Easy Beginner Embroidery Projects

Your first embroidery projects as a beginner should use patterns that only have basic stitches. Home embroidery takes practice, and completing a simple project teaches you the basic stitches that you'll need to understand more complex stitching techniques. 

Simple embroidery designs and kits for beginners can be found in craft stores. You can also find free patterns and project ideas online, but you'll need to buy supplies to complete them. Some kits come with everything you need, which makes it easy to get started. Look for small, simple projects that stay flat, such as baby blankets, bibs, samplers and small hangings. You'll have a much easier time handling these embroidery designs.

Embroidery kits contain the proper amount and colors of floss, the fabric, needles and instructions to complete the project. Many beginner projects will also include instructions on creating the different stitches needed for the project. Kits often have pre-printed designs, so all you need to do is follow the lines with the appropriate stitches.

Basic Embroidery Stitches

  • Running stitch: The most basic sewing stitch, it is used for decorative effects in embroidery. The stitch should be evenly spaced and all of the stitches should be of the same length, otherwise the running stitch will not look good.
  • Whipped running stitch: This is another basic sewing stitch. Create a row of running stitches, then with another thread (which may be a different color, depending on the pattern) stitch over and under the running stitches, but do not catch any fabric.
  • Back stitch: This is an outline stitch. Think of a line: B A C. Bring the needle up at A, then down at B and up again at C. Keep all stitches evenly spaced and make sure the length is the same for all stitches.
  • Coral Stitch: This stitch adds a little bit of decorative flair. Bring your needle up through the fabric, then make a knot in your working thread by crossing it over the floss and catching a tiny bit of fabric before moving on to the next stitch.
  • Filling Stitch: You'll need to master a variety of these for different projects, but the most basic is the fishbone stitch. To use this fill, take a small area and imagine (or draw) a line running down the center of it. Start at one end, such as the tip of a leaf, and create a stitch that goes straight down. From here, you'll alternate stitches to the left and right of the center line, always ending on the opposite side of the center line. For example, if you start from the left, you'll end on the right-hand side of the center line, then stitch from the right-hand edge to the left-hand side of the center line.
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