Needlepoint Lessons & Design Roundup
Needlepoint is a type of needlework where the stitches cover the whole canvas to create the look of tapestry. The technique can be used to create beautiful wall art or can embellish pillows, clothes, bags, purses and other fabric products.
On this page I have compiled a list of the best beginner's guides for learning the art of needlepoint, as well as plenty of tutorials and patterns to download for a great range of designs - so that you have something to practice on whilst you get to grips with the stitches.
I hope this page inspires you to give this craft a try :-)
Best Needlepoint Kits & Supplies
Needlepoint is actually a very affordable hobby to get into and there aren't many materials or tools required; just thread, a needle and some canvas.
Needlepoint Video How-Tos
Introduction to Needlepoint
I think Needlepoint is a brilliant hobby to take up because it's relaxing and therapeutic, and is easy to do whilst watching TV! The idea of needlepoint is to stitch yarn onto a canvas following a pre-printed or painted design, or by just creating your own freeform pattern. Usually the stitches will entirely cover the canvas to create the look of a tapestry.
A variety of stitches can be used to complete a design, however many needlepoint designs use only a simple tent stitch and the pattern is simply created by using different colors of yarn - therefore needlepoint is probably more closely related to cross stitch than classic embroidery, as the variety of embroidery stitches used is substantial whilst cross stitches are just the one type of stitch.
The canvas used for needlepoint is a mesh fabric and is available in different sizes, which are labelled like 10:1 (also called 10 count or #10), 14:1, or 18:1. 10:1 for instance means that there will be 10 stitches per inch of canvas, and this is the larger size so is therefore better for beginners to use.
The thickness of the yarn used depends on what gauge the mesh of your canvas is. If you are using a smaller 18:1 mesh you might need to separate your yarn and use one strand at a time. If you are using a larger mesh ( 13:1 or 10:1) you might use 2 or 3 strands at a time.
Needlepoint traditionally uses wool, and it's best to have a look which weight of wool is recommended for the gauge of canvas you plan to use before starting your project.
Handpainted canvases are where the design is pre-painted onto the canvas by hand to ensure that the design is as accurate as possible and placed correctly on the grid of the mesh. Mostly you will find that the designs have been machine printed onto the canvas.
To start needlepoint you will need: a needlepoint needle, small pointed scissors, yarn and canvas mesh. A lot of people also use a tapestry frame or stretcher bars to hold the canvas in place as they work, and you can also buy pre-printed canvas where the design is already worked out for you. Buying a kit would be a good way to start, as this will provide everything you need in one purchase.
Finished needlepoint can be used like other fabric to make objects such as pillows, bags, purses and phone cases, or you could use it simply as wall art or use it to reupholster a chair etc.
Tent stitch refers to a family of needlepoint stitches worked diagonally over one intersection of canvas mesh. Tent stitch can be used to work the main design, or just the background areas of the canvas.
Click on the following links to find instructions for the most popular stitches:
Modern Needlepoint Cushion
Kawaii Mouse Trap
Super Mario Needlework
Needlepoint Tutorials for Beginners
- How To Do Needlepoint
Info to get you started.
- Beginner Basics
Preparation steps to take before you begin, plus consequent stages.
- How to Needlepoint
Lots of info, especially about equipment.
- The Basic Stitches
Half cross stitch, continental tent & basketweave tent stitches.
- List of Stitches
Tutorials for every popular stitch used.
- Blocking the Needlepoint Canvas
To restore it back to it's original size and shape.
- Tips on How to Start
Including a discussion on whether or not to use a frame.
- How to Block Your Work
Using a blocking board.
- Beginner's Needlepoint Articles
Covering the different techniques, plus tips and advice.
- Transfer Your Own Design
Using a simple trace method.
- Paint Your Own Canvas
A how-to for creating your own designs.
- How to Print a Needlepoint Canvas
By using your regular home printer.
- Graph Paper to Print Out
If you don't have graph paper handy, print out your own to create your own design.
Mod Needlepoint Purse
Needlepoint Projects & Free Charts
- Needlepoint Clutch
Classy and elegant purse using needlepoint canvas.
- Nintendo Case
Funky idea for a Nintendo case.
- Needlepoint Pendant
Make your own pretty jewelry.
How to make a simple bag.
- Needlepoint Cushion
How to neatly finish a needlepoint cushion.
- Craft Gossip Tutorials
Collection of projects and free patterns.
- 20 Patterns
Free projects and ideas.
- Needlepoint Freebies
Lots of patterns including a mini backgammon game board!
- Free Christmas Charts
12 different patterns for Xmas designs.
- Miniature Needlepoint
Tutorials for doll's house furnishings.
- Fall Leaves Pattern
Very pretty repeating leaf template.
- A-Z Patterns
On the 'About' needlepoint blog.
- Needlepoint Free Directory
Patterns split into categories including different holidays.
- Contemporary 'LOVE' Design
My favourite free design.
- DIY Eyeglass Case
Plastic canvas box with a chevron pattern.
Pop Art Coasters
Photo and coasters by Cresus-Parpi.
Useful Needlepoint Tutorials & Techniques
Ayers Rock Landscape
Needlepoint Blogs & Inspiration
- Modern Needlepoint
Inspiring showcase of work on Flickr.
- Nuts About Needlepoint
Latest technique ideas and tips.
- Rittenhouse Needlepoint
A useful blog with explanations of different stitches.
- Create Needlepoint
Photos of in-progress designs, plus updates and news.
Retro Needlepoint Laptop Case
My Favourite Needlepoint
Please Leave a Comment!
Elizabeth Braun from Sheffiled, UK on September 17, 2013:
Needlepoint is something I've only done a little of, but hope to get more into in the future, esp. as 'canvas work' is a category in a big local show/fair.=)
anonymous on March 22, 2012:
Wonderful lens!!! Helpful and also entertaining. I'm definitely going to be referencing this often!
Johanna Eisler on November 13, 2011:
Wow... I used to do both of these crafts when I was first married... then child-raising, home-schooling, painting, desktop publishing, and sign language kind of filled up my time, and I forgot all about these. It's so good to see them again. I may get back to it. This kind of work gives me a great deal of satisfaction!
anonymous on August 23, 2011:
anonymous on January 04, 2011:
Really nice,informative lens! Blessed by a Squidoo Angel on 1/4/2011. Have a great day!