How to Cross Stitch
Learn how to cross stitch with this simple tutorial that takes you through the process step-by-step. You'll learn how to start the stitch, make the cross stitch, and then secure it. Once you've learned the cross stitch, you'll be able to use it to create all kinds of cute patterns by simply putting them together in different formations and using different colors of thread.
You'll be learning how to stitch the basic full cross stitch. These beginner cross stitch patterns are perfect for your first project. There are a few other types of cross stitches that you can tackle once you've mastered the basic cross stitch.
What You'll Need
Equipment / Tools
- Sewing needle
- Square of 14-count Aida fabric
- 6-strand embroidery thread
Prepare Your Fabric
Cross stitch uses a special type of fabric called Aida cloth. This is an evenweave fabric made of cotton. You can see little holes in the Aida cloth, which is where your needle will go in and out of. Aida cloth comes in different sizes, or counts. The lower the count, the further apart the holes are, making it easier to stitch. You can use whatever count Aida cloth you'd like for your first cross stitch, but we recommend nothing over a 14 count.
It's time to get your fabric ready for stitching! Iron your Aida cloth if it's wrinkled. You can use a hoop if you'd like, but it's not necessary. You'll want to have a square of cloth that's at least 5 inches by 5 inches.
Divide Your Thread
Cut a piece of embroidery floss around 20 inches, or roughly the length of your shoulder to your elbow. If you cut your thread longer than this, your threads are likely to get tangled.
Your embroidery floss is made up of 6 strands of thread. You want to divide the floss up so you have only 3 strands of thread. To do this, slowly take one of the threads and pull it away from the other threads. If you move too quickly it may knot, so take your time. Repeat the process until you have 3 strands. Put these three strands together.
Thread Your Needle
Thread the two strands through the eye of the needle. Knot one end of your thread with a basic knot.
Begin Your First Leg
Choose a hole in the middle of your Aida cloth. Take your needle up through the back of the fabric toward the front of the fabric. Pull the thread all the way through until your knot gently touches the back of the fabric.
End Your First Leg
Take your needle and thread and put it in the hole directly down and to the right of where you just came up. Pull all the way through. Pull your thread taut, but not too tight, to get the best results. You should now have a diagonal stitch, the first leg of your cross stitch. You're halfway done!
Begin Your Second Leg
Put your needle in the hole directly above where you just stitched, from the underside. Bring the needle and thread up through the hole.
End Your Second Leg
You're going to make another diagonal stitch. To do this, put your needle in the hole that is down one and to the left. Pull the thread all the way through. You've got a cross stitch!
Tie Your Threads
Remove your needle from the thread. Separate the threads and then tie them into a basic knot to secure your cross stitch. Trim off your extra thread.