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How To Needlepoint

Are you ready to learn how to needlepoint? We will show you all you really need to know.


By now you hopefully have a design you want to stitch. if not, we have some wonderful needlepoint kits right here on our site.

Read on and watch this video for how-to-needlepoint instructions that won't confuse, fluster or stress you out.......

How To Needlepoint - The Canvas.

Click the link to learn more about the different types of needlepoint canvas
Chances are, though, you already have a canvas with the design printed on it. In that case....

The first thing you need to do is bind the edges of the needlepoint canvas with masking tape. Use 1 inch wide tape or smaller. Instead of masking tape you can hem the edges with your sewing machine. This will avoid any frustration further down the track with the masking tape pulling off. It especially likes to do this in hot and humid weather!

Before you start your needlepoint stitches, lay your canvas onto some paper (thick paper or cardboard is best) and draw around the edge of the canvas. You will use this drawing later when you come to "block" your canvas once it has been stitched.

How To Needlepoint - Use A Needlepoint Frame?

Should you use a needlepoint frame? The short answer is-if you like! A needlepoint frame will keep your work clean, it will keep your needlepoint taut and make it easier to work, and it will also help prevent some distortion of the canvas. However, using a frame is optional and you can certainly stitch with the needlepoint canvas simply held in your lap. You might find this easier if it is a small design you are working, or if you intend to carry your canvas around with you a lot - take it to dentist appointments, kids sports games etc. So, really, this is a personal preference.

We told you this how-to-needlepoint tutorial would always show you the easy route, didn't we?

The cheapest and easiest frames to use are needlepoint stretcher bars, but there are also scroll frames, lap frames and frame stands. Click on this link for more information about needlepoint frames and then return here.

How To Needlepoint - Choose A Needle

When learning how to needlepoint, you will need a tapestry needle.  A tapestry needle has a blunt end and a large eye so it is easy (sort of) to thread the yarn through. You might want to buy a small package of assorted sizes as they are not expensive and you will need different sizes for different projects. The following is a general guide for needle size for each canvas mesh size:

Size 16 needle - 8-mesh canvas

Size 18 needle - 10-mesh canvas

Size 20 needle - 12 - 14-mesh canvas

Size 22 needle - 16 - 18-mesh canvas

For some reason the larger the number, the smaller the needle (don't ask us why, we just work here!). If the needle fits through the hole without distorting the canvas mesh and you are not having to tug at it like a dog on a leash, then your needle size is probably OK. And that's all you really need to know.

How To Needlepoint - The Yarn

If you are stitching a needlepoint kit then you do not need to worry about how much yarn you will need as the kit manufacturer has solved this problem for you. However, if you have to buy your own wool or thread then you will need to work out how much yarn is required. We have a couple of ways you can estimate needlepoint yarn quantities. You might also be confused as to the type of  needlepoint thread and yarn to use. Here is some information about the different types of needlepoint thread and where to use it.

How To Needlepoint - Basic Tools & Accessories

must have needlepoin tools and accessories
Eight must-have needlepoint tools and accessories.

How To Needlepoint - Basic Needlepoint Stitches

Now we are getting to the fun part - how to make a stitch. Learning how to needlepoint is easy so far, huh?

Click on the link below to learn the basic needlepoint stitches. Come back here when you're done.  


How To Needlepoint - Where To Start on the Canvas

Sometimes it is hard to know where to begin. Here are some quick tips on where to start a needlepoint canvas.

How To Needlepoint - Storage and Organization Ideas

Is your needlepoint stitching space disorganized? Here are some ideas for storing your needlepoint tools and accessories where you can reach them.

How To Needlepoint - Block Your Canvas

Once you have finished stitching your project, you can bet your last dollar that it will have distorted into a diamond shape. This happens regardless of how perfectly you have made your stitch tension, or even whether or not you used a frame.

You will need to know how to block needlepoint, which really means stretch it back into shape.

How To Needlepoint - Finishing Ideas

Once you have stitched your masterpiece, you will want to do something with it. We have instructions for how to frame needlepoint. If you want to turn your stitched canvas into a pillow or ornament then you can send it in to us for professional needlepoint finishing. I think you'll find we have some of the best prices around.

How To Needlepoint - General Instructions

A good set of instructions for how to needlepoint is not complete without some general tips.
    • As you stitch, your thread will probably become twisted. It will knot up if you don't attend to it. Every few stitches, let the needle dangle so it can unwind.
    • When learning how to needlepoint, pay attention to the tension of the stitch. In other words don't pull the thread through too tightly. The stitch should sit relaxed, "zen-like", on the canvas. If you pull too tightly the canvas will buckle and become misshapen. if you do not pull the thread through securely enough then the stitches will sit up and you won't have an even look to your needlepoint. This will all come with practice so don't sweat it too much.

Click this link for more needlepoint instruction and tips.

Sometimes you will make a mistake with your needlepoint. Find out how to rip out needlepoint.

This is the end of your how-to-needlepoint tutorial. How was it?

Contact us with questions or comments about how to needlepoint

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