really create the air of the Arabian Desert.

    The small group of diamonds can stand alone as a distinct needlepoint design—especially appropriate for coasters and trivets. Or, you can work the larger diamond as the central focus for a mini-pillow or needlepoint pincushion.

    Continue to 4 of 10 below.
  • 04 of 10

    Stitching the Arabian Tile Design

    Arabian Long Stitch Needlepoint Stitch Diagram
    The Spruce Crafts / Althea DeBrule

    This Long Stitch needlepoint pattern is not as daunting as it looks; but since it is a very wide diagram, you will definitely need to download and save it to your computer to print and use while stitching.

    All of the outline stitches are worked over two canvas threads and you are always “stepping up or down” one stitch for the diamond clusters and the sides of the main hexagon pattern. The length of the stitches may vary from two to as many as 10 or 12 canvas threads; so make sure to count the stitches as indicated on the diagram.

    1. Work the outer outlines (gold stitches) FIRST to establish the pattern. This will make it easy to fill in the remaining stitches.
    2. Fill in the four black diamond clusters on either side of the pattern. The diamond stitches range from two threads to 10 threads. Do not enlarge or modify heighten the diamond clusters; they should always be stitched as indicated in the charted pattern.
    3. The center hexagon on the chart has 12 straight stitches; but if you are using this design for a needlepoint border, you may want to work a diamond cluster in both corners of your canvas and then make the hexagon as wide as needed to accommodate the width of your needlepoint project.
    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Diamonds Within Diamonds

    You may recognize this Long Stitch needlepoint design from the Scrapbuster Bargello Belt Project. It is one of the easiest Bargello patterns to master since the diamond designs are worked the same way.

    If you look closely you will see four distinct diamond shapes within each simple motif. As a needlepoint border, the pattern and stitching sequence can be repeated on two sides or around all four sides of your needlepoint project with just a few minor modifications in each corner.

    Check out the pattern and stitching tips for working this fun needlepoint design.

    Continue to 6 of 10 below.
  • 06 of 10

    Working the Diamonds Within Diamonds

    Diamond Bargello Needlepoint Motifs Chart
    The Spruce Crafts / Althea DeBrule

    Each time you change the color of this easy design, you get a totally different result. It's amazing how bold or pastel colors work equally well when stitching this super easy repeat needlepoint pattern.

    All stitches are worked vertically over four canvas threads and either "stepped up or down" two canvas threads to begin the next stitch.

    1. Work the outline (the outermost diamond shape), followed by a horizontal row of straight stitches (as many as you prefer), also worked vertically over four needlepoint canvas threads.
    2. Work another diamond outline and repeat the straight stitches to form a repeat pattern sequence that can be stitched across the needlepoint canvas.
    3. Fill in the innermost diamond shapes with the same stitch pattern, changing colors as desired.
    4. Work the background in Brick or Hungarian Point needlepoint stitches.
    Continue to 7 of 10 below.
  • 07 of 10

    Old Florentine Design

    Old Florentine Bargello Needlepoint Border
    The Spruce Crafts / Althea DeBrule

    Color and the Old Florentine Filler Stitch combine to rivet attention to this quaint needlepoint border.

    Working a sequential color pattern across the needlepoint canvas provides extra interest to your entire needlepoint project as each Bargello motif ends up looking completely different from its neighbors. 

    It's amazing how quickly this design can be completed. When stitched with overdyed thread, there's no need to change colors; which makes the work go even faster.

    Get the needlepoint pattern and tips for stitching!

    Continue to 8 of 10 below.
  • 08 of 10

    Working the Old Florentine Border

    Stitching The Old Florentine Needlepoint Diagram
    The Spruce Crafts / Althea DeBrule

    The colorful outline is the actual stitch for this Old Florentine Bargello needlepoint border. Different stitch lengths alternate to form a scallop-type pattern that flows uninterrupted across the canvas.

    1. Use any leftover threads you have in your stash but I prefer to work this design in variegated and overdyed threads to minimize constant clipping and re-threading of the tapestry needle.
    2. Make sure to print the full-size color stitch diagram to accurately stitch the design. Looks can be deceiving; so make sure to count the stitches each time you begin a new group.
    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Hexagons and Diamonds

    Hexagons and Diamonds Bargello Needlepoint Border
    The Spruce Crafts / Althea DeBrule

    Geometric shapes have a field day in this bargello needlepoint border design. With a definite masculine look and appeal, it looks quite handsome stitched with dark-colored tapestry, crewel, or Persian wool needlepoint yarn.

    The double row of hexagons forms a diamond shape between each pair that can be worked using the Hungarian Point Needlepoint Stitch or various other needlepoint techniques.

    Check out the stitch diagram and a few tips for working the easy design.

    Continue to 10 of 10 below.
  • 10 of 10

    Hexagons and Diamonds Instructions

    Over two or four threads is the rhythm to use when working this simple needlepoint border design. Similar to the Arabian needlepoint pattern, the hexagons can be expanded as wide and long as you like. Just remember for each additional length and width, the diamonds will have to be increased as well to accommodate the new stitches.

    For smaller needlepoint projects that only need a tiny border, work one row of hexagons and exclude the diamonds. Fill in with your choice of stitches.

    The pattern by itself looks nice worked as a stand-alone design to make a needlepoint pillow or wall-handing for a den or “man cave.”