01 of 05
Inspire Your Holiday Needlepoint with These Unique Penguin Designs
These six adorable designs will be such fun to needlepoint for holiday decorating and gift-giving. From penguin Santas to Christmas Story Kings, the unique needlepoint patterns are just waiting for you to try something brand new!
Needlepoint Supplies You’ll Need for All 6 Projects
- #18 Mesh Mono Canvas – Use individual pieces that are two inches larger on all sides than the design size of each penguin; or measure all 6 designs and cut one piece of canvas large enough to stitch all of them at once. If you use this method, make sure to include at least 1.5 inches of space between the penguins and 2 to 3 inches of additional canvas around all four sides.
- Persian or Stranded Wool Blend Thread - All penguins should be worked in black and charcoal gray Persian yarn or wool-blend threads in long-short, split or stem needlepoint stitches. These techniques will give the penguins a casual furry look.
- Assorted Cotton Thread for Eyes, Beaks and Feet – Use leftover cotton embroidery floss in your stash to work the eyes, beaks and feet, whenever they are represented in the penguin needlepoint designs.
General Stitching Tips
- Trace the overall shape of each penguin onto the canvas; and then draw outlines of the larger design motifs to make it easy to fill in the stitches needed to complete the design.
- Use stretcher bars to mount each project. You'll need both hands free to manipulate thread and stitch techniques.
- Use an away knot to begin stitching each penguin. This can be covered and clipped as you work over the thread to begin each project.
- You will stitch with two or more strands of thread in the tapestry needle at one time. Make sure to separate them first before threading the needles, and use a laying tool to shape and manage the threads so that they lay smoothly and evenly side by side.
- Work the background fill area on all of the penguin designs in a small geometric pattern with shimmery white metallic braid.
Decorative Finishing Ideas
The penguin designs make it easy to have some fun with finishing ideas. In addition to tree ornaments, you can finish them in so many ways, from framed works of art to pillow inserts to book cover appliques and box top inserts.
What could be more fun than finishing all 6 designs into customized cutlery holders, stand-up figures or a unique nursery mobile! The possibilities are endless if you think of out-of-the-box ways to display your completed needlepoint.Continue to 2 of 5 below.
02 of 05
Party Santa Penguin Needlepoint Pattern
This penguin needlepoint design features an adorable Santa complete with Christmas gifts. You are sure to have some stitching fun with this one for he looks as if he has just knocked on a door and is awaiting entrance to a holiday party.
Use bold and exciting colored threads for the gifts under penguin Santa’s arms, as well as a few sequins or seed beads to add some holiday sparkle.
The Penguin Santa Needlepoint Projecthas a design area that measures 4.17 inches wide and 4.78 inches high with 75 stitches worked horizontally and 86 stitches worked vertically across the canvas for a total of 6,450 stitches! Even with such a large number, you need not get discouraged as stitching time and effort can be managed by the length and type of stitches you select to work the project.
After drawing the outline of the penguin, trace the gifts and stitch them first. Then fill in the penguin motif with the recommended stitch techniques.Continue to 3 of 5 below.
03 of 05
Angel Penguin Needlepoint Project
This charming needlepoint design is one inch shorter than the Party Santa Penguin, measuring 4.17 inches wide by 3.67 inches high. Here are a few stitching hints to make your Angel Penguin a success!
Continue to 4 of 5 below.
- Download and print two copies of the free Angel Penguin Needlepoint Chart: one to use for tracing and the other as a guide for working the stitches. Don't be worried about exact dimensions and placement of the motifs as each Angel Penguin you stitch will be unique!
- Stitch over the halo on the pattern and fill in with the colors and stitch techniques you used for the penguin and background. After all stitching has been done, you can sew a gold jewelry spacer ring on top of the needlepoint where the halo would normally rest.
- Work the harp in metallic gold thread to match the bright gold of the jeweled halo.
- Use delicate open-mesh stitching techniques for the wings. For example, the T-stitch, Criss-Cross Hungarian and other popular needlepoint stitches would work well for this area.
- Choose lightweight threads and work a darning pattern for the cloud. You can even consider Turkey Work, although this may draw attention away from the main penguin motif.
04 of 05
Alps Penguin Needlepoint Design
As a needlepoint stand-up figure, this whimsical Alps Penguin pattern will make a great addition to your holiday needlework collection. In addition to the Swiss-style hat, the penguin sports a heart-shaped motif in the center that can be customized with a needlepoint monogram or name.
The design is a little over 4 inches wide across the middle and 5 inches high, which is the tallest of all the Christmas Penguin Projects. Even so, long straight needlepoint stitches worked for the penguin’s body will make the project work up quickly.
Prepare the Canvas for Stitching:
- Enlarge or reduce the needlepoint pattern to fit the size project you plan to make. Print a color copy.
- Tape the copy to a tabletop, making sure it is straight.
- Place the canvas over the pattern and use the printed arrows to align both the vertical and horizontal mesh threads.
- Carefully trace the penguin outline and the heart-shape with a permanent waterproof marker.
For an evenly spaced monogram, center the optional initials or name in the heart badge and work in basic tent needlepoint stitches. Fill in around the badge with a contrasting colored thread.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05
Three Kings Penguins Needlepoint Patterns
These little needlepoint penguins are an incredible way to begin the holiday stitching season. Enjoy working all three Nativity-inspired patterns together for an awesome Christmas story scene that can be finished into a pillow or wall decoration; or stitch just one or two of the adorable penguins for special tree ornaments.
Whether a beginner or experienced stitcher, everyone working on these three Wise Penguin Kings will have loads of fun. The needlepoint patterns are a little different than what most of us already have in our project stash, and the decision of which one to stitch first will be so hard to make.
However, any of the three projects is perfect for getting started and the remaining two penguin kings are well worth the investment of time and effort for the next holiday season if you don't have time to complete it this year.
Now the fun begins. You are the needlepoint “designer” and best equipped to make thread, stitches and embellishment choices for these projects. For example,
- Showcase each penguin king’s personality by adding a few tiny stitched details to the eyes using sparkling or iridescent thread for the pupils and whites.
- Alternate the effects and accents to make each one unique. Depending on the size of the eyes, use upright or Smyrna Cross stitches instead of traditional tent needlepoint stitches.
- Brush the penguin bodies to create a fuzzy look. Do this for one to two penguins to show contrast--especially if you are working all three patterns together in one project.
- Work a small Christmas-themed needlepoint border around the project that will draw attention to the three penguin kings. Use colorful leftover threads from other holiday projects to create a delicate border design.