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8 Tips for Embroidery Beginners

Thinking back to my first embroidery stitch, I was in elementary school. My mom had me pick out a pillowcase that had a pre-printed pattern. I of course chose something with flowers, ribbons, and as much pink in the design as I could find. Then she helped me give embroidery a try.

As a young child, I struggled to enjoy the slow craft of needlework. Threading the small needle was hard and embroidery was too precise. To be frank, I don't even remember finishing those pillowcases-I have a feeling it was a project my mom actually finished for me.

After graduating college and starting out in the workforce, I found that a desk job didn't really lend itself to handmade creativity. I wanted to get back into crafting. And because we don't all magically have room for a craft space, I had space and time constraints. This meant I needed to find something that was easily portable and was something I could pick up and put down. Thus, I stumbled back into embroidery.

Ever since that second dabble in embroidery, I've been hooked. Embroidery is an opportunity to break away from technology, take a break from the world around me, and dive into a mindful craft. I love the tactile nature of playing with colors, textures, and creating a picture with thread. Doesn't that sound lovely?

If embroidery is something you're interested in, you might be wondering where to start. Well here's a few recommendations for beginners looking to give embroidery a first (or second) try.

Recommended Supplies

Fabric: One of the many great things about embroidery, is that you can stitch on anything! Some materials are easier to work with than others. If you're just starting out, I recommend cotton or linen. But also don't be afraid to experiment with other options too!

Hoops: The most common embroidery hoop options are plastic or wood. I personally prefer wood hoops, however, I encourage you to try out different options to see what you like best. I dive more into embroidery hoops in this post here.

Needles: Hand sewing needles come in a variety of sizes, thicknesses, and lengths. While I use different needles for different stitches, I often find myself going back to the DMC #5 needles regularly. If you're new to embroidery, I recommend getting a variety pack to see what size needles you like best.

Thread: Like other embroidery supplies, there are tons of thread options available too. From 6 strand cotton to metallic to satin to etoile to pearl to yarn... I could go on and on. I regularly stitch with DMC 6 strand embroidery thread. I love that it's available in hundreds of color options, that most craft stores carry it, and that the color is consistent. Find the thread you like to work with best. This may take some experimenting, but like everything else with embroidery, there's really now wrong thread to use.

Scissors: The most important thing when it comes to embroidery scissors is that they are sharp. Dull scissors can make threading your needle a hassle if the cut thread isn't crisp. If you're looking for cute embroidery scissors, check out this post here.

Obviously, there are a ton of other embroidery supplies that you could get. If you're a craft hoarder like me, then check out this post here for more embroidery goodies.

Where To Get Supplies

So now that you know what supplies to get, where can you find them? From online to local craft stores, there are a plethora of places to shop embroidery supplies. While I love being able to stop in a shop and browse their selection, that's not always possible. So here's a few options for finding embroidery supplies online and at small craft stores.

Shop Online:

  • DMC- I love using the DMC products and you can shop them online as well as find an assortment at most craft stores. (You can also find some of my favorite DMC products here.)

  • Michaels- They have great online ordering option with delivery and curbside pick up.

  • Amazon- Has a huge selection of embroidery supplies, but they aren't always the best quality. If you want that prime delivery option, just be sure you vet your supplies before buying.

  • 123stitch.com - Online shop that has a huge selection of embroidery thread. Great if you can't find a color in your area or want to buy in thread in bulk to stock up.

  • Etsy- While most people think of Etsy for handmade goods, they are also a hub for supplies.

Shop Small:

How To Get Started

With all your supplies are ready to go, now what? How can you get started? This next step really depends on how you like to learn. Here's a few options to get started.

Embroidery Books: With embroidery on the rise, there are more and more modern embroidery books becoming available. These are great for beginners and usually come with lots of patterns and helpful advice. Here's some of my favorite embroidery books.

YouTube Tutorials: YouTube is kind of my go-to when I need to know how to look up something. Some artists have great YouTube channels that offer indepth tutorials while other videos are so-so. I have some tutorials from my recent stitch along, which are a great place to start.

Embroidery Kits and Patterns: Depending on whether you want supplies provided to you or if you have what you need, embroidery kits and patterns are another great place to start. Many artists use different stitches and offer in-depth explanations of how to create their designs. Each MCreativeJ kit and pattern includes photo step-by-step instructions to guide you through the design.

Online or In-Person Workshops: If you're someone who learns best by being able to see what's happening and wants to ask questions, then an in-person or online workshop might be another great place to start. Some workshops provide a kit with everything you'll need for class and others share a materials list. You can find upcoming online and in-person MCreativeJ workshops here.

Blog Posts: If you're someone who loves reading through a tutorial, and have made it to the end of this blog post, then you might enjoy more blog post tutorials. I share at least one monthly project tutorial on the MCreativeJ blog here. Another great place to find tutorials is Pinterest.

***This post contains affiliate links. Should you purchase something listed, I may receive a small portion of the sale.***


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