Tapestry is also called needlepoint, but somehow calling it that makes it feel a bit old fashioned. And there is nothing old fashioned about the modern tapestry kits we are highlighting here! They are all created by bespoke designer-makers, so by purchasing one of these contemporary tapestry kits you’ll help support small craft businesses and an industry we love while also getting a quality kit you’ll love working on. Take your pick of the best beginner tapestry kits on show here and you’ll soon get to grips with the basics of this great technique. For more needlecraft techniques, check out our Needlework section.
Are you looking for beginners tapestry kits so you can try this technique for the first time? Its is really easy to get to grips with the basics of needlepoint. It is the ‘fabric’ that can be most confusing as tapestry is usually worked on canvas which looks more like a net than a fabric. Because the holesin the canvas are so big, there is lots of room for thick tapestry wool so you get a nice chunky wool finish with tapestry.
Tapestry is worked in the same stitch as you use for half cross stitch, but worked in wool over canvas for a more filled finish, as opposed to cross stitch which is worked on a more solid fabric using think strands from stranded cottons. Modern tapestry kits usually feature a printed canvas too, which means you can stitch without following a chart, as opposed to counted cross stitch which usually needs a chart to work the design.
Fancy developing your cross stitch skills instead of tapestry? Check out our roundup of the best modern cross stitch kits.
Modern tapestry kits for beginners
Fly needlepoint by Emily Peacock
Please turn away if you are not a fun of puns (or emojis) – but we think this fly needlepoint kit is so fly ! The bold geometric shapes are perfectly placed to build up into this striking fly design. And is it just us, or does it look like he is wearing sunglasses? Fly! This modern tapestry kit contains a printed canvas which makes it super simple for beginners to follow, and the kit costs £25.
Liquorice cushion by Leaf and Tree Tapestry
We love bright colours in our modern tapestry kits, and if those colours come in the form of sweets, that’s even better. People can have a love it or hate it reaction to liquorice, but we recon everyone agrees that these sweets look very sweet. So capture them in a cushion even if your tastebuds wouldn’t approve. Your sitting-down self will thank you!
Tunnocks Caramel by Jacqui Pearce
Ah, for the love of Tunnocks! Whether it’s a teacake or a caramel wafer, there is something uniquely comforting about this timeless brand. And you can keep that comforting feeling going with this contemporary tapestry kit from Jacqui Pearce. Actually, even though it is worked on tapestry canvas and in tapestry wool, you are working in little Xs rather than /s, so technically this is a cross stitch kit – but it isn’t really. You’ll be following a chart for this one rather than a printed canvas, and the complete kit costs £60.
Painted cat by Designers Needle
Feeling mellow? Rather than yellow, it’s the rich reds, swirling shapes and cosy cat snoozing in this scene that is making us feel safe and secure. This would be a lovely modern tapestry kit to work, with the tactile Appletons wools included in the kit being added to the full colour printed canvas, so you wont even need to check the chart – though there is one included if you should like to. A heavenly project to complete in our favourite comfy chair to then take pride of place as a cushion there too.
Toucan by Thread and Mercury
Who can resist a toucan? Certainly not us, and certainly when he is as appealing as this lovely fellow in the brilliant modern tapestry kit from Thread and Mercury. With his glossy, gleaming plumage and giant yellow beak, he is quite something, and very realistic in this design, backed by the lovely wholey shapes of monstera leaves, worked on a printed canvas but with chart to refer to if you want. Don’t mind if we do-can!
Triangles from Bon Bon Stitch
Are you interested in the mindfulness of making? This contemporary tapestry kit from BonBonStitch is a great example of a tapestry kit for beginners that will make a soothing and easy design to stitch and a stylish and modern addition to your home. The kit comes with a printed canvas, plus a chart if you need to check anything on your design, as well as the wool and needle you need to complete it. As BonBonStitch say, and we totally agree, the things we make ourselves…are the things we love the longest.
Beetles from The Stitch Geek
Wowie zowie! We love pop art styles. We love bright colours. We love the Beatles. And of course we love tapestry, so this is one of our favourite modern tapestry kits – it’s just bringing together all the things we love in a craft project! It is perhaps a little large to be classed as one of the tapestry kits for beginners – at 24.5×16.5 inches this is a super-sized stitch, but all in solid blocks of colour that will make it easy to complete and a fabulous poster-sized project to display! Plus we recon beginners would adore working this design just as much as those who have been needlepointing for years!
Falling hearts by Tapestry Barn
You’ll love this modern tapestry kit with its beautiful colours and patterns embellishing repeating hearts – but actually with no repeats as no two hearts are the same! 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 £50.22.
Find it on the Tapestry Barn Etsy store.
Geometric Hexagons from Mariana’s Home
If modern tapestry kits for the home are your thing, how about this subtly colourful geometric cushion kit from Mariana’s Home? The kits is available in different shades and with different geometric patterns too, so there is sure to be the right choice to match your decor. Sadly the pupper is not included – but isn’t he brilliant?
Bird Tapestry kit by William Morris
Okay, we know that William Morris was around in the mid 1800s. But we think that this lovely cushion can certainly be listed with the contemporary tapestry kits as it deserves pride of place in the contemporary crafty home. After all – a thing of beauty is a joy forever. This kit from Bothy Threads uses 12-count printed canvas and Appletons tapestry wool. Deliciously traditional and a modern tapestry kit in one gorgeous package!
Bargello pincushion kit from Pippin Kits
Here’s one of our picks if you are looking for tapestry kits for beginners that are a little different. Rather than the standard diagonal stitch in wool you see in needlepoint, this kit uses Bargello which is a longer, vertical stitch, which gives you a faster finish with more defined lines and shapes. This little pincushion is a great introduction to this needlepoint technique for adults and children alike!
Geometric rainbow cat from Chloe Savage Embroidery
You can master tapestry stitch and working from a chart with the simple shapes that come together to form a lovely cat silhouette in this modern tapestry kit. We love the colour block shading and purposeful stride of the cat, worked on a non-printed canvas in Anchor tapestry wools.
William Shakespeare by Emily Peacock for Appletons
Appletons is big name in needlepoint with their crewel-style wool being a needlework favourite for 180 years. In 2019 they partnered with prominent British designers to create a range of modern tapestry kits using their tapestry wool – this one is by Emily Peacock. As well as a printed canvas, you get a chart to refer to and a big bag containing all the Appletons tapestry wool you need for this project. “Is this a bard I see before me?” you’ll most likely say to yourself as Shakespeare’s face come to life under your needle. Lol. Apologies for the pun and for the lol.
Baa baa black sheep by The Historical Sampler company
Can you spot the odd sheep out? There’s only one sheep here with three bags full of black wool and you’ll find him at the heart of this contemporary tapestry kit drawing on the timeless nursery rhyme. This would be our pick of these tapestry kits for beginners for a newly expectant mother, to encourage her to put her feet up and needlepoint this while she counts down to little one’s arrival.
Grey bird on yellow chevron by NYGNeedlepoint
Hang on a minute – is this a hand-painted canvas? It is! Not Your Granny’s Needlepoint will adapt this design to suit you, by adding more birds, changing the background pattern and even changing the colours of the background before painting up your own bespoke canvas. This does means you won’t get a chart, only your unique painted canvas, but what a treat to be able to customise a kit in this way – truly a work of art.