Cross stitch for kids: patterns, kits and tips
Discover the excitement of cross stitch for kids with our guide to the best patterns and kits for newbie little stitchers plus lots of tips and tricks to get them started and make sure they stick with it.
If there’s one thing that’s even more enjoyable than stitching, it’s passing your love for the hobby on to someone new. Teaching cross stitch for kids is immensely satisfying, and they make excellent pupils! Lessons will provide a great opportunity to spend quality time with your child or grandchild, allowing you to bond over a shared pastime. Even better, stitching can help boost their hand-eye coordination, concentration and maths skills. So, if you know a young relative or a friend’s child who’s itching to catch the stitching bug, we’re here to help you give them the best possible start in their new hobby.
Why teach cross stitch for kids?
Cross stitch designer Susan Ryder used to be a teacher and ran a stitching club for youngsters aged six to 11. “Never underestimate what children can do - they can really surprise you,” she says. “Counted cross stitch is really good for them as it involves counting, coordination, planning ahead, appreciating the use of colour and experiencing the satisfaction of seeing a picture appear on a blank piece of fabric. Several of the children even became confident with fractional stitches and working on evenweave… and some of them ended up preferring to stay in at breaktimes and stitch, instead of going out to play!”
Kids of any age can start learning to stitch, although it’s normally at around six or seven that they start to show an interest in the hobby. Once they do, it’s a great cue to start coaching them. Stitching is fantastically enjoyable, and you’re sure to find it doubly so when you introduce a youngster to the hobby. Armed with these simple tips and guides to the best starter kits and patterns, you’ll be all set to give the younger generation a chance to fall in love with cross stitch, just like you did!
Top 10 tips for cross stitch for kids
Now we all know kids can lose interest quickly if a task is too difficult or tricky, so we've put together our top advice if you want your little ones to try cross stitch and not get frustrated or bored! In fact, they'll be the complete opposite, once they've completed their first (small) project they might just get the bug for it. Here are a few ways to help you introduce your little ones to this fun and stimulating craft:
Simple projects that use whole stitches and bright threads. If you already have materials, how about one of these free charts from Gathered? Caterpillar cross stitch patterns, Gold medal cross stitch pattern, British beach huts cross stitch pattern, Sailing boat cross stitch pattern, Lamb cross stitch pattern.
Make a card to send
These will also work well because not only are they small and manageable, they’ll provide a superb sense of achievement when the child hands over their completed greetings to family and friends.
Pick a fun theme
Select designs that feature the child’s favourite hobby or animal. A cute character should help to keep them motivated.
Don't overdo it
"Give the child a project that’s within their capabilities," advises Roger at Mouseloft. "Small designs with only a few colours will give them more chance of achieving the satisfaction of completing a piece of stitching."
Pick a fabric that's easy for small hands to stitch
Equipment-wise, start with low-count fabrics such as 6-count Binca or plastic canvas, so it’s easy to see where to stitch. Also invest in a large, blunt-ended tapestry needle - it will be easier for them to guide through the holes.
Keep initial stitching sessions short, simple and positive – little ones can lose concentration very quickly!
Demo the basics
Show them the basic steps of making a cross stitch and offer support, but resist the temptation to take over completely - let the child be as hands-on as possible, even if they make mistakes now and again. Need a refresher? Head to our How to Cross Stitch post and video tutorial.
Encourage and oversee
Remember to give lots of praise and encouragement along the way and supervise kids at all times.
Let their skills grow
Once they are able to stitch competently you can introduce yet more creativity: “We always suggest children colour in graph paper and create their own designs,” says Cara Ackerman of DMC. “Although any chart can be followed, there’s something personal and special about designing your own.”
Kids love bright colours and seeing their designs come to life. If you've got your binca fabric and needle ready, stitch with 3 strands of thread, rather than 2 as we usually do as adults. This helps the bright colours shine (catching children's interest) and also works better with the bigger count of the fabric to create a fuller design.
15 Cross stitch kits for kids
A cross stitch kit is an ideal way to introduce your little one's to this fun craft as they contain everything they'll need to create their first cross stitch creation plus they are often packaged in fun and brightly coloured cases or boxes! We have found our absolute favourite kits from across a range of trusted retailers, that we think would make the ideal starting point for your little stitchers.
Galt Toys, Cross Stitch Case cross stitch kits for kids
This cute cross stitch case contains five cute cross stitch projects to complete, along with a detailed guide to follow along. With a variety of designs, your little one's will be kept challenged and entertained for hours. Choose from a hooting owl, a cute cupcake and lots more fun designs. In the kit, you'll find everything your little one's need to complete all the projects including threads, needles, frames and even some apple scented beads! What's unique about this kit too is it is all contained within an adorable carry case, so your little one's can take their cross stitch on trips or in the car, plus it can be kept tidy (a treat for the parents).
Buy the kids cross stitch case on Amazon
Baker Ross lovely llama colour-in cross stitch kits for kids
These brightly coloured and fun kids cross stitch kits are the perfect way for little ones to practice their motor skills whilst also having lots of fun and getting creative. Not only can they stitch in whatever colours they like, but they can also colour in their llama in any colour they would like! Once they've finished these cute little llamas would make fabulous bedroom decorations, why not hang them above their bed in pride of place. This fabulous Baker Ross kit contains everything you'll need to cross stitch 5 llamas, you'll just need your own paints or pens to colour in the llamas.
Find the llama colour in kids cross stitch kits on Amazon
Two DIY needlepoint cross stitch kits for kids
This is an ideal kit for little hands, the design is printed on a short stitch-heavy fabric net, meaning they won't need to use an embroidery hoop which is much easier for little ones. It also only contains one stitch so a soothing project to take one once they get the hang of it. There are lots of fun designs to choose from, we love this swashbuckling pirate design but you'll also find cats, owls, mermaids, rabbits, pandas and many more! In the kit, you'll receive everything you need to make up two designs of your own choice, plus a cardboard stand to mount the finished stitch in.
Buy the needlepoint kids cross stitch kits on Etsy
Nutcracker cross stitch kits for kids
This gorgeous nutcracker cross stitch kit for kids would be the perfect stocking filler for any keen creative mind. It comes beautifully presented in a box with a few cute extras, along with the whole kit to finish the hoop, and even some ribbon so it is ready to proudly display.
Buy the Nutcracker kids cross stitch kit from Etsy
Rainbow wooden cross stitch kits for kids
Now not strictly cross stitch but this stitching kit is ideal for smaller creatives, it's good for younger ones to practice dexterity, whilst at the same time creating this gorgeous decorative hanging for their bedroom.
Buy the Rainbow wooden stitching kit from Etsy
Traditional cross stitch kits for kids
Traditional doesn't always mean dull! Particularly not in this case, these brightly coloured and vibrant kits contain a variety of delightful cross stitch designs, all suitable for children. In the kit you'll be pleased to find six simple yet fun designs to take on, with whales, puppies and kittens it's a great starter kit for first-time stitchers.
Buy the Traditional kids cross stitch kits on Etsy
Strawberry cross stitch kits for kids
This berry cute cross stitch kit for kids will capture their imaginations with the bright colours and cute design, it even comes in an adorable little matchbox (not to worry though there are no matches)! the kit contains, an 14 count blank Aida, a needle, thread and easy to follow pattern marked in colour on counted graph.
Buy the Strawberry cross stitch kit for kids from Etsy
Wooden heart cross stitch kits for kits
Begin really simply with these high-quality Baker Ross key chain cross stitch kits for kids. In the pack, you'll find 5 wooden heart keychain Aida ready to be stitched, lots of brightly coloured thread and a plastic needle. These make delightful little projects, and once they are finished can also make priceless gifts for friends and family, they can hang them on keys and bags to show them off. This one is perfect for little hands because it allows them the freedom to create their own colourful pattern plus the wooden Aida is easy to hold onto. Baker Ross has plenty of other designs in the same style, including owls, bookmarks, stars and flowers, there is a huge range of choices on the Baker Ross Amazon store.
Cross stitch kit for kids in a suitcase
If there's a certain way to get your little one's hyped about a new hobby then it's these adorable suitcases, they will feel like the bee's knee's carrying around one of these. They contain the complete starter kit, so would make a fab gift or just a way t0 entice them into the world of cross stitching. It's a neat little package plus a place to store all the equipment.
Buy the cross stitch kit for kids in a suitcase from Not on the Highstreet
Unicorn cross stitch kit for kids
This sparkly unicorn will be sure to catch your little ones eye. The whole design is made using only half cross stitch, making it extra easy for little hands or newbies. In this kit, you'll find everything you need to create this lovely design including, cotton Perle size L, chart and instructions, printed 6ct Aida, needle plus ready-to-hang plastic embroidery hoop.
Buy the Unicorn cross stitch kit for kids from Love Crafts
Animal jumper Cross stitch kit for kids
These fabulous card creatures are in need of a toasty jumper! That's where your little ones come in, create funky and bold jumper designs onto each of these little characters, they could even colour in the white card if they want to add an extra special touch to their finished animal. The kits contain a mixture of 4 animal card designs of which you'll receive a random assortment, thread and a needle.
Buy the Animal jumper Cross stitch kit for kids from Not on the Highstreet
Rainbow bookmarks cross stitch kit for kids
Brighten up their day with these chunky cross stitch bookmarks, a great beginner project for kids, they'll love the colourful nature of it, and the easy to follow the design. It will also help to teach them to change needles and colours. Once they are finished they have a cool bookmark to use too! Or they could give it away to a friend or family as a special gift.
Buy the Rainbow bookmarks cross stitch kit for kids from Etsy
Anchor 1st cross stitch kit for kids love hearts
No experience is necessary with these 1st kits from Anchor, With thread, colour-printed canvas and instructions that are easy to follow, you’ll have a great time working up this flower-themed pattern. A perfect kit for kids wanting to learn cross-stitching.
Buy the Anchor 1st cross stitch kit for kids from LoveCrafts
My first panda cross stitch kit for kids
The kids will love creating this chunky stitched panda, with the big stitches and pre-printed canvas they will be able to finish this one off in no time! The kit also includes acrylic pre-cut yarn packs, latch-hook tool, chart and instructions.
Buy the My first panda cross stitch kit for kids from Love Crafts
Bear cross stitch kit for kids
Create this cuddly bear with your little ones and fall in love with cross stitching! The kit includes a colour-printed chart, needle and even a cardboard surround for framing and a 9-count white Aida, which could be used to frame on the wall or turn into a greetings card.
Buy the Bear cross stitch kit for kids from Love Crafts
Looking for more kids craft inspiration?
Of course, we have plenty of free cross stitch patterns right here on Gathered. Try our variety of easy cross stitch patterns including this cute owl cross stitch or the sweet cat cross stitch. If you and the little ones are looking for more general crafts, dive into our craft ideas for kids or try our easy salt dough recipe, if you're feeling creative try making puffy paint or your own homemade slimes. Or take on an old classic with our how to make balloon animals for beginners and how to make paper mache guide.
Katie Dolan edits our needlework sections, focusing on our embroidery and cross stitch articles, as well as making videos for our arts and crafts projects. Katie runs her jewellery business, Ophelia Jewellery Art, on Etsy, where she sells beautiful resin-pressed flower earrings. She has a wide range of craft interests including embroidery – she particularly loves all things pop culture and a less traditional approach – The Simpsons and Rick & Morty are among her favourites to embroider. She has recently completed a silversmith workshop and hopes to expand her jewellery business with these new skills. When she’s not crafting, she’s usually fuelling her Harry Potter addiction with a Sunday film marathon and a couple of butter beers!