Home generalEmbroidery for beginners - instructions and basics

Embroidery for beginners - instructions and basics

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  • Material and preparation
  • Learning embroidery stitches
    • cross stitch
    • backstitch
    • stem stitch
    • running stitch
    • Hexenstich
    • gobelin
    • Kelimstich
    • chain stitch
    • buttonhole stitch

Embroidering is not only a great and soothing side job after stressful days, but can nicely round off existing handcraft projects. Whether sewing, knitting or crochet: With a nice embroidered name or a small motif you can spice up any work.

Today I want to show you some basics for beginners that you will master in no time. With an overview of the various stitches and techniques you will be able to embroider many different patterns or motifs at the end of this manual.

Difficulty level 1/5
All stitches also suitable for beginners

Cost of materials 1/5
For the basic equipment approx. EUR 25 - yarn and fabric are available in all shops

Time expenditure 1/5
Varies depending on size

Material and preparation

You need this:

  • existing craft project or simply white nitrogen
  • yarn
  • embroidery needle
  • hoop
  • scissors
  • possibly embroidery designs

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For beginners, it is advisable to get a basic equipment. Mostly a variety of colorful yarns, an embroidery needle, an embroidery hoop and possibly a "countable" fabric - also called "Aida fabric" rich. This means materials in which the individual threads can be counted: These materials are necessary, for example, in projects with cross, kilim or Gobelinstich.

In principle, all other stitches can also be used on materials without countable threads. Here, however, you should have a good eye as a beginner or draw the subject as precisely as possible on the fabric.

Beginning and end of the thread

Where previously a knot was made in the embroidery thread to protect the thread from slipping out, today it tends to sting through the fabric from the back, leaving about 5 cm of the yarn on the back. This piece is held with one hand for the first stitch, then is stitched on normally. We do the same at the end of the thread - a small residue is drawn backwards.

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Finally, the two ends of the thread are picked up again with the needle, and threaded through some existing stitches at the back of the work so that the thread does not hang loose and the stitches can not be loosened.

This avoids too many bumps on the back and it creates a beautiful picture when the work is turned.

The hoop

In many sewing projects with simple fabrics, an embroidery hoop is a great help: the surface tension of the fabric can be used more accurately and faster. To place the fabric in the hoop, it must first be divided into its two components. Then the fabric is placed over the inner, smaller frame. With the larger frame you now press on the fabric from above and screw the frame as tight as possible, so that the material can no longer slip.

Learning embroidery stitches

For all stitches, commercially available embroidery thread must first be divided. Normally, such a strand consists of six threads. For almost all stitches, I usually use two of these threads for embroidery. Only the tapestry and kilim stitch I embroider with three or four threads, so that the stitch is "fuller".

cross stitch

The cross-stitch is probably one of the most popular and well-known stitches. Here you need "countable" fabrics, so make, where the threads are visible and divisible. The boxes should always be the same size so that the stitches provide a homogeneous embroidery pattern. For the cross stitch, prick forward from the back and diagonally across the box into the top right corner. Then the needle is guided into the lower right corner and brought to the front.

Then stab in the upper left corner and the cross stitch is done.

Since you usually use several cross-stitched boxes in an embroidery work, it makes sense to first embroider a row with the "half" cross-stitch, and then embroider the second half back. This is easier with consistent movements and saves time.
For a diagonal line of the cross-stitch, go from the corner back to the next box on the top right, until a diagonal line is created. On the way back you embroider the second half of the stitch again.


The backstitch is a great way to embroider straight lines beautifully. First, we stab again from behind through the fabric on the front. Then we stab horizontally in the next box and leave until the next hole a gap. Now the backstitch can start: You go to the previous box to connect to the line and leave a gap for the next backstitch.

stem stitch

Here we work similar to the backstitch, but the stitch back is slightly longer: it covers half of the previous stitch. From there we leave again a gap from a box, but then always go back two boxes.

ATTENTION: Make sure that the thread is always above the previous thread, so that the line becomes straight and regular!

running stitch

Probably the simplest stitch is the so-called pre-stitch: you stab again through the back to the front, a box further sting you down again. To leave a gap at the front every other stitch.


With the witch engraving, we now work on one of my favorite stitches. It is perfect for decorative moldings or borders of existing embroidery work. They sting through the fabric from behind, leaving two boxes free and stabbing diagonally into the top right corner. Now take the needle one step back into the previous hole and prick it out again. We will do the same at the lower right corner, etc.
It is important that the "long" stitch is always diagonal and includes two boxes.


The tapestry is the so-called "half" cross-stitch. Here, the yarn goes only from the lower left corner into the upper right hole. For this stitch, I like to divide the yarn into four instead of two threads, so that the box is nicely filled.


This engraving is the tapestry, combined with his mirrored "brother". So it looks like the threads from bottom to top give a jagged line.

chain stitch

The chain stitch results in small loops, through which we guide the thread. First, we pierce through a hole to the front. With the thread we form a loop and slowly pierce the same hole through which we have stabbed forward. One box further we stab forward again, but make sure that the loop is still intact! Thus, small chains form and make a beautiful line.

buttonhole stitch

Also the loop stitch is perfect for beautiful borders. Here we sting from the back to the front and in the upper right corner back into the fabric.

ATTENTION: Do not tighten the thread yet! A hole further down comes the needle

out of the fabric again. The important thing in the loop stitch: the thread remains here at the front underneath the needle and is only tightened at the end of the stitch.

Tip: To embroider corners with the loop stitch, stick to the last box instead of the upper right corner to the left corner.

Then pierce the upper right hole to complete the corner.

These different stitches are already a good basis for any embroidery work. Whether you are embroidering according to a certain form or even designing motifs: you are well equipped!

I wish you a lot of fun embroidering!

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