How to do Seed Stitch

Discover new embroidery stitches with our Stitch Library series of Beginner Embroidery Stitch Guides. In this post, we’ll show you how to master seed stitch.

How to do seed stitch

Ah seed stitch! How we love you. This sprinkling, confetti-style stitch is one of the easiest embroidery stitches to master and a great way to fill in spaces in your embroidery hoop – simply vary the density of your “seeds” to deepen or lighten an area of shading.

For this seed stitch tutorial use a mix of candy coloured thread and scatter the stitches so they become more dense close to the heart outline.

Download, print and trace the heart template below, then fill in the area outside of the heart with seed stitches.

Template design by Lisa Jones, stitching and instructions by Rebecca Reid 

Free heart embroidery pattern (PDF)


Step 1

Each individual seed stitch is worked as a small straight stitch about 2-3mm (1/16in) long. Bring your needle up for the first stitch then push it back in a short distance way. Work the next stitch in the same way, in a different direction. Concentrate on making sure the stitches next to each other face a different way in order to create a random effect.

How to embroider seed stitch step 1

Step 2

To create different densities of seeding, space the stitches in the area around the heart close together then gradually space them further apart as you work outwards. It can help to draw rough outlines of these different areas with water erasable pen to help with the spacing, then wash the lines out once you’ve finished stitching.

How to sew seed stitch

Try it out with embroidered buttons or pin badges!

Use delicate seed stitch to sew a simple heart design. Sweet! If you’re new to embroidery, it can feel  a little daunting to begin a large-scale project. So, when we’re learning a new stitch, we like to start small! Delicate seed stitch is simply a small straight stitch sewn in a random formation to fill in a shape or design, so is a perfect beginner’s project. Use our heart template at the top of this post to seed stitch your own badges, and experiment with stitching inside or outside of the heart outline. We love using a rainbow of threads for a confetti effect!

How to embroider pin badges

Looking to try more embroidery stitches? Click to discover our How to do Stem stitch guide.