You really don’t require many supplies to begin cross stitching. If you already embroider, you will probably only need to pick up the correct fabric from a local craft store, or even Amazon. Here is my list of needs and wants when it comes to starting cross stitch:
- Aida fabric in the count called for on the pattern. The count tells you how many stitches will be in each inch in your finished project. If you want to make a project a different size, you can use a cross stitch calculator like this one from Yarn Tree to decide what count of fabric to use or how big your final piece will be.
- Embroidery thread or floss. The easiest to find is DMC cotton thread, which comes in 6-strand skeins. You can find many different ways to store your floss, from keeping it in the skein to wrapping it on plastic bobbins or even making your own bobbins from scrap cardboard you may have laying around.
- Embroidery needle. These needles will typically have a slightly larger eye and sharp point, but you can also find ones with duller points since you will be going through the holes in the weave of the fabric.
- Scissors. Really, you can use any scissors you have around the house for cutting your threads, but you may find it easier to cut, especially when using fewer than six strands, with small embroidery scissors. Overall, your best bet is with sharp scissors, because dull ones will take more effort and leave behind more fraying, making it difficult to thread your needle.
- Marking pen. I tend to use a water-erasable fabric pen, but other people use Frixion pens which are heat-erasable.
- Optional: Embroidery hoop or Q-snap frame. It makes it much easier to get consistent stitches when your fabric is held taught in a hoop or frame, but these aren’t actually necessary. It is entirely possible, especially when working with a stiff fabric like Aida, to hold the fabric in your hand and stitch it. Sometimes, if you are working with a smaller piece of fabric, it can even be easier to skip the hoop for stitching and use it solely for displaying the finished piece.
- Optional: Project bag. Whether a repurposed grocery bag, a special fabric pouch, or even a dedicated basket, it can be helpful to have a specific place to keep all your cross stitch supplies related to your project. If you plan on working on more than one project at a time, it is especially helpful to keep each project’s supplies together in one place.
- Optional: Needle Minder. A needle minder is a set of two strong magnets, often with a cute picture on the top piece, that you sandwich your fabric in so you have a place to set the needle when you aren’t working on your piece. I tend to stick my needles to the magnets on the edge of my laptop or iPad case while getting more thread and stick the needle in the fabric when I/m not working on it at all, but many people find it helpful to have a needle minder.
- Optional: Hoop or frame stand. These are helpful when doing long projects, but can also be helpful on quick projects. They come in floor and chair models, and hold your hoop to either free up both hands for stitching or just to not cause pain in the hand you would normally use for holding the hoop. Again, not a necessary item, but definitely can be helpful in the long run.