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★ A Beginner's Guide to Needlepoint Stitches | Free Patterns & Easy Embroidery Projects

Updated on February 16, 2016

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 :-)

Needlepoint Materials


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 Hand Needles-size 18 2/pkg
Needlepoint Hand Needles-size 18 2/pkg

These needles are designed specifically for use with a needlepoint canvas.


Needlepoint Video How-Tos

An amazing needlepoint ottoman.
An amazing needlepoint ottoman. | Source

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.

Petit Point is a type of needlepoint where smaller, finer stitches are used. Petit Point is therefore often used to create mini furnishings for doll's houses.

Click on the following links to find instructions for the most popular stitches:

Continental Tent Stitch and Basketweave Tent Stitch.

Half Cross Stitch

For more information on needlepoint, click here and here.

Modern Needlepoint Cushion


Kawaii Mouse Trap


Super Mario Needlework

Awesome Super Mario artwork.
Awesome Super Mario artwork. | Source

Stag Needlepoint


Mod Needlepoint Purse


Pop Art Coasters

Photo and coasters by Cresus-Parpi.

Useful Needlepoint Tutorials & Techniques

Ayers Rock Landscape

Dimensions Crafts NeedleCrafts Needlepoint, Koi with Flowers
Dimensions Crafts NeedleCrafts Needlepoint, Koi with Flowers

This 5* rated kit contains everything you need to create a vibrant Asian-inspired design.

Dimensions Needlecrafts Needlepoint, Hummingbird Drama
Dimensions Needlecrafts Needlepoint, Hummingbird Drama

A beautiful hummingbird image in attractive shades.


Retro Needlepoint Laptop Case


My Favourite Needlepoint


Have you tried needlepoint before?

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    • Elizabeth Braun profile image

      Elizabeth Braun 4 years ago from Sheffiled, UK

      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.=)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Wonderful lens!!! Helpful and also entertaining. I'm definitely going to be referencing this often!

    • Johanna Eisler profile image

      Johanna Eisler 6 years ago

      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!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      great information

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Really nice,informative lens! Blessed by a Squidoo Angel on 1/4/2011. Have a great day!