Learn How to Cross Stitch – Step by Step Tutorial

If you want to learn how to cross stitch easily then follow this quick & simple step by step guide.

It is really easy to get started and can be very addictive once you get started!

First of all you need to ensure you have everything you need!

What You Will Need To Start Cross Stitching

You only need a few things to learn how to start cross stitching, this is what I use at home-

Getting started with cross stitching

All you need to cross stitch your pattern is-


If you want to stitch a certain picture you will need a cross stitch pattern to work from.

If you don't have one of these you can either create your own design or use on of our handmade cross stitch kits that includes everything you need to get started.


I would always recommend using aida fabric, it is tough and has a good square effect making it easy to stitch your crosses!

Aida comes in different colours and sizes, I always use ‘14 count’ aida. The number refers to how many holes per inch! The higher the number the smaller the squares!


The most commonly used thread brand is DMC threads! It is a 6 stranded cotton and is known for is high quality.

You purchase this generally in 8 meter lengths (called a skein) and there are around 447 different colours!


The perfect needle for cross stitching is not too sharp like normal needles and not too long! I use size 24.


Bobbins are extremely useful for keeping your threads stored neatly, always a good idea to have them ready


All you need is a small pair of scissors and you are ready to go.

Once you have everything you need to start cross stitching you can get ready to stitch your first stitch!

Preparing Your Needle & Thread

Before you do anything else you need to prepare your needle and thread.

Generally you use 2 of the 6 strands of thread to cross stitch at a time! So after winding your thread onto a bobbin, cut about 40cm off and separate 2 strands from the rest and thread the needle.

Prepare your needle & thread

The hardest part of this entire cross stitch tutorial is threading the needle - even after years of practice this still takes me a few attempts.

How To Start Your Cross Stitch

It is easier to start your cross stitch from the middle of the fabric and your pattern then work your way out, this way your pattern will be centred. You can simply fold the fabric in half and half again and you will see where the 2 lines meet.

Cross stitch patterns are made up from loads of tiny crosses which are made in each square on your fabric! You know what colour to put in where by using a symbol chart and each symbol equalling a colour!

Each cross on your fabric should be stitched the same way, for example the first half of the cross goes top left of your square to the bottom right and the second half of the stitch goes from the top right to the bottom left.

Stitching Your First Stitch!

To begin, bring your threaded needle up from the backside of the fabric leaving about a cm at the back…

Starting your cross stitch

Then thread the needle down through the bottom right hole to complete the first half of your stitch but be careful not to pull the thread too tight as it may all come through.

Your first stitch

Next thread the needle up through the top right hole and before pulling all the slack of the floss, turn the fabric over and tuck the tail end through the loop you are forming with this stitch.

Tieing off the tail

Then thread through the bottom left hole and you have completed your first stitch.

Completing your first cross stitch

Congratulations! You have just learnt how to stitch your very first cross stitch!

Stitching A Row Of Stitches

A lot of cross stitch designs have blocks of the same colour so to make it easier you can streamline your stitching row by row rather than doing one cross at a time!

So following the rule that each stitch must go the same way you can stitch the first half of each stitch along the row.

Cross stitch rows

Once you have done that you can then work back completing the second half of the stitch forming the criss cross pattern below.

Completed cross stitch rows

If there are different colours in the row you can just skip over them as you will fill them in later when stitching that particular colour!

What Next?

You can then either move on to the next row of stitching or if you have finished that colour, about to run out of thread or the next row is too far away you can finish off that thread.

You can do this by looping it along the back of the stitches you have made to secure it in place and trimming it so there is minimal loose thread.

Tieing off your thread

And that brings us to the end of our cross stitch guide. You have learnt everything you need to know to start cross stitching straight away!

Over time you may pick up your own techniques and preferences as I have, everyone cross stitches in a slightly different way!

Need Any Help?

If you get stuck or have any question then please ask in the comments below and I will personally help you out!

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