Winter Wishes Holly Embroidery Pattern

Winter Wishes Holly Embroidery Design

The Spruce Crafts/Mollie Johanson

Bring the joy of winter holly to your home with this free solstice embroidery pattern. The painted look of the filled leaves may look complicated at first, but it's just simple straight stitches. All you need to do is make a few stitches in the blend of colors suggested in the pattern. Of course, you can also fill in the leaves another way or keep them open as outlines. When you're finished, display your embroidery for all of winter or give as a gift to celebrate this time of year. 


When the Winter Wishes Holly pattern is placed landscape on a page and printed at 100%, the pattern should fit within a 6-inch embroidery hoop. However, you can resize it however you like. Mark the pattern on your fabric using your favorite transfer method

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Embroidery needle
  • Transfer pen or another transfer tool
  • Scissors


  • White linen or your favorite embroidery fabric
  • Embroidery floss: DMC 165, 959, 992, 964, 3766, 807, 3839, and 350
  • 6-inch embroidery hoop


  1. Stitch the Outlines

    Place your marked fabric in an embroidery hoop, stretching the fabric so it's taut. Use three strands of embroidery floss throughout the project.

    Working with shades of blue and green, stitch the outlines of the holly leaves with a backstitch. Stitch the middle line of each holly leaf with chain stitch. Embroider the berries with backstitch in red.

    Embroidering the Holly Leaf Outlines
    Mollie Johanson
  2. Fill in the Holly With Shading

    You can leave the holly leaves open if you prefer, but it's also nice to fill them in a little. To create this impressionist painting look in your embroidery, use a blend of colors that matches the outline of the leaf, plus a few other shades. For example, the dark teal leaves have three shades of teal, plus lime green and lilac as highlights and shadows.

    Use varying lengths of straight stitch coming out from the center of the leaf. The stitches don't need to touch but's it's okay if they do. Let the colors overlap a little so they blend like paint strokes. To keep the artistic style on the berries, add a few straight stitches as fill. 

    Impressionist Needle Painting Holly Leaves
    Mollie Johanson
  3. Stitch the Text

    To embroider the text, stitch the single outline on all the letters with back stitch. On the second part of the double line of the W, embroider with chain stitch to finish the thicker part of the letter.

    Winter Wishes Text Embroidery Detail
    Mollie Johanson
  4. Finish the Winter Wishes Embroidery

    Remove any pattern markings as needed, then use your finished embroidery however you like. 

    A piece like this would be great simply framed in an embroidery hoop and ready to hang on a wall. If you're giving this as a gift, be sure to include a hanging loop! You could also sew this into a pillow to enjoy throughout the season. Add some colorful fabric around the edges to make it the size you want, then sew a simple envelope-style pillow.

    Winter Wishes Holly Embroidery Design
    Mollie Johanson