DIY

Needlepoint Canvases

Needlepoint has been around a long time, but it’s totally going through a bit of a resurgence right now. After seeing one too many super cute designs on Instagram and watching my friend create a one of a kind belt for her husband, I decided to give it a try. Or, you know, jump on the bandwagon 😉

(PS If you haven’t read the House Beautiful article about “grandmillennials,” you should!)

My mom has always been super handy with a needle and thread and she inspired a lot of my creative pursuits growing up. While I’ve taken sewing classes (and even went to a weird sewing camp one year, ha), embroidered, and cross-stitched, I had never tried my hand at needlepoint.

Carly the Prepster Needlepoint

Let me just say, now that I’ve been at it for about a month, I’m so glad I picked up this hobby. I LOVE IT.

It’s surprisingly easy. It definitely looks a lot more complicated than it is. There are plenty of ways to make it more complicated (trying new stitches, painting your own canvas, finishing your own pieces), but just doing a straightforward pre-painted canvas with a basic stitch is essentially paint-by-numbers.

Since I’ve “gotten into this” so to speak, a whole new world has opened up to me! Namely in my Instagram explore page. Needlepoint and needlepointers galore! The more I click on, the more Instagram serves me. And TBH, I am here for it. I wanted to share some of my favorite finds!

Preppy Needlepoint

Completed, in progress, and next up canvases!

Doodle Needlepoint

NEEDLEPOINT.COM 

This was the first place I looked because I first watched their Youtube video for beginners (see below). Great marketing, by the way!! They have SO much to look at that it can feel overwhelming going through all the different pages. It’s worth it though! Stick with it because there are gems in there. Tons of great non-cheesy canvases. I started with the two doodles (looks just like Ham & Ted and comes in various other dog versions too) and then the chinoiserie ornament (which I’m not making into an ornament). Needlepoint.com is a great place for beginners to start because they give thread recommendations and you can add the option of having them select the threads for you completely to create a full kit!

 

Straw Hat Canvas

PIP & ROO

Pip & Roo has a ton of relatively affordable canvases that are chic, chic, chic. I bought this straw hat canvas, which will be my next project. And I intend on purchasing this champagne bottle to do for a friend’s birthday or Christmas present later this year!

 

Herand Needlepoint

KATE DICKERSON

I have my eye on a few of Kate Dickerson’s canvases. They’re quite exquisite, yet fun and chintzy. Her Herand-inspired designs are so gorgeous.

Tequila Needlepoint

EVA HOWARD

Eva Howard Designs has a youthful nod to the classic needlepoint sayings. It may come as a shock, ha, but my drink of choice, if I’m going to drink, is tequila… so I feel like I just have to do this one to put near/on our bar cart in our dining room.

American Flag Sweater

MORGAN JULIA DESIGNS

If you’re looking for fun, young, and summer-y canvases, try Morgan Julia Designs’ pieces. I obviously love this American Flag knit sweater.

Eloise Is My Spirit Animal

LYCETTE DESIGNS

Lycette Designs carries a very tightly curated canvas by various artists. They’re very fun, and very youthful. If you want to find something fun to do without sorting through pages and pages and cheesy/old-fashioned canvases, hit up Lycette Designs because everything is great! They also have a storefront in Palm Beach should you be in the area!!

RBG Needlepoint

THORN ALEXANDER

So this shop is kind of closed right now (almost everything is sold out) because the owner is in the middle of a big move. I’m hoping/assuming that once they’re settled they will reopen! I’d be remiss to leave her shop out because her canvases are true WORKS OF ART. Like, absolutely incredible.

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If You’re Totally New, Some Helpful Hints:

As with anything I do, I always start with Youtube. I thought this video by Needlepoint.com was the best one to start with. The directions are clear and the visuals are easy to follow. If you go down the rabbit hole of Youtube though, you’ll find that there are not that many videos and the ones that exist are filmed fairly poorly (at best).

After you get the idea of it, I actually found that Pinterest was a great place to find “stitch guides.” At first, they look super complicated but don’t be deterred. They are a little bit old school, but absolutely the best way to pick up new stitches. A stitch guide will show you the direction in which the thread goes and also the order of it with numbers and colored lines. For example, this website demonstrates three basic stitches. (Which, by the way, is more than enough to get your first canvas done!)

I keep the stitch guides up on my computer or phone while I’m getting the hang of something new, but after a few minutes, the stitch becomes second nature.

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36 Comments

carly

So the dog one I’m going to frame! And I’m not quite sure what I’m doing with the others. Maybe pillows? More frames? Door hangers???

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Laurie

So beautiful! Would you mind telling me what the background stitch is called that you are doing? Its so different and adds a fun twist to the whole needlepoint.

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Catherine

Welcome to the family! My mother taught me when I was 10 and it is the best life long hobby… so many beautiful gifts and heirlooms have resulted from this amazing craft! 😍

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Valerie

I think these are SO cute and I really want to try it because my late grandmother was the needlepoint queen!! But I’m a little confused what you do with them once you’re done..??

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carly

Definitely look into the above companies’ Instagram accounts for inspiration. Pillows! Framed! Ornaments! Door hangers! There’s a lot you can do!

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Evelina

I took up needlepointing again so I’d stop snacking at night! Kirk and Bradley have fantastic designs too – I did their London large canvas and I love it! I created a biography belt for my husband and a college belt for my one son – it is great when you find designs you love to work on!

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Terri Lentz

I am looking for a way to transfer a photo to a needlepoint canvas …the kind you use for a pillow. The only one so far was almost $300.00
Any ideas?

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MOLLY PAGE

I wasn’t on the fence but this post definitely convinced me. I ordered two kits today and watched bunches of needlepoint.com videos. Since I’m already a crafty girl and a sewer, I know I’ll love this. Thanks for the inspo! I have an adorable rooster design (we have 6 chickens!) and a koi design on their way!

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Amanda

I love this!! I especially love how helpful and accepting the needlepoint community is to younger/newer folks (I’ve knit for years and sadly cannot say the same for my experience there).
For anyone interested in making a custom belt — I designed one for my fiancé and had it printed on a canvas online by the company Needlepaint.
Really wanted to join that north Jersey stitching meetup but I live in super-north Jersey (lol) and it was a bit too far. But looked fun! Completely and utterly here for the millennial crafting revolution 🙌

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Kim

You’ve totally caught the bug! And while needlepoint.com is great, I encourage you to support your “LNS” (local needlepoint store). They provide invaluable advice, ideas and support.

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carly

YES! I agree with this– unfortunately, I don’t have one super nearby and the one closest is more of a knitting store with few needlepoint things. I’ve found the people at needlepoint.com to be SUPER helpful and responsive via DM when I have questions, making it feel a little more “local,” ha!

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Laura

Hi Carly, Thought I’d share a book from my to be read pile that both you and fellow stitchers might be interested in.

A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier

It’s set in England just after WWI and embroidery had a part in changing Violet Speedwell’s life 🙂
Happy reading and stitching!

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Lillie

I used to needlepoint when I was a kid, and I still have some pieces I did. I was gifted a small kit last summer and did the main design but gave up on the background. Word to the wise, when you get up there in age (I’ll be 50 next month), black thread is not your friend.

I love your choices. What is that background stitch on the WIP?

I think this is the craft I’ve been looking for! Much less intimidating because I already know the basics. Might need that bunny I have two!

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carly

It’s a criss cross Hungarian stitch. It was a little confusing at first, but once you get going with it it’s pretty simple!!

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Pamela

I’d just like to point out that needlepoint can be done as a counted pattern just like cross stitch. So any cross stitch pattern will work for it if you’re so inclined. It opens up an entire world of options. Also don’t forget perler bead designs which will also work.
I also second supporting your local needlework store, and don’t forget to search under cross stitch and embroidery too. Happy stitching!

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Savannah

So glad you did a post on this! I’m dying to start needlepointing. The cost has been deterring me a little bit, but I think I just need to commit to one I love and plan to eventually start painting my own canvases!

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Marie

In San Francisco — at least in one needlepoint store — it costs $300 to make your canvas into a pillow! Yipes! I love doing needle-point but haven’t the courage to stretch the canvas and make it into a pillow myself and haven’t the $300 to have them do it. Sigh.

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Caroline

Love the needlepointing! I’ve been looking for a more “grown-up” craft to replace years of summer camp friendship bracelet making. Tequila is also my alcohol of choice, which alway seems to shock people, but I honestly can’d stand vodka or gin except in specific cocktails.

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Cynthia

I just bought a beginner cross stitch kit. Not sure really how it is different from needle point?

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Chilly Hollow

This is for Cynthia. Cross stitch uses only one stitch and is on fabric like aida cloth. Needlepoint uses all sorts of stitches, not just cross stitch, and is on needlepoint canvas, which looks a bit like window screening but made of cotton threads. You can stitch a cross stitch pattern on needlepoint canvas as long as you don’t pick on with too many partial cross stitches. And for everyone, Needlepoint Nation on Facebook is for needlepointers. It’s an open group so you don’t have to join to read things; only join if you want to comment or post. Or you can visit Blog which is all things needlepoint. There’s a tab for teaching yourself and lots of other info there. https://chillyhollownp.blogspot.com/p/teach-yourself-to-needlepoint.html

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Lauren

Do you use a frame for your canvases? I am starting my first project and some places say you need one and some say you don’t. (My project is very simple/small if that makes a difference)

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Brooke

I am so happy to read this blog post!! Your stitching looks fabulous, Carly!

Thank you so much also for featuring Thorn Alexander 🙂 I just moved from Boston to BC by way of VT and will absolutely get things up and running again before the holidays!

Happy stitching!!

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