Cross stitch alphabet letters hold boundless opportunities, from creating name plaques for kids, table settings for events, personalised tags and cards for gifts and more.


Letters great for adding names or initials to your other cross stitch projects. Or maybe you want to cross stitch a favourite phrase or quote, or even a full poem or song lyrics, to display on the wall.

With so many possibilities it can be difficult to know where to start looking for the perfect cross stitch letter theme or style.

The World of Cross Stitching magazine includes a brand new set of letters in every issue – check out their digital archive of back issues.

Jump to:

The ultimate guide to cross stitch letters

Plotting backstitch letters graph paper

Spacing of your cross stitch letters

The key to success with cross stitching letters is all in the spacing! You need to consider the spaces between each letter, word, and even rows or columns of words. It’s all about being consistent.

Alphabet sets will usually be presented as individual charts in alphabetical order, or even combined in one big chart, so it’s a good idea to plot out your chosen words before you begin stitching.

Backstitch alphabets are often presented in a way that suggests the best visual balance too, such as how many stitches gap to leave between letters or the way they might join up.

How to cross stitch letters with Backstitch

To get the spacing right you’ll just need some graph (or squared) paper and a pencil. Using the letter charts you can then draw your chosen words to stitch onto the paper, creating a brand new chart to stitch from.

Here's some of our top tips:

  • Ensure all the letters line up along the same baseline as each other.
  • Leave the same number of stitches gap between each letter, word or row of words for a consistent finish.
  • If your chosen letter style is intended to be joined up, make sure all the joins fit their adjacent letter too.
Backstitch lettering adjustments
Backstitch cross stitch letters

Cross stitching chunkier letters

It’s a good idea to roughly sketch out larger cross stitch letters like in our example below. It helps prevent costly spelling mistakes or spacing errors that will take longer to unpick later on.

Plotting cross stitch letters graph paper
Chunky cross stitch letters

Practice your cross stitch alphabet before you stitch

Buy pads of graph or squared paper from stationery shops, or you can even get special cross stitch graph paper notebooks to fill with all your own charts and patterns.

With pages of 14-count grids (14 stitches per inch) it’s the simplest method to transfer your sketches into stitchable charts on 14 or 28-count fabrics.

Free cross stitch alphabet patterns

Try out your plotting and stitching skills with our selection of Free Backstitch Alphabets Charts.

There’s a variety of formats and styles to use in whatever way you choose. Just remember to always first plot your arrangements onto graph (or squared) paper before you begin stitching.

You’ll also find some great free cross stitch letter sets as well as other free cross stitch patterns in our archive.

Flower cross stitch alphabet pattern

mothers day cross stitch full

Stitch a pretty phrase or name using this flower alphabet cross stitch pattern designed by Susan Bates.

It’s a handy set of designs to use for special gifts, birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s Day and other occasions throughout the year.

Christmas cross stitch alphabet pattern

cross stitch alphabet

It’s never too early to start stitching for Christmas with monograms, cards and gifts for all with Jenny Van De Wiele’s wonderful Christmas alphabet.

The designs are perfect for winter holidays and special occasions, and include a range of letter styles to mix and match with a choice of two pretty circular borders.

It’s a great opportunity to test out your spacing skills!

Top cross stitch alphabet patterns to buy

Now you’ve got to grips with the basics of cross stitch lettering, why not check out some more fun charts and projects?

Whether you’re looking for a small alphabet to personalise gifts, large letters to stitch individually or full alphabet samplers to frame and display at home, we’ve collated some of our favourites to help get you started.

1. Cross Stitch Alphabets book by Hélène Le Berre

Containting 14 beautiful designs inspired by the natural world, including birds, animals and flowers, this book is a must-have for all cross stitch nature lovers.

With comprehensive instructions for each pattern, there are also instructions on how to use the motifs to decorate projects such as bags, aprons, notebook covers, make-up pouches and more.

We particularly love the vegetable and Sakura blossom designs, which cleverly incorporate the motifs into the stylish letters.

Cross Stitch Alphabets book by Hélène Le Berre

2. The World of Cross Stitching Alphabet Collection

Don’t miss this bumper 132-page collection of alphabet charts featuring beautiful, themed lettering to create personalised gifts and décor.

It even includes two decorative number sets and blank graph paper to get you started with sketching your letter layouts.

With designs from fan favourites Stitchrovia, Durene Jones, Joan Elliott, Tiny Modernist, Susan Bates, Jenny Barton and more, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for when you keep this fantastic collection of patterns to hand.

More like this
1. The World of Cross Stitching Alphabet Collection

3. My First Alphabet from Bothy Threads

Stitch up an alphabet sampler for a baby’s nursery or child’s room to help them learn their ABC’s with this sweet kit design by Kate Garrett.

The kit contains 14-count Zweigart aida, pre-sorted stranded cotton, needle, stitch diagram and instructions. With a finished stitched size of 31x44cm it’ll make a lovely framed picture to hang on the wall and be enjoyed by all.

My First Alphabet from Bothy Threads

3. Dinosaur Alphabet by Lucie Heaton

This totally roar-some sampler design is packed full of details and colourful dinosaurs ready to sink their teeth into the letters – or maybe just have a little nibble!

These friendly-looking dinos are displayed as a sampler style design to be stitched as one, but you could always split them out to stitch as individual charts yourself if you prefer. Measuring 160x200 stitches it’s a large project to stitch but it’ll be so much fun to complete and put on display.

Dinosaur Alphabet by Lucie Heaton

Check out embroidery fonts!

Don't forget to check out our guide to our top 15 stylish embroidery fonts and enjoy embroidering some brilliant letter projects too.

4. Explore the World Alphabet by ClimbingGoatDesigns

Travel around the world from the comfort of home with an alphabet full of the delights of exploration!

With sights from every continent included, each chunky-style letter is filled with a different scene to evoke the senses and bring out your inner travel-bug.

With each letter only 39 stitches high, it’s a versatile set you can stitch time and again for name plates or individual initials.

5. Explore the World Alphabet by ClimbingGoatDesigns

5. Circus Alphabet by Stitchrovia

Get your hands on a bright and cheery alphabet in a circus-style font to liven up your home. Designed by Emma Congdon of Stitchrovia, it’s a design that just keeps on giving with so many intricate details and sunny colours. There’s even a number set included as a bonus.

The complete design measures 176 x 241 stitches but it can easily be split into individual charts and stitch up a treat!

Circus Alphabet by Stitchrovia

6. Calligraphy Cross Stitch Alphabet Pattern by LiftedSpiritPatterns

Create stunning calligraphy-style letters with this decorative alphabet pattern set containing the full alphabet A-Z in both upper and lower case.

There are also numbers and punctuation to help you spell out exactly what you want to say.

Measuring a maximum of 28 stitches tall and between 7 and 35 stitches wide, these letters are perfect for joining together to create beautifully formed words and phrases in a brush art style.

Calligraphy Cross Stitch Alphabet Pattern by LiftedSpiritPatterns

Get personalised with cross stitch letters

Adding a name or initial to a cross stitch item is a great way to turn your stitching into a special gift. Adding their name makes stitching gives your work a personal touch and makes it unique to the recipient.


Looking for a project to practice your cross stitch alphabet?

Try your hand at these lovely pink birthday cards! If you're feeling even more confident you could personalise them with the recipient's name.

durene jones cross stitch birthday cards


Fiona BakerSenior Technical Editor, The World of Cross Stitching

Fiona is the Senior Technical Editor of The World of Cross Stitching. She’s responsible for the team of fabulous charters and taking the designer’s submitted projects right through to completion, ensuring each chart and key is technically correct for readers to stitch. One of her favourite roles is converting the wonderful illustrations by the likes of Margaret Sherry, Tatty Teddy, and Aardman Animations into patterns for stitchers around the world to enjoy. She also designs her own patterns at

Comments, questions and tips

Rate this recipe

What is your star rating out of 5?

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Overall rating