How to design your own cross stitch pattern

There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of stitching something you’ve designed yourself. Here's how to create your own one-of-a-kind cross stitch designs.

How to design a cross stitch pattern

Step 1

Invest in some graph paper, or graph tracing paper.

Step 2

Choose one particular brand of thread to work with and buy the shade card.

Step 3

Use greeting cards, wallpaper, wrapping paper and books to inspire you. Start a scrapbook or folder of ideas and this will help you create a feel for the look, style and motifs you’d like to include in your design. You can also do this virtually by using Pinterest boards.

Step 4

Buy a good set of colouring pencils to bring your chart to life.

Step 5

Try and limit the amount of colours you use so that the design is reasonably economical to stitch.

Step 6

If you are designing a sampler, chart motifs on separate pieces of graph paper so that you can move them around until you are happy with their positioning.

Step 7

Think about how the design is going to be used – will it be a picture, or is it going to fit in a coaster or keyring? This will affect how large you make it!

Step 8

Test stitch a small part of the design to check the colours work well together.


Step 9

Save all your designs even if you think they are unusable. You may come back to them later and see them in a new light.

Step 10

Take photographs of your designs when you’ve stitched them.