Admit it – even with the wealth of modern cross stitch kits available to buy today, cross stitching still has a bit of a reputation as an old lady hobby. But as new needlewomen and men discover this great craft, and as older stitchers' tastes evolve, a new breed of contemporary cross stitcher wants a bigger selection of contemporary cross stitch kits to choose from!
Here we are showcasing 26 of the more unusual cross stitch kits available to buy from the Etsy creative marketplace and beyond! Support the cross stitch revolution and embrace modern cross stitch kits as your own – and perhaps choose one of these contemporary cross stitch kits for a friend to spread the stitchy love far and wide.
There is nothing better than choosing a design you love and making that first stitch – unless making that last stitch to finish a design is even better! Support modern designers by purchasing projects you love to make sure they make more contemporary cross stitch kits and keep the modern cross stitch kits movement alive and growing!


26 modern and contemporary cross stitch kits

Home Sweet Home by Red Bear Design

contemporary cross stitch kits red bear

We love the bold geometric styling and bright colours of this cool home loving hoop design. Worked in easy blocks of whole cross stitch, this is a great quirky cross stitch for new stitchers and the kit would make a lovely housewarming gift for a friend you think would appreciate a mindful moment embracing a new hobby to go with their new abode! The kit costs around £25. Find it via the Red Bear Designs Etsy store.

Sandy Toes by The Historical Sampler Company

contemporary cross stitch kits historical

Perhaps it is odd including a kit from a Company called The Historical Sampler Company in a round up of modern cross stitch kits, but this British beach hut designs combines the old with the new so wonderfully well that we could not resist. We love the whitework deigns they have in their range too for a contemporary cross stitch kits feeling. The Sandy toes kit costs £22.50. Find it on the Historical Sampler Etsy store.

Otters by Little Beach Hut

contemporary cross stitch kits otters

Cuteness overload alert! There are so many lovely wildlife-inspired modern cross stitch kits in Little Beach Hut's range, but we think these otters are our favourite. This would be a fun take on a family tree or birth sampler for a growing family – there is an otter couple version available too which would be good for weddings or engagements with the Otterly in Love pun as an added bonus. This kit costs £17. Find it on Little Beach Hut's Etsy store.

Feathers by Meloca Designs

Contemporary cross stitch kits meloca designs

Bring the botanical into your stitching with this Feathers kit which has the feeling of a beautifully illustrated twitchers textbook. It's the colour that really sing out to us in this easy whole cross stitch design that a great choice for people who prefer unusual cross stitch kits. The kit costs £25 with your choice of colour or symbols chart. Find it on the Meloca Designs Etsy store

Home by Stitch Kits

contemporary cross stitch kits Stitch Kits

We love it when there are flowers in the house, and this cute modern cross stitch kit from Stitch Kits makes sure there are always flowers inside your home! Also, there are ladybirds, buzzing bees, berries and spiders who is quite appropriate for our abode too. The kit, with everything you need to compete this designs, costs £34. Find it on Stitch Kits Etsy store.

Mountain Adventure by Hawthorn Handmade

contemporary cross stitch kits hawthorn handmade

Sometimes the sight of a particular image brings a feeling of calm – like a long out breath when you did not realise you holding your breath at all! That's just how we feel about this Mountain Adventure hoop from Hawthorn Handmade. This store has a lovely range of modern cross stitch kits and embroidery kits to browse, but this one is our favourite. The kit costs £21.95 including hoop. Find it on the Hawthorn Handmade Etsy store.

Ginedependant woman by Warwickshire Craft Company

contemporary cross stitch kits

Here's a hoop that's talking our language – though perhaps we'd give a little more weight to the words of our gal Beyonce. But we'll overlook it here as we'd like to be part of the gindependent woman club. Infact, we almost certainly already are. So many contemporary cross stitch kits seem to feature gin....? The kit costs £10. Find it on the Warwickshire Craft Co Etsy Store.

Polska mini by Rathbone Sass

contemporary cross stitch kits Rathbone Sass

Black fabric isn't for everybody, but boy does it make the colours pop in this mini Polska design from Rathbone Sass. The kit includes aida fabric, which is much easier to work with than black evenweave, and with a bit of white paper or fabric under your stitching, you should still be able to make out the holes without too much trouble. The kit including hoop costs £17 or £15 for the no-hoop option on this contemporary cross stitch kit – find it on the Rathbone Sass Etsy store.

Love yourself from Thread or Dead Club

contemporary cross stitch kits thread or dead

Oooooh - we'll always go for bolds bright in our unusual cross stitch kits and we love the hot pink fabric and bold self care mantra in this kit from Thread or Dead Club! Full-colour pattern, hoop included and a simple design that lets the blocks and the brights do the talking! Buy the kit for £20. Find it on the Thread or Dead Club Etsy store.

What the Duck by Pyro Dog Pins

contemporary cross stitch kits what the duck

Here's an easy 4 inch modern cross stitch kit with hoop that's perfect for all levels of cross stitcher and is designed to be displayed in the hoop for an easy modern finish. Also, we love the duck! There are a great selection of bird pun cross stitch kits on the Pyro Dog Pins etsy store if you want to make a set of unusual cross stitch kits. The kit costs £12 – find it on the Pyro Dog Pins Etsy Store.

Avocato by Joy Gifts Store

contemporary cross stitch kits Joy Gifts

Yes, we are know we are a child. But this sweet green avocado cat cross stitch kit made us laugh out loud, which is what we want from our modern cross stitch kits. Their Freda and Ziggy cross stitch portraits almost made the list too, but the cat pun won the day. The kit costs £24.50. Find it in the Joy Gifts Etsy store.

Don't tell me to smile by Plastic Little Covers

contemporary cross stitch kits plastic covers

We love the mix of vintage styling with modern phrases in the designs from Little Plastic covers – be warned that some of them feature swearing. This design speaks to the feminist needlewoman in us – we'll smile when we want to smile, and scowl when we want to scowl, okay?! This kit costs £18 – find it in the Little Plastic Covers Etsy store

Hello Pumpkin by Caterpillar Cross Stitch

contemporary cross stitch kits hello pumpkin

Who can resist the rich colours and sweet autumnal motifs in this contemporary cross stitch kit – always hard to resist a cross stitched fox. But what makes this design particularly appealing is the lack of backstitch – it looks to be worked entirely in whole cross stitch which makes it a nice relaxing design to work on. We love it that you can chose the fabric you want in your kit as well – 14- or 16-count aida for £33.30, or 28-count evenweave for an extra pound. It's available as a PDF chart download too if you prefer. Find it on the Caterpillar Cross Stitch Website.

Give a Damn by StitchWit designs

contemporary cross stitch kits give a damn

If you are looking for unusual cross stitch kits, here is something a little different from StitchWit Designs. Rather than the design-in-a-hoop style that now common in modern cross stitch kits, this is a larger project, designed to be displayed in a frame. But we love this mix of sass with retro motifs and cool styling. Please note that as of January 2021, Stitch Wit are no longer offering kits of their designs, but we have left this in our list of unusual cross stitch kits as it was so distinctive and it is still available to purchase as a digital download chart, but no longer as a modern cross stitch kit, unfortunately. Find it on the StitchWit Etsy store.

Girl in the rain by 3 Tiny Owls

contemporary cross stitch kits tiny owls

There is a whole collection of iconic modern cross stitch kits featuring this cute character from 3 Tiny Owls and we love the way each design has such movement and personality expressed using just 2 shades of stranded cotton. The kit costs £18.30 and includes 16-count aida fabric and the embroidery hoop along with threads and chart you need. Find it on the 3 Tiny Owls Etsy store.

Poodle Balloon by Geo Creations UK

contemporary cross stitch kits geo creations

Geo Creations specialise in geometric bright animal cross stitch portraits, but it is this poodle balloon design that has really won our hearts in their range of contemporary cross stitch kits. Perhaps it is the cool shading effect that makes the balloons looks so appealingly round even in cross stitch form, but we love this as a statement design! You can choose different colours for your poodle if you prefer. The kit costs £31.49 with 18-count aida fabric. Find it on the GeoCreations Etsy store.

True by Little Dot Loves

contemporary cross stitch designs little dot

There is something of a tattoo styling on this motivational modern cross stitch kit from Little Dot Loves. Bold colours make a strong statement and will be super relaxing and mindful to work, too. A great motto for us all to embrace in cross stitch and in life. The kit costs £15. Find it on the Little Dot Loves Etsy store.

Smile by Lucie Heaton

contemporary cross stitch kits

This sweet little kit only costs £6.50 on sale and comes with the display hoop too! If you are looking for modern cross stitch kits to buy for friends feeling low, or if you have a pal wanting to mark their respect for Pride while trying out cross stitch for the first time, this is a great choice. Find it on the Lucie Heaton Etsy store.

Be Kind by Cotton Clara

contemporary cross stitch kits be kind

Here is one of Cotton Clara's modern cross stitch kits with a difference! The cross stitch motto is worked onto a wooden banner with pre-cut holes to make adding the lettering super straightforward. This kit has holes cut in the banner for adding tassels to the bottom of the wooden hanging too! This would be a great project for someone totally new to cross stitch, and a fun speedy finish to display your new skills. You can choose the yarn colour you want in your kit, and the kit costs £17.95. Find it on the Cotton Clara Etsy store.

Donald Trump pincushion kit from Sheena Rogers Designs

contemporary cross stitch kits sheena rogers

When it all gets va bit much, we like to go and poke pins into our cross stitched Donald Trump pincushion kit. Inject antiseptic to treat coronavirus? Poke the cushion. Mexico will pay to build the anti-Mexico wall? Poke poke poke. We've avoided sweary designs when compiling this list of unusual cross stitch kits, but here is one man who really makes us want to swear. This kit costs £8.99. Find it via Sheena Rogers Etsy store.

Moon Planet from Robyn Kayla Kits

contemporary cross stitch kits Robyn Kayla

Even while we are staring at the needlework in our hands, our minds are off wandering in the heavens, which was perhaps why this Moon design appeals to us so much. Looking at the shaded shape framed by its circular hoop has us imagining we are looking out of a porthole in a space-going starship – engage! The kit costs £29.60. Find it in the Robyn Kayla Crafts Etsy store.

Sweet Dreams by The Witchy Stitcher

contemporary cross stitch kits witchy stitcher

Can we include this in a list of modern cross stitch kits if it is celebrating a film that debuted in in 1980s? For sure we can, and we certainly weren't seeing designs like this at the time. This cool unusual cross stitch kit from The Witchy Stitcher creeps us out in all the best ways with green and red striped hearts and terrifying knife hands, Elm Street style. We love the raw linen in this photo, but you can choose to have 14-count fiddlers cloth in your kit if you prefer. Find it on The Witchy Stitcher's online store.

Quarantine Marathon by Oh Wow Stitch

contemporary cross stitch kits oh wow stitch

Okay, these are charts rather than modern cross stitch kits but still too good to miss! Typically these are PDF downloads to so if you have materials at home already you can get stitching straight away! This one is perfect to hang in your bathroom to hammer home the hygiene message! The download costs just 50p from the Oh Wow Stitch Etsy Store.

Falling Hearts by Tapestry Barn

contemporary cross stitch kits

If half cross stitch rather than the full x is your thing, you'll love this modern tapestry cushion kit! Working on a printed canvas is super-relaxing too, with the cosy wool bringing this sweet design to life before your eyes. The kit costs £46.16. Find it on the Tapestry Barn Etsy store.

Fox modern cross stitch kit by Love Poppet

contemporary cross stitch kits Lovepoppy

Simple stitches and just two colours of thread combine in this Fox modern cross stitch kit from Love Poppet. Worked in easy whole cross stitches on 32-count even weave, this is an ideal contemporary cross stitch kit to choose if you are working over two threads of the fabric for the first time, as you don't need to worry about changing your thread colour, you can just concentrate on your counting. The kit costs £24. Find it on the Love Poppet Not on the High Street store.

Speaking of foxes, we have a brilliant cross stitch design of a flower embellished fox that you can download for free from us at Gathered! Click to find the Durene Jones cross stitch fox pattern.

I never finish anything by Bobo Stitch

contemporary cross stitch kit bobostitch

Whoops! Did I start another craft project before finishing my last one? Whoops! Did I do it again? Just like Britney Spears meant, this is a common problem for crafters everywhere. Own this tendency and raise a smile with this brilliant unusual cross stitch kit from Bobo Designs – unusual because it is designed to be shown off with the needle still attached to the embroidery cotton and the wording seemingly incomplete. The kit include chart, thread, needle and 14-count oatmeal aid with the option to add a hoop if you would like one. Find it on the Bobo Stitch Not on the High Street store.


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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