25 contemporary tapestry kits for beginners
Looking for beginner tapestry kits with style? Check out these 25 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! 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? It 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 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 think 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.
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
1. Fly needlepoint by Emily Peacock
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.
2. 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!
3. 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.
4. 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 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.
5. 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 holey shapes of monstera leaves, worked on a printed canvas but with a chart to refer to if you want. Don't mind if we do-can!
6. Triangles from BonBon 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.
7. 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 24.5x16.5 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 needle pointing for years!
8. 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.
9. 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 kit is available in different shades and with different geometric patterns too, so you will the right choice to match your decor. Sadly the pupper is not included - but isn't he brilliant?
10. 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!
11. 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!
12. Geometric rainbow cat from Chloe Savage Embroidery
Master the tapestry stitch whilst working from a chart with 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, shown on a non-printed canvas in Anchor tapestry wools.
13. 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 come to life under your needle. Lol. Apologies for the pun and for the lol.
14. 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.
15. 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 mean 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.
16. Stay at home tapestry kit
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 (and very topical) piece of art!
17. 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.
18. 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.
19. British-themed tapestry kit
If you're feeling a little patriotic or you've recently finished binge-watching The Crown, you'll love these British Tapestry kits. You can choose from a variety of designs, just an FYI though - you'll be following a number chart rather than a printed canvas for this one.
20. Wham bar tapestry kit
One of two great things to come out of the 80s named Wham! This retro sweet will be giving you all sorts of nostalgia when you create them. 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.
21. Hooray tapestry kit
Hip-hip-hooray for this fun tapestry kit! Everything is included in the kit to make a tapestry, once you've finished you could frame it like in the image, or you could use it to make a fun cushion for yourself or give it to a friend as a gift.
Buy the hooray tapestry kit on Etsy.
22. Geometric heart tapestry kit
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.
Buy the geometric heart tapestry kit on Etsy.
23. 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.
Buy the bee happy tapestry kit on Etsy.
24. Art deco diver tapestry kit
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.
Buy the art deco diver tapestry kit on Etsy.
25. Bargello tapestry wall hanging kit
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!
Buy the tapestry wall hanging kit on Etsy.
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!