There’s something truly delightful about playing card games such as Snap, Go Fish and Happy Families with children, and something that parents and grandparents remember from their own childhood. You can make your own Pairs game with Rhona Norrie who has created a delightful stitched version of Pairs, which is definitely one of the all-time classic card games, and which will go down a treat with young kids.


There are twelve different animals in the set, from a cuddly panda and smiling hippo to a friendly lion and cheeky monkey. The designs use whole cross stitch, fractionals, backstitch and French knots to create the menagerie, so advanced beginners will enjoy the challenge of bringing these cute critters to life.

To make the game, you’ll need to stitch each animal twice onto a 14-count Aida, and then back them with felt. This will create a durable set of cards that are sure to become a household favourite and passed down to the next generation, too!

This pairs game was designed by Rhona Norrie for The World of Cross Stitching issue 284.

Fact box:

  • Stitching Time: Approx. 3-6 hours each

  • Type of Stitches: Cross stitch, fractionals, backstitch, French knots

  • Ease of Stitching: Beginner/advanced beginner

What you’ll need:

  • Zweigart* 14-count white Aida measuring 12x12cm (4¾x4¾in) for each design
  • Stranded cotton as listed in the key
  • Size 24 tapestry needle
  • Felt of your choice

Free Make your own Pairs game cross stitch pattern

Click the link to download the pairs game cross stitch pattern. The download is three A4 PDFs and an accompanying key.

pairs game cross stitch

How to play snap


All the cards are dealt equally in front of each player in a pile, cards face-down. Going clockwise, players take it in turns to take a card from the top of their stack and place the card face-up in front of them. When two cards on the top of these piles match, you’ll need to react quickly - the first person to call ‘Snap!’ wins! The face-up card piles are then added to the bottom of the winner’s face-down stack. Play continues until one player ends up with all the cards - the person with all the cards wins!

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Mix up all the cards and lay them face down in rows. When it’s your go, turn over any two cards. If these cards match, you get to keep them. If they don’t match, you’ll have to turn them back over. Remember what was on each card and where it was, as that'll help you later.


Carefully watch the next player take their turn - try and remember what cards they found. Keep taking it in turns, trying to find a match. The game is over when all the cards have been matched. The player with the most matches is the winner!


Rhona NorrieCross stitch designer

Rhona Norrie is a prolific and popular cross stitch designer from Scotland who now calls New York home. Her work is regularly featured in magazines including The World of Cross Stitching, Cross Stitch Crazy, and Just Cross Stitch. Rhona is a total cross stitch addict! If she doesn’t have a needle in her hand, then it will be a camera that she’s carrying to capture the wonders of nature and she shares her nature pictures (and cross stitching!) on her Facebook and Instagram accounts.

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