A comprehensive beginners guide to embroidery

It is great to see lockdown restrictions easing and some glimmers of hope that we can beat Coronavirus. I get the sense soon we will be back to some sort of normal. Although the deaths and suffering are truly terrible, I hope we don’t lose some of the good stuff that has happened in this period. I have enjoyed returning to old hobbies and taking up new ones. Embroidery  is a lovely pastime and one I encourage you to take up. It is brilliant for mindfulness and self-care. You get an opportunity to express yourself and be creative. Even better, you can make lovely things for your home and gifts for people you cherish.

Make a start with embroidery

You may have wanted to try something like embroidery for some time but keep putting it off. I understand it can be daunting in the same way as knitting and crochet can be. There are all the different supplies to choose from. It is great that there are online tutorials on embroidery but that very fact can leave you wondering where to start.

I can reassure you that learning embroidery can be such fun with some exciting embroidery designs available. It is easy to get started and you don’t have to spend loads of money on it unless you really want to. Get that needle thread and make a start. Baby steps will lead you to great things before you know it. As you go on your embroidery journey you will pick up great tips, tools and techniques particularly if you network with other crafters.


It is time to go shopping for some basic supplies to get you started on your preferred embroidery design project.  I would suggest you choose a white or light-coloured quilting cotton or linen for your first embroidery project. I made the mistake of getting Aida cloth when I started but that is better suited to simple cross stitch.

The thread you use in embroidery is known as floss and it is exciting to choose some vibrant colours. You don’t have to spend huge amounts to get some decent floss.

You probably already know that you need an embroidery hoop. I would suggest you start with a 6-inch hoop and I prefer wood although you can also find plastic ones easily enough.

You can get a bit bamboozled by the many types of embroidery needles. You just need to find something that you can easily get the embroidery floss through its eye. To be honest though, just buy a multi-pack with various needles from the start and then you will be well covered. You don’t want to start a project only to find you do not have the right resources in place. Just like with any other craft, you need the right tools to get the best results.

Don’t forget to buy a water-soluble pen. This allows you to trace your pattern onto the fabric. One of these pens is far better than a pencil which may leave marks on the cloth and spoil your project.

Finally, you need a really good and reliable pair of sharp scissors that will cut the floss without it fraying.

Stitches and files

Start with straight stitch. This embroidery stitch is one most of us already know. You will be making lots of these straight lines as you embroider. You will need to learn back stitch which is so easy and is great for any kind of outlining. You can start and finish with a knot or research more specialist techniques online or in a great embroidery book.

You can get some amazing results with embroidery files. Now is a great time to make a gift for a loved one to show you care.  Pop over to Design Bundles to find to many diverse options to give you inspiration for your next embroidery project. Here are two great examples.

Embroidery Machine Zipper Bag:A zipper bag can be the perfect gift for your friend or loved one, and an embroider one might even be more perfect. Check out a bundle that offers you a Zipped folder with files of the embroider zip bag and instructions of how to do your own embroiling. It only works if you have an embroider machine so I hope you do. You will receive formats in the following categories once purchased JEF, PES, HUS, EXP, DST, VIP, VP3, XXX.

Embroidery hoop ornament:This bundle comes as 1 high quality flattened JPEG file once purchased. It is a mock-up that allows crafters to craft out their ornaments without needing to have Photoshop or any other expensive photo-edit software.


Your finishing is important or your embroidery project will not be as good as it could be with a little care. You may need to rinse or soak your embroidery project if there are markings on your fabric. This also helps with the removal of any wrinkles in your cloth. A towel can be used to blot away the excess water after rinsing or soaking. Next you should place your project on a folded towel and press from the back with an iron for a lovely finish.

Becoming more ambitious

You can make beautiful embroidery projects with just the basics. They will help you develop your confidence with this new hobby. Once you are feeling a little braver you can take on more ambitious projects and that is when embroidery gets really exciting as a pastime. You might want to try french knots and detached chain stitch for example.

So I hope you can see that you can get into embroidery quite easily and it can very quickly become a passion. It is great when you want to relax and to be creative. I love the way you can think of someone and then using a resource like Design Bundles find the perfect project to delight them with. There is something extra special when you receive a gift and know someone has put thought, time and creative ideas into it.

Do you like embroidery? Are you ready to have a go? Leave a comment and let me know.



Award-winning writer, blogger, social media consultant and charity campaigner. Social Media Manager for BritMums, the UK's largest parent blogging network Freelance clients include Firefly Communications and Save the Children UK. Works with brands on marketing projects. Examples include Visit Orlando, Give As You Live, Coca-Cola and Kodak. Cambridge Law graduate with many years experience working across three sectors in advice, media relations, events, training and project management. Available for hire at affordable rates.

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