How to sew Coral Stitch

Master coral stitch in time for Christmas with this quick-sew Christmas embroidery hoop tutorial by Mollie Johanson.

Coral Stitch Free Embroidery Pattern

Slow sewing is the perfect tonic to the hurried pace of the holiday season. If, like us, you’re in need of a little down time with a needle and thread, this quick-stitch project is the perfect evening make for you to curl up with over the Christmas holidays.

You will need

  • Linen fabric: 30x30cm (12x12in)
  • Cotton fabric: 25x30cm (10x12in)
  • Felt: 20x20cm (8x8in)
  • Stranded cotton
  • Embroidery hoop: 20cm (8in) diameter
  • Basic sewing kit


Top tip: Coating your stranded cotton with thread conditioner when using all six strands will help with smoother stitching.

Want to discover more embroidery stitches? Click to find our How to do Stem stitch guide.


How to do Coral Stitch

Step 1

Bring the needle up through the fabric. Hold the working thread along the pattern line. Go down just above the line, leaving a loop of thread on the surface.

How to do coral stitch step 1

Step 2

Bring the needle up just below the line, flipping the loop of thread down so it surrounds the needle. Pull the needle through so the loop tightens into a knot. Repeat, spacing the knots as close or as far apart as you prefer.

How to do coral stitch step 2

How to stitch the design

Step 3

Place the linen centrally over the embroidery template and trace over the lines. You need to trace both the upper and lower lines of the letters.

Step 4

Embroider the ‘merry’ design following the traced lines. Use six strands of medium green stranded cotton and coral stitch for the main word. Use three strands of light green stranded cotton and backstitch for the small accent lines.

Joining the fabrics

Step 5

Trim the embroidered linen to 12x28cm (4¾x11in) with the design placed centrally on the fabric.

Step 6

Cut the cotton fabric into two pieces measuring 10x28cm (4x11in) each.

Step 7

Place the long edge of one piece of cotton fabric right sides (RS) together across the top long edge of the linen. Stitch together then press the seams open.

Step 8

Repeat to stitch the other piece of cotton fabric across the bottom of the linen.

How to do coral stitch step 3

Embellishing the design

Step 9

Mount the pieced fabric in the embroidery hoop, making sure that the design is central and the fabric is taut.

Step 10

Embroider French knots and star stitches over the linen and cotton fabrics. Scatter and group them as you like.

How to do coral stitch step 4

Finishing off

Step 11

Trim the fabric 3cm (1¼in) outside the hoop all the way around.

Step 12

Work a running stitch around the edge of the fabric and pull it to gather then secure with a few stitches.

How to do coral stitch step 5

Step 13

Cut a circle of felt that is slightly smaller than the back of the hoop.

Step 14

Stitch the felt to the gathered fabric with matching thread and tiny whip stitches

How to do coral stitch step 6

Finishing off

Step 15

Cut a 1x28cm (38x11in) strip of fabric and thread it through the hoop screw then tie the ends in a knot for hanging.


Free embroidery patterns coral stitch