Best contemporary tapestry kits for beginners
Looking for beginner tapestry kits with style? Check out these contemporary tapestry kits for colour and fun.
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!
It's really easy to get to grips with the basics of needlepoint. It's 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 holes in 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 thin strands from stranded cotton. 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.
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.
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
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 Appleton tapestry wools. Deliciously traditional and a modern tapestry kit in one gorgeous package! If you're looking for a unique cushion to liven up a plain sofa, this design is sure to do the trick.
Fly needlepoint by Emily Peacock
- Buy now from Etsy (£25.00)
Please turn away if you are not a fan 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.
- For more needlecraft techniques, check out our Needlework section.
Tunnocks Caramel by Jacqui Pearce
- Buy now from Etsy (£65.00)
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 £65.
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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 on, with the tactile Appletons wools included in the kit being added to the full colour printed canvas, so you won't 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
- Buy now from Etsy (£62.00)
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! It's a very realistic design, backed by the lovely holey shapes of monstera leaves, and worked on a printed canvas but with a chart to refer to if you want. Don't mind if we do-can!
Geometric Hexagons from Mariana's Home
- Buy now from Etsy (£56.00)
If modern tapestry kits for the home are your thing, how about this subtly colourful geometric cushion kit from Mariana's Home? The kit is available in different shades and with different geometric patterns too, so you can find the right choice to match your décor. Sadly the pupper is not included - but isn't he brilliant?
- Discover how to knit a chevron cushion.
Argello 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!
William Shakespeare by Emily Peacock for Appletons
Appletons is a 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 comes to life under your needle. Lol. Apologies for the pun and for the lol.
Stay at home tapestry kit
- Buy now from Not On The High Street (£55.00)
Pandemic or not, some of us just prefer a night in on the sofa with a glass of wine and a good movie. So why not celebrate home life with this stay at home tapestry kit from Not on the High Street? It contains everything you need to create this fun piece of art!
Personalised tapestry kit of your loved ones
Who wouldn't want their face immortalised in British wool forever?! This unique kit contains a tapestry canvas printed with your chosen photo, ready to be stitched. The printed colours will be bright so you can easily distinguish between wool colours, making it perfect for beginners.
Alphabet Tapestry Kit
'C' is for coolest tapestry kit ever. We love these personalised letter tapestry kits, choose the letter of your choice and you will be sent everything you need to create this bold and bright tapestry. The canvas is 15.4 x 15.4cm, making it the perfect travel size, so if you're on the train or travelling somewhere it's an enjoyable way to pass the time.
Wham bar tapestry kit
One of two great things to come out of the 80s named Wham! This retro sweet design will be giving you all sorts of nostalgia when you create it. You'll find everything in this kit to complete the cross stitch needlepoint piece, just bear in mind it's not everything for the cushion itself, but your finished tapestry would make an amazing cushion, or you could frame it and hang it on the wall.
Geometric heart tapestry kit
- Buy now from Etsy (£65.00)
With a bold pattern and bright rainbow colour, this tapestry kit is ideal for beginners. This is a counted chart and not a printed pattern so each coloured square corresponds to the same colour cross stitch on the canvas. The kit contains all you'll need to get stitching, afterwards it's up to you whether you make it into a lovely cushion or frame it to hang in your home.
Bee happy tapestry kit
You'll be buzzing once you've finished this sweet bee happy tapestry. You could create a cushion as seen in the image or you could frame your finished tapestry and hang it in your home. It would also make a lovely gift for someone special. This fun kit is great for beginners or to get you out of a stitching slump, with an easy to follow printed design on Zweigart fabric.
Art deco diver tapestry kit
- Buy now from Etsy (£66.00)
Discover the depths of the ocean with this underwater-themed tapestry kit. The kit includes full instructions, a printed canvas, wool and needles - everything you need to get stitching straight away! Hang it up on the wall to show off to friends and family, it'll make a great conversation starter.
Alpaca rug tapestry kit
Calling all alpaca fans! This adorable rug would make quite the eye-catching bedroom accessory, or you could even use it as a funky seat cushion. We're big fans of the bright and vibrant colours, and it's a fairly dainty size at roughly 50cm x 40cm so it won't take up too much room if you're tight for space. Gift to a fellow crafts and alpaca enthusiast for a fun birthday surprise!
A great choice for beginners, the tapestry kit includes an embroidery cushion, a hooked needle, a canvas, instructions and a set of embroidery threads.
Bargello tapestry wall hanging kit
- Buy now from Etsy (£45.00)
Go a little more abstract with these amazing wall hanging tapestry kits, there's a choice of colour and design so you can find something that would suit your home. Bargello is a form of needlepoint embroidery stitching, made of flat long stitches sewn in symmetrical and geometric patterns, making it great for beginners. In this kit, you'll find everything you need to make the wall hanging, including the birch wood dowel. You can also get creative with the fringe if you have any spare pom-poms or tassels!
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!