There’s never been a better time to learn a new hobby! So I’ve put together this list of hand embroidery must haves for beginners so they can join in on the stitching fun!
You may or may not know that I have a handmade shop, The Knottarie. I sell on Etsy and in local craft shows and holiday markets. It’s my creative outlet and I LOVE it!
One of the things I make the most for my shop is hand embroidery hoop art!
I’ve been asked many times, especially in the last year or so, if I teach classes, have patterns, or even have a place people can go to learn more about hand embroidery and making their own hoop art pieces.
There’s never been a better time than now to pick up a new hobby! So many people have some unanticipated free time on their hands right now and need something to occupy their time. At the prompting of a good friend, I am finally making this hand embroidery must haves for beginners guide happen!
So what do you NEED to start your own hand embroidery hoop art piece?
It boils down to a few basic elements – a needle, some fabric, thread or embroidery floss, scissors and an embroidery hoop.
Fabric: I prefer quality quilting cottons. I’ve stitched on many different fabric options in the 7 years since I started my embroidery journey, cotton fabrics and quilting cottons are my preference.
Personally, I prefer working with solid colored fabrics. There’s a few reasons for this:
- It’s easier to transfer your pattern to your fabric (more on this process later).
- It’s easier to follow the patter when you’re stitching when its clearly visible. Patterned fabric can make this challenge.
- Your pattern placement doesn’t have to be carefully calculated or thought out. Patterned fabric requires that you pre-plan where your stitching will go – you don’t want your embroidery to compete with the colors of the fabric.
Favorite fabric options you can purchase online:
- Earth Tones Bundle on Amazon
- 1/2 Yard Bundle Bella Solids Moda – Coordinates Woodland Secrets Fabrics on etsy (some really pretty color options that would look lovely!)
- Robert Kaufman KONA COTTON SOLIDS NOT QUITE WHITE Fat Quarter Bundle on Amazon (perfect neutral colors!)
- Fat Quarter Bundle of 5 Bella Solids on Etsy (a set of soft rainbow colors)
Thread or Embroidery Floss: There are many brands to choose from, one of the oldest and most trusted brands is DMC, and they’re my go to! They have HUNDREDS of colors in basically every shade imagine. You can find bundles of threads on Amazon or purchase them individually at your local craft shop or Hobby Lobby.
I prefer DMC floss/threads because of the way they feel, they pull nicely through the fabric, and they have a nice sheen.
Color bundles from I LOVE that are perfect for beginners:
- DMC Embroidery Floss Assortment 100 Colors (So many colors!)
- DMC Embroidery Popular Colors Floss Pack (The most popular color options!)
- DMC Embroidery Floss Pack “Home Decor” Colors
Needles: While almost any needle will do, some are definitely better than others! I prefer large eye needles. They make threading the needle and pulling the thread through easier. A needle threader is also a handy tool to make getting the thicker floss through the needle eye.
Scissors: For this tool, any pair of scissors will do. But there are scissors available that are specifically created for embroidery. They are small, pointy, and definitely dainty.
Some of my favorites:
- Rainbow Unicorn Embroidery Scissors
- Sewing Titanium Bonded Curved Embroidery Scissors
- Vintage Stork Shape Sewing and Embroidery Scissors
Embroidery Hoop: There are many options when it comes to embroidery hoops. Different sizes, different shapes, different materials and varying price points. There’s a whole lot of personal preference when it comes to embroidery hoops.
Personally I like the plastic ones just fine, when I’m stitching the piece. Usually I stitch my piece in one hoop, and then transfer it to another hoop for display, typically a wooden one.
There’s really no right or wrong choice here, in my opinion.
Embroidery Hoop Options:
- Plastic Deluxe Super Grip Embroidery Hoop, 10-Inch
- Hoop-La Plastic Embroidery Hoop, 4-Inch
- 4 inch Wooden Embroidery Hoop
- 6 inch Wooden Embroidery Hoop
- 4 Pcs Embroidery Hoops Set (Imitated Wood)
So, these are the 5 and embroidery must haves for beginners, but there are a couple of additional tools that I like to have on hand too.
Thread Gloss or Conditioner: This stuff makes pulling your thread through the fabric much easier, helps reduce knotting and makes french knots so much simpler!
Needle Minder: I wrote a post about how to DIY these. I have plans to add some to my etsy shop soon as well. They’re so handy for keeping track of your needle when you’re in the middle of a project. They’re magnetic, so your needle will “stick” to it, and you’ll know exactly where it is when you need it next.
Now that you know what supplies you need, it’s time to think about what you want to stitch first!
I’m working on some patterns for my shop, so soon you’ll be able check those out 🙂 Until then, there are tons of free patterns on Pinterest and lots of great, inexpensive pattern options on etsy.
Got a question? Leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to respond!
Mandy Williams says
Thanks. This is very helpful! My mother in law taught me counted cross stitch and basic needlepoint so I have many of the supplies and she gave me a huge amount of DMC floss. She also said everyone has to have the stork scissors 🙂 Embroidery is next!