Cross stitching is a great hobby that takes time and patience but is very rewarding. You don’t have to be an expert seamstress or stitch enthusiast in order to take part in it, or to make handmade gifts using cross stitching. Even a beginner who has never threaded a needle can make these great Christmas gifts and decorations. All you have to do is make smaller, easy pieces that only require a very basic beginner’s skill level. We will show you two such projects in this article.
What You Will Need:
- Mesh canvas (14-ct and 18-ct are generally the most popular)
- Assorted cotton and/or metallic floss colours of your choice
- Cross stitch needles
- Stitch puller (in case of mistakes)
- A pattern to help you sew (optional)
Making the Cross Stitch Gifts from a Kit
- Many hobby shops will sell you a kit that already has mesh canvas, cotton and needles so that you can easily make a cross stitch gift. For beginners, we highly recommend such a kit. It will generally come with the pattern for your gift already stamped onto the mesh canvas, making it easy to make a decorative Christmas craft.
- Follow the instructions given to you in the kit. They are very easy and geared towards first-time cross stitching
- Don’t be afraid to make a mistake—the beauty of cross stitching is that you can easily undo any mistakes and start again (see Tips, Tricks and Cautions below)
Making the Cross Stitch Gifts Without a Kit
1. Take your mesh canvas and cut it down to the appropriate size for your gift. In this case, we are going to make a gift tag that says “To” and “From,” so cut the mesh down to the size you would like your tag to be (the bigger the gift, the bigger the tag should be).
2. Thread your needle with the first colour of cotton that you are going to use for nametag. It is easiest to start from the middle, so thread it with the colour you want the “To” and “From” words to be.
3. Start sewing the words onto the mesh canvas. Change colours and sew the names or nicknames of the giver and recipient of the gift onto the tag. Make sure that all stitches lie in the same direction so it looks uniform. Bottom stitches should always go from left to upper right on the mesh canvas, while top stitches should always go from bottom right to upper left.
4. Change cotton to colour that you want for the border of your gift tag and carefully sew around the ends of the mesh canvas. This is an optional step, if you don’t want a border you don’t have to have one.
5. Stitch any other decorative touches that you want onto the tag to personalise it. For instance, some people like larger tags where they can put a star or cross on it to signify the holiday or a religious belief. Again, these are completely optional but something that many like to do.
Tips, Tricks and Cautions:
- Though the needles for cross stitch projects are often not as sharp as sewing needles, they can still cut through skin! Use a thimble or plastic sleeve if you are worried about needle pricks.
- Don’t worry if you make a mistake – you can use a small pair of scissors or a stitch puller to undo what you have done wrong and do it again. It is very easy and only takes a few seconds.
- If you have vision problems, only use cross stitch patterns with large numbers or use a tabletop magnifying glass to help you see.