Anyone can start cross stitching, it can be a calming activity. I find it better than just playing couch potato and binge watching Netflix. Though as you stitch you CAN still binge watch Netflix! Welcome to our getting started guide to help you take your first step into the world of cross stitching!

Where Do You Start?

Begin with deciding on your first pattern.

  • It is better to start with something small for your first endeavor.
  • I started with a pre-made cross stitch kit, the end result was a picture about 5×7.
  • I suggest starting with something in this size range, or smaller. Cross stitching is time consuming and a smaller stitching project will help you learn the skills and help you decide if it is something you enjoy doing.

my-first-cross-stitchMy first project was my “Hang in There” kitty, it was about a 5×7 pattern (pictured to the left).

For your first project, I also suggest getting a kit for a starter. A cross stitch kit will include all the necessary supplies for that specific pattern. This way you have everything you need in one bundle.

These kits will include the string, cloth, and pattern.

Once you have completed your first project and have decided that this is indeed a hobby for you, you can start your own cross stitch stash.

Filling Your Cross Stitch Stash!

There are a number of things you will need to be sure you have all the necessities of cross stitching.

Variety of String

  • I usually start with what I need for my next pattern. When you buy a bundle of string, you will have quite a bit left over after your project to add to your stash.
  • As you go along you will start to build a nice variety.
  • An alternative way to go is to buy a bundle pack of a variety of strings. When it’s time for a new pattern, just buy what you are missing.
  • Or, a final option, just buy one of each. I will warn you there are A LOT of string colors!

cross-stitch-storageAida Clothes

  • I find buying larger rolls gives you a good supply for all your cross stitching needs.
  • I tend to stick with the white clothes, but you can add in a few varieties of colors too.
  • The Aida clothes come in a few different counts – 8, 11, 14, 16, 18 and 20. This means that there are that number of blocks within each inch. For example, the 14 count has 14 blocks in one inch.
  • Most patterns work best on 14 or 16 count clothes. If you with an 8 or 11 you will need to use more string for each block.


  • A very smart move with needles is DULL tipped ones! I couldn’t find mine one day and sewing needles are dangerous and you will shed blood!
  • If you do have a stash of sewing needles, there is a simple fix to avoid the bloodshed. You just need to take a piece of sand paper and grind down the pointed tip to make it dull. This is what I did to save buying a whole new set of needles.

Hoops & Frames

  • I always keep a small hoop and a large hoop in my stash. If you are doing a large project and bigger hoops are easier – you won’t need to move it around as often.
  • There are also frames to hold the fabric. I have one, but it is quite large so it makes it a bit awkward to hold onto than the hoops. But they can be easier than moving the hoop around as you stitch.
  • There are also tables and stands – which are on my wish list!

Storage Items

  • You will need a system to organize your strings. Bobbins are an easy way to organize them – wrapping each one on its own individual bobbin. These are fairly inexpensive, or can easily be made at home with some card stock.
  • There are a few options of storing your bobbins. You can put them in a storage case, or keep all the bobbins on a binder ring. I personally prefer the storage case – you can organize the colors in numerical order.

Now, the only thing left to do is pick a pattern and GET STITCHING! Welcome to the world of cross stitching.

P.S. This is the first post of MANY about cross stitching. We are going to be not only giving some great advice but also creating patterns and so much more! Be sure to follow us on Facebook as well as sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss any updates.

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