How to cross stitch

Discover how to stitch a full set of embroidery stitches with our stitch library series. In this post, we’re giving classic cross stitch a try. Read on for our step by step guide and beginners cross stitched cushion project.

How to cross stitch tutorial

Welcome to one of the most popular of all the embroidery stitches! Cross stitch is so well-loved in the stitching world that it has it’s own dedicated community of cross stitchers all around the globe who are hooked on cross stitching designs big and small in this humble stitch. Beginners will find stitching onto a fabric called 14 count aida the easiest to start off with.

Read our step by step guide for beginners below. For the neatest finish, cross your stitches over in the same direction.

Cross stitch template design,  stitching & instructions by Zoe Patching.

Cross stitch modern chevrons

To recreate the design above, download our Free chevrons cross stitch pattern.


Step 1

Start by threading your tapestry needle with two strands of stranded cotton and knot the opposite end. Take your needle down through the aida, short distance from where you want to start stitching then back up where you first stitch will start, leaving the knot on the surface. 


Step 2

You can- now stitch towards your starting knot, following our free chart (above) as a guide for your stitches. Each symbol on the chart represents one cross stitch on the fabric . Work the first part of the stitch by making a diagonal stitch. This should sit from the bottom left to top right over a single aida block.

How to cross stitch step 2


Step 3

To complete this cross stitch, make a second diagonal stitch, this time working it from bottom right to top left, crossing over your previous stitch. The different coloured chart symbols represent different colours of stranded cotton – choose whichever colours you prefer.

How to cross stitch step 3

Step 4

Continue working towards your starting knot – your stitches will secure your starting thread on the reverse of your work. Once you reach the knot, snip it off. To finish your thread, simply pass it through the reverse of your stitches a few times so it’s secure then cut off the end.

How to cross stitch step 4

Now make an easy cross stitched chevrons cushion

Cross stitch chevrons onto white linen fabric using your new skills for a graphic look! Cross stitch may be thought of as quite a traditional technique, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be used in a modern way – just look at these contemporary chevrons! Bring this classic embroidery technique up to date by using it in unexpected ways, like we’ve done here with this stitched panel on a crisp white linen – backed and framed with white cotton fabric. It’s  a creative way to incorporate graphic prints into a modern home. See our colourful chevrons in a hoop above for how to perfect this versatile stitch.