The next best thing to a long cross stitching session is upgrading your stash with a cool new accessory. The right product can make your stitching more comfortable, faster and more enjoyable.


Whether you’ve been cross stitching for years, or are a total newbie looking to get started, there’s always an accessory that’ll make a difference to your next project.

In Gathered’s roundup of our favourite cross stitching accessories, we’ve mixed luxury buys with affordable options so you can identify the best pick to level up your hobby.

Which will you choose to advance your cross stitch craft?

12 best cross stitch accessories

1. Thread drop acrylic bobbins

Best for flexibility around the number of threads you own

the thread drop robins are clear plastic teardrop shapes with a hole in the widest part with colourful stranded cotton threaded through

These thread bobbins work for long term storage or organising your current work in progress projects. Unfurl your skein and thread through the circular loop, labelling with the thread number and brand.

Store by pinning on a cork board or on a peg wall for brilliant display. Or keep the threads you need for your current projects together on a keyring.

Remember: A well-organised stash means more time for crafting.

Pros: No rewinding needed, easy to add more threads in to the system, threads are stored straight for fewer kinks

Cons: No dust or sun protection

2. Q snap adjustable frame

Best for adjustability for project sizes

the shite tubes of the q snap frame are slotted together in a rectangle shape with the snap clips seen along the middle of each edge holding an oatmeal fabric across the frame

Q snap’s plastic frames are easy to put together and simple to clip on your cross stitch fabric. There’s no stitching required to keep fabric in place.

For larger projects, add in extra sections of plastic tube to extend the frame. They’re really flexible, making it easy to adjust and get into your next project.

The frame is light enough to hold in your hands like a hoop for smaller projects.It will grow with you and your ambitions, from stitching small motifs all the way up to giant cross stitched afghans!

Pros: Flexible system, cheap, easy to use

Cons: Plastic isn’t a great environmental choice

3. Thread Magic thread conditioner

Best for longer cross stitch sessions

toy xan se the blue base and white lid of the thread conditioner, with a set in shot of the lid removed so the slats in the side of the pot for thread to run through can be seen

Using thread conditioner reduces the drag as you pull your thread through the fabric. This is easier on the hands and protects the thread from wear and tear. It’s especially important for delicate threads, like metallics.

This pot has built-in notches to pull threads through, which makes it easy to use without getting your hands messy.

Pros: Easy-to-use pot that won’t change the colour of thread

Cons: Hard to use the product lower down in the pot

4. Embroidery hoop stand

Best for faster stitching on small projects

You see hands cross stitching on a design held in a hoop, with the hoop clamped om yo hoop stand, a cross stitch chart visible above

A great hack for speedy stitching! An embroidery hoop stand holds your hoop securely, so you can have your hand above and below the fabric. This makes it much faster to pass your thread back and forth through the fabric as you build your design.

The adjustable arms let you position the hoop at the height that’s right for you. There’s an adjustable chart holder you can position at eye level as well.

The stand’s beach chassis base is wide enough to stand on a table, or secure it under your leg for maximum stability and stitching speed.

Pros: Handmade, attractive, natural wood

Cons: Hoop not included as part of the set

5. Magnetic fabric clips

Best for large projects with lots of fabric

lots of colourful magnetic circles hold rolls of fabric in their colourful plastic tails

For larger cross stitch projects, you need big pieces of fabric. Hundreds of cross stitching hours later, that fabric is likely to be over-handled and dirty – unless you take steps to keep it clean.

Magnet clips make it easy to roll that fabric away and keep it safe from sunlight, dust and the oil from your hands.

The magnetic fastening won’t mark the fabric. No holes are used to secure it, so fabric stays controlled, non-bulky and pristine until you’re ready to cross stitch on it.

Pros: Easy to fasten, no fuss

Cons: Short connector strips restricts use with bulky fabrics

6. Butterfly thread tail tucker

Best for cross stitchers who push their luck

long silver metals pins are topped with beads and small butterfly charms

Is this a familiar scenario? You are cross stitching with just a few stitches left in the colour you have threaded. You pull your thread tight to try to avoid cutting and threading a new one for just a few stitches.

More like this

We all do it! But it leaves you with a thread end on the front of your stitching that’s too short for your needle to get back into the fabric.

Thread tail tuckers let you put the very short lengths to the back of your work. We like this pretty butterfly one, which is handmade and so lovely.

Pros: Saves time rethreading, maximise your thread use

Cons: Fragile, and easy to lose if you aren’t careful

7. Needle Park Avenue thread organiser

Best for cross stitchers who hate re-threading needles

cross stitched pink roses are seem behind the park avenue needle park, which different pink cottons threaded into needles and parked in the foam alongside chart symbols written on the white plastic board

With the Needle Park Avenue, you can ditch your chart key altogether. Instead, write the symbols in the slots, thread up needles with the colour codes you need, and you’re ready to go.

You grab the threaded needle for the stitches you need, then snip the thread and park it right back in its symbol spot. There’s foam attached to the board to hold the needle in place.

The whole board attaches to your projects with magnets to keep everything close to hand.

Pros: Easy to use, and good for projects with lots of scattered stitches

Cons: Only 9 slots on the board, but you can double up with two symbols in each bay if needed

8. Magnificent Pro Daylight lamp

Best for stitching on evenweave or coloured fabrics

a lady with grey hair is seen form the side looking at the stitching help in her hands through a magnifying lens with a surrounding circle of light

With this clever craft lamp, use a magnifier lens or directional light, or clip the two together to use both!

The lamp comes with two options to adjust its height, so you can make it really tall if you want a floor lamp, or shorter to stand it on a table.

You get 600 Lumens of light from cool-running LEDs. The light sits as a halo around your magnifier. You can also remove the lens to look through to your project, bathed in all that (Day)light.

Pros: Class A energy efficiency, see colours accurately, place stitches precisely

Cons: You need to craft near a power socket to use it

9.DMC Soluble canvas

Best for cross stitching on clothes

a fish is cross stitched onto grey fabric through a transparent white/grey grid

Cross stitch is worked on aida and evenweave fabric because they both have a clear grid in their structure. But what if you want to cross stitch on a non-gridded fabric, like regular clothing?

Soluble canvas gives you the grid you need to make your cross stitches on. Stitch through the soluble canvas and onto the fabric behind.

Once you’ve finished your design, you don’t need that grid guide anymore, so soak your fabric in water and watch the soluble canvas dissolve!

Pros: Let’s you cross stitch on any washable fabric

Cons: Washing adds an extra step to your project

How to cross stitch on clothes

Want to embellish your threads? Make your wardrobe unique with cross stitch motifs.

We show you how easy soluble canvas is to use in our How to cross stitch on clothes article. Take a look!

cross stitch on tote bag step 2

10. One More Row pattern marker

Best for large, complicated cross stitch patterns

A backward L shaped piece of wood sits on a cross stitch chart, framing some of the chart squares and symbols. A decorative just one more row saying is burnt in to the wood

The pattern marker sits framing your cross stitch pattern, and helps you keep track of where you are working in the chart.

You can do this with a Post-It note, but this handmade wooden version with stitcher’s saying decoration is much more pleasing to see every time you stitch.

It comes in two pieces that fasten together through the chart with magnets to keep your place securely and clearly marked.

Pros: Handmade, easy to use, attractive

Cons: More expensive than a Post-It note

11. 14-count aida

Best for everyday cross stitch cards and pictures

oatmeal and white aida fabric with its grid of regular thread and distinct holes in the weave

14-count aida fabric is the ultimate cross stitch accessory! It’s the most common fabric count and the easiest fabric type for beginners.

Colours and printed patterns are fun, but white or cream 14-count aida is the cross stitchers daily bread. You never want to run out of it!

Pros: Easy to stitch on, great for beginners, versatile

Cons:You need to pierce the fabric for fractional stitches

12. Easy Guide ball-tip needles

Best for cross stitch on aida

close up shot of ball tip needles with have a small circular metal lump on their tip rather than a point

Cross stitch uses a size 24 tapestry needles on the most common cross stitch fabrics – 14-count aida 28-count evenweave. With their big eyes, these needles are user-friendly and easy to thread. The needles have blunt tips as you don’t need a sharp point to go through gridded fabric.

Adding a ball tip makes it easier to locate the hole in your fabric. The ball catches and helps guide the needle and thread through the right spot.

Ball tip needles are designed especially for cross stitching. If you’ve not tried them, test them out, as they could make a big difference and enhance the joy of stitching.

Pros: Designed especially for cross stitch, great with aida fabrics

Cons: More expensive than standard tapestry needles

Cross stitch more in less time

Finding ways to stitch faster and more comfortably will let you finish more cross stitch projects and advance your craft quicker.

Investing in the right materials and equipment lets you place stitches more accurately for a neater look and cleaner finish.

Discovering new products opens you up to new techniques too, giving you time to plan personalised presents for loved ones. You can treat yourself too, though! As they say: no time like the present.

Give the gift of cross stitch

Got a birthday or special occasion coming up?

Whether you are treating yourself or suggesting craft buys for others to get for you, check out Gathered’s best cross stitch gifts. We’ve got ideas for every occasion, so you’re bound to find something you’ll love.


Find your next cross stitch gift.


Hannah BellisKnitting Editor, Gathered

Hannah has worked on Gathered for 3 years, since our launch in 2019. At school Hannah learned to knit collaborating on dorcas blankets – now she edits our knitting section. She inherited her love of stitching and embroidery from her talented grandmother, and her passion for thread led her to be Editor of The World of Cross Stitching for six years. Card making is a more recent passion, developing from her position as editor of Cross Stitch Card Shop. She loves using kinetic techniques to make cards that move – she was editor of Papercraft inspirations magazine for over four years, creating loads of card making video tutorials at

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